Every once in a while, when I’m fortunate enough to hear an older song on the radio/in film/commercial, it usually catches my attention and I immediately hit Google to see if I can piece together an artist and title by the lyrics I can remember. A song that has held my attention for probably most of 2013 so far is actually 35 years old and hip-hop sample favorite, but I had no idea until one night this past winter.
100.3 WRNB (Now OldSchool 100.3 – I guess) in Philly had a great show with early hip hop pioneer Lady B and DJ Touchtone, called The Basement Party, where Touchtone would spin some great old school records for the 5 to 7 p.m. drive home. One night, this song came through the speakers of my radio with so much power it literally stopped me in my tracks.
The congas, the horn riffs, futuristic (for that time anyway) synth play and a steady, sneaky guitar lick underneath all that funk. What the hell was it? Who is it by? What’s the name? And why am I moving like I have ants in my basketball shorts and no control of my shoulders?
Of course, Lady B got calls about the song because it was something even her audience hadn’t heard in a while and it was this song:
From the group that brought us “Firecracker,” Mass Production had an even funkier record than that to preceeded it. “Just wanna make a dream come true” hit the top 10 of Billboard’s R&B charts on June 24, 1978, peaking at No. 6.
A fun song about having a good time with someone you meet at the club, “Just wanna make a dream come true” is everything a great funk record was and should be. Danceability, strong lyrical content and just an absolute workout on the dance floor, as those who called in to WRNB that night talked about, naming a club called The Astro Disc as the place they remember the song being played the most.
I actually use it for jumping jacks when I’m exercising in the house because while I generally don’t like them, they’re a necessary evil. So you might as well have fun doing it. I turn this song up and 100 jumping jacks are done before I know it.
That’s really the beauty of song discovery as I like to call it. You hear something, it catches your ear, you search to find it and when you do, you feel like you’ve uncovered your own little audio treasure chest.
And you might even get to make a dream come true if you listen close enough.