Blog 6


This blog will be about the 1980’s R&B song Give It To Me Baby by Rick James. I’ve never known much about Rick James so I looked forward to reading about him. I didn’t realize he was considered to be such a genius back in the day. My research showed that Rick James was journeyman musician up until 1978, when his first single came out called “You an I”. It said that he single handedly rescued the company, Motown. I read that he came home late one night, wanting to mess around with his girlfriend, but he couldn’t because he was too drunk. So instead he went to his piano and wrote the song “Give It to Me Baby.” The song held the number one R&B position for five weeks and hit number 40 pop in the summer of 1981.  As soon as the song starts it command your attention the bass line drives it and the funkiness of the groove pulls you in. The horn section further tickles your ears. The synth is used twice distinctively, once with a high string sound and the other with an acid sound. It is true funk at its best.

My contrasting song is the 80’S Rock song, Back in Black and it comes from AC/DC. AC/DC is an Australian band, formed in 1973 that made their mark in the 1970’s with their hard rock sounds and loud signature power chords. They had continued success over the years while going through a series of lineup changes that culminated in the death of their lead singer, Brian Scott in February of 1980. He was replaced by Scott Johnson and three months later they record the ‘Back in Black” album, which became their biggest seller. The actual song “Back In Black” is indicative of their signature style. It begins the hi hat and muted guitar hits count off, then the bass and guitar power chord simultaneously come in playing, with the guitar breaking off for some finger licks. It is very distinguishable. When the vocal comes in forceful and squalling, it is classic rock at its finest. The bridges have that bouncing bass and powerful guitar and it has an awesome guitar solo in the middle. It is simple, but it is what I have grown to think of as Rock music. Both of these songs are classics because they are perfect representations of what their genres are supposed to sound like. I also believe that these two songs mirror each other in construction. From their signature beginnings with the ear catching bass lines to the classic guitar rifts these two songs have what R&B/Funk lovers and Rock music lovers look for and expect in their music.


Ruhlmann, W. Rick James Biography. Retrieved from

Hogan, E. (n.d.). Song Review: Give It To Me Baby. Retrieved from

Songfacts. Give It To Me Baby. Retrieved from

Erlewine, S. AC/DC Biography. Retrieved from

Erlewine, S. Song Review Back In Black. Retrieved from

Songfacts. Back In Black. Retrieved from



One thought on “Blog 6

  1. Hi Carmen,

    I loved that you showed the how Rick James created the song “Give it to Me Baby.” I never knew that. It’s pretty funny! I also did not know that AC/DC’s original vocalist died. I don’t really like AC/DC, so that’s probably why I had never heard of that.

    If I understand what you are saying correctly, you are stating that the two songs are similar in form? This is very interesting. I listened to both of them a few times and I can see what you mean. You really have to separate yourself from the genres/styles to really understand what you were saying.

    If you’ve never really listened to Rick James, and you like funk, you should listen to a few of his albums. If you like these albums you may also want to give Parliament a try. Also, he really isn’t funk, but Bill Withers is awesome. He did “Ain’t No Sunshine,” but there is a real funky song he did called “Use Me.”

    One thing that I wish you had done is given your opinion on what you personally thought about these artists and their music. It almost seems like you are letting the reader know almost what they want to hear, or like you are giving a music review that isn’t very opinionated. I want to know more if you like funk, how the bass line made you feel, does AC/DC make you dance like no one else is looking, etc.

    Other than that, you had a great post and I learned some new stuff as well. Thanks!



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