For the seventh day of the one-hit wonder challenge, I decided to divert away from the previous patterns I’ve been sticking to for this whole project: using recommendations from fans of the 27 series, and sticking with rock tunes from the 70s-90s. Today’s tune is one I picked, and it’s an R&B number from 1970 by the awesomely named The Five Stairsteps, “Ooh Child.” I mean, there are one-hit wonders in every genre of music – Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D is probably the most famous OHW in classical music, for example.
The Five Stairsteps were a Philly-based band, a family group along the lines of the Jackson 5, but as far as I know this is the only tune they ever did that hit in a major way. It’s a hell of a song, though – smooth and uplifting in just the nicest ways. Here’s the original:
Not for nothing, but this one’s actually going up on the tenth anniversary of September 11, which influenced my song choice a bit. Tomorrow’s a new day, and I’m sure some of you are reading this well after it’s been posted, but this tune seemed pretty appropriate for the day, at least lyrically. I’m not going to write about my personal experiences with 9/11 here (I think if I ever do, I’ll put it in a book – although I’m sure in many ways I already have), but suffice it to say that I was living in NYC at the time, and… goddamn.
My version of “Ooh Child” takes all the beautiful, soulful singing and arrangement from the original and tosses a lot of it out the window. I did twelve takes to get to the recording I’ve included here – my version might sound kind of simple, but it was a bit of a pain to pull together. I hope you enjoy it, though.
Here’s the MP3:
And the video (which I didn’t mix with silly video the way I’ve done with some of the others – I wasn’t feeling it today. So, just the covers for the trade and the first three issues of Second Set, as I did with the first few uploads):
(This one, as I said, wasn’t a suggestion from a reader or friend, but the idea to delve into R&B came from my old friend Nate Chinen, who’s a massive music guy in his own right (like, for reals.) It was a very solid idea, and it came just as I was getting a little sick of the rock/pop stuff, so thank you Nate! For more updates on the challenge, or to keep up with my stuff, find me on Twitter or Facebook.)