Monday, February 21, 2011

"Rock Box" Track of the Day: The Bar-Kays, "Too Hot to Stop"

It looks like Michael Cera's about to do a fan dance with the '70s Columbia logo. Um, God, I said to You I wanted to see Emma Stone do a fan dance with the '70s Columbia logo, not Michael Cera.
Song: "Too Hot to Stop" by The Bar-Kays
Released: 1976
Why's it part of the "Rock Box" playlist?: It accompanies both the Foxy Brown-style opening credits of Superbad and Bernie Mac's slap-happy entrance scene in Head of State. In Superbad, "Too Hot to Stop" was an immediate sign that the Apatow production's soundtrack was going to be anything but irritatingly twee ("I want to tongue kiss whoever decided to keep the movie devoid of any twee music. Seriously, I do. Preferably with a Curtis Mayfield song blasting," wrote film blogger Kim Morgan in 2007). The 1976 tune is from the Mercury Records-era incarnation of The Bar-Kays, which opted for more of a P-Funk-influenced sound than the Stax-era incarnation that gave us 1967's "Soul Finger" (a classic I first heard while watching Spies Like Us as a kid).

They're each doing what is known as the 'I'm with Awkward' gesture.
Because of its line "I don't mind if I'm considered uncool," "Too Hot to Stop" was a fitting choice for a film that involves a kid like McLovin who doesn't care how uncool he looks when he tries to spit game. Too bad Superbad couldn't find some way to work in The Bar-Kays' equally fitting 1981 jam "Freaky Behavior" during the party scenes or the moments of awkward second base.

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