Greatest Songs Ever Written: “Wake Up Everybody”

The chorus contains a double negative, “The world won’t get no better
If we just let it be”. The song’s advice seems so simple and childish that it could easily dismissed as “Cheesy”. But a tight arrangement and a fiery, passionate vocal by Teddy Pendergrass turned the song into one of the greatest hits of the 70’s. Lyrics that challenge the way teachers teach, politicians lead, and each of us see our fellow man.

Wake_Up_Everybody-01-bigFast forward to 2004, a new CD with Executive Producers, Babyface and Russell Simmons, was a unique political activism technique to encourage young people to get out and vote. The album was a major push by the Democratic Party. Some of the highlights were covers of powerful social anthems including Give Peace A Chance, Talking About A Revolution, and Freedom. The highlight of the CD was an all-star collaboration on the title track, Wake Up Everybody. Originally written by the legendary duo, McFadden and Whitehead, the song was a Top 10 hit for Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes. The song’s slow build in intensity generates a true call-to-arms to get up and make a difference in the world. Here’s the original video and the 2004 remake.

HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUENOTES

WAKE UP EVERYBODY 2004

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