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Wednesday Jukebox: Does This Gospel Choir Make Me Look Phat?

March 9, 2011

What is it about gospel choirs that white musicians find so irresistible? Everyone from Lyle Lovett to 80s rockers Cinderella have added a little gospel flavoring to their recordings, with varying degrees of success. Lyle was successful; Cinderella, not so much. This isn’t to say I don’t like Cinderella’s song; I do. But, look, I’ve been to churches with choirs that could rock the mic, and I know what that’s supposed to feel like. Here are few songs where it seems the artists posed the question: Does this gospel choir make me look phat?

“I Wanna Know What Love Is” – Foreigner

When members of the New Jersey Mass Choir began streaming in I knew was about to get crunk! Then Jennifer Holliday gets into the mix; your head starts swaying and it feels like you’re having church. Fess up; it’s not just me who jumps to the choir’s steel belted fadeout.

“Like a Prayer” – Madonna

I’m pretty sure in the dictionary next to “problematic” there’s a stub for this video – what with all the burning crosses and other foolishness. That said, the gospel choir fade out is pretty bad ass – minus Madonna dancing in her lingerie at church and being faith healed. I almost fell out when the choir marched itself out of the church. Pitch perfect.

“Walking in Memphis” – Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn’s earnest one hit wonder was already getting its blue eyed soulful message across before the gospel choir arrived to blast that point right into our weary faces. I won’t even front; I prefer the Cher version of this song, which is actually a lot more subdued. Now you know you’ve gone past the exit when Cher is able to make you seem gaudy.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 8:02 am

    fun fact – the lead in that Madonna video is the baby daddy of Cynthia from Real Housewives of Atlanta!

    just the other day my ipod came up with this one:

  2. March 9, 2011 12:34 pm

    Love this! The article reminds me that gospel choirs are a staple of awards shows. Nothing makes a performance “special” by having a choir accompany you on your big hit song. As an example:

  3. March 9, 2011 12:46 pm

    Paul had to hire a whole gospel choir to replace Art for this song!

    there are some nice beards in this clip:

  4. March 9, 2011 2:16 pm

  5. March 9, 2011 2:18 pm

    Ooh, those are great selections. Man, I could not get enough of Gloria’s triumphant return set to inspirational music.

  6. March 9, 2011 2:33 pm

    Sometimes I want to set “Coming Out of the Dark” as my morning wake up song. I’d want it to start off all quiet, get louder as I wake up, then I’d be opening the door to the bedroom right as the chorus implores me to come on out of dark.

  7. March 9, 2011 2:51 pm

    Ha. shining on me… (shine!)

  8. evmaroon permalink
    March 9, 2011 2:51 pm

    Now you know you’ve gone past the exit when Cher is able to make you seem gaudy.

    I snerked on that one. I’m glad nobody was around to see that. Awesome post!

  9. March 9, 2011 2:53 pm

    Also, I get soooo emotional whenever I hear “Man in the Mirror”. I nearly sob when it gets to the powerful key change

  10. hsofia permalink
    March 9, 2011 3:37 pm

    This was the video that introduced me to Celine. Not only does the gospel choir make her look phat, but she also has clowns and plays b-ball with the bruthas! I think it’s also the last time anyone ever saw Celine in cut-off jean shorts.

  11. hsofia permalink
    March 9, 2011 3:40 pm

    Don’t know what happened with my link there. I should add, when I first saw this video I was all, “Who is this nerdy white girl janky dancing with the choir?” But there was just something very likable about her.

  12. March 10, 2011 10:24 am

    omg, I love that Celine video – I’ve never seen it before! and you’re right about those cut-off jeans.

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