First Listen: 80s star Howard Johnson "compels" us with new single

(August 28, 2020) “Compelled” is the title of Howard Johnson’s new song. Like so many songs, it was inspired by what has been happening in our country over the last few months, starting with the police involved shooting deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and most infamously, George Floyd.

“Compelled” is an appropriate title for this record and serves as a rebuke to those who get triggered when those in the entertainment industry use their platform to address social or political issues. Johnson came to fame in the late 70s with Niteflye with the ballad “If You Want It” and in the 80s with cuts like “So Fine,” his biggest hit. Johnson’s most recent album, 2013’s Jet Black Casanova, featured the kind of funky dance tunes and balladry that served him well in the 70s and 80s.

(August 28, 2020) “Compelled” is the title of Howard Johnson’s new song. Like so many songs, it was inspired by what has been happening in our country over the last few months, starting with the police involved shooting deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and most infamously, George Floyd.

“Compelled” is an appropriate title for this record and serves as a rebuke to those who get triggered when those in the entertainment industry use their platform to address social or political issues. Johnson came to fame in the late 70s with Niteflye with the ballad “If You Want It” and in the 80s with cuts like “So Fine,” his biggest hit. Johnson’s most recent album, 2013’s Jet Black Casanova, featured the kind of funky dance tunes and balladry that served him well in the 70s and 80s.

However, Johnson lives in this world and he wants to raise awareness, and he is using the tools that he has at hand. That tool is music and the message of this song is directed at those standing in the way of justice. Johnson reminds them that desiring freedom and resisting justice is a human response, and that oppression prevents the oppressor as well as the oppressed from advancing. It’s a message that Johnson felt compelled to deliver and its one that all should hear. Check out “Compelled” here.

By Howard Dukes

Howard Johnson - "Compelled"

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