fredag 31. oktober 2014

The Bellamy Brothers - Let Your Love Flow

Floridian brothers David Milton and Homer Howard Bellamy, more commonly knows as The Bellamy Brothers, have several hits to look back on, but one stands a cut above the rest. The disco-flavoured, very much of its time, 1976 number one hit "Let Your Love Flow", still sounds fantastic. It was written by Larry E. Williams, a former roadie for Neil Diamond who was offered it first. Diamond declined, and next in line were David Milton and Homer Howard who turned the song into a worldwide hit that still resonates in homes where old gits like me reside. Actually, almost 40 years on, I still like it. "Let Your Love Flow" is just a great tune, that's all.

Watch and listen

torsdag 30. oktober 2014

Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters feat. Julie Murphy - Embrace Another Fall

A few people are upset about Robert Plant refusing to do more Led Zeppelin shows or indeed do anything at all with his old cohorts. His musical concerns are elsewhere, and Plant is a singer, songwriter and performer who always looks further ahead, and to put it a tad pompously, to further horizons. And how else do you describe the new record he's made with his band The Sensational Space Shifters? From the title - lullaby and... THE CEASELESS ROAR - and all through the 11 songs, we meet an artist advancing further into what he may see as his musical quest, exploring new ground for each song. "Embrace Another Fall" is a definite highlight, a rhythmic feast with a vocal break towards the end from the fabulous Welsh singer Julie Murphy that makes the whole thing sound Elfish, as if it was taken from one of the Lord Of The Rings or Hobbit films, but with a lot more gusto. Plant and Murphy has collaborated before, on Afro Celt Sound System's 2001 track Life Begin Again, which is almost as beautiful as this one. Anyway, this is absolutely amazing. What an artist Plant is!


She & Him - Stay Awhile

There have finally been released details about the upcoming She & Him (that's Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) album, Classics. The 13 track collection of cover tunes will be released December 1, and the first single is a version of Dusty Springfield's 1964 song "Stay Awhile" (written by Mike Hawker and Ivor Raymonde). M. Ward's telltale reverb-fueled 60's sound is most definitely intact, and Deschanel's ethereal voice is as sweet as ever. Other songs on the album include "Stars Fell On Alabama", "This Girl's In Love With You", "Time After Time", "Unchained Melody" and "We'll Meet Again". I have to say I am slightly more excited about this release than I would have been about a sixth installment in Rod Stewart's musically related American Classics series.


Fountains Of Wayne vs. Katy Perry - Hackensack

I am a big fan of the American power pop band Fountains Of Wayne. When they first emerged in 1996, songwriters Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger seemed like the best co-writers to grace quality pop music this side of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, and with their records ever since they have further defended my claim through their genius songs. Almost any FOW song tells a compressed story in three or four minutes and could probably be made into movies or short stories. "Hackensack" off their third album, 2003's Welcome Interstate Managers, is certainly no exception. It's a sad story of a guy singing to an old sweetheart who's succeeded in Hollywood, whereas he himself is stuck in their old hometown of Hackensack, New Jersey. "I used to work in a record store, now I work for my dad, scraping the paint off of hardwood floors, the hours are pretty bad. Sometimes I wonder where you are, probably in L.A., that seems to be where everybody else ends up these days. But I will wait for you, as long as I need to, and if you ever get back to Hackensack, I'll be here for you." If that's not a story waiting to be turned into a movie, I don't know what is. Below are links both to Fountains Of Wayne's version and a Katy Perry version that she did for MTV Unplugged in 2009, both of them great.

Fountains Of Wayne version

Katy Perry version


tirsdag 28. oktober 2014

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five

Probably the best five minutes of jazz ever released, "Take Five" is the Dave Brubeck Quartet's 1959 masterpiece, written by the band's alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and featured on the album Time Out. This is the epitome of cool, or more precisely, the best reason there is for jazz being cool at all. It's also highly influential and a true classic! Below is a live version that differs slightly from the studio take.

Watch and listen

mandag 27. oktober 2014

John Fogerty and Billy Gibbons - Sharp Dressed Man

Here's a true gem from a John Fogerty show in Tulsa, Oklahoma last year, when he's joined on stage by Billy Gibbons for a rousing version of ZZ Top's classic boogie "Sharp Dressed Man". After a lengthy introduction they give it their all, trading songlines and guitar licks as if their lives depend on it. Oh, to have been in the front row here! This is a performance that once and for all should explain why an electric guitar is the coolest instrument ever invented. Jeez!

Watch and listen


Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll (Alternate Mix)

Today sees the second part of Led Zeppelin's reissue program in the shops, that being several editions of their untitled fourth album (1971) and Houses Of The Holy (1973). Among the bonus tracks on the former is this alternate mix of the awesome "Rock And Roll", which is basically a frenetic take on a classic 12 bar blues. Jimmy Page's riffing is simply astounding and the song moves at a pace that recalls a locomotive out of control heading for a crash. It's that potent.

