Saturday Night Fever arrived in theaters during the 1977 holiday season. Relatively unheralded when it was released, the exploration of New York’s disco subculture gained momentum in the following year, powered by a star-making performance by John Travolta and a soundtrack spearheaded by the Bee Gees.
The former was a supporting player on a sitcom called Welcome Back, Kotter. The latter had made some recent forays into R&B but were, in the public mind, a Beatlesque bunch whose biggest hits dated to the late ‘60s. Maybe the film had some potential, but, hey, another disco flick – Thank God It’s Friday, – was on its way and then it’d be time for Travolta to give up the spotlight.
Well, the film and its soundtrack became era-defining hits and the Bee Gees were suddenly the biggest thing going in an era when everything was oversized. By the spring of ’78, the two-record soundtrack had sold 10 million copies and become the biggest-grossing album in history. It’s now moved something in excess of 40 million copies and still holds a spot among the top 10 sellers of all time. Interestingly, three albums released in 1977 – Saturday Night Fever, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours – are in that Top 10 list. They pressed a lot of vinyl in those days.
What a beautiful city. I just came back from a long weekend there, and I’m already planning my next trip. Lucky for me, it’s only a train ride away.
There is something magical about Paris. I can’t say what I love the most about the city. Is it the architecture? Perhaps it’s the beautiful sweeping vistas along the boulevards? I do love visiting the stores where the merchants elevate the display of their wares to an art form unrivalled by nearly anything in the Louvre. And whether I see the Eiffel Tower looming over the Champs de Mars or poking out from behind a building, I am still amazed by both its gracefulness and its strength.
There are few places in the world where food and wine are so celebrated. Even the simple, typical breakfast here – a baguette with jam and creamy, unsalted French butter – presents itself as a luxury when the ingredients are of such a high calibre. The butterfat content of the French butter is higher than many other places, and this makes it extra smooth and creamy. So a little goes a long way. And with a great cup of coffee, it’s a perfect way to start the day.
Summer 2008. A time of high-stakes election campaigns beginning to gear up. There was a sense of imminent change in American national politics on the horizon, and an infusion of optimism that grew over the long months and swept up younger generations in record numbers. The country soon followed with the same optimism. Singer-songwriter John Legend included.
Legend connected the dots, drawing parallels between this newfangled sense of change and the cultural and societal shifts of the civil rights movement of the ’60s and ’70s.
And so the concept of Wake Up! was born. Further inspiration came in his recruitment of the seminal and always progressive hip-hop band, the Roots, to weigh in on the project. Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson and the Roots proved to be perfect foils, sharing the same affinity for vintage soul, reggae, hip-hop, gospel and funk music, and the record was put down in Philadelphia and New York in a series of sessions that lasted nearly two years.
It has been nearly five years since I joined the coffee department. And while I have many great memories, my favorite one has to be the everyday connection I make with my team around the espresso machine.
Now this is not just any espresso machine – this is the two-group La Marzocco® espresso machine that sits in our tasting room. The original 1971 Starbucks logo hangs on the wall, a reminder of our heritage as a coffee company.
In the beginning these connections were made in the morning, before the day’s work began. The first person to arrive at work was the designated barista. They would “dial in” the machine to ensure the espresso shots were perfect. Espresso Roast filled the hopper of the Astoria® grinder, the oils on the beans glistening as an indication of the magic that was about to unfold.
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