I know I got all political on you yesterday, but it’s still Throwback Thursday, right? Wait, what did you say? It’s Friday? Oh. Well, better late than never, right?
Do you have a singer who you just wish you could open your mouth and sound just like them? Kind of corny, I know… but I’ve always had a few singers like that. When I sing, I imagine their voice pouring out of me. Randy Crawford’s definitely one of them. I’ve always loved the sound of her voice. Distinctive, slightly nasal, but always sweet and seemingly effortless.
She tends to sing these kind of epic story-songs (Almaz is a perfect example), and always delivers her vocals with a smile. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a Randy Crawford photo where she isn’t flashing a friendly grin. Her spirit appears to be as warm and wonderful as her music.
One of my very favorite Randy Crawford songs is One Day I’ll Fly Away. That song so perfectly captures longing and hope and sweet sadness. I thought it was a great addition to Moulin Rouge, although Lord knows Nicole Kidman’s voice can’t hold a candle to the original.
But my absolute favorite-favorite Randy Crawford song is just about everyone’s favorite. Most definitely Quentin Tarantino‘s favorite. Street Life. It’s the only life I know.
The Crusaders dropped Street Life the year I was born — 1979, a very good year. Back then, she was rocking a big, blown out curly hairstyle, and a whole lot of metallic eyeshadow. Work it, Randy!
Almost 30 years later, and Randy’s still performing her biggest hit. This jazzy version is so effortless and breezy and perfect. Love it. But I must admit, Randy’s hair is a little too ornately decorated for my taste, but hey. If she likes it, I love it. She’s a legend. I give musicians of her status a whole lot of room to work it however they see fit. Hope you enjoy your Throwback Thursday on a Friday, bellas! Happy weekend!
ppst — want a little more Randy? Check out The Ultimate Collection, or her most recent album with Joe Sample, Feeling Good. She’s got an interesting little interview about it where you can hear her version of the Nina Simone classic.