Mega6: Oakland Warehouse Fire Edition [December 2016]

Do you remember the day the music died?  That would be February 3, 1959, when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash.  This tragedy was immortalized in the 1972 hit "American Pie" by Don McLean.  December 2-3 was a similar day for the Bay Area EDM community.

  1. Ghost of Lightning – All Is Fair in Dreams (2016) []
  2. Introflirt – Orange Light (2016) []
  3. Cherushii – Queen of Cups (2014) []
  4. Them Are Us Too – Eudaemonia (2015) []
  5. Nackt Featuring CM-4 & Jason Key – Trash Brothers (2015) []
  6. YAGI – Ghost Ship Tribute (2016) []
    - Megamix featuring Nackt, Cherushii, Paralycyst, R.M.S., Ghost of Lightning, Them Are Us Too, Symbiotix.Fungi, Introflirt, Edmond Lapine, Nightmom, HGS, and Joey Casio.

Mega6: Home Edition [December 2015 (first published in December 2011)]

We went on a listening bender recently.  And 80-plus songs later, we came up with this playlist.  Our quest began after Dierks Bentley’s performance at the White House.  Best wishes to everyone.

  1. Michael Buble – Home (2005) []
  2. Dierks Bentley – Home (2012) []
  3. Daughtry – Home (2007) []
  4. Johnny Mathis – I’m Coming Home (1973) []
  5. Tim Curry – I’m Going Home (1975) []
  6. Peters and Lee – Welcome Home (1973) []
  • Bonus Tracks
    – Walter Jackson – Welcome Home (1965) []
    – Merle Haggard – Sing Me Back Home (1967) []
    – John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads (1971) []
    – Freda Payne – Bring the Boys Home (1971) []
    – Dawn Featuring Tony Orlando – Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree (1973) []
    – Hagood Hardy – The Homecoming (1976) []
    – Kenny Loggins – Celebrate Me Home (1976) []
    – Foreigner – Long, Long Way From Home (1978) []
    – Supertramp – Take the Long Way Home (1979) []
    – Patrick Cowley – Goin’ Home (1982) []
    – Mark Knopfler – Going Home (1983) []
    – Paul Young – Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home) (1983) []
    – Colm Wilkinson – Bring Him Home (1985) []
    – Joe Diffie – Home (1990) []
    – Alabama – Down Home (1991) []
    – Enya – On My Way Home (1996) []
    – ATB – Long Way Home (2003) []
    – Pete Yorn – Come Back Home (2003) []
    – Tim McGraw – If You’re Reading This (2007) [] DWTS []
    – MercyMe – Finally Home (2009) []
    – Diddy - Dirty Money Featuring Skylar Grey – Coming Home (Dirty South Radio Mix) (2011) []
    – Gwyneth Paltrow – Coming Home (2011) []
    – Grant Smillie Featuring Zoe Badwi – Carry Me Home (2012) []
    – Phillip Phillips – Home (2013) []
    – Gareth Emery – Long Way Home (2014) []
    – ? – Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (?) []

Mega6:  Donna Summer Edition [May 2012]

As we did previously with other tribute editions, we eschew the obvious picks and go off the beaten path.

  1. Donna Summer – Now I Need You/Working the Midnight Shift/Queen for a Day (1978)
    - These three tracks comprise one side of the “Once Upon a Time…” double album, a cult favorite among connoisseurs of electronic music.  This is 17 minutes of pure electronic bliss.  “Now I Need You” also highlights a little bit of Summer’s gospel upbringing.  Most Internet postings don’t do these recordings justice.  Let’s face it, the audio quality of CDs released in the 1980s and ’90s leaves something to be desired.  Anything digitally re-mastered since then is an improvement, but for the most dynamic sound, you need to get your hands on the original vinyl release.
  2. Donna Summer – I Remember Yesterday/Love’s Unkind (1977)
    - From the concept album that pays tribute to past musical genres and something forward and revolutionary (the futuristic hit “I Feel Love”).  Summer gets to showcase her many musical styles, from the swinging “I Remember Yesterday” to the “Summertime Blues”-sounding “Love’s Unkind.”
  3. Donna Summer – Our Love/Lucky/Sunset People (1980)
    - This one side of the “Bad Girls” album is like a reprise of that side of “Once Upon a Time…” (see above) with a slight rock edge that fits the overall sound of Summer’s last non-compilation release on Casablanca Records.
  4. Donna Summer – MacArthur Park Suite (1978)
    - A compilation album that features a DJ’s continuous mix is as natural as breathing nowadays.  But back in the 1970s, an artist album that mimics the club experience was a novel idea.  Giorgio Moroder, Summer’s longtime collaborator, was one of the first artists to do this on his own “From Here to Eternity” album from 1977.  Well, if the general public didn’t understand continuous mix, Summer’s No. 1 album “Live and More” helped change that.  The studio side of “Live and More” is a nonstop medley of “MacArthur Park,” “One of a Kind,” and “Heaven Knows.”  A lot of radio mix shows never sounded this good.
  5. Donna Summer – All Through the Night (1980)
    - When you think about it, Summer’s never had a big hit that was a pure ballad.  If her record company had released this cut from her best-selling album as a single, it could have been another one of her hits.
  6. Donna Summer – There Goes My Baby (1984)
    - A remake of The Drifters’ first top 10 hit that was a nice reminder of Summer’s signature start-slow-and-end-fast format (think “Last Dance,” “MacArthur Park,” and “On the Radio”).  Note that her husband appeared in the song’s music video.
  • Bonus:  Donna Summer – (Theme) Once Upon a Time (1978)

