Tuesday, 26 February 2008

To Make You Feel My Love

Joe writes: To Make You Feel My Love is the best song Bob Dylan has written since the seventies, and one of the best songs he has written. It's a modern standard. The first version I know of was by Billy Joel (before Dylan's own version was released). I also have versions by Garth Brooks, Kelly Clarkson, Caedmon's Call and Josh Kelley. iTunes has versions by Joan Osborne, Louise Setara, Bryan Ferry, Maria Muldaur, Hilary Scott, Lynn Witty and Rob Mathes, Luka Bloom, Jermy Irons and many others. I guess it's one of the most covered modern songs of recent years (alongside You Raise Me Up which I can never understand - why don't people go straight to the source and cover Danny Boy instead?). And now it has turned up on the Adele album. Adele has a great voice but could learn a lot from listening to the Garth Brooks or Billy Joel or Trisha Yearwood versions. Keep it simple Adele! I think the best version is Trisha's.

I've always thought this song probably inspired the Lindisfarne song Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong which was beautifully covered by Erin Rocha.

Trisha Yearwood - To Make You Feel My Love (not on iTunes sadly so here's an Amazon link to the Hope Floats soundtrack which has it, and I thought had the Garth version too originally but not here it seems)

Erin Rocha - Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong (not on iTunes so here's an Amazon link to the album)

Monday, 25 February 2008

one new artist and one newish artist

I Blame Coco - daughter of a star and future star herself. Excellent voice.

Daniel Merriweather - I can't get Chainsaw out of my head. He has also covered a recent track, as his mentor Mark Ronson did with Valerie, and Daniel's is an equally good choice of cover.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Loneliness: what is the point of it?

The new Feeling album is out today in the UK.

Loneliness is the track I wrote about ages ago having heard the demo.

I really rate The Feeling. Their breakthrough was exciting because they were the first band in many a year to be embraced by the UK media despite being neither "alternative" nor passing themselves off as such. Mainstream and proud. I didn't reckon on the inferior bands that have broken through in their wake but I think The Feeling will outlast those bands. This track in particular has a little hint of genuine emotion and depth that the likes of 10cc and ELO definitely had but The Feeling's contemporaries generally lack.

The Feeling - Loneliness (iTunes)

Sunday, 10 February 2008

I was just reading an interview with my favourites Vampire Weekend in The Guardian and they list Brenda Fassie as an influence

Joe writes: Brenda Fassie was one of the biggest artists in South Africa, selling millions of each album.

There was a plan to break her in Britain with remixes of Vuli Ndlela but nothing ever came of it. What a brilliant track though. Incredible vocal. It definitely could have been a hit in the Northern Hemisphere. It's from her Memeza album which has this extraordinary artwork:

I once visited the Cape Town township where Brenda grew up. Here's a photo:

Brenda Fassie - Vuli Ndlela (iTunes)

Saturday, 9 February 2008

songs about getting old

Joe writes: A Moment Of Forever was written by Kris Kristofferson and Danny Timms. It was the title track of Kris's 1995 album which is where I heard it first. Now it's the title track of Willie Nelson's new album. You can hear Willie's version on YouTube. And you can hear a version by Danny on his own website. But for me the best version is Kris's. It's a good one to put on a CD for your partner at Valentine's Day if you are planning to spend the rest of your lives together and have a high tolerance for sappiness.

A Moment Of Forever reminds me a little of Back When We Were Beautiful by Matraca Berg, a lovely song about growing old.

I spent far too long reading an Eva Cassidy website this week and was moved almost to tears once again. Partly because of the story (what a story), but more because of the music - Eva was one of the all-time great singers. Fields Of Gold is a really good song about love changing as couples age. I won't post that because everyone should own the Songbird compilation on which it appears. Instead, I've posted Anniversary Song, the best of the lesser known songs that Eva recorded (it was written by Steve Digman).

Finally, Much More Than This, by Chris de Burgh, an artist who is much under-appreciated in the UK. I have mixed feelings about the sentiment expressed in the lyric (definitely don't put this on a CD for your partner), but nonetheless I think it's one of his best songs, right up there with the likes of Borderline and Lady In Red.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

A&E by Goldfrapp

I like the new Goldfrapp single which I heard properly for the first time today. It's a proper song.

Goldfrapp - A&E (iTunes)


Tecktonik is a dance craze and music scene that is sweeping France and spreading elsewhere. And it's a registered trademark apparently!

Alive by Mondotek has just been no. 2 in France and the video shows what it's all about (the track is pretty good but the video and dancing are better).

For some reason all this reminded me of the classic Freestyler by Bomfunk MCs so here's the glorious extended version.

Bomfunk MCs - Freestyler (extended version) (iTunes)