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The Originals Vol. 40

February 10th, 2011 4 comments

In the overdue return of The Originals, we”ll visit three songs that became iconic in their interpretations from the 1960s, but had been standards since the early 1930s and, in one instance, 1940s. Blue Moon and At Last debuted in movies, while Dream A Little Dream Of Me, the oldest of the three songs, would end up lending its title to a 1989 flick (and an episode of Grey”s Anatomy). Speaking of At Last, I hear that Etta James is in very poor health. Don”t forget the index of The Originals to revisit older instalments in this series. By the way, the Blue Moon discussion here will be followed later this month by a 38-song swarm of the tune.

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Shirley Ross – The Bad In Every Man (1934).mp3
Glen Gray and his Casa Loma Orchestra – Blue Moon (1934).mp3
Connie Boswell – Blue Moon (1935).mp3
The Emanons ““ Blue Moon (1958).mp3
The Marcels – Blue Moon (1961).mp3

It took the great songwriters Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers four attempts to arrive at the version of the song most people will know from the versions by The Marcels, Elvis Presley, Mel Tormé (my favourite, from 1961) or from the film Grease.

Rodgers and Hart originally wrote the song, with different lyrics, for a 1933 MGM film titled Hollywood Party, to be sung by Jean Harlow. The song, going by the working title Prayer (Oh Lord, Make Me A Movie Star), was never recorded, nor did Harlow appear in the film.

The following year, the songwriters dug up the song when MGM needed a number for the film Manhattan Melodrama, starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and William Powell. It was that movie, incidentally, which the bank robber John Dillinger watched before stepping out of the Chicago cinema to meet his death at the enthusiastic hands of law enforcement. With new lyrics, the song now was called It”s Just That Kind Of Play ““ and was cut from the movie. However, later in the production, a song was needed for a nightclub scene. Rogers decided that the melody was still good, and Hart wrote a third set of lyrics, under the title The Bad In Every Man. This one made it into the film, sung by Shirley Ross (pictured right), who would go on to work and sing with Bob Hope on film a few times before retiring in 1945.

By now, MGM had appreciated the commercial potential for the melody, but wanted more romantic lyrics. Enter Lorenz Hart again, reluctantly providing a fourth set of words “” those we are now familiar with. But even then, an introductory verse was excised, which proved a good decision. Blue Moon was first recorded on 16 November 1934 by Glen Gray and his Casa Loma Orchestra (named after the hotel where they once had a standing engagement), with the band”s saxophonist Kenny Sargent on vocals. Four days later, Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra recorded it, and from there on in, a host of performers and orchestras committed the song to record. The biggest hit of these was the version by Connie Boswell with the Victor Young Orchestra, recorded on 15 January 1935 as the theme for the radio show Hollywood Hotel (Boswell changed her first name to Connee only in the 1940s).

After a flurry of versions (including by Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt and Al Bowlly), Blue Moon was intermittently recorded and also appeared in several movies, including as part of a Harpo interlude in the Marx Brothers” 1939 film At The Circus. In the 1940s and “50s it was mainly a jazz number, as an instrumental or in vocal versions, by the likes of Mel Tormé (who first recorded it in 1949), Ella Fitzgerald and Jo Stafford. Arguably it was Elvis Presley”s sombre 1956 version thast appeared on his debut LP that returned Blue Moon to the world of popular music (the single of it was released between Hound Dog and Blue Suede Shoes). Sam Cooke released his version in 1958, as a b-side. It became a huge hit in the version by the multiracial doo wop band The Marcels, whose recording is probably the best known of the song.

As so often with popular covers that became huge hits, The Marcels recorded Blue Moon in 1961 as an afterthought. Producer Stu Phillips needed another song, one of the band members knew Blue Moon and taught it to the others, and in a matter of two takes the track had been laid down. The bom-bapa-bom intro came from a song the Marcels had in their live repertoire, which in turn was borrowed and sped up from The Collegians” song Zoom Zoom Zoom.  The Marcels were not the first to produce a doo wop version of Blue Moon, however: in 1956 The Emanons released a doo wop take on Josie Records.

