Put Your Hands Up for Detroit – Fedde Le Grand (2006, Flamingo Records)
Whenever Detroit’s baseball team, The Tigers, win a home game, ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’ is pumped out across the stadium in celebration. A song by a Dutch DJ that heavily samples another song by a Texan born DJ and not one second of it was made anywhere near Detroit. Although saying that it’s a proper banger and you can see why they would play it.
Sadly for fans of Detroit they were almost as bad as the Royals last season so the song didn’t get as many outings as it deserved. It’s been nearly forty years since Detroit won the World Series and in all honesty it could be forty more until they do it again. Last week the Tigers played the Royals three times and beat them twice. Meaning that Kansas are already bottom of their five team division – but clearly it’s a marathon not a sprint.
Musically Its impossible to talk about Detroit without mentioning Motown. The influential label founded by Berry Gordy Jr in the fifties and there are literally hundreds of records that I could choose from. Between 1961 and 1971 over 100 records on the Motown Label went Top Ten in the UK and the US, including records by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and The Supremes to name but a few but the first to get to number one was this.
Please Mr Postman – The Marvelettes (1961, Motown Records)
One last thing about Motown (although I genuinely might do an entire series on Motown Records later in the year) is that Berry Gordy Jr’s eighth and youngest child was responsible for this absolute monstrosity of a record, that sound you can hear at the end is Motown’s legacy hitching up its skirt and heading for the hills screaming.
Detroit isn’t just all about Motown Records, although that should be enough. Its also home to Wayne Kramer and his jam kicking friends MC5, who pretty much invented garage rock and are of course most famous for this classic
Kick Out the Jams – MC5 (1969, Elektra Records)
More recently (and I accept that I am totally overlooking the Detroit Techno Boom) Detroit has spawned a host of excellent rockstars and rappers. This chap for example
Godzilla – Eminem featuring Juice Wrld (2020, Interscope records) – which by the way boasts the world record for the fastest rapping ever. In the third verse of this track, Eminem manages 300 words in 30 seconds. Which is 295 more than I can rap in 30 seconds.
The Hotel Yorba can also be found in South West Detroit, I’m not sure if a hotel anymore but of course it was made famous by the current overlord of the Detroit music scene, Mr Jack White.
Hotel Yorba – The White Stripes (2001, XL Recordings)
And here is the previously unknown new (ish) band that I am selecting at random. This week say hello to VVISIONSS – note the capitals folks, and according to the Internet they love cats, time travel and krautrock. Which makes them sound pretty essential. Although as usual, we will be judge of that.
The River – VVISIONSS (2020, Self Released)
Next Week – Minnesota