Lyric video


søndag 26. oktober 2014

Louis Armstrong - Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)

A few days ago I was on a press trip to the Danish area called Sønderjylland, where, among lots of great experiences, I had the immense pleasure of visiting the restaurant Henne Kirkeby Kro where the famous chef Paul Cunningham resides. When he came to welcome us in the restaurant lounge some light Louis Armstrong was playing and Paul immediately complained about what he dubbed "tissemandsjazz". As a courtesy to English-speaking readers I will not translate that term, but I will say that Paul is a better chef than he is a connoiseur of music. He might have been joking when I asked him what he preferred to play when in the kitchen and he answered Chas & Dave, but I can't be sure. On general principle you should be cautious around anyone who calls Louis Armstrong's music "tissemandsjazz", and the fact that you're a former Michelin star chef should not cloud your judgement in that matter.

This version of Cole Porter's classic love song "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)" appears on Ella And Louis Again (1957), the second of three excellent albums he recorded with the lovely Ella Fitzgerald for the Verve label. He appears alone on this one, singing the whole song by himself. So sorry, Paul, your food is amazing, but you need to reconsider Louis Armstrong. I'll say this though; if I were to eat your food again, I'd gladly spend the time doing it listening to Chas & Dave, but I would prefer Louis-s-s-s-s.


Pet Shop Boys - Forever In Love

Every Pet Shop Boys fan knows that their B-sides and sundry obscurities that do not end up on the duo's mostly brilliant albums are worth checking out. "Forever In Love" is more than six minutes of their melancholic brand of Hi-NRG, a song that was intended for the B-side of their "Go West" single in 1992 but Neil Tennant didn't like it much for some strange reason. A version popped up on the remix album Relentless that was bundled together with Very as a limited release, but here's the original that was released on the Very/Further Listening in 2001. Good song, I think.


Sigvart Dagsland - Mur

I 2008 kom Henning Kvitnes med ideen til det som skulle bli platen Postkort fra livet. Basert på historier fra lytterne av NRKs Nitimen om deres egne liv, lot Kvitnes og flere andre artister som Halvdan Sivertsen, Anne Grete Preus, Elvira Nikolaisen og Hellbillies seg inspirere til å skrive flotte sanger, og Sigvart Dagslands "Mur" er aldeles ikke snau. Den handler om forsvarsverkene vi bygger rundt oss når vi har det vanskelig og stiller spørsmål om de er sterke nok. "Eg bygger mur, bygger tak, alt i henhold til byggverksloven, å bygge mur er ingen sak, her skal ingen trua fra oven." Mon det...? Hele plateprosjektet var et veldig fint et, og er noe alle har godt av å låne øre til. Fine ting.


lørdag 25. oktober 2014

The Wagoneers - I Wanna Know Her Again

The Wagoneers, out of Austin, Texas, was a short-lived country and western outfit, emulating classic country acts such as Hank Williams. George Jones, Charlie Rich and the like, led by Monte Warden who later ventured on a solo career. Success eluded them in a big way, and Warden didn't fare much better on his own, but boy were they good! As far as I know, the killer song "I Wanna Know Her Again" was their debut single, appearing on the first of the band's two albums, their 1988 release Stout & High. And what a great song it is!

Eric Church - Springsteen

"Springsteen"is a perfect country-rock song, performed and co-written by Eric Church, about the power of music, in this instance as evidenced by the brilliance of the titular Bruce Springsteen. Many of his titles are name-checked throughout Church's wonderful single that was released in 2011, and the video is a fitting slice of young romance in small town America. Let me put it like this: I get why Eric Church is a big name in the United States.

Watch and listen

Elvira Nikolaisen - Love I Can't Defend

No wonder Norwegian singer/songwriter Elvira Nikolaisen made a small ruckus with her 2005 debut single "Love I Can't Defend". What an intoxicating song, what a small masterpiece! With its sweeping strings, lilting piano, crystal clear production, Elvira's husky voice and a melody that takes you on a short but very sweet ride, this is one of those recordings that are simply perfect. I wouldn't change a note, nor a sound - this is beauty through and through. The video is very nice too, three and a half minutes well spent.

Watch and listen

Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud

Ed Sheeran thinks ahead in "Thinking Out Loud", my favourite song off his second album X. Here he contemplates life's big questions such as what happens when we get old and do we still love each other or, for that matter, do we remember each other? To illustrate his musings some "clever" industry persons have gotten the dubious idea of having Sheeran and a beautiful brunette dance in an empty ballroom. I don't know how they came up with that idea but the result looks as if Sheeran is heading for a quiet disaster in an early episode of Strictly Come Dancing. He should stick to writing songs, especially when they're as good as this.

