Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

Holy Man Queen

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Earlier this year, I posted on the song Holy Man in the Everything But The Brian series, and noted that there was an unreleased version featuring Brian May and Roger Taylor, from a not-so-little-known British band. Well that unreleased version has now been released  thanks to Record Store Day. You can hear the this version featuring the Queen superstars here.

23 Instrumentals For Today

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

1. The Mist Covered Mountains -Alan Clark, Eddie Gomez and The Acetones
2. Be Here In The Morning Darling -The Beach Boys
3. The British Opera -Bee Gees
4. Othello -Chilly Gonzales
5. Arrival of the Birds -The Cinematic Orchestra
6. Piano Variations On Thoughts Of You -Dennis Wilson
7. Eveningland -Hem
8. River Flow -Ken Bryan
9. Going Home [Theme of the Local Hero] -Mark Knopfler, Alan Clarke, Mike Brecker & Tony Levin
10.  …but we were happy -Paddy McAloon
11. A Country Melody -Roger Nichols
12. Getting That Way- Rory More O’Donoghue & Sarah Joyce
13. Little Chef -Saint Etienne
14. Swim Swan Swim- Saint Etienne
15. Church Pew Furniture Restorer -Saint Etienne
16. Breakneck Hill – Saint Etienne
17. Angel of Woodhatch -Saint Etienne
18. Yearning -Scott Walker
19. Finale -Scott Walker
20. Saturday, Sunday, Monday -Swan Dive
21. Rêverie -Claude Debussy
22. Spellbound Concerto -Rosza
23. Un Bel Di- Giacomo Puccini

Three’s Very Charming

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

5o years ago, Scott Walker was close to the top of the album with his third solo album. Indeed, his first three solo albums, while not imaginatively titled, all made top 3 in the album charts, with Scott 2 reaching the peak in era where the charts were dominated by the Beatles, Stones, Dylan and The Sound Of Music. This was followed by Scott 3, released in March 1969, and reaching number 3 in the charts in April that year.

Scott 4 may be the cult favorite, but Scott 3 is a close contender for Scott’s best album, with 10 new Walker compositions, featuring breathtaking orchestral arrangements, lovely melodies and bittersweet lyrics. It’s Raining Again is often seen as Scott’s signature composition, while Copenhagen, Rosemary, Big Louise and Two Weeks Since You’ve Been Gone are all shimmeringly beautiful. We Came Through and 30th Century Man see a bit of a change of pace and style. The album ends with three Jacques Brel songs, which could be seen as an afterthought, but try not to be moved by Scott’s interpretation of If You Go Away.

This album may seem far away from Scott’s “difficult” later music, but the contrasts between beauty and horror are still there, even if lovingly suger-coated throughout. If you want Scott at his most beautiful, yet still challenging, three is definitely your number.

 

Still Remembering Scott

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

Readers will excuse me in focusing for a few more posts on the loss of Scott Walker. For today, I have linked to a track from his last work, the soundtrack from Vox Lux, and note that even although a lot of his later music was quite jarring and intense, he could still create moments of beauty, as on this instrumental called Yearning.

On Our Own Again

Monday, March 25th, 2019

A lot of fine musicians have passed away recently, but for me, the loss of Scott Walker has hit pretty hard. As one of my top 10 favorite musicians,  responsible for one of my all-time favorite albums, this blog has featured Scott Walker a number of times. His story of a teenage idol who was up there with the Beatles in terms of popularity in the UK who became an avant-garde artist who influenced Bowie and many others – a man who refused to follow trends or any conventional route to fame. Even although he wasn’t a young man, his completely unexpected passing was consistent with doing everything on his own terms.

Like many Scott Walker fans, my favorite works remain his five albums from 1967 to 1970 which combined beauty, great vocals, melancholy and meaning. I’ve even got used to 1995s Tilt, which has great beauty in the starkness of the difficult words and melodies. His work in 2000 is more difficult, but there are some glimpses of beauty in his soundtrack work for Vox Lux that was released last year. Indeed, his last two works were movie soundtracks -fitting for artist who once summarized a movie in a four minute song (Seventh Seal) and whose true-life story is stranger than much fiction. Rest well, Scott Walker, and thank-you for being a bit part of the soundtrack of my life.

The King Of The Surf Guitar

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

It’s a reflection on us all aging, as well as maybe a particularly tough period, when this blog ends up becoming like an obituary section. Dick Dale was a key figure in the early development of rock and roll, and particularly surf guitar, which was an important influence on the Beach Boys. Two of his trademarks songs were covered by the Beach Boys on their Surfin’ USA album, and  Misirlou gained a new lease of life after the Pulp Fiction movie. Health and financial issues meant that Dick Dale’s later life was particularly tough, and meant that he was on the road right up until he passed away. He will certainly not be forgotten for his contribution to music, and spirit right to the end.

A Tribute To Hal Blaine

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

In tribute to Hal Blaine, here is a song he features strongly on.

23 Songs For Today

Friday, March 1st, 2019

1) Heaven Is a Word -Carla Werner
2) Hide the Wine -Carly Pearce
3) Every Little Thing- Carly Pearce
4) Queen of Sabotage -Courtney Jaye
5) One Way Conversation -Courtney Jaye
6) Time’s Up -Courtney Jaye
7) 33 -Elise Davis
8) Finally -Elise Davis
9) Bells and Whistles -Emma Stevens
10) Fireworks -First Aid Kit
11) Dandelions -Joanna Wallfisch
12) Summer Solstice -Joanna Wallfisch
13) Lazy -The Last Detail
14) Peace on Earth -Lissie
15) 5 Acres of Turnips -Pistol Annies
16) Masterpiece -Pistol Annies
17) This Too Shall Pass -Pistol Annies
18) Better Place -Rumer
19) Pizza and Pinball -Rumer
20) Hobart Paving -Saint Etienne
21) Camel Coat -Saint Etienne
22) Sarah -Sarah Slean
23) Daybreak -Sierra Hull

Goodbye, Peter Tork

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

Classic 60s rock n’ pop suffered another big loss on Thursday with the sad passing of Peter Tork, one of the American “fab four” Monkees. The outpouring of tribute from many people, including Brian Wilson, has been heartfelt and many people will feel they have lost another integral part of their youth. Rest in peace, Peter Tork.

A New Old Prefab Sprout Album

Friday, February 1st, 2019

Today marks only the tenth time since 1984 that Prefab Sprout have released a new studio album. Except this album is actually a re-release of Paddy McAloon’s acclaimed solo record, I Trawl The Megahertz, one of my favorite records of all time. Since Paddy McAloon has been the only member of the Sprouts in recent years, it is fitting that this great record is released under the better known band name. And this may not be the only Prefab record this year….