    Dim all the nights…rest in peace.

Mega6:  Whitney Houston Edition [February 2012]

As we did previously with the Michael Jackson edition, we eschew the obvious picks and go off the beaten path.

  1. Whitney Houston – My Love Is Your Love (Jonathan Peters’ Mix) (2000)
  2. Whitney Houston Featuring Faith Evans & Kelly Price – Heartbreak Hotel (Hex Hector Mix) (1999)
  3. Whitney Houston – I Learned From the Best (HQ2 Club Mix) (2000)
    - Above three are all from the “My Love Is Your Love” album, which only peaked at No. 13 but did sell two million copies.  While some of the singles were top 10 hits, most people tend to remember her hits from the 1980s and “The Bodyguard” soundtrack.
  4. Whitney Houston – Try It on My Own (Thunderpuss Radio Mix) (2003)
    - One of her more obscure singles.
  5. LMC vs. U2 – Take Me to the Clouds Above (2004)
    - One of the things that makes this dance classic so memorable is Rachel McFarlane singing a few lines of Houston’s “How Will I Know” from 1986.
  6. Girls on Top – I Wanna Dance With Numbers (2001)
    - U.K.’s Richard X’s Houston meets Kraftwerk mash-up bootleg.
  • Bonus
    - Dolly Parton – I Will Always Love You (1974/1982)
    - George Benson – The Greatest Love of All (1977)

Mega6:  September 11 Edition [September 2011]

As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11, we are proud to say Simpatico/Dance Radio Post is all natural and made by hand in the U.S.A.

  1. Marvin Gaye – The Star-Spangled Banner (1983) []
  2. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1995) []
  3. Enya – Only Time (2001) []
  4. Tiesto – Adagio for Strings (2005) []
  5. Neil Young – When God Made Me (2005) []
  6. Red Carpet – Alright (2006) []
  • Bonus:  David Guetta Featuring Sia – Titanium (2011) []

Mega6:  World Cup Edition [June 2010]

Nationalism doesn’t play a part in our selection since the U.S. is not a soccer/football powerhouse (Team U.S.A. will make it into the semi-finals in the next 20 years).  The good news is most of the official and FIFA-related music can be heard on the Internet.

  1. Vangelis – Anthem (2002)
    - We’re mental for instrumentals.  Also check out the slow orchestral version.  Known primarily for his Oscar-winning work on the “Chariots of Fire” soundtrack, Vangelis has also composed memorable music for “Blade Runner” and “1492: Conquest of Paradise,” among others.
  2. New Order – World in Motion (1990)
    - This song holds up well 20 years later.
  3. K’Naan – Wavin’ Flag (2010)
    - We first saw this Canadian artist on the new PBS program “Need to Know” (always keep your ears open).
  4. Jean-Michel Jarre and Apollo 440 – Rendez-Vouz (1998)
    - Kind of a remix of Jarre’s “Fourth Rendez-Vous” from 1986.
  5. Ricky Martin – The Cup of Life (1998)
    - The problem with this track is that it sounds too similar to Martin’s “Maria” from a few years earlier.
  6. Youssou N’Dour and Axelle Red – La Cour des Grands (1998) + Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini – Un’estate Italiana (1990)
    - No list would be complete without some non-English tracks.
  • And a few forgotten instrumentals:
    - Silsoe – Aztec Gold (1986)
    - Jeff Wayne – Metador (1982)
    - South Bank Team – Action Argentina (1978)
    - London Stadium Orchestra – Lap of Honour (1974)

Mega6:  Michael Jackson Edition [June 2009]

We eschew the obvious picks and go off the beaten path.