The success of Blue Moon and follow-up single Heartaches (also a cover of a 1930s hit; they did a lot of that) led to extra touring for The Marcels. But in the South the band”s racial composition produced problems; those were the days when the dignified Nat “˜King” Cole was prone to assault racists. Ultimately, the two white members of the quintet left the group.

When Rod Stewart recorded Blue Moon for his interminable series of American Songbook albums, he added something of as twist: a first verse in Rodgers and Hart”s original composition of Blue Moon which everybody else has ignored.

The Blue Moon Song Swarm planned for later this month will feature several of the versions mentioned above and listed below.

Also recorded by: Frankie Trumbauer & his Orchestra (1934), Benny Goodman with Helen Ward (1935), Ray Noble with Al Bowlly (1935), Django Reinhardt (1935), Belle Baker (1935), Greta Keller (1935), Coleman Hawkins (1935), Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra  (1939), Gene Krupa (1939), Charlie and his Orchestra (1943), The Cozy Cole All Stars (1944), Vaughn Monroe (1945), Georgie Auld & his Orchestra (1946), Mel Tormé (1949), Billy Eckstine (1949), Billie Holiday (1952), Eri Chiemi (1952), Jo Stafford (1952), Dizzy Gillespie (1954), Oscar Peterson Trio (1954), Blossom Dearie (1955), Louis Armstrong (1955), Art Tatum (1955), Ella Fitzgerald (1956), Julie London (1958), Sam Cooke (1958), Russell Garcia & Roy Eldridge (1958), Mel Tormé (1960), Bert Kaempfert Orchester (1960), Billy Taylor (1960), Conway Twitty (1960), Frank Sinatra (1961), Art Blakey Jazz Messengers (1962), The Ventures (1961), Cliff Richard & The Shadows (1961), Bobby Vinton (1963), Dean Martin (1964), Liza Minnelli (1964), Amalia Rodrigues (1965), Thyfonerne (as Desert Walk, 1965), The Supremes (1967), Bob Dylan (1970), Lee Perry’s Upsetters (1971), Sha Na Na (1971), Tony Bennett & Ella Fitzgerald (1973), Showaddywaddy (1974), Mud (1974), Spooky & Sue  (1975), Gene Summers (1975), Robert de Niro & Mary Kay (1977), Cornell Campbell (1979), César Camargo Mariano (1983), Elkie Brooks (1984), New Edition (1986), Cowboy Junkies (1988), Herb Ellis & Red Mitchell (1989), Mark Isham with by Tanita Tikaram (1990), Isabelle Aubret (1991), Daniel Ash (1991), Message (1993), Chris Isaak (1994), Bengt Hallberg (1994),Tommy Emmanuel (1995), Mina (1995), The Mavericks (1995), Estrada Brothers (1996), Less Than Jake (1996), Da Vinci’s Notebook (1997), The Huntingtons (1997), MxPx (1997), Vidal Brothers (as part of medley, 1997), Course of Empire (1998), Samantha Mumba (2002), John Alford (2002), Tommy Emmanuel CGP (2005), Rod Stewart featuring Eric Clapton (2004), My Morning Jacket (2006), Orange and Lemons (2006), Ann Hampton Callaway (2006), Helmut Lotti (2007), Joe Robinson (2007) a.o.

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Glenn Miller Orchestra – At Last (1942).mp3
Ray Anthony with Tom Mercer – At Last (1952).mp3
Nat “˜King” Cole – At Last (1957).mp3
Etta James ““ At Last (1960).mp3
Stevie Wonder – At Last (1969).mp3

When Beyoncé Knowles was invited to sing At Last “” Barack and Michelle”s special song “” at one of the many Obama inauguration events in January 2009, Etta James was not best pleased. The veteran soul singer stated her dislike for the younger singer, who had portrayed Etta in the film about the Chess label, Cadillac Records. “That woman; singing my song, she gonna get her ass whupped,” James declared (she later relegated her outburst to the status of a “joke”).

