Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to... oh wait. It's not my birthday but it IS my 1 year anniversary with Nightspots! Thank you to everyone who reads my column and sends me naughty e-mail. A big thanks to Kirk and Tracy, who have given me an outlet to empty the random musical musings from my head. And I cannot forget to thank graysong and Miss Sukie DLC. Nearly a year ago I was naked in their living room, covering my family jewels with a 12" record ( yes, it took a whole 12" record ) for a photo-shoot for Nightspots. They put my naked ass on the cover of this very magazine and I've been a part of the Windy City family ever since.
Last night I was in bed flipping channels on the television and came across The Tavis Smiley Show. Normally he leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth, but I stopped because there she was in her purple lamé shirt and extra tight denim jeans; Miss Chaka Khan.
Always a fan of star antics, I watched Tavis question her about the album... and while she wasn't quite Anna Nicole-esque in manner, she was shall we say, a bit lit. Tavis was interviewing her about her latest album classikhan. In perhaps the most notable quote of the evening, when asked what her inspiration for classikhan was, she replied "Well you know, these songs are a part of me, of who I am. It was like I was constipated ( ! ) and had to get all this out of me."
Lord, I fell out of my bed laughing hysterically. Only Chaka could tell someone she was constipated and produced an album as a result. A dumbfounded Tavis just sat there, pondering what his follow up question would be. I enjoyed his discomfort tremendously.
classikhan ( lower case c ) is a compilation of songs that Chaka Khan absolutely adores. She's chosen a broad history of classics that's sure to fit into any nook and cranny your collection might be missing. Even if you have many of the tracks she's covered, you might just like her version better. And let's face it, when The London Symphony Orchestra is behind Chaka Khan, that's reason enough to reach out and get this one.
The album is not only classic Khan, it's sexy, in-your-face, swingin' diva Khan. Tracks like "Hey Big Spender", "Hazels Hips", and "The Best Is Yet To Come" will sweetly sway you. Standards like "Crazy", Peggy Lee's infamous "Is That All There Is", "I'm In The Mood For Love" and "To Sir With Love" are also included, each with fresh vocal arrangements and a good dash of Chaka hollerin'.
"Goldfinger" and "Diamonds Are Forever", two legendary Shirley Bassey tracks, are in my spotlight for this album. Chaka's power cuts through both tracks effortlessly, proving that no matter the genre, she's got it covered. Truly "classikhan."