I remember getting my first job in the USA, it was at a Radio Shack store 10 years ago. My boss owned the franchise and he was doing a hell of a job with sales. He could easily sell a digital camera to an 82-year-old woman who knew nothing about it. The guy hired me hoping to learn French though I never taught him anything really. Then I moved on changing carrier and became a customer service representative for an online shoe store. Oddly not knowing much at the time I liked that title. Once I got there one of my co-workers told me something I’ll never forget “working overtime is a privilege”. As I was coming from a country where everybody has five weeks vacations a year and where the work limit was 35 hours, it was quite a cultural shock, but I did end up working extra hours and enjoyed getting extra cash.
When Labor Day was first celebrated in New York City in 1882, a regular day of work was usually 12-14 hours. Many workers at the time were working 6 days a week and were demanding for an extra day off. It was a great accomplishment back then, but it seems like we all work hard still nowadays. A hundred years later, Donna Summer denounced the struggle of a woman she encountered.
“She Works Had For the Money” by Donna Summer
Donna Summer’s “She works hard for the money” refers to Onetta Johnson, a “ladies room” attendant who had fallen as sleep while on the job and told Summer she had also a full time day job during the day
"Love and Work" by Jimi Tenor - Warp Records
In the music world, the word “work” is almost as common as “love” . Finnish artist Jimi Tenor mix them together with “Love and Work” in his album Organism.
Let's Work - Prince - Warner
There’s one hard workingman this world now misses a lot, that’s Prince. His song “Let’s Work” was out in 1981. As the lyrics suggest Prince invites a girl to “work all night” and “have some fun”. The concept of work and romance being associated here again.
Work Hard - Depeche Mode (Everything Counts)
The British legendary band Depeche Mode took the concept of “work” differently with “Work Hard”. The song goes “Nothing comes easy and that’s a fact, nothing comes easy but a broken back”. "Work Hard" was part of the Everything Counts Album. They dared hammering noise & fx on the song...
Work Me Goddam It – Armand Van Helden
For electronic music and house in particular the 90’s have always been huge. Judge for yourself and play “Work Me Goddam it” by the talented Armand Van Helden. The 1996 year was also important for the Boston native as it marks the year when his first album saw the day.
In 2002 Louie Vega and Kenny Dope aka Masters at Work delivered dance hit “Work”, taking the #7 position in the Billboard Dance Charts. The vibe here is more uplifting, this song became a classic.
Work – Masters at Work
Quite more recently in 2014, Igor Carmo release via Nervous records “I Gotta Work”. The remix by Oscar G as well as all the other songs mentioned earlier are being featured on the mix below.
Wolf Story have created a special Labor Day mix for us with the songs above and plenty more. Find the complete tracklist below.
Whether you are having Monday off or you are misbehaving on the job and reading this, I wish you all a Happy Labor Day but remember when people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.
I salute my French pals who are all getting Monday off you lucky bastards, tchuss.
Wolf Story's Tracklist:
01 Jimi Tenor – Love And Work
02 Ice Cream Tee – Let’s Work
03 Willie Hutch – Brother’s Gonna Work It Out
04 The Isley Brothers – Work To Do
05 Donna Summers – She Works Hard For The Money
06 Stevie Wonder – We Can Work it Out
07 Canned Heat – Let’s Work Together
08 Diana Ross – Work That Body
09 The O’Jays – Work On Me
10 Cameo – You Make Me Work
11 Vanessa Williams – Work To Do
12 Prince – Let’s Work
13 Duran Duran – Working For The Skin Trade
14 Depeche Mode – Work Hard
15 Todd Terry – Work Your Butt
16 Igor Carmo – I Gotta Work (Oscar G Hard Work Remix)
17 Hot toddy – Work It Out
18 Roger Sanchez, Cari Golden – Work For It
19 Mihalis Safras & CJ Jeff – Work
20 Mike Dunn, Mnek, Jax Jones – House Work
21 The 2 Bears – Work (Franky Rizardo Remix)
22 Inner City – Work Your Body
23 Masters at Work – Work
24 Kelly Rowland – Work (Freemasons Club mix)
25 Armand Van Helden – Work Me Godamit 96’
26 Ananse Scales Rebellion – Borther’s Gonna Work It out
27 Two Door Cimena Club – Something Good Can Work (Miizii remix)