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