Fragmented Frequencies May 2015

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I had respect for Eddie Murphy. Not only for getting picked up with a transgender hooker just days before the release of Dr Doolittle, and then having the audacity to suggest he was just offering her a lift – but for his musical prowess in the mid 80’s. Whilst other stars of his ilk, such as Don Johnson attempted to capitalise on his Miami Vice fame with the kind of bland country rock that even the likes of Ron Wood, Willie Nelson and Steve Ray Vaughan couldn’t rescue; in 1985 Murphy hit paydirt. Party All The Time, produced by Rick James, is the kind of funked up synth pop that just reeks of the 80’s. It’s not amazing, but it reached number two on the charts and possessed the kind of addictive ear worm chorus that will still be drilling into your skull weeks after your 3 day cocaine binge. Bruce Willis’ 1986 Return To Bruno album is the only musical star vehicle that came close, crooning all moody and sexy, like he’d just stuffed a wet tea towel into his mouth. Yet some 30 years later Murphy has trashed all our musical goodwill, with, wait for it, reggae. On recent Youtube clips he’s been seen singing way too earnestly in a fake Jamaican accent. The question has to be asked. Why? Whilst Robert Mitchum also affected a fake Jamaican accent on his amazing 1957 album Calypso is So, it was understandable. He was baked. I wonder what’s Murphy’s excuse.

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