Sunday, 26 December 2010
Sunday, 19 December 2010
but also this great collaboration with Jamie Cullum and the Swingle Singers (posted on the grounds that, wisely, not everyone sits through the Royal Variety Performance):
Friday, 17 December 2010
The first time I heard the intro to Slow, it stopped me in my tracks, just as it did for millions of radio listeners a few months later. It is a manifesto as well as a very affecting relationship song. I love the story of how she met her manager Kwame Kwaten and how she was given the time and space to develop by producer Steve Brown. I love the moral of Rumer’s breakthrough: if you persevere, you can overcome any number of hurdles - as long as your music is outstanding.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
First, Gram Parsons again. For me, his four classic compositions are Hot Burrito #1 (AKA I'm Your Toy - see below), Hickory Wind, Return Of The Grievous Angel and A Song For You. Then there's Wild Horses which is credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards but Gram is rumoured to have co-written. There was more than one controversy over credits in Gram's short career as this article about Hickory Wind suggests.
The essential Gram Parsons purchases are the Flying Burrito Brothers album Gilded Palace Of Sin, the two Gram Parsons solo albums (on which Emmylou Harris deserved a credit), and the Byrds album Sweetheart Of The Rodeo.
Robert Sandall's interview with Emmylou Harris says "The last time they spoke, Parsons phoned (Emmylou) to tell her that her favourite track from their recent sessions had been left off the Grievous Angel album but would definitely feature on the next". What was that song, I wonder? Presumably it's one of the Emmylou duets on the posthumous Sleepless Nights album.
The other A Song For You was immortalised by Donny Hathaway, an artist who, like Gram Parsons, died too young. But it was written by Leon Russell who has also recorded Wild Horses, so there's your link with Gram. Leon also wrote Superstar, one of my two favourite Carpenters tracks (the other being Goodbye To Love) - what a songwriter.
There's a remarkable film about The Carpenters, made by Todd Haynes of Dylan biopic fame while he was still at film school. It's banned following legal action by Richard Carpenter, but thanks to YouTube it's easy to find it.
Donny Hathaway has legendary status in some quarters but is barely known in others. That's starting to change thanks to lyrical name checks from Wyclef Jean and most notably Amy Winehouse. I was recently discussing him with James McMorrow, a new artist from Dublin whose voice is pure magic. Donny's A Song For You is one of James's favourite tracks of all time too, and I'm sure he loves Gram Parsons as well. James told me that it was the greater success of Stevie Wonder that drove Donny to suicide. I don't know whether this is true, but if so, at least he didn't live to hear Ebony & Ivory.
Gram Parsons - A Song For You (iTunes)
Donny Hathaway - A Song For You (iTunes)
(update of post originally from 06/06/08)
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Point Break's subsequent single What About Us was glorious too. If Freakytime had been their first single and What About Us their second, I think they would both have been number ones. Unfortunately they released two other rubbish singles first so it was an uphill struggle by the time Freakytime came out. Mind you, Angels by Robbie Williams overcame similar circumstances.
(update of post from 18/10/07)
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Monday, 6 December 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
I particularly like that catch in her voice every so often - somehow reminds me of the amazing Martha Wainwright, as does the climax of the song.
Friday, 19 November 2010
The A side featured a harmonica solo from Stevie Wonder.
The B sides were two early singles, released in 1982, prior to their first album Swoon (which is my favourite Prefab Sprout album).
I was going to post The Devil Has All The Best Tunes and I even went to the trouble of ripping it from vinyl. But, although it's quite charming, I would mostly have been posting it because of the title and it doesn't qualify amongst the world's greatest music.
Maybe Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone) doesn't either but it did signal the arrival of an incredibly ambitious group who sometimes fulfilled that ambition.
And no, I'm not counting U2 et al. To qualify for my Christian list you have to be really brazen about your religious beliefs.
