mandag 30. april 2012

Dorothy Moore - Misty Blue

Dorothy Moore scored a big hit in 1976 with "Misty Blue", a Bob Montgomery-penned song originally written for Brenda Lee in 1966. Here's a live version from last year, performed at the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Needless to say, it sounds fantastic!

Watch and listen

søndag 29. april 2012

Listen to the entire new Richard Hawley album now

Sheffield hero and singer/songwriter Richard Hawley has made his "angry" album Standing At The Sky's Edge due for release on May 4th, 7th or 8th depending on where you live. But you can already listen to the whole thing now, thanks to the good people at The Guardian. All you have to do is go here.

Richard Hawley

Billy Hill - Too Much Month At The End Of The Money

Ah, country irony, there's nothing finer! The title "Too Much Month At The End Of The Money" couldn't be anything but a country song, and indeed it is. It was recorded by the shortlived band Billy Hill for their self-titled debut album from 1989. It was also their only album.


Arild Nyquist - Bordet til Johannes

OK, if you're not Norwegian you won't understand this song anyway, so here goes:

"Bordet til Johannes" er en genistrek av en sang, skrevet av Lars Martin Myhre som er aller best kjent for sitt samarbeid med Odd Børretzen. Dette er historien, unnskyld, storyen, om Johannes som går på dass og mister bordet sitt til en gjeng med bærumsklyser og ikke er i stand til å gjøre så mye med det. Hentet fra Arild Nyquists 1999-samling I sans og samling en stone cold classic! Nyquist døde i 2004, men jeg lyser når som helst fred over hedersmannens minne, særlig ved å spille denne sangen.


Henning Kvitnes - Jenta i Änglagård

Henning Kvitnes is one of Norway's finest singer/songwriters, operating in a decidedly American musical landscape populated by people like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Swedish maestro Ulf Lundell. However, Kvitnes has a style all his own, and after he started consequently writing in Norwegian he's become steadily more popular and, many would say, better and better. "Jenta i Änglagård" is one of his many perfect recordings, a ballad filled with longing and apprectiation for both the bigger and the smaller things in life. The song is taken from his 1998 album Evig eies (kun et dårlig rykte).


lørdag 28. april 2012

Fun Boy Three - Our Lips Are Sealed

Fun Boy Three was the band formed by Terry Hall after he left The Specials, and "Our Lips Are Sealed" was the second single off the trio's second - and last - album Waiting (1983). The song was co-written by Hall and Jane Wiedlin and was first recorded by her band The Go-Go's in 1981.

Watch and listen

fredag 27. april 2012

Juliette Gréco - Sous Le Ciel De Paris

French singer Juliette Gréco recorded her beautiful version of the chanson Sous Le Ciel De Paris in 1962, or so. At least this clip is from that year. The song was originally written for the 1951 film of the same name.

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Merle Haggard - Kern River

Merle Haggard's "Kern River" is an incredibly pretty and moving country ballad, recorded by many, including great versions by Emmylou Harris and Dave Alvin. But here's old Merle himself performing his 1985 classic live. The sad story of the protagonist who's lost his love to the currents of California's Kern River is, simply put, a masterpiece.

The Waterboys - Sweet Dancer

Last year The Waterboys released the absolutely wonderful album An Appointment With Mr. Yeats, where Mike Scott had put music to poems by Irish pillar of literature William Butler Yeats. I don't think the album got anywhere near the attention it deserved, so let's hear it for a my favourite song off it, "Sweet Dancer", performed here on TV show Later... with Jools Holland.

Watch and listen

The Band - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

In tribute to the late great Levon Helm, drummer in The Band, here's the version from their "farewell" concert The Last Waltz, as filmed by Martin Scorsese in 1976. The song first appeared on The Band's eponymous second album from 1969, and tells the story of the last days of the American Civil Wars when the south both literally and figuratively were torn to pieces. Levon sings his heart out in what just might be Robbie Robertson's very best composition. A stone cold classic. R.I.P. Levon.

