Billy Ocean – Caribbean Queen

First Hit #1: November 3, 1984

Is there a song that’s more ’80s than Caribbean Queen? Heavy, heavy synths – including a drum sample that controls the track and obliterates anything else going on – combined with a multi-tracked vocal that attempts to be soulful and soar over the track. Plus there’s a sax solo and keyboards that, when they sneak out from underneath the drums, recall a bit of Billie Jean. If the video had Ocean dancing in a warehouse then we’d totally encapsulate the decade.

Still, I can’t help but think the mix is wrong on this one. Every version I’ve heard is just DRUM SAMPLES! All caps, all drums, all the time. There’s other stuff going on the song, and Ocean is singing and trying to assert himself in the track, but the drums act as giant barricades, preventing access to the rest of the song.

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One Response to Billy Ocean – Caribbean Queen

  1. RBerman says:

    Disco never really died. This track almost could have been in Saturday Night Fever. We’ve got a danceable beat, Billy Jean’s Chic-derived bass line, augmented by some funky bass pops now and then, a repeating guitar riff that’s simply a quotation (that’s music-speak for “plagiarized”) of the one from the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive,” and a lyric describing how fun it is to try to pick up a sexy lady on the dance floor. The 16 bar sax solo, the drum machine, and the fact that the disco strings are really synths all keep this an 80s song, though.

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