Friday, 21 September 2012

My Musical Diary XXX

Wow. I can't believe I've been doing this for this long. The30th edition of My Musical Diary. Definitely my personal record. And since this is a special occasion, it commands a special blog. Therefore this week I'm not stopping at 5 songs. My favourite number is 7, so for this edition only, I'll blab about 7 songs. And, as per usual, it will be a mixed bag of new releases and older to ancient songs. Here we go!

Christina Aguilera - Your Body

Listen to the song here.

Judging from what kind of songs have become hits recently, this new Christina Aguilera single could definitely be one to. It's not a particularly smart or originally sounding song but it's catchy enough and one can dance to it. So...what more can you want from a radio/dance club hit....not everyone can be Robyn.

The Killers - Here with Me

Listen to the song here.

I originally wanted to write a review of the brand new album Battle Born this week. But I have very mixed feelings about it and just like with Gaga's Born This Way I might end up making my mind up for so long I will actually never write that review... But in any case, I gave the album a few listens and there are some stand-out songs on it.

Here with Me is one of them, if not the biggest one. The song is not particularly original, Brandon has definitely written better lyrics than for this song (The Killers are not the sort of band I'd expect to use the words "picture" and "cell phone" together, in a grand sweeping chorus) and even though there is part of my brain who tells me Here with Me is actually kind of cheesy....I can't help myself but love this song.

I hope it never gets played to death on the radio the way similarly sounding 80's rock ballads do. It's the sort of song which could become well hated by certain group of people for being very popular with the mainstream audience.



Gnarls Barkley - Crazy

Listen to the song here.

2006's Crazy is one of the songs which got so well loved they subsequently become just as hated for being everywhere and for everyone thinking they could cover it. I was also one of those who eventually got sick of it. But then a few days ago the song came on the radio and I was blown away again. The song manages to borrow just enough from the 60's and 70's so it's an actual quality song, not just a manufactured hit, but the production of it...6 years on it still sounds groovy and actually less dated than a lot of the dance-pop stuff happening today. But the lyrics...wow. I actually don't think I ever paid much attention to them way back when. And they actually make a lot of sense - now that I've watched Cee Lo on the US version of the Voice I totally get where he is coming from. The song doesn't even have to be about drugs, guys, Cee Lo is totally out there, in the best possible way. The interpretations of Crazy are almost endless - what a clever little song, in multiple ways.

I remember when
I remember I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there
Without care
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much


Bryan Ferry - I Thought

I was sorting out my CDs this week and somehow ended up listening to quite a lot of Ferry. This guys has written a shitload of great songs and it's hard to choose just one. But I Thought is truly special. It came out 10 years ago on a very strong album called Frantic and it's the album's closing track. It also marks Ferry's first co-write with Brian Eno in decades. The song has a lovely melody and Bryan's voice just sounds so orgasm-inducing on it. The lyrics show again what a hopeless romantic, artist looking for an ideal, Ferry is. Mr Ferry's birthday is coming up next Wednesday and while I don't particularly believe in how the Zodiac signs relate to a person's character I have to admit that I find myself having quite a few things in common with this old rock star I never met (not the whoring though or sympathies for the political right). I could have shared my birthday with him had I been timely, but I was not, I arrived a day too late. Oh well.

Unfortunately I can't find the studio version of I Thought online anywhere, and the following live version of it is, in my opinion, not as good (the slower tempo of the studio version just makes more sense to me), but better something than nothing - in this case at least. So enjoy - and try previewing the studio version of this song on iTunes or other digital sellers - you might like. It would definitely be worth your money.



Bryan Ferry - Sympathy for the Devil

Listen to the song here.

Not only is Bryan Ferry a great songwriter, he's also a pretty good interpret of other people's songs. He is not the best vocalist but his singing style has always been distinctive enough that his take on other people's material has always been interesting, and in many cases also an improvement on the original or more famous versions. Ferry has released four covers-only albums: two in the early 70's (These Foolish Things in '73 and  Another Time, Another Place in '74) and two in the last 13 years (As Time Goes By in '99 and Dylanesque in 2007). Just like me, Bryan has a soft spot for classic 20's to 50's songs and he's recorded many of them, but after some deliberation I decided to pick one of the few rock covers he's done: Sympathy for the Devil, a cut from his first solo album These Foolish Things. I chose this one mostly because for me his version is hands down superior to the original by the Rolling Stones. Bryan makes the perfect Devil: slick, sleek, smart, disdainful and while he's not an actor he manages to rival Al Pacino's monologues in The Devil's Advocate.



David Bowie - Lady Stardust demo

Listen to the song here.

Lady Stardust has always been one of my very favourite Bowie songs. For years I slightly favoured the live version of this song which is featured at the Bowie at the Beeb album (CD 2) but a few years back I discovered a demo of Lady Stardust and this version just completely rocks. Acoustic and minimalistic - just Bowie and a piano, a bit rough in places; fragile, but at the same time regal and full of timeless melancholy. The song was most likely inspired by Bowie's friend Marc Bolan, and since on the 16th of September every year we remember the sad anniversary of Marc's untimely tragic death, this week's edition of Diary is a prefect opportunity to remember this amazing early version of Lady Stardust here.




T. Rex - 20th Century Boy



Now, I like me some Marc Bolan here and there. I love some of his songs but I can't say my knowledge of his discography extends beyond a best of double album. Therefore my Marc Bolan song choice here is one of the best known T. Rex songs. But hey, it is one of the best rock songs ever, so why should it not close this blog?? :o)


Thanks for reading this 30th edition of my famous Musical Diary - if you have any comments or questions, hit the comment section. Also, if you liked this entry, feel free to share it - the buttons should be below.

Have a great week and see you next week when I'm already 25 years ancient. ;o)

Until then....

Love, Peace and Ringo!

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