The Music of Glee: Episode 1×7 – “Throwdown”

Lots of memorable stuff happened in this episode. Sue takes over the Glee Club, Terri blackmails her doctor into helping her fake a pregnancy, Finn and Quinn learned the sex of the baby, and Finn gives us “Drizzle.” The songs weren’t quite so memorable, but they went out with a bang.

“Hate On Me”
Written by Jill Scott, Adam Blackstone and Steve McKie
Performed Most Notably by Jill Scott
Performed on GLEE by New Directions

The lead single from Jill Scott’s album The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3, this was pretty sassy for her at the time. She says it was written about a group of people she found on the internet who didn’t like her.

Josh Note: I really hate people that write comments on the Internet (he says in an article with comments at the bottom). If you’ve ever written “You suck” in a comments box, do everyone a favor and go to hell.

“No Air”
Written by  James Fauntleroy II, Eric “Blue Tooth” Griggs, Michael Scala, Harvey Mason Jr., Damon Thomas and Steve Russell
Performed Most Notably by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown
Performed on GLEE by New Directions

The first single that put Jordan Sparks on the map, it was featured on her first album, her debut after winning American Idol. The lyrics are pretty straight ahead, and the melody isn’t wildly fancy, but it’s a master-class in staying simple but memorable. It went Platinum in the US, New Zealand and Australia and Top 10 just about everywhere in the world.

Josh Note: Why do people keep buying Chris Brown records? Seriously, America. Even before he beat his girlfriend, then recorded a song saying it was her fault, his music was crap. The dude wrote a song and then got paid by Doublemint Gum to put their slogan in the lyrics! But, hey, we still bought 270,000 copies of F.A.M.E. in the first week… Shameful.

Other Josh Note: It took 6 people to write this song? Makes me think of that cost break-down of Rihanna’s “Man Down.”

“You Keep My Hangin’ On”
Written by Holland-Dozier-Holland
Performed Most Notably by The Supremes
Performed on GLEE by Quinn Fabray

Released in 1966, the song became The Supremes’ eighth #1 single. It has been covered numerous times by artists like Wilson Pickett, Rod Stewart and Vanilla Fudge. The writers, Holland-Dozier-Holland (H-D-H) were Motown’s main production team at the time, with the song’s signature guitar part originating from a Morse code-like radio signal heard by Lamont Dozier.

Josh Note: I love Motown. Absolutely love it. If you haven’t seen it, or aren’t familiar with Motown as a brand, or a company, or a style, check out the 2002 Documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown. It’s amazing.

“Keep Holding On”
Written by Avril Lavigne and Dr. Luke
Performed Most Notably by Avril Lavigne
Performed on GLEE by New Directions

The theme song from the 2005 film Eragon, it also appeared on her third album, The Best Damn Thing in 2007. Reportedly, a different version, more upbeat and rocking, was intended to be on the album, but it got pressed with the original. It went Platinum in the US, and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s US Adult Pop Songs.

Josh Note: I really hate this song, with the melody being a bit silly and the lyrics totally meaningless (“Nothing you can say, nothing you can do, there’s no other way when it comes to the truth”… what truth? Seriously, what does that mean? “Keep holding on, ’cause you know you’ll make it through”… I do? If I knew that, you wouldn’t need to be singing a song to me.) Still, the number on GLEE was my favorite Group Song of the series, when we discussed that. The scene was much larger than the sum of its parts and I cried like a baby.

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