It is her song, of course, certainly in the form covered so competently by Beyoncé. But many people recorded it before her, and it was a hit at least twice. The first incarnation came in the 1941 movie Orchestra Wives, in which it was performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, who also recorded the first version to be released on record on 20 May 1942. Doing vocal duties were Ray Eberle and Pat Friday. A month later, Miller fired Eberle for being late for a gig; the hapless singer had been stuck in traffic. Written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren (they also wrote Chattanooga Choo Choo, and Warren wrote hits such as That’s Amoré and I Only Have Eyes For You), At Last “” with I”ve Got A Gal In Kalamazoo on the flip side (and, it seems, nominal A-side) “” was a #9 hit for Miller.

At Last became a hit again ten years later, for Ray Anthony with Tom Mercer on vocals. This version is typical 1950s easy listening fare, done much better in 1957 by Nat “˜King” Cole (who tended to do music much better than most people).

In 1960 Etta James recorded the song, with Phil and Leonard Chess producing with a view to accomplishing crossover success (the same year she contributed backing vocals on labelmate Chuck Berry”s Back In The USA). Her version, released on Chess subsidiary Argo, was a #2 R&B hit in 1961, but crossover success was limited, reaching only #47 in the pop charts. Over the years it did manage to cross over, being especially popular at weddings. As a result, it has been covered prodigiously, by soul singers (such as the wonderful Laura Lee and, in a gloriously upbeat version, Stevie Wonder), folk legends (Joni Mitchell) and difficult listening merchants (Céline Dion, Michael F. Bolton and Kenny G) alike.

Also recorded by: Connie Haines (1942), Geraldo and his Orchestra (1942), Miles Davis (1953), Chet Baker (1953), The Four Freshmen (1960), Baby Face Willette (1961), Lloyd Price (1961), Urbie Green (1961), Ben E. King (1962), Shirley Scott (1962), Brenda Lee (1963), Judy Garland (1964), Mary Wells (1964), Doris Day (1965), Baby Washington (1968), Stevie Wonder (1969), Laura Lee (1972), Randy Crawford (1977), The Fatback Band (1978), Ella Fitzgerald (1983), Lou Rawls & Dianne Reeves (1989), Phoebe Snow (1991), Diane Schuur & B.B. King (1994), Michelle Willson (1994), Stevie Nicks (1999), Günther Neefs (1999), Joni Mitchell (2000), Eva Cassidy (2000), Monica Mancini (2000), David McLeod (2000), Mary Coughlan (2002), Celine Dion (2002), Mary Coughlan (2002), Julia DeMato (2003), Cyndi Lauper (2003), Christina Aguilera (2003), Lavelle White (2003), Julia DeMato (2003), Michael Bolton (2004), The Frank Collett Trio (2005), Kenny G. feat Arturo Sandoval (2005), Michael Feinstein & George Shearing (2005), Raul Malo (2006), Aretha Franklin (2007), Ida Sand (2007), Beyoncé (2008), Kevin Michael (2009), Jaimee Paul (2009), Lynda Carter (2009), Daphne Loves Derby (2009), Stephanie Lapointe (2009), Stacey Solomon (2010), Liza Minnelli (2010), Brandy (2010), Paloma Faith (2010), a.o

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Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra – Dream A Little Dream Of Me (1931).mp3
Doris Day – Dream A Little Dream Of Me (1957).mp3
Mama Cass – Dream A Little Dream Of Me (1968).mp3
The Beautiful South – Les Yeux Ouverts (1995).mp3

Dream A Little Dream Of Me is one of those songs where one cannot pinpoint a definitive performance or hit version. To some, it”s Mama Cass” song. Others will remember it as Frankie Laine”s or Ella Fitzgerald”s song. Sign me up to the former group.