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The Beatles - Nowhere Man

One of classic album tracks almost too numerous to count by The Beatles, "Nowhere Man" was taken from their equally classic 1965 album Rubber Soul. It was written by John Lennon, although all compositions by either him or Paul McCartney received a joint Lennon/McCartney credit. The clip below is from the band's 1968 animation film Yellow Submarine.

Watch and listen

torsdag 26. april 2012

Brand new Scissor Sisters single: "Only The Horses"

OK, so it's not their most exciting single to date, but the new Scissor Sisters single "Only The Horses" from the upcoming Magic Love album is a pretty decent dance track all the same. Catchy, but a bit repetitive, is what I say.

Watch and listen

Brand new Beach Boys single: "That's Why God Made The Radio"

Amazing! In connection with their upcoming world tour, The Beach Boys are preparing their as yet untitled reunion album, for a planned June 5 release. According to band member Bruce Johnston the album reminds him of the classic Sunflower album, and first single "That's Why God Made The Radio" certainly sounds good. Don't expect a revolution in your head when hearing it, but it sounds like classic Beach Boys in every way.

Listen to the single here and read a story about the upcoming album on

tirsdag 24. april 2012

Tracey Thorn recording Christmas album

Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl fame is currently recording her first Christmas record for an October release. The album will include "'obscure' cover versions and a couple of new original songs". Ewan Pearson is producing and EBTG partner Ben Watt features on guitar and piano, and, I guess, backing vocals as well. Something to look forward to even though Christmas is not really on my mind in April.

Follow their brand new website for updates on the project as well as the upcoming reissues of the first four EBTG albums.

mandag 23. april 2012

Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U

What can I say? Sinéad O'Connor's take on the Prince song "Nothing Compares 2 U" is one of the most perfect recordings of all time. It's an example of how good a song can become in the hands of the right singer. When on top of it all it is accompanied by a video as great as it is, the whole thing becomes eeriely otherworldly. It certainly makes you consider religion after all. Of course it became a big hit at the very start of the 1990's and should probably be considered one of the very best singles of the entire decade.

Watch and listen

Kasey Chambers - Tear Stained Eye

Australian country singer Kasey Chambers have excellent taste. Apart from recording some very fine self-composed music, now and again she covers some really great tunes for her single releases. One of the bonus tracks (what used to be called B-sides) on her 2002 single "Not Pretty Enough" was this version of Son Volt's absolutely amazing "Tear Stained Eye". It's no match for the original, but that's only because of its complete perfection. Kasey's take on the song is still very, very good.


fredag 20. april 2012

Pet Shop Boys - Shameless

Pet Shop Boys' B-sides are better than a lot of bands' A-sides. "Shameless" is classic Pet Shop pop, the B-side to their take on Village People's "Go West" (1993). It's available both on the B-side compilation Alternative and on the expanded edition of their album Very. Gorgeous song!


torsdag 19. april 2012

Culture Club - Karma Chameleon

And now for some good old-fashioned fun! Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" was a huge hit in 1983, and what a great pop song it is! The video is pretty entertaining as well. This is simply pop music to swoon over, it sounds so unaffected and carefree.

Watch and listen

Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson - The Best Things In Life Are Free

Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were responsible for the soundtrack to the not so brilliant 1992 movie Mo' Money, and the main draw was of course "The Best Things In Life Are Free", an astonishing and super catchy duet with superstars Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson. The rap is performed by Bell Biv Devoe and the spoken part is done by Ralph Tresvant. I love this song!

Watch and listen

Levon Helm - When I Go Away

As so many others I am truly saddened about Levon Helm's ongoing and quite possibly final battle with terminal cancer. The legendary voice and drummer from The Band is a true musical giant and will be sorely missed. His last album was 2009's Electric Dirt, and it's only fitting to play the celebratory farewell song "When I Go Away" written by Larry Campbell. It's a fantastic performance by Levon and his musicians and backing singers. Here's to going out in style!


onsdag 18. april 2012

Mercury Rev - Vermillion

American rock band Mercury Rev had their breakthrough album in 1998 with Deserter's Songs, but as good as that record may be, to me the 2005 song "Vermillion" is better than all their other songs put together. It's taken from the album The Secret Migration which is very good, but didn't have anywhere near the impact of Deserter's Songs. C'est la vie!


