søndag 30. september 2012

Bryan Ferry - Miss Otis Regrets

Albums with what are commonly referred to as "American standards" have been released by many, and the phenomenon has more or less been bastardized by Rod Stewart who has released five albums in his series called The Great American Songbook with songs like "But Not For Me", "In The Mood For Love" and "Embracable You". They sold in scores so he obviuosly didn't want to stop while it was still a bit of fun. One who has actually recorded a brilliant album full of such standards, is Bryan Ferry. His album As Time Goes By (1999) is startlingly good, and my favourite track on it is his version of Cole Porter's fantastic "Miss Otis Regrets". It's a song about Miss Otis' servant who comes to inform a lady whom she'd had an appointment with of the fact that she won't be able to attend the planned lunch, as she's shot a man who's seduced and abondoned her and then been arrested and lynched. It's absolutely brilliant storytelling, and Ferry's voice carries the tale masterfully.


Aztec Camera - Deep And Wide And Tall

"Deep And Wide And Tall" was the lead single off Aztec Camera's third album, Love (1987). This was the album that turned Roddy Frame into a pop star, thanks to another of its singles, "Somewhere In My Heart". "Deep And Wide And Tall" however, only reached a sorry number 79 on the UK singles chart and didn't fare much better upon its re-release which took it to number 55. I still think this is an absolutely gorgeous song with its breezy soulfullness, Roddy's amazing guitar-playing and the lovely female harmonies. A classic!


Gasolin' - Hva' gør vi nu, lille du?

"Hva' gør vi nu, lille du?" is one of 70's Danish rock band Gasolin's best-loved songs. It originally appeared as an add-on studio track to their 1976 live album Live sådan. The inspiration for the song was the demolition of a building where songwriter and singer Kim Larsen and his co-guitarist in the band, Franz Beckerlee, squatted along with another 80 people or so and they were subsequently evicted from. The song's title loosely translates into "Now what, my little friend?" and the case for this being Gasolin's prettiest song ever should be an easy one to win.

Watch and listen

lørdag 29. september 2012

Skye - What's Wrong With Me

Skye, born Shirley Klaris Yonavieve Edwards (her stage name combines the first letter of all her names), is a British singer/songwriter known from the electronica band Morcheeba. She had a hiatus from the band when she released two solo albums, and the first of these, called Mind How You Go, was released in 2006 spawning the single "What's Wrong With Me". It's a piece of electronic, highly atmospheric pop music, fabulous in its apparent simplicity, but with depths far beyond the initial minimalistic soundscape. The video is not bad either, where Skye with her supermodel looks examines her wardrobe while looking out at the rain. Gloominess can, in some instances, be quite beautiful.

Watch and listen

fredag 28. september 2012

Womack & Womack - Teardrops

Cecil and Linda Womack (that's Bobby's little brother and his wife) enjoyed a huge and well-deserved hit with "Teardrops" in 1988, lifted from their album Conscience. It's a true soul classic, having been recorded by many others, including Elton John and k.d. lang, and lately, British electronica/indie trio The xx. It's an absolutely faultless song, perfect from start to finish.

Watch and listen

Jill Sobule - Supermodel

Jill Sobule's "Supermodel" featured in the brilliant 1995 film Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash and the late Brittany Murphy. It's in every way a typical ironic 90's rock song, from the same singer/songwriter who recorded a song called "I Kissed A Girl" that same year, long before a certain Katy Perry whose song of the same title is not the same. Never mind that, as both Perry's and Sobule's songs are very good, and listen instead now to the immensely catchy "Supermodel". Fantastic!

Watch and listen

Tommy Tokyo - Far Between Highlights

After two albums with backing band Starving For The Gravy, Norwegian singer/songwriter Tommy Tokyo has returned with his second solo album entitled And The Horse Came Riderless... I haven't actually heard all of it, but of the songs that I have listened to, "Far Between Highlights" immediately struck me as a possible future classic. Gritty, down to earth folk-pop hardly gets any better than this.


Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite For Destruction (1987) is a rock classic, and the coolest track on it is of course "Sweet Child O' Mine". OK, it may be a tie with "Paradise City" come to think of it. Anyway, this should rock anyone into the weekend, today being a Friday and all. Have fun!

Watch and listen

torsdag 27. september 2012

Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind

Many an Elvis fan and/or country fan probably got their coffee stuck in their throats when they first heard Pet Shop Boys cover version of "Always On My Mind", a song written by Johnny Christoper, Mark James and Wayne Carson, that was originally recorded by Brenda Lee in 1972. Elvis Presley recorded it the same year, and it was on a television show commemorating the tenth anniversary of his death that Pet Shop Boys first performed their Hi-NRG synth-pop version that of course differs dramatically from other well-known versions, including that of country singer Willie Nelson. Their performance was so well-received however that the duo decided to record it and release it as a single, and as such it became the UK Christmas number one in 1987.

Watch and listen

R.I.P. Andy Williams - Where Do I Begin

Once again, R.I.P. Andy Williams. One of the greatest crooners of the 20th century died on Tuesday, 84 years old, and here's his wonderful "Where Do I Begin", originally an instrumental written for the movie Love Story. The lyrics were added when the theme song became popular, and Andy Williams had the voice to carry the words. It was released in 1971 and reached number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.


R.I.P. Andy Williams - here's the classic Music To Watch Girls By

Andy Williams was pronounced dead on Tuesday after several years' illness. The crooner whose most famous song is Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini's "Moon River" was 84 years old. However beautiful that song may be - and it is - my favourite Williams track is his version of Bob Crewe's "Music To Watch Girls By", released in 1967. The video below features clips from several 1960's movies and beautiful actresses like Natalie Wood, Ann-Margret and Janet Leigh. R.I.P. Andy Williams.

Watch and listen

Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky (2012 Version) and Jeff Lynne - Mercy, Mercy

Jeff Lynne is about to release his second solo album, Long Wave, featuring a host of oldies that inspired him way back when, such as "Mercy, Mercy", "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered", "Running Scared" and "Let It Rock". Both this set and a newly re-recorded collection of old ELO hits called Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra are released on October 5th. The latter record definitely begs the question "Why?", but at least there has been made a fabulous video clip to accompany the new version of the title track. The re-recorded version is not bad at all, just a bit unnecessary. Lynne explains his reasons for doing the new versions in an interview with Billboard.com, and the good news is that the album features a new song called "Point Of No Return". He also mentions that he's eight tracks into an album of brand new music that may see the light of day in 2013.

Watch the video for "Mr. Blue Sky"

Also, here's the clip for Lynne's version of Don Covay's "Mercy, Mercy", taken from his Long Wave solo album:

"Mercy, Mercy"