Written by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt “” there are claims that one Milton Adolphus wrote it “”with lyrics by Gus Kahn (whose My Baby Just Cares For Me we encountered in The Originals Vol. 24), it was first recorded on 16 February 1931 by Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra, with Ozzie on vocals and Jack Teagarden on trombone, beating Wayne King”s orchestra by two days.  Ozzie, who had a radio and then TV show with his wife Harriet Hilliard and two sons “” the late rock & roll singer Ricky Nelson and the TV producer David, who died in January “” got his break in 1930 when as an unknown he won a popularity poll by the New York Daily News. Realising that kiosk vendors claimed for unsold newspapers with only the torn-off front page, Ozzie and pals picked up the discarded newspapers and filled in the poll forms in their favour. The ruse worked, and throughout the 1930s, Ozzie and his orchestra enjoyed a fine run of success “” even if their version of Dream A Little Dream Of Me was not a hit.

The song seems to have maintained a presence in many concert repertoires. Kate Smith is said to have used the song, which she recorded in 1931, as a signature tune.  But it made a big comeback with the versions by Laine and Fitzgerald only in 1950. It made the rounds in the jazz and easy listening circles, but it required the death of one of its co-writers to cross over into pop.

Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas grew up knowing Fabian André as a family friend. When he died in 1967, after falling down an elevator shaft, she (or possibly Cass Elliott) proposed that the band record the song Michelle remembered from her childhood. A decision was made that Cass should sing it solo, and when the song was released as a single, it was credited in the US to Mama Cass with the Mamas and the Papas (elsewhere just to Mama Cass). A re-recorded version also appeared on Cass” debut album, not coincidentally titled Dream A Little Dream.  Do check out Doris Day”s version; aside from Cass” gorgeous interpretation it is my favourite.

Also recorded by: Wayne King and his Orchestra (1931), Kate Smith (1931), Nat “˜King” Cole Trio (ca 1948), Ella Fitzgerald (1950), Frankie Laine (1950), Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald With Sy Oliver and His Orchestra (1950), Jack Owens (1950), Joe Newman Octet (1955), Doris Day (1957), Bing Crosby (1957), Dean Martin (1959), Tony Martin (1960), Joni James (1962), Enoch Light (1967), Tony Mottola with The Groovies (1968), Anita Harris (1968), Sylvie Vartan (as Nostalgy and Les Yeux Ouverts, 1969), Henry Mancini (1969), Mills Brothers (1969), Mickey Thomas & Mel Tormé (1989), Enzo Enzo (as Les yeux ouverts, 1990), Laura Fygi (1991), Micky Dolenz (1991), Maria Muldaur and Friends (1992), Gerry Mulligan Quartet (1994), The Beautiful South (two versions in 1995), Terry Hall & Salad (1995), Chicago (1995), Sharon, Lois & Bram (1995), Flying Pickets (1996), Candye Kane (1998), Denny Doherty (1999), Ephemera (2000), Gene Nery (2000), Tony Bennett & k.d. lang (2002), Molly Ryan (2002), Rozz Williams (2003), My Morning Jacket (2004), Anne Murray (2004), Béraud and the Birds (2004), Bucky Pizzarelli & Frank Vignola (2005), Dala (2005), Arielle Dombasle (2006), Diana Krall (2007), Blind Guardian (2007), Claw Boys Claw (2008), Jimmy Demers (2008), Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester (2008), Helen Schneider (2008), Mark Weber (2008), Matthieu Boré (2009), Nicole Atkins (2009), Erasure (2009), Michael Bublé (2010), OC Times (2010), Glee (sung by Arti, 2010) a.o.