Nick Lowe - House For Sale

At 63 Nick Lowe is dealing with decidedly adult issues in his songwriting. "House For Sale" off last year's brilliant The Old Magic album is a case in point, a song about the feelings surrounding a break-up and the memories represented by an old family home put up for sale in the aftermath. It's a painful process, perfectly captured by the beautiful video shot in black and white. Lowe is also funny on his own behalf towards the end of the song where he paraphrases his most well-known composition "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?" - "... with time, care, cash/Peace, love and understanding,/It can be as good as new". Fabulous stuff as always. Nick Lowe is like a fine wine, improving with age.

Watch and listen

Glen Hansard - Love Don't Leave Me Waiting

Summer comes early this year in the form of The Frames frontman Glen Hansard's first single off his forthcoming solo album. The Irishman's "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" is light as a feather, a beautiful laidback and mainly acoustic pop song with a seducing and downright intoxicating melody. Absolutely gorgeous!

Watch and listen

Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side

There's nothing I don't like about "Walk On The Wild Side", one of many fine songs from Lou Reed's second solo album, 1972's Transformer. Here someone's put together a nice collection of footage to create a video for this beautiful song. Enjoy!

Watch and listen

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Mondo Bongo

Joe Strummer enjoyed a tumultous career after The Clash was over, but apparently he was full of focus and vigour towards the end of his days when he'd assembled his band The Mescaleros. They released three albums, one of them posthumuosly after Strummer's unfortunate death in 2002, and "Mondo Bongo" off the second album Global A Go-Go (2001) is among his very finest songs ever, The Clash included. It's a mellow and laidback, acoustic tune, that actually featured beautifully in the Brangelina movie Mr. And Mrs. Smith. Fantastic song that I never tire of hearing.


tirsdag 17. april 2012

The best Everything But The Girl playlist of all time!

Here's a real treat for all you good people, especially those of you who subscribe to the streaming service WiMP. I have compiled the definitive Everything But The Girl playlist, including solo releases from both Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn, and also the very best of their collaborative efforts and guest appearences with Massive Attack, The Style Council and more. There are as many as 64 songs in total, in strict chronological order (I hope and think), and even if you don't subscribe to WiMP you will get access to previews of all the songs and can look them up elsewhere if you like.


Aerosmith "Dream On" vs. Eminem "Sing For The Moment"

Aerosmith's 1973 classic "Dream On" off the band's eponymous debut album is among that decade's greatest rock classics, a stunning song that's up there with the best of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Deep Purple and other giants of the era. In 2002 rapper Eminem sampled the song heavily on his own "Sing For The Moment" from his fourth album The Eminem Show, and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry pops up to play the solo towards the end. The question remains: Which one do you like the best?

Aerosmith "Dream On"

Eminem "Sing For The Moment"

First Aid Kit - Emmylou

First Aid Kit is a Swedish duo featuring sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, that are slowly but surely becoming stars with their second album The Lion's Roar that was released a few months ago. The single "Emmylou", a tribute to the great Emmylou Harris and the memory of Gram Parsons, is a hit single and a true blessing to listen to, a pretty song with harmonies to die for by the golden-voiced sisters. The video is cool too, dabbling in Native American mysticism and the myth surrounding Gram Parsons' death, filmed in the Joshua Tree National Park in California where he was cremated. It's the stuff that legends - and great tunes - are made of.

Watch and listen

The Cut's legendary debut album Shadow Talks finally available on MP3

In my world the digital release of Norwegian post punk band The Cut's 1981 debut album Shadow Talks constitutes a small sensation. The album has previously been available in pretty poor sound quality on CD for a limited period, and is an important cornerstone in Norwegian rock music that should have been more recognized than it is. Follow the link below and buy the album. It's a must-have!

Buy the album here

Barclay James Harvest - Hymn

When punk happened, it was for a reason, a kind of call to arms against everything rock had become in the guise of, especially, prog rock bands like Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson and their like. You could easily chuck in Barclay James Harvest too, and in October of 1977, at the height of punk, the band released their Gone To Earth album, featuring "Hymn", a quasi-religious ode to the beauty of creation, which nevertheless is a great song. Not to say that punk wasn't sorely needed - it most certainly was.

