Thursday, 24 April 2008

I assumed that my son must have known this...

but I discovered a while ago that I'd never played it to him. This Roy Orbison song was the first record that really meant anything to me. Interestingly, the 45 was a ‘double A-side’ - ‘Running Scared’ and ‘Love Hurts’. ‘Love Hurts’ is a haunting, distinctive song which becomes quiet background music through much of your life (and then you discover the version by Gram Parsons and Emmylou). ‘Running Scared’ is something else again, the consummate story song, packed with narrative power, building to its magnificent, orgasmic denoument, which, time after time after time - and I’ve been listening to it for fifty years - knocks you into the middle of next week. The point at which the bass rhythm enters and carries the song and the listener forward and upwards is extraordinary. The words build, the story builds, the music builds. So much of the pain and joy of human relationships in a pop song lasting two minutes twelve seconds. And perhaps the most amazing thing about the song - Orbison claims to have written it ‘in about ten minutes’.

Roy Orbison - Running Scared (iTunes)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

I’ve never been totally sure about the Proclaimers -

some great songs, always at least interesting, often quite original, yet for me there’s something very slightly creepy about them, e.g. 'She Arouses Me So' (too much information?). However, this is a brilliant track and the perfect answer to the current publicity given to those who refuse to see the benefits of immigration. If only there were a similar song about England. Anyone know one?

The Proclaimers - Scotland's Story (not on iTunes)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Bruce Springsteen is playing live in London soon

I turned down the opportunity to go and now I'm having pangs of regret. I have seen him once before at the Royal Albert Hall but that was acoustic, and it was before I knew his catalogue well.

But I've seen so many legends way past their peak - would this be another disappointment? He hasn't written a great song since Streets Of Philadelpia (or if he has, I missed it).

Anyway, here are the two tracks that gave me those pangs of regret.

I very much approve of this phenomenon of the likes of Todd Terje and Cousin Cole taking classic tracks and adding a few little synth noises and tweaks for the dancefloor rather than radically remixing.

As for Thunder Road, "Ladies and gentlemen, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band"... if only this were 1975!

This post can also stand in tribute to Clive Davis, the man who told Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and many others to write him a hit. I can live without Lay Lady Lay but we should all be grateful for Born To Run.

Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire (Cousin Cole's Bad Desire Mix) (here's a link to the original on iTunes)

Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road (Live at the Roxy, 1975) (iTunes)

Chris de Burgh's time will come again

If Supertramp can come back into fashion then Chris de Burgh will sooner or later, right?

There is a new CdeB compilation released in the UK this week. Included on there are my two favourites - Much More Than This which I've written about previously, and Borderline. Borderline has a topical lyric about deciding between going away to fight for your country and staying with your lover. The Borderline sequel Say Goodbye To It All is also on there (more songs should have sequels).

Chris de Burgh - Borderline (iTunes)

Ludacris vs Born Slippy

Ludacris is one of my favourite rappers (or he was back at the start of the millennium anyway).

Born Slippy is one of my favourite records of all time.

How could I resist a combination of the two?

Yes, the chord does eventually change and when that happens it is of course the high point of the track.

Thanks to my new favourite blog Burnt Waffles for the link.

Ludacris - Ultimate Satisfaction (Cabin Bwoy Refix) (not on iTunes so here's a link to buy the original Born Slippy)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Very honoured to be invited (see below).

I would have to say that in recent years I’ve learned just as much about great music from him as he may have done previously from me. I’m afraid, by the way, that my version of the Bunny Berigan intro is a very simplified one but I like to think I’ve caught the spirit of it. Mention of Humphrey Lyttleton’s ‘Best of Jazz’ and its recent demise prompts me to draw attention to one of the best recordings he ever played - one to which he returned from time to time. I don’t know anything about Marion Williams or whether she recorded much else, but even if she didn’t the power and excitement of this one track is a greater achievement than the whole output of many other artists. Here also is another great Humph favourite (apparently made it onto the playlist for his very final programme that I sadly missed) which is similarly gospel based, and equally memorable with a tinge of 'tailgate' trombone humour - it just wouldn’t be the same on any other instrument.

Marion Williams - It is Well (nothing on itunes)
Carla Bley (featuring Gary Valente) - The Lord is Listening to Ya Hallelujah (iTunes)

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

a new poster on The World's Greatest Music

I've decided to introduce a new poster on The World's Greatest Music - my dad.

My dad was the first influence on my music taste, and possibly the biggest. Before I listened to any contemporary music, I listened to his record collection. It was an impeccable musical education - The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Chris Barber, Joni Mitchell, Motown Chartbusters, Jimmy Cliff... (the last few might have been my mum's but still).

I inherited his predilection for recording shows off the radio and making up cassettes of the best tracks (I did it with Mark Radcliffe's Out On Blue 6, John Peel and Mark Goodier's Evening Session; he did it with Jazz Record Requests and Humphrey Lyttelton's The Best Of Jazz, which sadly came to an end recently).

It was only a matter of time before we both started mp3 blogging.

Also, he can pretty much replicate Bunny Berigan's awesome intro to I Can't Get Started on the trumpet.

Bunny Berigan - I Can't Get Started (iTunes)

Friday, 4 April 2008

RIP Sean Levert

Sean was in LeVert with his better known brother Gerald. LeVert's track Casanova is a classic.

LeVert - Casanova (not on iTunes except for a karaoke version)