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More Originals

Unrequited love again

November 6th, 2009 7 comments

The theme of unrequited love continues to provide a goldmine, and we’re not even close to even scratching the surface! It’s a universal thing, of course; most people have had a bout of unrequited love. If it was infatuation, they got over it fairly soon. If it really was love, they bear the scars forever. Or at least until they find another true love. Surveying the search engine terms that bring visitors here, there are many people looking for music to soundtrack their lovelorn existence (there are also lots of hits for the songs about impossible love, which tells you all you need to know about just how fucked up a thing romance is). Anyway, if he or she doesn’t love you back, remember to love yourself.

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Cat Stevens – Here Comes My Baby (1967).mp3
cat_stevensWell, it does sound like everything is well with the still beardless Cat. He”s taking a walk at midnight, which is nice. But soon we are alerted that all is, in fact, not well, for the mile he walks is not only long (as miles go), but also lonely. And he keeps “seeing this picture of you”. Which is were the songtitle comes in. But, oh no, she”s not alone: “It comes as no surprise to me, [she”s] with another guy”. And things don”t look like she”ll dump the chump any time soon: “Walking with a love, with a love that”s all so fine. Never could be mine, no matter how I try.” So is Cat entirely discouraged and looking to move on? Is he fuck! Like anybody in unrequited love, he hangs on to that thread of hope woven from the strands of a particularly thin cobweb: “I”m still waiting for your heart, because I”m sure that some day it”s gonna start.” Let”s make a bet it won”t, Cat. The loser turns Muslim.

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Warren Zevon – A Certain Girl (1980).mp3
zevonZevon is having a conversation about his unrequited love “” and not just unrequited love, but the dreaded frienditis “”coyly refusing to reveal the name (aaah!) of the “certain chick I”ve been sweet on since I met her”, which is “a long, long time” ago. He resolves that “someday I”m going to wake up and say: “˜I”ll do anything just to be your slave””. In the interim he”ll do what most guys in unrequited love do: procrastinate, hoping that the girl will suddenly realise that actually she is in love with him. Which she won”t, not because Warren refers to her as a “chick”, but because, as she will point out, it”ll destroy the fucking friendship.

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Earth, Wind & Fire ““ Wait (1979).mp3
Frienditis is indeed a bastard. Here, our singer is suffering his frienditis with a heroic and surprisingly jaunty optimism, as though he is inebriated with the godfather of self-help books, The Power Of Positve Thinking. “To wait, it takes love that”s for real”, and if his love is authentic, he reasons, reciprocity is inevitable. The certainty “” not just mere hope “” that she will eventually fall for him sustains him. All he needs is patience, that great source of succor for the poor devils suffering from frienditis: “It”s crazy if you think we”re just friends. Loving when infatuation ends. The wait for you, baby it now begins.” He seems to pick up mixed signals “” “You sigh, when I come close to your heart” “” which persuade him that she shall come around (“someday you”ll grow”). Of course, these sighs might be prompted by her discomfort at his clumsy moves, perhaps because she knows how he feels, and how she feels, and that there will be one broken heart and the end of a friendship.

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Sam Cooke – Cupid (live, 1963).mp3
sam_cookeAh, a Cupid who unquestioningly follows orders would be a fine thing. Alas, the best alternative, if one wishes to invoke imaginary entities, is to outline your predicament with a plea for intercession. Sam, heard here in his live performance at the Harlem Square Club, states his case to Cupid with humility and urgency: “Now, I don”t mean to bother you, but I”m in distress. There”s danger of me losin” all of my happiness, for I love a girl who doesn”t know I exist. And this you can fix.” He knows Cupid”s methods “” “draw back your bow and let your arrow go straight to my lover”s heart for me” “” and makes a pretty big pledge should Cupid choose to make “a love storm” for him: “I promise I will love her until eternity”. Ah, go on then Cupid, let”s test the dude”s ambitious promise.

