Tuesday, December 12, 2006

List of the Week: Top Four Erykah Badu Songs

My senior year at Amherst College I had a radio show on WAMH. I played R and B, mostly old-school as the early to mid-nineties were a terrible time for soul music. Really, there hadn't been much done since the 70's. The 80's and 90's were all about Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston and watered down Stevie Wonder. Great singers, but not much in the way of innovation. Then, around 1996 (I graduated in 97) some great neo-soul artists burst on the scene, people like D'Angelo, Tony Rich, Maxwell, and Erykah Badu. They set the stage for the late-90's explosion, headlined by Lauren Hill. This, in turn, set the stage for Alicia Keys, John Legend, India Arie, Joss Stone, and all the other emerging, great artists of today.

I remember finding Erykah Badu's first single, "Next Lifetime," amid the stacks of records in the WAMH station during senior year. So, in honor of Ms. Badu, here are my favorite Erykah Badu songs:

4. Your Precious Love. Erykah and D'Angelo cover the Marvin Gaye classic.

3. Tyrone. Originally ad-libbed live at a show in London.

2. Next Lifetime. I remember playing this over and over again during senior year.

1. In Love With You. From the "Mama's Gun" album. Five minutes and twenty-one seconds of perfection. Badu and Stephen Marley.

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