  1. Michael Jackson – Got to Be There (1971)
    - His first solo single, a top 10 hit in the same vein as the Jackson 5's 1970 classic "I'll Be There."
  2. The Jacksons – Heartbreak Hotel (1981)
    - Last memorable song he recorded with his brothers.
  3. Michael Jackson – One Day in Your Life (1981)
    - Motown, his former label, released this ballad from its vault to cash in on the success of his Epic debut "Off the Wall."
  4. Michael Jackson – You Are Not Alone (Franctified Club Mix) (1995)
    - All the up-tempo songs from "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" don't need remixes.  So the only one that comes to mind is this 11-minute remix by Frankie Knuckles.
  5. DJ Sneak – Show Me the Way (1995)
    - Contains a sample of the Jacksons' "Show You the Way to Go" (1977).
  6. The Tamperer Featuring Maya Days – Feel It (1998)
    - Contains a sample of the Jacksons' "Can You Feel It" (1981).
  • Bonus: "Motown 25:  Yesterday, Today, Forever" (1983)
    - You must feel sorry for all the other musical guests who performed on this Emmy-winning TV special that aired on NBC in May 1983.  That's because it will always be remembered as his coming-out party, the first time he did his moonwalk to "Billie Jean" in front of an audience.

Mega6:  Classic Reggaeton Edition [June 2009]

Just in time for New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade.  Even though San Juan's blend of hip-hop and reggae didn't catch on in the U.S. until the mid-2000s, here are a few essential tracks.

  1. Don Omar – Pobre Diabla (2005)
    - Not his biggest hit--if you go by chart success--but "Diabla" is his best song to date.  If Daddy Yankee is the party face of reggaeton, then Don Omar represents the more serious side.
  2. Daddy Yankee – Gasolina (2005)
    - The most successful reggaeton artist in the U.S.  This song has done for reggaeton what Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" did for hip-hop.
  3. Angel & Khriz – Ven Bailalo (2005)
    - This track's versatile melody works with other arrangements (listen to the Bachata-Merengue Mix if you're not convinced).
  4. Wisin & Yandel – Rakata (2005)
    - For something a little different, check out the Desi-flavored Tigerstyle Remix.
  5. Ivy Queen – Dime (2008)
    - She may be the queen of reggaeton, but none of her earlier songs really stood out.  If you want more female vocals in this male-dominated genre, go straight to 2003's "Todavia" by Panama's La Factoria.
  6. Vico C – Cinco de Septiembre (2004)
    - Poignant song about his daughter (title refers to her birth date).  Like many established Latin artists in the 2000s, Vico C experimented with reggaeton.

Mega6:  Redux Edition [April 2009]

  • Radio stations and listeners love a familiar song.  Here are some reworked tracks that work.
  1. Guru Josh Project – Infinity 2008 (Klaas Vocal Edit)
    - Remix of Guru Josh's 1990 club hit.
  2. Simply Red – Go Now (Triple Dee Club Remix)
    - Remake of The Moody Blues' first hit from 1965.  Also check out the Drivin' Dub Mix.
  3. Kay & Stoxx Featuring Mary Geras – Ain't Nobody (Rivaz Radio Edit)
    - Remake of the 1983 Rufus/Chaka Khan hit.
  4. Carol Hahn – Reach Out (DJ Shpank Radio Mix)
    - Remix of Carol Hahn's minor club hit from 1986.
  5. Wamdue Project – King of My Castle '09 (Rowald Steyn Radio Edit)
    - Remix of Wamdue Project's No. 1 club hit from 2000.  If you're into Deadmau5, try Mischa Daniels 2 AM Remix.
  6. Nouveau Riche – Stay (SoundFactory Club Anthem Part 1)
    - Remake of Mynt/Kim Sozzi's top 10 dance radio hit from 2005.

Mega6:  Latin Edition [April 2009]

  1. Gloria Trevi – Cinco Minutos (Manny Lopez Minutelicious Radio Mix)
    - Don't overlook the album version.
  2. Makano – Te Amo
    - Not to be confused with Mecano, the 1980s group from Spain.
  3. Arcangel – Por Amar a Ciegas (Trance Remix)
    - This trance remix really hits the spot.
  4. Fanny Lu – Tu No Eres Para Mi (DJ Erax Electrik Club Mix)
    - The album version sounds a little bit cumbia (she is Colombian).
  5. Gloria Trevi – Pruebamelo (Master Lujan Remix)
    - The Mexican Madonna's comeback continues.
  6. Wisin & Yandel Featuring Nesty – Me Estas Tentando
    - Another hit from the duo who gave us the 2005 reggaeton anthem "Rakata."

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