LA Reid

L.A. Reid & Springsteen's Protest

Producer, songwriter, and record executive L.A. Reid has crafted hits for more than four decades. He joins Jim and Greg for a candid conversation about the major label system and working with Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, and more.

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Music News

Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in Greensboro in protest of North Carolina's new“bathroom law,”which dictates that transgender people use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate. Bryan Adams also called off a concert because of a similar law in Mississippi. Jimmy Buffett is going on with a pair of North Carolina gigs for the sake of his fans, but says he'll reconsider playing in the state in the future. Jim argues that The Boss is unfairly penalizing his fans and would make more of an impact by speaking out from the stage and leading a march to the Statehouse. Greg counters that Springsteen's cancelation has led to far more media coverage and awareness of the issue.

Steve Miller was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week, but took the opportunity to blast the Hall during and after the ceremony. He criticized the lack of transparency in the nominating process and its exclusion of women, as well as calling the whole induction process unpleasant. Jim and Greg have never had kind words to say about the Hall of Fame, pointing out that while Miller's criticisms aren't new, nothing seems to have improved.

interview

L.A. Reid

lareidcoachella TLC, Mariah Carey, Pink, Justin Bieber, Outkast, Usher, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Kanye West…you name the pop star, and chances are he or she has worked with this week's guest, Antonio“L.A.”Reid. While he began as a drummer in the R&B group The Deele, it's really behind-the-scenes that L.A. has made the most awesome noise—first, as a songwriter/producer with Babyface in the 1980s and 1990s, then as a record exec at LaFace, Arista, Island Def Jam and now Epic Records.

L.A. shares his insights into what makes a great pop song, great (melody, hooks, emotion and the ability to sound good, even with a pillow over it) and some of his biggest professional triumphs (signing“the Beast”Rihanna, coaching Kanye West) and failures (Lady Gaga…the one that got away). He's also not afraid to get candid about music industry sacred cows, whether it's Michael Jackson or major labels themselves.

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Jim

“American Girl”Tom Petty

Jim delivers a Desert Island Jukebox twofer this week, naming both a song and a film he can't live without. After having recently seen the Jonathan Demme-directed "Ricki and the Flash," starring Meryl Streep, Jim is gaga over the movie and Streep's musical performance. Already a huge fan of Tom Petty's original song "American Girl," he finds that Streep's character Ricki Rendazzo brings new meaning to the song. Originally released as the second single off Petty's debut album, the song is about a young girl questioning her future, but when sung by an aging rocker, it's about not letting go of one's youth. For Jim, the track is a triumph for all parties involved: Petty, Demme, Streep, and the listener.

Featured Songs

  1. Bruce Springsteen, Streets of Philadelphia, Philadelphia: Music From the Motion Picture, Epic, 1993
  2. Steve Miller Band, The Joker, The Joker, Capitol, 1973
  3. TLC, Waterfalls, CrazySexyCool, LaFace, 1994
  4. The Deele, Body Talk, Street Beat, SOLAR, 1983
  5. Alabama Shakes, Don't Wanna Fight, Sound & Color, Rough Trade, 2015
  6. Bobby Brown, Every Little Step, Don't Be Cruel, MCA, 1988
  7. The Whispers, Rock Steady, Just Gets Better with Time, SOLAR, 1987
  8. The Drifters, Under the Boardwalk, Under the Boardwalk / I Don't Want to Go On Without You, Atlantic, 1964
  9. OutKast feat. Sleepy Brown, The Way You Move, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, LaFace/RCA, 2003
  10. OutKast, The Way You Move (Instrumental), The Way You Move, Arista, 2003
  11. Whitney Houston, I'm Your Baby Tonight, I'm Your Baby Tonight, Arista, 1990
  12. Meghan Trainor, All About That Bass, Title (EP), Epic, 2014
  13. Usher, You Make Me Wanna…, My Way, LaFace, 1997
  14. Rick Ross, Hustlin', Port of Miami, Def Jam, 2006
  15. Jay Z, Show Me What You Got, Kingdom Come, Roc-A-Fella, 2006
  16. Lady Gaga feat. Colby O'Donis, Just Dance, The Fame, Interscope, 2008
  17. Twista feat. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx, Slow Jamz, Kamikaze, Atlantic, 2004
  18. Rihanna, Pon De Replay, Music of the Sun, BMG Direct Marketing, Inc., 2005
  19. Bon Jovi, It's My Life, Crush, Polydor, 2000
  20. Ricki and the Flash, American Girl, Ricki and the Flash (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Universal, 2015
  21. iamamiwhoami, Chasing Kites, Blue, To whom it may concern., 2014
  22. Bob Dylan & The Band, Long Distance Operator, The Basement Tapes, Columbia, 1975
  23. The Bad Examples, You Owe Me Money, Bad Is Beautiful, Waterdog, 1990
  24. Sonic Youth, Teen Age Riot, Daydream Nation, Enigma, 1988
  25. Kelly Clarkson, A Moment Like This, American Idol: Greatest Moments, RCA, 2002

Footnotes

washingtonpost.com Springsteen cancels NC show brucespringsteen.net Springsteen's statement theguardian.com Bryan Adams cancels Mississippi gig cnn.com Jimmy Buffett to play NC shows soundopinions.org Jim and Greg talk to Rock Hall CEO rollingstone.com Steve Miller on the Rock Hall rollingstone.com Rock Hall responds chicagoideas.com LA Reid's autobiography chicagoideas.com L.A. Reid at Chicago Ideas Week imdb.com Ricki and the Flash