Watch and listen

fredag 24. oktober 2014

Neil Diamond is out with a brilliant new album - essay, videos and music

Melody Road is the title of legendary singer/songwriter Neil Diamond's new album and his first featuring new material in six dry years. This one differs quite a lot from his last two Rick Rubin-produced efforts though as it is full of instruments, horns a-plenty, strings and back up-singers, sounding just as good as he did fortysome years ago, with the songs to back up his play. My part-time job writing for Universal Music has resulted in essay in which I muse a bit about Diamond's new album as well as his past, and I have also compiled a 40 song introductory playlist in Spotify. It serves as both an introduction to new listeners and a celebration for old fans, and by following the link you can also see behind the scenes footage from the recording of Melody Road, a couple of music videos and of course listen to the entire album. Please do enjoy!

Read, watch, listen

tirsdag 21. oktober 2014

OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningene - Styggen på ryggen

I dag kom videoen til "Styggen på ryggen", høstens aller største og gledeligste overraskelse på norsk. Som lyn fra klar himmel kom låta om OnklPs indre demoner, og det kan vel trygt sies at den har truffet en nerve hos ganske mange. Jeg nøyer meg nå med å sitere det jeg skrev da låta kom for en måneds tid siden, og under finner dere videoen. Se den, den er kul, med Atle Antonsen i rollen som Styggen.

Fra bloggen 23. september: "Er dette årets beste låt? Sikkert er iallfall at det er veldig lenge siden jeg har hørt en låt som har gjort et så umiddelbart og sterkt inntrykk som "Styggen på ryggen". Rapperen OnklP har spilt inn sitt andre album i år (Slekta II som kommer senere i høst) med sitt rockalibi De Fjerne Slektningene, og jeg skal hilse og si han virker inspirert! "Styggen på ryggen" har etter få dager rukket å bli hyllet i det vide og det brede, og noe annet skulle da også bare mangle. OnklP, eller Pål Tøien som han egentlig heter, blottlegger sine indre demoner og rå angst på en måte som røsker tak i lytteren: "Det føles som jeg er i hælvete, styggen på ryggen har blitt en av mine nærmeste, på skulderen min og minner meg på hvor jævla skeis det derre livet mitt går. Fåkk! Er det rart jeg er redd når styggen på ryggen er han jeg prater med mest, oppå skulderen min og sier at jeg kommer ingen vei her i livet?" Alt i alt er det en fantastisk tekst, kombinert med en tilsvarende god melodi. Dette er den mest perfekte rocklåta som er spilt inn på norsk på lang, lang tid. At Jokke er nevnt i forbindelse med denne singlen er heller ikke  så underlig. Slektskapet er til dels ubehagelig tydelig, men OnklP insisterer i intervjuer på at det ikke er SÅ ille med ham. Jeg håper virkelig han har rett. En mann som kan skrive en låt som "Styggen på ryggen" i en alder av 30 år bør ha adskillig mer å bidra med. Dette er en fremtidig klassiker - jeg lover!"

Se og hør

mandag 20. oktober 2014

Quarter Wolf - An Orgy Of Shocking Violence

Oslo-based Norwegian/Australian rock duo Quarter Wolf released their debut album An Orgy Of Shocking Violence earlier this year, a hard-hitting record made up of influences ranging from The Stooges and MC5 to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The White Stripes and beyond. Their energetic rock'n'roll works wonders live, and with their brand new music video set to the album's title track, they have taken it one step further. It's (almost) a literal translation of the album and song title, where director Alex Holm have made an homage to David Fincher's 1999 film based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel. The "actors" fight it out in a very well-made video, and singer/guitarist Marius Kromvoll truly "takes one for the team". An adrenaline-fueled start to the week this!

Watch and listen


søndag 19. oktober 2014

The 100 best songs of the 1960's

And the hits just keep on coming! Roll out the 1960's as we go back to classics from The Beach Boys and The Band, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra and Scott Walker, Sam Cooke and Barbara Lynn, John Coltrane and Donald Byrd, and many more as I sum up the 100 best songs of the decade. Be adviced though, there are no Beatles, Led Zeppelin and a few others that should have been there due to the fact that they are not up for streaming in WiMP. It's still an awesome list, maybe the best of the bunch so far.


1. Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come
2. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
3. Frank Sinatra - My Way
4. The Isley Brothers - Twist And Shout
5. The Band - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
6. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
7. James Brown And The Famous Flames - I Got You (I Feel Good)
8. Glen Campbell - By The Time I Get To Phoenix
9. The Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
10. Martha And The Vandellas - Dancing In The Street
11. Elvis Presley - In The Ghetto
12. Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman
13. Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely
14. Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
15. Miles Davis - Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)
16. The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
17. Dionne Warwick - I Say A Little Prayer
18. Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
19. Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'
20. Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
21. Ben E. King - Stand By Me
22. James Carr - The Dark End Of The Street
23. The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
24. Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline
25. The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
26. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
27. The Ronettes - Be My Baby
28. The Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night
29. John Coltrane - Everytime We Say Goodbye
30. The Temptations - My Girl
31. Charlie Rich - San Francisco Is A Lonely Town
32. Barbara Randolph - I Got A Feeling
33. The Box Tops - The Letter
34. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
35. The Doors - The End
36. .Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime
37. David Bowie - Space Oddity
38. Bee Gees - I Started A Joke
39. Getz/Gilberto feat. Antonio Carlos Jobim & Astrud Gilberto - The Girl From Ipanema
40. Jackie Wilson - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
41. Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
42. Patsy Cline - Crazy
43. Erma Franklin - Piece Of My Heart
44. The Supremes - Stop! In The Name Of Love
45. The Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting For The Man
46. Scott Walker - Jackie
47. The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer In The City
48. The Mamas And The Papas - Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)
49. Booker T. And The M.G.s - Green Onions
50. Leonard Cohen - Bird On The Wire
51. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
52. The Who - Substitute
53. Love - Alone Again Or
54. Scott McKenzie - San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
55. Nina Simone - Just In Time (live)
56. Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
57. Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
58. Santana - Evil Ways
59. Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
60. Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence
61. Tommy James & The Shondells - I Think We're Alone Now
62. Dusty Springfield - All I See Is You
63. Wilson Pickett - Land Of 1000 Dances
64. The Percy Faith Orchestra - Theme From A Summer Place
65. Jackie DeShannon - What The World Needs Now Is Love
66. The Kingsmen - Louie Louie
67. Nick Drake - River Man
68. Ennio Morricone - Il Buono, Il Cattivo, Il Brutto
69. Jane Birkin et Serge Gainsbourg - Je t'aime... moi non plus
70. Tony Joe White - Polk Salad Annie
71. Lalo Schiffrin - Mission: Impossible
72. Aretha Franklin - Respect
73. Andy Williams - Music To Watch Girls By
74. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Foxy Lady
75. The Love Affair - Bringing On Back The Good Times
76. Peter Sarstedt - Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)
77. The Monkees - Daydream Believer
78. Crosby, Stills & Nash - Helplessly Hoping
79. Donald Byrd - Cristo Redentor
80. John Stewart - July, You're A Woman
81. The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin
82. Dion - Runaround Sue
83. The Bobby Fuller Four - I Fought The Law
84. Barbara Lynn - You'll Lose A Good Thing
85. The Easybeats - Friday On My Mind
86. Dinah Washington & Brook Benton - A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love)
87. The Impressions - People Get Ready
88. Julie London - Fly Me To The Moon
89. Dr. John - I Walk On Guilded Splinters
90. Barbara Lewis - Hello Stranger
91. The Stone Poneys - Different Drum
92. Zager & Evans - In The Year 2525
93. Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Compared To What
94. The Miracles - Going To A Go-Go
95. Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
96. The Four Seasons - Cherry
97. Neil Young - Down By The River
98. Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep Mountain High
99. The Zombies - She's Not There
100. Townes Van Zandt - Waitin' Around To Die

lørdag 18. oktober 2014

Glen Campbell - I'm Not Gonna Miss You

This is so sad! Glen Campbell (78), one of the greatest singers of our time, suffers from Alzheimer's disease and is gradually losing his memory. In an upcoming documentary called Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me we are treated to interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Bill Clinton, The Edge, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and many more discussing his impact, and it also includes this song that was recently released. "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" is the last song Campbell recorded, in January 2013, and it's a heartbreaking three minutes of beautiful music. "I'm never gonna hold you like I did, or say 'I love you' to the kids, you're never gonna see it in my eyes, it's not gonna hurt me when you cry, I'm never gonna know what you go through, all the things I say or do, all the hurt and all the pain, one thing selfishly remains, I'm not gonna miss you", he sings, and in the video below the lyrics are set to footage of his professional life combined with home video clips showing Campbell and his family. This is up there with Johnny Cash's "Hurt" video, trust me.

In a statement his family wrote to Rolling Stone it says they were no longer able to keep him at home, but that he gets the best care possible.

Watch and listen

The 100 best songs of the 1990's

The madness continues as me and a few Facebook (and real life) friends go on making definitive lists. When compiling my 90's list I was surprised to find how much I actually liked the decade. I have alwys regarded the 90's as somewhat inferior, but I see now that I was wrong. It was really difficult to narrow the list down to 100 songs. See what you thing. Here are all the entries as well as the entire list for streaming in WiMP. And if I have failed to mention it before, on these lists I have only included songs available there.


1. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime
2. Son Volt - Tear Stained Eye
3. Everything But The Girl - Lullaby Of Clubland (Jay "Sinister" Sealee Remix)
4. U2 - One
5. Hellbillies - Ei krasafaren steinbu
6. Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You
7. Kirsty MacColl - Soho Square
8. Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U
9. R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
10. The The - Slow Emotion Replay
11. The Boo Radleys - Wake Up Boo!
12. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
13. Leonard Cohen - The Future
14. Squeeze - The Truth
15. Crowded House - Four Seasons In One Day
16. Jill Sobule - Supermodel
17. New Radicals - You Get What You Give
18. George Michael - Praying For Time
19. The Waterboys - How Long Will I Love You?
20. Nanci Griffith with Arlo Guthrie - Tecumseh Valley
21. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand
22. Diana King - Shy Guy
23. The Cure - Friday I'm In Love
24. Unni Wilhelmsen feat. Paal Flaata - This Means You To Me Now
25. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach - God Give Me Strength
26. Steve Wynn feat. Johnette Napolitano - Bonnie & Clyde
27. Folk & Røvere - Yess!
28. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg - Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang
29. The Wallflowers - One Headlight
30. Toad The Wet Sprocket - All I Want
31. US3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
32. Arrested Development - People Everyday (Metamorphosis Mix)
33. Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing
34. Bel Canto - Shimmering, Warm And Bright
35. Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
36. The La's - There She Goes
37. En Vogue - My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)
38. Sade - No Ordinary Love
39. Tom Waits - Georgia Lee
40. MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This
41. deLillos - Glemte minner
42. Massive Attack - Safe From Harm
43. Tindersticks - Tiny Tears
44. House Of Pain - Jump Around
45. Dave Alvin - From A Kitchen Table
46. Jackie Leven - Call Mother A Lonely Field
47 Propellerheads feat. Miss Shirley Bassey - History Repeats
48. Apache Indian - Boom Shack-A-Lak
49. TLC - No Scrubs
50. Bo Kaspers Orkester - Vi kommer aldrig att dö
51. kd lang - Constant Craving
52. The Lemonheads - The Outdoor Type
53. Prefab Sprout - Doo-Wop In Harlem
54. Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All
55. Primal Scream - Rocks
56. Daniel Lanois - The Messenger
57. Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band - Pilgrim
58. Lars Demian - Fyllot & Miss World
59. Paul Simon with Marc Anthony - Satin Summer Nights
60. Bob Dylan - Cold Irons Bound
61. Teenage Fanclub - I Don't Want Control Of You
62. Stereo MC's - Connected
63. Public Enemy - Can't Truss It
64. David Sylvian - I Surrender
65. Tasmin Archer - Sleeping Satellite
66. Johnny Cash - Kneeling Drunkard's Plea
67. World Party - Put The Message In A Box
68. Smash Mouth - Walkin' On The Sun
69. Cracker - Low
70. C+C Music Factory feat. Freedom Williams - Things That Make You Go Hmmm...
71. Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loco
72. Madonna - Human Nature
73. Gin Blossoms - Hey Jealousy
74. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
75. Sigur Rós - Ágætis Byrjun
76. Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
77. Neil Young - Harvest Moon
78. Santana feat. Rob Thomas - Smooth
79. Pet Shop Boys - A Red Letter Day
80. Björk feat. David Arnold - Play Dead
81. James McMurtry - Candyland
82. The Jayhawks - Trouble
83. Counting Crows - Mr. Jones
84. Electronic - Forbidden City
85. Willy DeVille - Hey Joe
86. Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Theme
87. John Mellencamp - What If I Came Knocking
88. Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod
89. Cowboy Junkies feat. John Prine - If You Were The Woman And I Was The Man
90. Midnight Choir - Mercy Of Maria
91. Guy Clark feat. Emmylou Harris - I Don't Love You Much, Do I
92. Paul Westerberg - Dyslexic Heart
93. Tom Jones feat. Mousse T - Sexbomb
94. Paul Weller - Wild Wood
95. The Black Crowes - Hard To Handle
96. Eric Clapton - My Father's Eyes
97. Anymore Time Between
98. Robbie Williams - The Road To Mandalay
99. Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories - Stay (I Missed You)
100. Placebo - Every Me Every You

tirsdag 14. oktober 2014

The 100 best songs of the 1970's

The nerdy fun on Facebook about compiling definitive music lists is still raging, and my latest addition to the madness is my all time favourite 70's tracks. As I made this playlist more than a full day ago I deeply regret that I have now remembered quite a few definitive songs that are not on my list, but it's still a very, very good one. There's a link below to the entire list in WiMP, but if you're a Spotify user you can always assemble it yourself. Anyway, I hope you like my list as well as I do. And please, do not ask me about the ranking. If anything, it's good for the first three entries, at the most ten. The rest is pure whim.


1. Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road (live)
2. Tom Waits - I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
3. Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
4. Nick Lowe - Cruel To Be Kind
5. The Clash - London Calling
6. Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky
7. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
8. Neil Young - Like A Hurricane
9. Pretenders - Brass In Pocket
10. Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded By The Light
11. 10CC - I'm Not In Love
12. Warren Zevon - Desperadoes Under The Eaves
13. David Bowie - Changes
14. Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive
15. Little Feat - Willin'
16. Eagles - Hotel California
17. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
18. Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street
19. Blue Öyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
20. Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty
21. The Police - Message In A Bottle
22. Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
23. Michael Nesmith - Some Of Shelly's Blues
24. Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
25. Donna Summer - Bad Girls
26. Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Talk To Me Of Mendocino
27. Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
28. Gladys Knight & The Pips - Midnight Train To Georgia
29. The Motors - Airport
30. ABBA - Dancing Queen
31. The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself
32. Santana - Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen
33. Nick Drake - Hazey Jane II
34. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Get Up, Stand Up (live)
35. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr. Bojangles
36. The Five Stairsteps - O-o-h Child
37. The Association - P.F. Sloan
38. The Doors - Riders On The Storm
39. Dire Straits - Once Upon A Time In The West
40. Tom Robinson Band - 2-4-6-8 Motorway
41. Steely Dan - Do It Again
42. The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
43. Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
44. Bob Dylan - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
45. Don McLean - American Pie
46. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Breakdown
47. Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage
48. Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
49. Sweet - Ballroom Blitz
50. Lou Reed - Perfect Day
51. Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
52. Fleetwood Mac - Landslide
53. Joy Division - She's Lost Control
54. Gary Shearston - I Get A Kick Out Of You
55. Supertramp - School
56. Leonard Cohen - Famous Blue Raincoat
57. Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You
58. Neil Diamond - Song Sung Blue
59. Steve Miller Band - The Joker
60. Jackson Browne - My Opening Farewell
61. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Oliver's Army
62. Patti Smith Group - Because The Night
63. Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
64. Iggy Pop - The Passenger
65. Linda Ronstadt - Hasten Down The Wind
66. Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
67. Gram Parsons - In My Hour Of Darkness
68. Elton John - Someone Saved My Life Tonight
69. Barry White - You're My First, My Last, My Everything
70. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Run Through The Jungle
71. Nilsson - Without You
72. Rolling Stones - Wild Horses
73. T. Rex - Get It On
74. The Byrds - Chestnut Mare
75. Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes
76. Johnny Cash - Man In Black
77. Stevie Wonder - Superstition
78. Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
79. The Temptations - Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
80. Grateful Dead - Friend Of The Devil
81. James Brown - The Payback
82. Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With Jim
83. Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed
84. The Stranglers - The Raven
85. Steve Forbert - Romeo's Tune
86. Randy Newman - Louisiana 1927
87. Foreigner - Cold As Ice
88. Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug
89. Sham 69 - If The Kids Are United
90. America - Horse With No Name
91. The Chi-Lites - Stoned Out Of My Mind
92. Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine
93. Madness - My Girl
94. Cat Stevens - Father And Son
95. Bread - Baby I'm-A Want You
96. James Taylor - Fire And Rain
97. Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes - Wake Up Everybody
98. Pere Ubu - Final Solution
99. Lene Lovich - Bird Song
100. Knutsen & Ludvigsen - Grevling i taket

lørdag 11. oktober 2014

The 100 best songs of the 1980's

These days there is a rage among Facebook users to quote their top 10 favourite albums, books and so forth. Some friends of mine have taken it a bit further, challenging people to quote their top 100 songs of the 1980's. And so, that's exactly what I've done, the chief problem with this exercise of course being the fact that the list in all probability would look a bit different within a day or two. That little glitch aside, I am quite happy with my Top 100. Here's a link to the entire playlist in WiMP, and if you're a Spotify user I recommend you to compile the list for yourself. Hopefully you'll be pleased with what you hear.


