Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch feat. Loleatta Holloway – Good Vibrations

First Hit #1: October 5, 1991

The credit for Good Vibrations starts with Marky Mark. Then, you get the Funky Bunch, though I’m not entirely sure what they do, maybe play keyboards or do interpretive dance. Then, last, you get Loleatta Holloway, who is pretty much the only memorable part of the song. She’s only got a brief snippet, singing about good vibrations over the chorus, and it’s kind of simple and over-used. In fact, it feels a lot like C+C Music Factory, a woman with a big voice doing a couple distinct lines that are really the only notable part of the song. Good Vibrations is the chorus, and there’s not actually that much there.

Marky Mark himself feels like a guest musician on his own song. The lyrics are hardly great – he’s probably smarter than Vanilla Ice, but he’s also less memorable, and it’s probably not a great choice to bring up pores. It’s kind of fun, as a work out jam – it’s telling that the music video is all Marky Mark showing off his abs and boxing – but it’s repetitive and doesn’t really show off anyone involved as a great talent.

Marky Mark eventually rebranded himself under his real name, Mark Wahlberg, and became a respected actor who people might make fun of because he was in The Happening, as well as someone who is an amusingly grumpy gus in interviews, which contrasts with his great skill at playing goofballs. It was a good choice, both for himself, and us, because he’s much better at acting than he is at rapping.

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One Response to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch feat. Loleatta Holloway – Good Vibrations

  1. RBerman says:

    A fun enough track compositionally, and negligible lyrically, but it seems more important historically:

    1) The music industry has learned from the Milli Vanilli debacle. If you make a visually striking person the focus of the presentation, put his name in the credits. I wonder what the contribution of “the Funky Bunch” was. Were they the dancers, the instrumentalists, or something else? Loleatta Holloway comes out the big winner here not only because she sings the most memorable part of the song, but also because it finally brought her the Top 40 attention (and remuneration) that had eluded her as a disco diva fifteen years prior.

    2) As previously seen with Vanilla Ice and Blondie, rap is still mainly seen at the top with a white guy billed highest. Meanwhile, far outside the #1 slot, Public Enemy was raking in critical acclaim with their politically charged rhymes and heavy beats.

    3) Collaboration is an essential element of hip-hop. There was nothing new about needing multiple people to generate a fully fleshed recording. But historically, that was done either simply under the moniker of a strong leader (from the Nelson Riddle Orchestra to Sting), or under a community name comprising a reasonably stable cast (every band from the Beatles to U2). Hip-hop’s insistence on crediting all the members of transient teams leads to unwieldy credits like “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway” or this week’s #1 song in 2013, which credits “Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell [Williams].”

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