onsdag 30. november 2011

Devo - (I Can't Get Me No) Satisfaction

One of the strangest cover versions ever to be recorded, Devo's take on the Rolling Stones classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (with an added "me" in the song's title) is almost as good and almost as iconic as the original. The new wave band from Akron, Ohio released their version as a single in 1977, and because of the extensive changes they'd made to the song the band's lawyer set up a meeting with Mick Jagger in order for him to give his blessing, whereupon Jagger said he liked it. That may be because Devo's lawyer had somehow convinced Jagger's lawyer that he would make a lot of money off it.

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Amy Winehouse - Our Day Will Come

This weekend sees the release of the posthumous Amy Winehouse album Lioness: Hidden Treasures, featuring 12 songs, among them the Tony Bennett duet "Body And Soul" and the Nas duet "Like Smoke". "Our Day Will Come" is the opening track on the album, a song that's previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963 with the group Ruby & The Romantics. Winehouse's reggae-tinged version is in every way cool and laidback, and her singing a reminder of the pointless loss her death this summer was to pop music.

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Supertramp - School

Supertramp has been ridiculed by many, but probably loved by loads more. Their 1974 album Crime Of The Century is widely regarded as their masterpiece, and the opening track "School" is close to six minutes of very interesting and highly melodic piano-led pop music, not at all proggy as the band is often dubbed, but definitely adventurous and at times pompous. In a good way. There exists no music video to this track, so please forgive me for showing you this clip featuring "A Tektronix 7603 plug-in O-scope visually in real-time displays L and R channel information indicating both phase and amplitude of the Left and Right channels in dancing Lissajous patterns."


tirsdag 29. november 2011

Omar Østli - Ville veier

Omar Østli is a Norwegian singer/songwriter who has released two fine solo albums, 2007's Ingens mann (Nobody's man) and this year's 1750 Halden, which is the postal code of his hometown. Omar is also the guitar player of the fabulous bluegrass outfit Onkel Tuka and a journalist in Halden Arbeiderblad. "Ville veier" is a great country tune from his debut album that popped up on my iPod today when turned to random. I hadn't heard it in awhile, but it sounds as good as I remembered. Hope you like it too, although the ones among you who don't know much Norwegian may struggle a bit with the words.

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Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

The debut single and still the most well-known song of Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, 1988's "What I Am" is nothing short of fantastic. It's jazzy, poppy, playful sound proved a huge success and the debut album from which it was taken, Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars, peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. Brickell is still active, both with and without her backing band, and she's also married to a certain Paul Simon.

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Keane - Try Again

Keane is not the most exciting band in the world, but they seem to know a good tune when it hits them. "Try Again" is such a song, a big ballad, with more than a little likeness to their heroes in a-ha. It was the fifth single to be released from their second album, 2006's Under The Iron Sea. Beautiful stuff, and Tom Chaplin sings almost like a god.

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George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

Today it's ten years since George Harrison, "the quiet" Beatle, died. His music on the other hand will of course never suffer that fate. "My Sweet Lord" was his one true monster hit as a solo artist, all over the world, in 1970 and 1971. As well as being a number one single in several countries, it appeared on his triple album All Things Must Pass. It's a classic in every sense of the word!

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mandag 28. november 2011

Donkeyboy - City Boy

Norwegian pop band Donkeyboy released their wildly successful debut album Caught In A Life two years ago, and are in the final stages of preparing the follow-up for a 2012 release. Here's the first taste, the uplifting and catchy "City Boy".

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Cœur de Pirate feat. Julien Doré - Pour un Infidèle

Cœur de Pirate is the stage name of Quebecoise singer/songwriter Béatrice Martin. She has just released her second album, Blonde, whereas the single "Pour un Infidèle" is taken from her eponymous 2008 debut. It's a duet with French pop star Julien Doré, an uplifting, 60's style pop song in the Yé-Yé-girl tradition.

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Kate Bush - King Of The Mountain

Is she the greatest living female performer? Kate Bush's brand new album 50 Words For Snow suggests exactly that, and when revisiting her last record, 2005's double CD Aerial, the theory gets stronger still. "King Of The Mountain" was the album's only single, where Bush enquire whether Elvis Presley might still be alive somewhere, "looking like a happy man, in the snow with Rosebud". Great song!

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lørdag 26. november 2011

Sade - By Your Side

One of my favourite singers, Sade can do almost nothing wrong. "By Your Side", the first single off her 2000 album Lovers Rock, is one of her very best, which says quite a lot. I'll just let the song and her lyric do the talking here. Listen, and enjoy!

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr. Bojangles

"Mr. Bojangles" is one of the planet's most covered songs. It was written and recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1968 for his album of the same name, and has since become a standard, sung by artists of every stripe. There's even a fantastic Swedish language version by The Family Four, and of the other acts to record the song are Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, J.J. Cale, Jamie Cullum, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, Robbie Williams and countless others. The very best version however, belongs to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. They released the song in 1970 on their legendary album Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy, and the single reached an impressive number 9 in the American pop charts.


fredag 25. november 2011

Manfred Mann's Earth Band - For You

Manfred Mann's Earth Band specialized in doing pretty radical cover versions of songs by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and others. Their take on the latter's "For You", that originally appeared on Springsteen's 1973 debut album, is one of several well-crafted performances by the band. Manfred Mann's signature keyboard works and singer Chris Thompson's performance give the song the added elements of bombast. Not that it really needed that, but it makes for a different and pretty successful listening experience. It's lifted from the band's 1980 album Chance.