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Best Music Cameos & Opinions on Raphael Saadiq

Sometimes, all it takes for a song to go from good to great is the addition of a guest artist, whether it's a rapper going in on the verse or a guitarist shredding a solo. This week, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite musical cameos. They also review the latest from R&B singer Raphael Saadiq.

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reviewJimmy Lee

Raphael Saadiq Jimmy Lee

Jim calls Raphael Saadiq one the most important, if underappreciated, artists in r&b over the past several decades. He first emerged in the 1980s with r&b band, Tony! Toni! Toné! What followed beginning in the late 1990s was a series of solo albums and productions for the likes of Stevie Wonder and Solange. Now, Raphael Saadiq is back, after an eight-year hiatus, with what Greg calls his most“autobiographical”album to date, Jimmy Lee. Named after Raphael's brother who died tragically in the 1990s after years of addiction, the album delves into the toll of drug abuse. Greg says there is no album in Saadiq's extensive catalogue that resembles Jimmy Lee. It's“like he's channeling ghosts”in songs like "So Ready" and "Sinners Prayer," Greg suggests, noting that Saadiq is "enacting a role of a drug addict going through the throes of addiction". Jim says this album channels the“catharsis through confessionals”found in Marvin Gaye's Here My Dear. He adds that Jimmy Lee also channels the“clouds hanging over the African-American community”in the tradition of Sly & The Family Stone's There's A Riot Going On. Jim concludes that Jimmy Lee is a masterpiece.

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Best Cameos

This week, Jim and Greg share some of their favorite musical cameos, or unexpected guest appearances on songs, from Brian Eno's appearance on a Genesis song to Aretha Franklin guesting on a Eurythmics track.

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“Down By the Bar”Peter Laughner

This week, Greg is taking a trip to the desert island jukebox to share the track "Down By the Bar" by Peter Laughner. Laughner was an influential figure in the 1970s for bands like Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu. Along with making music, he also contributed writing to music magazines like Creem. He died young at age 24 as a result of drugs and alcohol abuse, but left behind a lot of recorded music. Recently the label Smog Veil put out a box set of his songs, which got Greg on a Peter Laughner kick.“Down By the Bar”is a perfect snap shot of Laughner's Cleveland crafted by the man himself.

Featured Songs

  1. Blackstreet, Fix (featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard and Slash), Another Level, Interscope, 1996
  2. Raphael Saadiq, Sinners Prayer, Jimmy Lee, Columbia, 2019
  3. Raphael Saadiq, So Ready, Jimmy Lee, Columbia, 2019
  4. Raphael Saadiq, Rearview (featuring Kendrick Lamar), Jimmy Lee, Columbia, 2019
  5. Raphael Saadiq, Rikers Island, Jimmy Lee, Columbia, 2019
  6. Mariah Carey, Fantasy (feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard), Daydream, Coulumbia, 1995
  7. Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood, Gorillaz, Parlophone, 2001
  8. Kool Thing, Sonic Youth, Goo, DGC, 1990
  9. Taylor Swift, Bad Blood (feat. Kendrick Lamar), Bad Blood (feat. Kendrick Lamar) (Single), Big Machine, 2015
  10. Chaka Khan, I Feel For You, I Feel For You, Warner Bros., 1984
  11. R.E.M., Radio Song (feat. KRS-One), Out of Time, Warner Bros., 1991
  12. Eurythmics, Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves, Be Yourself Tonight, RCA, 1985
  13. Estelle, American Boy (feat. Kanye West), Shine, Atlantic, 2008
  14. Genesis, The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Charisma, 1974
  15. Led Zeppelin, The Battle of Evermore, Led Zeppelin IV, Atlantic, 1971
  16. Lady Gaga, Telephone (feat. Beyoncé), The Fame Monster, Interscope, 2009
  17. Peter Laughner, Down At The Bar, Peter Laughner Box Set: Record Three: 1973 – 1977 (Pledging My Time), Smog Veil, 2019
  18. Whitney, Used to Be Lonely, Forever Turned Around, Secretly Canadian, 2019
  19. 2Pac, Whatz Ya Phone #, All Eyez on Me, Death Row, 1996
  20. Rupture, Israel Suite, Israel Suite / Dominante En Bleu, SOMMOR, 1973
  21. Rick Ross, Gold Roses (feat. Drake), Port of Miami 2, Epic, 2019
  22. Robert Johnson, Come On In My Kitchen, Come On In My Kitchen (Single), Vocalion, 1937
  23. Chris Thomas King, Come On In My Kitchen, Red Mud, Black Top, 1998
  24. Ry Cooder, Feelin' Bad Blues, Crossroads, Warner Bros., 1986