Monday, June 29, 2009

ROCK Sex: Don McLean > Lori Lieberman > Roberta Flack > The Fugees

ROCK Sex leads you through all the ins and outs.

Creativity is one person who sparks another person who sparks another. This has no boundaries and unites us. Here's a music relay chain that proves it using the classic "Killing Me Softly".


Folk singer Don McLean had a massive breakthrough in 1971 with his epic "American Pie". This song sold hugely because it chronicled the pop history and emotional arc of its generation.

On a microcosmic level, another song from that album would have the same effect more stealthily. Here's Don's confessional break-up song, "Empty Chairs", done in a reflective Renaissance folk style:

DON McLEAN -"Empty Chairs" (1971)

Folk compatriot Lori Lieberman was so personally moved by seeing him perform this that she wrote a song called "Killing Me Softly With His Blues". After she described how deeply the song had touched her to Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, they wrote the lyrics for what she first recorded in 1972:

LORI LIEBERMAN -"Killing Me Softly" (1972)

Soul singer Roberta Flack loved all forms of music; she had previously broken big with a cover of Ewan MacColl's folk song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", which she put a brilliant spin on. She brought similar magic to this song, such as in the angelic chorales, which became a classic standard forever associated with her:

ROBERTA FLACK -"Killing Me Softly" (1973)

The HipHop group The Fugees were a musical double-threat with multi-instrumentalist Wyclef Jean and vocalist Lauryn Hill. Lauryn's voice was often compared to the timber of Roberta's, and it should have been no surprise when the group blew up with their update:

THE FUGEES -"Killing Me Softly" (1996)

"Telling my whole life with his words/
Killing me softly with his song"

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

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