1. Prince - If I Was Your Girlfriend
2. David Sylvian & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Forbidden Colours
3. Ben Watt - Waiting Like Mad
4. Prefab Sprout - When Love Breaks Down
5. Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
6. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
7. The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
8. U2 - Pride (In The Name Of Love)
9. Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)
10. Fantastic Something - If It Doesn't Smile (It'll Rain)
11. ABC - The Look Of Love (Part 1)
12. Roxy Music - Oh Yeah
13. Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding
14. The Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town
15. Danny Wilson - Mary's Prayer
16. The Pretenders - Don't Get Me Wrong
17. The The - Uncertain Smile
18. Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy
19. New Order - Blue Monday
20. deLillos - Suser avgårde alle mann
21. Bruce Springsteen - The River
22. Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al
23. Fine Young Cannibals - Johnny Come Home
24. Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
25. R.E.M. - So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)
26. Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
27. The B-52's - Love Shack
28. Steve Earle - Guitar Town
29. Johnny Cash - Highway Patrolman
30. Dire Straits - Tunnel Of Love
31. Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
32. Tuxedomoon - In A Manner Of Speaking
33. Kirsty MacColl - A New England
34. Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
35. Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
36. Gyllene Tider - När vi två blir en
37. Madonna - Papa Don't Preach
38. Fra Lippo Lippi - Shouldn't Have To Be Like That
39. Everything But The Girl - Each And Every One
40. Elvis Costello - I Want You
41. The Lotus Eaters - The First Picture Of You
42. The Psychedlic Furs - Heaven
43. The Cut - The Crowd
44. Blancmange - The Day Before You Came
45. Billy Idol - White Wedding
46. Duran Duran - Save A Prayer
47. Talk Talk - I Don't Believe In You
48. Madness - Embarrassment
49. The Specials - Ghost Town
50. The Cure - A Forest
51. Ultravox - Vienna
52. Simple Minds - Love Song
53. a-ha - Living A Boy's Adventure Tale
54. George Michael - Careless Whisper
55. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes (Annihilation Mix)
56. Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
57. The Colors Turned Red - Too Proud To Tell
58. Bauhaus - She's In Parties
59. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
60. Depeche Mode - Master And Servant
61. Human League - Don't You Want Me
62. Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer
63. Run DMC feat. Aerosmith - Walk This Way
64. The Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
65. The Waterboys - Red Army Blues
66. Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow
67. Orange Juice - Poor Old Soul (Part 1)
68. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Forest Fire
69. M|A|R|R|S - Pump Up The Volume
70. The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up
71. The Blue Nile - Tinseltown In The Rain
72. Van Halen - Jump
73. Nina Hagen Band - African Reggae
74. The Pogues - A Rainy Night In Soho
75. Marius Müller - Ikke tru et ord
76. Los Lobos - One Time One Night
77. Robert Palmer - She Makes My Day
78. The Colourfield - Thinking Of You
79. Nanci Griffith - Love At The Five And Dime
80. Stevie Wonder - Master Blaster (Jammin')
81. The Chesterfields - Ask Johnny Dee
82. Transvision Vamp - I Want Your Love
83. Jason & The Scorchers - Absolutely Sweet Marie
84. John Cougar - Jack & Diane
85. Womack & Womack - Teardrops
86. In Tua Nua - Don't Fear Me Now
87. The Blow Monkeys - Digging Your Scene
88. Black - Wonderful Life
89. The Young Lords - Big Burden
90. The Rainmakers - Drinking On The Job
91. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians - What I Am
92. Bill Lovelady - One More Reggae For The Road
93. Nick Lowe - I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock And Roll)
94. Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine
95. The Men They Couldn't Hang - Green Fields Of France (No Man's Land)
96. Pet Shop Boys - It's A Sin
97. Electric Light Orchestra - Yours Truly, 2095
98. The Police - Every Breath You Take
99. The Style Council - My Ever Changing Moods
100. John Hiatt - Lipstick Sunset

fredag 10. oktober 2014

Rumer - Reach Out

I'm so looking forward to Rumer's forthcoming third album Into Colour which is released in early November. I've already posted first the disco-tinged track "Dangerous", and here's another one, a stunning ballad called "Reach Out" which is pure Carole King/The Carpenters/Dionne Warwick, etc. This could be a future classic!

Watch and listen

Rune Berg - I Only Dream Of You

Rune Berg, one of the principal songwriters from Norwegian pop bands Number Seven Deli and the sadly disbanded The Margarets, is out with a new song "I Only Dream Of You". He released his excellent first solo album Hølå in 2012, but stresses that the new single is not part of a follow-up. It stands beautifully on its own though, a pretty pop ballad with wonderful harmonies, lyrically a direct result of Berg having become a father for the first time. And boy, can that guy write a good melody! The video is directed by Berg's partner in crime Ronnie MAG Larsen and that's the good stuff too.

Watch and listen

The Waterboys - Destinies Entwined

Mike Scott and his latest incarnation of The Waterboys have recorded their new album Modern Blues in Nashville. Set for a January 19, 2015 release, the album is reportedly "an electric, soulful, bold, freewheeling rock'n'roll record with a skinful of killer new songs", which sounds fine to me. The first new song to be released is opening track "Destinies Entwined", a song that's instantly catchy, in the Waterboys canon most easily described as a song that would have fit pretty well into the 1993 album Dream Harder. There's an apparant immediacy to "Destinies Entwined" that I really like, and it's also got a big and rich sound. The album will include an additional eight songs, and I guess we have great things in store.

