Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Song #129: "Knock On Wood"--Amii Stewart (1979)

A song originally written in 1966 by a songwriting duo at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, which would become infamous two years later as the site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed, later covered by the likes of Otis Redding and David Bowie, found its greatest success as a one-hit wonder.

Nobody knew Amii Stewart, and we certainly didn't know how to pronounce her name, when she released her disco-twisted version of "Knock On Wood" in January, 1979. But it exploded onto radio, even as the disco era was beginning to realize its time was short, it got a needed boost in the arm by this brilliantly produced song.

The drums. Oh, the drums. They make this song. Everything else, from Stewart's vocals (which are so good and so strong), to the synthesizers, et al, revolve around and pay homage to the drums.

Its sound pulled you in, and you didn't pull back. You wanted to experience all of it. When I was alone at home and it would hit the radio (or later, when I played the record), it was at full, full blast.

What happened to Amii? I don't know. Wikipedia tells me she is now 61 years old and lives in Italy. I hope she's well, and I thank her for this powerful contribution to our musical journey, a rare bit of disco in our countdown.

And yes, we put the extended version on here, because that's the way we like it!

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