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Pete Yorn – A Girl Like You (2001).mp3
yornIf you can”t get the one you want, aspire for a clone. That”s what Pete Yorn is doing on this rather good bonus track from his musicforthemorningafter album: “Some day I”ll look into her green eyes and know that she”ll come with me ““ a girl like you. Tomorrow I think I”ll tell you something, the thing that I haven”t said ““ to a girl like you.” The poor girl-like-her will, of course, be just a proxy, forever liable to be compared to Unrequited-love Girl, and possibly hear Pete moaning Unrequited-love Girl”s name in the throes of passion. And, unless Pete isn”t just throwing a strop here, he might pass on some perfectly great girls who don”t have green eyes”¦

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Liz Phair – Extraordinary (2003).mp3
phairAn anthem for the outsider girl in love with a guy who she thinks has too high expectations. He might see her as average, but she thinks of herself as extraordinary. And not just ordinarily extraordinary; she”s “your ordinary, average, every day sane psycho supergoddess”. And she”ll go to extraordinary measures to get him (or at least his attention); “I drive naked through the park, and run the stop sign in the dark; stand in the street, yell out my heart”¦To make you love me.” I can”t quite put my finger on it, but there probably is a good reason why the guy isn”t falling for Liz.

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Mama Cass Elliott – I Can Dream, Can”t I? (1969).mp3
cassThe story of Cass” life in the “60s was defined by her unrequited love for Papa Denny Doherty, with whom she started on the road to stardom in the Mugwumps. So when she sang about unrequited love (as she did with Denny on Glad To Be Unhappy) in this beautiful version of the old standard, she did so from her broken heart, the pain of which is palliated by daydreaming. She doesn”t go into the specifics of her reverie, other than “that I”m locked in the bend of your embrace”. She takes a frequent reality check as she justifies why she won”t give up on her dream: “I can see no matter how near you”ll be, you”ll never belong to me. But I can dream, can”t I?”

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Wilco – I’m The Man Who Loves You (2002).mp3
Tweedy goes all poetic on us, blathering on about unsent love letters and dropping metaphors about him apparently being like the sea. Basically your average victim of unrequited love who can”t find the right words to say. And then he nails it when he makes the most basic observation: “But if I could, you know, I would just hold your hand and you”d understand: I”m the man who loves you.” Sometimes that works better than complex literal devices.

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Indigo Girls – Ghost (1992).mp3
The spectre of a person the singer was in love with (unrequited, death; though a line in the first verse suggests that it might have been a failed adolescent relationship) lingers still, and does terrible injury. “And time passed makes it plain, of all my demon spirits I need you the most. I”m in love with your ghost.” She has sexual dreams about the person which just add to the pain: “When I wake, the things I dreamt about you last night make me blush. And you kiss me like a lover, then you sting me like a viper.” The protagonist is trapped by a love that will never find expression: “Unknowing captor, you never know how much you pierce my spirit. But I can”t touch you. Can you hear it? A cry to be free. Oh, I”m forever under lock and key as you pass through me.”

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Merle Haggard – Always Wanting You (1975).mp3
merleApparently a song about Dolly Parton. As country singers do, Merle is telling Dolly, and us, exactly how he feels: “Always wanting you but never having you makes it hard to face tomorrow, “cause I know I”ll be wanting you again. Always loving you but never touching you sometimes hurts me almost more than I can stand.” And there he had thought that he had it all together. The song could go into the post on love that can”t be, and maybe that”s where it belongs, since there seemed to have been “a yearning and a feeling across the room that you felt for me”, suggesting that Merle”s feelings were reciprocated, if not actually acted on. Of course, when a relationship isn”t possible, love remains unrequited even when the sentiments are reciprocal. Either way, Merle regrets knowing her: “I”d been better off if I”d turned away and never looked at you the second time.”

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Heads and senses

November 2nd, 2009 1 comment

iris

Very occasionally a group of people get together on the Touchedmix blog and post mixes on a particular theme. Last week, the theme was HEADS, with their features and their functions. I thought readers of this little corner of the music blogosphere might be interested in the two mixes I banged together.