Lyric video


HIT ALERT! Olly Murs feat. Travie McCoy - Wrapped Up

A surefire hit if I've ever heard one, Olly Murs' first single from his upcoming fourth album is a slice of disco heaven. The former The X Factor contestant has enlisted American rapper Travie McCoy for a hip hop break towards the end of the song that lifts it those extra few steps, but the song in itself - co-written by Murs and professional songwriters Claude Kelly and Steve Robson - ticks all the boxes of a perfect hit; an immediately catchy chorus, a killer disco riff that runs through the entire song, perfectly fitted strings, and a feelgood atmosphere that never lets go. Beautiful hitmaking!

Lyric video


torsdag 9. oktober 2014

Bryan Adams pays tribute to his musical heroes - essay, videos, music

This week Canadian superstar singer/songwriter Bryan Adams released his covers album Tracks Of My Years on which he pays tribute to some of his musical heroes, including Lennon/McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson and more. Prior to this I've posted entries for the one new composition on the album, Adams' and Jim Vallance's "She Knows Me", and his astounding version of the Beach Boys classic "God Only Knows". The good people of the Norwegian branch of his record company Universal Music has asked me to write a piece on Adams and his new records, and by following the link below you can read it - in Norwegian (Hello there, Google Translate!) - and listen to the album as well as a playlist featuring most of the originals and a few videos. Have fun!

Read, watch, listen

torsdag 2. oktober 2014

Genesis R-Kived - an essay, music videos and more

There has just been released a glorious Genesis compilation, a 3CD set with music from all the band's studio albums (with the exception of their 1969 debut album From Genesis To Revelation) and from the solo careers of the five core members, Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins and Steve Hackett - chronologically. It's the first time such an effort has been made to tell the legendary prog rock band gone pop band's history, and about time it is. On commision from Universal Music, the company that have released the compilation R-Kive, I have written an essay about the band and their career - in Norwegian. There are also some key music videos here as well, so do have a look if you will.

onsdag 1. oktober 2014

Eddie Vedder - Society

Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild is a non-fiction book about the life and eventual death of Christopher McCandless, a loner and idealist who turned his back on his parents and society in general. It was beautifully filmed by Sean Penn featuring Emile Hirsch as McCandless in 2007 and scored by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. The two best songs on the soundtrack are covers though. The most famous of them is probably his take on Indio's 1988 single "Hard Sun", but "Society" written by Jerry Hannan is even better. Hannan plays the guitar and does the backing vocals himself, contrasting beautifully with Vedder's voice.


Neil Diamond - If You Go Away

Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel's 1959 composition "Ne me quitte pas" (which translates into "Don't Leave Me") is among my favourite ballads. I love Brel's original, and Rod McKuen's English translation (which is not completely literal) has been recorded in many lovely versions. Some of the best are by Scott Walker and Frank Sinatra, but none touches me as deeply as Neil Diamond's 1971 version off his album Stones. Diamond sings it like he means it and simply does a stunning performance. The over the top sentimental strings further clinches it, especially when he sings about what will happen if his lover/girlfriend does not leave him: "But if you stay, I'll make you a day, like no day has been or will be again, we'll sail on the sun, we'll ride on the rain, we'll talk to the trees, and worship the wind." Beautiful!


Pink Floyd - Cluster One

November 10 sees the release of The Endless River, the first Pink Floyd album with new material since 1994's The Division Bell. However, the music has its origins in recordings from the 1993 sessions featuring the now diseased keyboardist Richard Wright, and so Nick Mason and David Gilmour, the two remaining members of the band, have built upon these to make the new album. In more than one way it's a tribute to Wright who died in 2008. The album is instrumental, with the exception of one song, and as no music has been leaked yet, I thought it proper to post the beautiful instrumental opening track from The Division Bell, "Cluster One". If anything on The Endless River sounds as good as this, it's definitely worth buying.


Aretha Franklin - Rolling In The Deep/Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics is the title of her first new album in three years that will be released on October 20. The term classic is slightly misleading as the first single off the album is a rousing version of Adele's 2010 recording "Rolling In The Deep" that incorporates a bit of the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for good measure. "Rolling..." is a bit new to be labelled classic, but then again it always sounded like a classic Aretha Franklin song in the first place. No matter, it's an absolutely amazing version, and the 72 year old soul singer still deserves her moniker "The Queen Of Soul". Below is a performance from The Late Show With David Letterman from last night, and it's awesome. Other songs on the forthcoming album are "Midnight Train To Georgia", "I Will Survive" and "Nothing Compares 2 U". Looking forward to it.

Watch and listen

Listen to the new Johnny Marr album in its entirety now

Former Smiths-guitarist and co-writer Johnny Marr is about to release his second solo album Playland, hot on the heels of his first, last year's good but uneven The Messenger. Playland can be heard in its entirety on Spotify now and will be in shops, digitally and physically, on Monday October 6. First single "Easy Money" was great, and the album as such sounds like it's a good collection of songs and well worth checking out.