Here are six of my favourites:
Michael W Smith - Love Me Good (iTunes)
Reeve Carney - Think Of You (not on iTunes UK but there is a version on iTunes US)
DC Talk - Jesus Freak (iTunes)
Margaret Becker - Clay And Water (iTunes)
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
I thought their second album Only Forever was great and should have made them one of the line of massive British bands that ran Radiohead, The Verve, Manic Street Preachers, Travis, Stereophonics, Coldplay etc. James Mudrickzi has a really excellent voice.
Here are three tracks from Only Forever:
Friday, 5 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Martha Wainwright - Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole (iTunes). If there's one thing even better than a really sad song, it's a really vitriolic song. Awesome vocal too. Written about her father Loudon so something of an answer record to I'd Rather Be Lonely.
Loudon Wainwright III - Primrose Hill (iTunes). If you end up destitute in London, I recommend living on the side of Primrose Hill, at least in summer. It's nice.
Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Matapedia (Amazon)
(update of post original from
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Not of course the only great song to mention Margaret Thatcher (jump to the performance at 4.01 if you wish but the discussion is unusually informative).:
Love this song though - Fish & Whistle (Amazon)
There are two cover versions around at the moment but I prefer this one by M Ward from a few years ago (it doesn't seem to be on iTunes, probably because the artist is precious about it).
Here's Hi-Fi, a really good M Ward original (iTunes).
And here's a little-known Bowie track, It's Gonna Be Me (Amazon).
But there's at least one track on the new album that is good fun and has crossover appeal - Paper Planes (iTunes)
The Roches - Hammond Song (Amazon)
originally posted 26/06/07
So I will take some old posts from the blog, featuring some of the world's greatest music, and repost them with YouTube links.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Friday, 17 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
Monday, 6 September 2010
Monday, 23 August 2010
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Friday, 30 July 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Aretha Franklin doing I Say A Little Prayer on The Cliff Richard Show:
Nick Cave doing The Ship Song on Songwriters Circle:
Billy Bragg doing Levi Stubbs' Tears:
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
(posted by Joe)
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Monday, 10 May 2010
Joe writes: I've only just got the hook to No More I Love You's out of my head from Annie Lennox's version
Good track thanks to the sample, but Nicki's bits do pleasantly remind me of my favourite Cam'ron track Wrong Ones:
Here's the wonderful original of No More I Love You's by The Lover Speaks
The Lover Speaks - No More I Love You's
Thursday, 22 April 2010
(posted by Joe, updated December 17th 2011)
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Big Star - Holocaust (buy from Amazon)
Big Star - Thirteen (buy from Amazon)
and two artists Charlie championed:
Dire Straits - Romeo & Juliet (buy from Amazon)
Gurrumul - Bapa (buy from Amazon)
The last time I saw Charlie was at a Gurrumul showcase, having previously run into him at a Manu Chao gig in Paris and Joss Stone's debut performance. He was a man of taste and passion and he was very nice with it.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Not so with Rumer. She is an achingly great lyricist; an intuitive, unaffected soul singer; a wonderful songwriter.
Her music is so good it makes me wince. She is up there with the best of them.
And to cap it all, she has the great taste to cover Long Long Day from Paul Simon's One Tricky Pony.
(posted by Joe)
Thursday, 18 February 2010
I also discovered a couple of great tracks through Steve's list:
Baby Mama by Fantasia:
buy from Amazon
Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis:
buy from Amazon
* Dry Your Eyes by The Streets
* In My Place by Coldplay
* Chasing Cars and Run by Snow Patrol
* Where Is The Love? by Black Eyed Peas
* Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
* Push The Button by Sugababes
* Dance Wiv Me and Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal
* Sex On Fire by Kings Of Leon
* It Wasn't Me by Shaggy feat. RikRok
Monday, 8 February 2010
Buy the mp3 from Amazon
Sunday, 24 January 2010
It seems strangely unavailable on Amazon or iTunes.
This is not the best version of 'Moment of Forever' and Kris's voice, never his greatest asset, is not in great shape these days but it's still wonderful:
Here's the studio version:
buy the mp3 from iTunes
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Friday, 8 January 2010
Only joking - my favourite Housemartins track is of course a miserable but beautiful one - Johannesburg.
buy the mp3 from Amazon
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
Buy mp3 from Amazon