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OVER MY HEAD MIX
1. Aztec Camera ““ Head Is Happy (Heart”s Insane) (1985)
2. Crowded House ““ Pineapple Head (live) (1996/2006)
3. Johnny Cash ““ Mean Eyed Cat (1996)
4. The Dillards ““ I”ve Just Seen A Face (1968)
5. The Holmes Brothers ““ Smiling Face Hiding A Weeping Heart (2006)
6. Paul Anka ““ Eyes Without A Face (2006)
7. The Undisputed Truth ““ Smiling Faces Sometimes (1971)
8. Justine Washington ““ I Can”t Wait Until I See My Baby”s Face (1964)
9. The Flamingos ““ I Only Have Eyes For You (1959)
10. Mississippi Sheikhs ““ I”ve Got Blood in My Eyes For You (1938)
11. Robert Mitchum ““ Mama Looka Boo Boo (Shut Your Mouth-Go Away) (1958)
12. Emile Ford & the Checkmates ““ Them There Eyes (1960)
13. Lewis Taylor ““ Blue Eyes (2000)
14. Andrew Bird ““ A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left (2005)
15. Nada Surf ““ The Way You Wear Your Head (2002)
16. The Sweet ““ The Lies In Your Eyes (1975)
17. Ben Folds ““ Doctor My Eyes (2002)
18. Josh Ritter ““ One More Mouth (2006)
19. Kaki King ““ Saving Days In A Frozen Head (2008)
20. The Lilac Time ““ The Darkness Of Her Eyes (1991)
21. Thomas Dybdahl ““ Pale Green Eyes (2009)
22. Ryan Adams ““ Halloweenhead (2007)
23. The Cardigans ““ Give Me Your Eyes (2005)

DOWNLOAD

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Justine Washington is better known as Baby Washington; this is the original version of the song covered to good effect by Dusty Springfield.

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SENSES WORKING OVERTIME MIX
1. David Bowie ““ Can You Hear Me (1975)
2. Tim Buckley ““ I Can”t See You (1966)
3. Herman Düne ““ I Wish That I Could See You Soon (2006)
4. Devics ““ If We Cannot See (2006)
5. Richard Hawley ““ Can You Hear The Rain, Love (2001)
6. Scott Walker ““ You”re Gonna Hear From Me (1967)
7. The Righteous Brothers ““ See That Girl (1965)
8. Chris Montez ““ The More I See You (1966)
9. Cass Elliot ““ I”ll Be Seeing You (1973)
10. Blind Boy Fuller ““ What”s That Smells Like Fish (1938)
11. Smiley Lewis ““ I Hear You Knocking (1955)
12. The Supremes ““ I Hear A Symphony (1965)
13. Jim Messina ““ Seeing You (For The First Time) (1979)
14. Baby Huey ““ Listen To Me (1971)
15. The Jesus and Mary Chain ““ Taste Of Cindy (1985)
16. K”s Choice ““ A Sound That Only You Can Hear (1995)
17. Mull Historical Society ““ Watching Xanadu (2001)
18. Ron Sexsmith & Don Kerr ““ Listen (2005)
19. Rosanne Cash ““ I Was Watching You (2006)
20. The Magic Numbers ““ I See You, You See Me (2005)
21. Paul Anka ““ Smells Like Teen Spirit (2005)

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Twattery in Pop: Rush Limbaugh

July 3rd, 2009 6 comments

What, you may demand imploringly, connects sweaty, saliva-dispersing self-parodist Rush Limbaugh with the world of pop (of course there is no question as to what connects the putrescent pusbucket to twattery)? Has Rush recorded an album of his favourite Motown songs, adding his own twist to the lyrics; perhaps adapting Smokey Robinson & the Miracle”s hit named after Mickey Stephenson autobiographically to read Cheney”s Monkey? Has Limbaugh praised the humanitarian work of Bono, or the operatic stylings of Michael Fucking Bolton, or the art of Yoko Ono (well, obviously not, though he seems psychotic enough to own the complete canon of MFB”s artistry)? Was Rush perhaps ghastly to some of my favourite artists, such as the Weepies or the Carpenters?

