Updated: Feb 16
Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another. This issue we will cover "I Feel For You" by Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan began her career back in the '70s first with the band Rufus releasing such great songs as “Tell Me Something Good” in 1974 (when she was just 21 years old) and then later with one of my personal favorites “Ain’t Nobody” in 1983. She has also had a very successful solo career including the very popular “I’m Every Woman” from 1978 which was featured on Oprah and covered by Whitney Houston. The song from the '80s that I will always remember best from Chaka Khan is “I Feel For You.”
“I Feel For You” was actually written and originally recorded by Prince. It is one of the many songs he has given to other artists which turned out to be hit singles. Chaka Khan released her version in 1984 on an album titled the same. The song had a little bit of a hip hop feel to it with the repetition of Khan’s name by rapper Melle Mel at the beginning of the song (which incidentally was a mistake that the producer wisely decided to leave in) and some rap lyrics by Melle Mel during the song itself. That is what caught my attention back then and drew me to the song. It also included the unmistakable harmonica playing of none other than Stevie Wonder. Her version of the song became a million-selling smash in the U.S. (peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, but reaching #1 on both the R&B and Dance charts) and it helped to relaunch Khan’s career. The song remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 26 weeks and became one of Billboard's five biggest pop songs of the year for 1985. "I Feel For You" won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song (with Prince as its songwriter) and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for Chaka Khan.
There were two versions of a music video for "I Feel For You" made. The one I remember features some breakdancing by the stars of the film Breakin' including both Shabba Doo and Boogaloo Shrimp. Here is the music video for “I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan…
The music of Prince, the singing of Chaka Khan, the rapping of Grandmaster Melle Mel, the harmonica of Stevie Wonder and the breakdancing of Turbo and Ozone!!! What's not to like about "I Feel For You"?
Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!