March 18, 2015

Hit That Beat: Cranked!

Hit That Beat is a section dedicated to music of a specific bpm (with a range of ± 6bpm). The articles focus on a specific bpm and showcase a variety of dance style preferences, song energies, and tempos; all the while featuring both classics and B-sides alike. **Keep in mind, this is MY bpm, your bpms may vary.

So what tempo exactly is “cranked?”  Let’s say something above 250 that makes you want to swing out hard. Those with a heart condition are warned. What? No Claps Hands or Casa Loma or even White Heat?  Yah, those are great, but you know those songs already.

Doggin’ Around – Count Basie (Basically Basie) 252bpm

The great thing about Basie is that even at a tempo such as 250, his rhythm section doesn’t make it feel that fast.  Seriously! Not that it makes it feel like a walk in the park, but Basie and his boys wrap you up in their warm rhythm filled snuggie and take you down to chill town. Doggin’ Around has a great growlin’ chorus that just gets you amped to swing out hard!

My Wild Irish Roses – Chick Webb (Stompin’ At The Savoy) 292bpm

Chick Webb mother fuckers!  You knew he would be on this list. Not only does this song just kick your ass, but it is a shining example of how awesome Chick was on drums.  Plenty of breaks and time to hear the master do his thing. If only to have been alive to see him play, Doctor Who, where are you?

St. Louis Blues – Teddy Stauffer (European Swing Giants) 292bpm

A wonderful introduction to European swing bands from the 30s and 40s.  There are far too many to mention, but they are well worth the hunt if you are looking for solid swing songs, and from time to time, just a little twist.  This song is great for the cool, slow intro, and then BAM!  like a ton of bricks you are moving faster than hoped was possible. OH, wait?  Is that a fiddle? and accordion? sweet….maybe…oh wait, it’s gone.

Hold Tight – Benny Goodman 267bpm

This is a new one for me, but what a wonderful find it was. Once you get beyond the cheese of the start, the song is a classic Benny swing track. The cool part is that you don’t have to wade through the stops and starts of the classic Glenn Miller version. Great in its own right, but I like the flow this version has throughout the song.

Ring Dem Bells – Lionel Hampton (Begin The Beguine 1938) 252bpm

LOVE LOVE LOVE this song! I am never afraid to play this song for balboa dancers. I find this to be one of the best songs for moderately fast balboa (depending on level.)  Great rhythm, lots of shuffle, cool vibes and lots of fun with the vocals. And I just love the growly horn politely coming in after the vocals……ooooo!


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