Rush Limbaugh

No, on Wednesday Rush Limbaugh contrived to wind his fusilli mind into a palomar knot by virtually blaming Barack Obama for the death of Michael Jackson. Spunk-silo”s take on MJ”s death: “Jackson”s success, if you stop and think of it [amusingly Limbaugh listeners are being asked to THINK!] and this is going to really irritate some people, which I will enjoy doing “” Jackson”s success paralleled the rebound of the United States under Ronaldus Magnus [that would be Ronald Reagan whose decomposed salad Sweat-wit is tossing]. Michael Jackson”s biggest successes, and as it turns out his final successes, real successes took place in the eighties. That was Billie Jean, Thriller and all this. I mean he was as weird as he could be [says Rush fucking Limbaugh!] but he was profoundly, because of his weirdness, an individual. He wasn”t a group member [except when he was, of course. Rush evidently couldn”t feel it]. He reached a level of success that may never be equalled. He flourished under Reagan [but his best record, the wildly successful Off The Wall, was a hit under Carter, pop fans]; he languished under Clinton-Bush; and died under Obama. Let”s hope the parallel does not continue.” (Full story here)

I actually don”t think that Limbaugh is as stupid as to believe the ignorant, noxious shit he is disgorging upon the public. His “hilarious” shtick is to try and wind up liberals with such associations. If it wasn”t a sideshow, there”d be no reason why he has not been committed to a caring institution for lobotomised patients. In fairness, he signals his pitiful intent when he says: “this is going to really irritate some people, which I will enjoy doing”. It isn”t really what Limbaugh is saying that is irritating “Them Liberals”; it”s the idea that there are some very dull-witted people who take him and his likes seriously.

I must concede though that the clammy wankmonster “” who in older times would have made an accomplished ass-raping bishop of Bath and Wells “” might be on to something. Think about all the great celebrity icons who have died. Almost all of them kicked the bucket on the watch of a Democratic president. Jimmy Carter”s reign was particularly grim: Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Bing Crosby, Charlie Chaplin”¦ Bill Clinton has Frank Sinatra, Princess in the Wind and, er, Kurt Cobain to answer for. JFK died during the JFK presidency, as did Marilyn Monroe and Patsy Cline, while Jim Reeves crashed under LBJ. Lately only Johnny Cash, being Johnny Cash, bucked the trend. And there Madonna was happy that Obama was elected.

But Limbaugh”s theory of Democratic culpability in celebrity mortality does fall flat. Consider the victims of the Nixon presidency: Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Parsons and Elliott. Of those, only Cass died a natural death (and even that is disputed by ham sandwich conspiracists). Makes you think, no?

In the case of Michael Jackson, however, I am disinclined to indict Obama. More likely, on the morning of Thursday, 25 June, MJ found his transistor radio had been mistuned. As he surfed the dial he stumbled upon the depraved sound of Rush Limbaugh vomiting his bigotry all over the airwaves, and decided that he could no longer live in a world where that anal itch on humanity “” and his idiot listeners “” are allowed to exist. And here”s the kicker: my theory makes a zillion times more sense than any of Limbaugh”s deranged splutterings.

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And to celebrate dead celebs:

Frank Sinatra – High Hopes With John Kennedy (1960).mp3
Marilyn Monroe – Happy Birthday, Mr President (1962).mp3
Patsy Cline – I Fall To Pieces (1961).mp3
Michael Jackson – Ain”t No Sunshine (1972).mp3
Cass Elliott – I’m Coming To The Best Part Of My Life (1973).mp3
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (Alternate Take 5) (1956).mp3
Jimi Hendrix – Star Sprangled Banner (1969).mp3
Gram Parsons – Big Mouth Blues (1973).mp3

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