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The Cure - Why Can't I Be You?

What a complete outburst of joy this song is! The Cure's 1987 single "Why Can't I Be You?" preceded the release of the double LP Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, and it's a stomper of a song, with horns aplenty, an irresistable beat and infectious melody. The often glooomy-sounding Robert Smith screams his lungs out, sounding like he means every word of this ode to a person that makes him "smitten, bitten, hooked and cooked", and I don't think it's the least bit ironic. A fantastic song!

Watch and listen

mandag 16. april 2012

Depeche Mode - Useless

"Useless" was the fourth single from the 1997 Depeche Mode album Ultra. It's a song I've never really listened to, but stumbling upon the video on YouTube I had a peek and a listen, and it's actually quite good. It's typical of the band in their 90's Nine Inch Nails phase, and although it's no match for "Barrel Of A Gun" from the same album, I do like it. And for those among you who are concerned with trivia, let's just add that Ultra was the first album without Alan Wilder who was the replacement member in the band when original songwriter Vince Clarke quit after the debut album Speak & Spell. As such, it was the start of the Depeche Mode's musical decline.

Watch and listen

Everything But The Girl - These Early Days

"These Early Days" was the almost surprisingly upbeat first single from Everything But The Girl's fourth album, 1988's Idlewild. It's a joyful song about the early days of a romantic relationship and a call to always remember them. A very sweet three minutes and forty-five seconds, here you go...

Watch and listen

Elbow - Friend Of Ours

Elbow's fourth album The Seldom Seen Kid was released in 2007 and although the Manchester outfit had made quite a name for themselves already, this was their real breakthrough, earning them a coveted Mercury Prize, and both critical and commercial success. It's a stunning album full of atmosphere and an understanding for interesting musical textures, Guy Garvey's amazing lyrics, and of course some truly great songs. The album closer "Friend Of Ours" may be my favourite of them all, and here it is during a special live performance with the BBC Concert Orchestra from the Abbey Road Studios done in January 2009.

Watch and listen

Listen to the entire new Norah Jones album here

There are a few among us that are excited about Norah Jones' fifth album ...Little Broken Hearts, hoping it's a return to form after two albums that went nowhere fast. Lately her collaborative efforts such as The Little Willies' two albums and the Danger Mouse/Daniele Luppi project have been a lot more interesting than her actual solo records. It's time to find out how she's succeeded as we can now preview the entire album here on The album will be in the shops next Friday, April 27th.

Soft Cell - Say Hello Wave Goodbye

Soft Cell's wonderful ballad "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" appeared on their 1981 debut album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret along with their smash version of Gloria Jones' Northern Soul classic "Tainted Love". It's a song about a love that can't be, a fantastic ballad that's also been covered to great effect by David Grey.

Watch and listen

Massive Attack with Tracey Thorn - Protection

"Protection", the title track off Massive Attack's second album from 1994, is a wonderful collaboration with Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn. Theirs is a perfect match, combining Massive Attack's trademark chilling synthesized inner city soundscape and Thorn's distant yet warm and emphatic voice.

Watch and listen

søndag 15. april 2012

David Sylvian & Riuichi Sakamoto - Forbidden Colours

I don't know if any one song in all the history of music is as beautiful as "Forbidden Colours", the 1983 theme song for the film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. It was written and recorded by Riuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame (music) and former Japan singer David Sylvian (lyrics) and is a song so hauntingly pretty that it's almost impossible to comprehend. This song is in many ways the best definition of the word "art" I can come up with. It encompasses every aspect of what it should be.

Watch and listen

Vanessa Paradis - Marilyn & John

The French singer Vanessa Paradis was only 14 years old when she became an overnight sensation with the single "Joe Le Taxi" that reached the number one spot in several countries. However, it was the song "Marilyn & John", a beautiful tribute to Marilyn Monroe, that made her a darling with the critics. Both songs appeared on her first album, 1988's M & J, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Watch and listen