Monday, 30 January 2012

Paul McCartney and Fats Waller

Phil writes: It would be very hard to write a Valentine's song as great as Steve Earle's sublime 'Valentine's Day' but this effort of Paul's shows he can still turn out a very good song:

There's a decent version of 'I'm going to sit right down and write myself a letter' on McCartney's new album 'Kisses on the bottom' which takes its title from the Fats Waller song. I think, though, that the original has even more to offer:

Friday, 27 January 2012

"Linger on, your pale blue eyes" (song from the BBC Radio advert/trailer)

Joe writes: The BBC make such great trailers advertising themselves, especially when they draw on the songwriting of Lou Reed. The current trailer for BBC Radio features a man moved to tears firstly by The Velvet Underground's Pale Blue Eyes, and then by a football commentary as Blackpool gain promotion to the Premier League.

For the original underground band, The Velvet Underground sure had some great tunes.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Zane Lowe is playing Diamonds and Rust by Joan Baez

Joe writes: It's a choice of Lana Del Rey who is being interviewed. It sounds amazing on Radio 1 (as it does everywhere else one might hear it). Bob Dylan is so great he even inspires other artists' finest work.

Also here is Lana Del Rey's second best track National Anthem:

Monday, 23 January 2012

Etta James

Joe writes: I listened to all the Etta James tracks that Richard Williams wrote about in The Guardian, but I have to say I don't think any of them are as good what her two biggest hits until Avicii sampled her.

At Last is a top 40 hit in the UK for the first time this week:

I Just Wanna Make Love To You (originally the B side to At Last) was a hit in the nineties of the back off a Diet Coke advert:

Laura J Martin - Doki Doki

Joe writes: Just heard Laura J Martin for the first time. This is an instrumental flute track but very infectious and quite unlike anything else I've heard recently.

Different instrument, different vibe but I was reminded of Devil In The Kitchen by nineties Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac:

And this hypnotic track The Diamond Mountain by Sharon Shannon & Friends:

Friday, 20 January 2012

D'Banj - Oliver Twist

Joe writes: Dance track from Africa that could be a hit in the UK and elsewhere.

Chiddy Bang and Steve Greenberg's Best of 2011

Joe writes: Legendary American record label boss Steve Greenberg has once again published his best of the year list, containing many of my favourite tracks of 2011 plus quite a few I'd never heard before.

It also contains one track I've been meaning to blog, the new Chiddy Bang single Ray Charles which has a chorus (written by Sam Hollander) that lights up the radio every time it's played.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Billy Joel - Lullaby

I could understand someone feeling this is over-sentimental, particularly with the dodgy video, but I think it's a real gem.  There's no doubt that he's written a number of truly memorable songs.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Bowie's 65th birthday

Phil writes:  As this is currently being celebrated, it seems appropriate to pay tribute to an innovative and very influential artist.  Not so long ago, Joe and I were saying what a great album 'Ziggy Stardust' is.  I believe it has a higher proportion of great songs than almost any album you can think of. I'll just concentrate on three. The opening track, 'Five Years' is, like so many Bowie songs, quite unlike any other song you can think of and some of the lines and images live on in your brain for many years (believe me!).  And then there's 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide' with its brilliantly pithy portrayal of someone right on the edge who by the end of the song may well have been saved from suicide.  I never tire of 'Ziggy Stardust' which might almost be said to be a new kind of rock music.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Miriam Makeba - Khawuleza

Joe writes: Thanks to MrBedosey for drawing my attention to this track via a comment on my YouTube channel. Like Nongqongqo (To Those We Love), it's from the album An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba, but this version was is from a 1966 Swedish TV show and is followed by a moving interview and another track.