Friday, May 10, 2019

Burt Bacharach muses on politics

He adored Dusty, drove Cilla to exhaustion and had so many hits he lost count. Now, the 90-year-old says it’s time to get political

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A ranking of 100 — yes, 100 — Christmas songs An opinion piece by Alexandra Petri Columnist for the Washington Post December 7
If you are on the Internet long enough, there comes a year when you will be forced to rank something. Now it is my time. So I am taking the liberty of going through the 100 holiday songs being foisted upon us everywhere and ranking them from Most Especially Heinous to Best. This is probably a good idea, and I feel fit and confident! I bet this will be an easy, pleasant process. I’m amazed I haven’t already compiled several lists just like this!

100.“Little Drummer Boy.” My hatred for this song is well-documented. I think it is because the song takes approximately 18 years to sing and does not rhyme. The concept of the song is bad. The execution of the song is bad. There is not even an actual drum in the dang song, there is just someone saying PA-RUM-PA-PUM-PUM, which, frankly, is not a good onomatopoeia and probably is an insult to those fluent in Drum. I cannot stand it. Nothing will fix it, even the application of David Bowie to it. Every year I say, “I hate this song,” and every year people say, “Have you heard David Bowie’s version?” Yes. Yes, I have. It is still an abomination.

and so Alexandra Petri continues her wry look at her tastes in Christmas Music

I'm surprised at her ranking Dominic The Donkey so high on her list

5. “Dominick the Donkey.” Jiggity-jig! Hee haw! Hee haw! Now I am beginning to see that there is a problem with this list, which is that my taste is very strong and very bad, but I really like this song about a donkey. I love, as a genre, songs that try very hard to make a new seasonal figure happen. This song was like, “I see you, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and I raise you *apparently pulling several names and modifiers from a hat* Dominick, the Italian Christmas Donkey!” These songs always create a problem for their character to solve, or some magic, and I love, too, how prosaic the problem is that Dominick resolves: The reindeer can’t do hills! All hills? No, just Italian hills! Great! More of this, please. Also love the overlap between this song and “Blade Runner.” Not a lot of Christmas songs can pull off what “Dominick the Donkey” does. I am all in on “Dominick the Donkey.” I am a lot of fun on car rides, as I bet you can tell.
4. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” This song has always read as passive-aggressive to me, and I find that enjoyable.
3. “Underneath the Tree.” I wish we lived in a world where one of our biggest complaints, as a society, was that no song since “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been added to the Christmas canon. This should be a BIG complaint! (Also, what a world that would be! No Islamic State!) I think “Underneath the Tree” deserves to be added to the canon. Three reasons: Kelly Clarkson is great; it hits all the Christmas bases in a quick, efficient list (“You’re here, where you should be. / Snow is falling, and the carolers sing. … Presents, such a beautiful sight!”); and it slaps! Let it into the canon!
2. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” My spouse disagrees that the tune of this song is good. He says it is too whimsical. Well, I am 99 items into the list, and there is no turning back now. Unlike other holiday songs, which are saccharine at best and lachrymose at worst, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is just a man facing insult after insult from a deep bass voice with no reference to Christmas whatsoever. It is a welcome reprieve. I am correct to put it here.
1. “Good King Wenceslas.” This is a GREAT song. I never tire of hearing about the only semi-impressive good deeds of this medieval monarch. He made the sod slightly warm! Hooray! Good for you, King Wenceslas! All the rhymes work! Every word is satisfying to sing! WENCESLAS! ON THE FEAST OF STEPHEN! DEEP AND CRISP AND EVEN! What a rollicking, hearty song. WENCESLAS! All songs should be like this. I wish we sang this song year-round.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Jane Bikin updates Serge Gainsbourg

An interesting read, see this link from the BBC

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How is it that the song Moon River became associated with Andy Williams?

With the death of Andy Williams, BBC radio were referring to Andy being remembered for Moon River and that he performed the song at the 1962 Oscar ceremony.
Online BBC says ... He was best known for the song Moon River, the Oscar-winning song featured in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Wikipedia says .. Williams owned the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, named after the song "Moon River", with which he is closely identified.
From what I remember Andy's version was an album cut, the hit singles belonged to Danny Williams in the UK and Jerry Butler in the US?
How is it that the song Moon River became associated with Andy Williams?
Going to the guy who has done the research on what records sold in N.Z. before our chart system got more organised and published, I asked Mark Matheson how did Andy's version do in N.Z.?
Very well, said Mark, It was the flip side to Can’t Get Used To Losing You.
Was played well and the album sold in the thousands.
All three versions sold well here. His would probably the best remembered now I would think as the other two faded out of sight in New Zealand.
He also had huge hits earlier here with “Butterfly” “Lips Of Wine” “I Like Your Kind Of Love” “Lonely Street” “Hawaiian Wedding Song” & “The Village Of St Bernadette” etc.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Engelbert comes second last

Eurovision ends in Swedish win and humiliation for Engelbert Humperdinck UK comes second to last as British fans question wisdom of entering septuagenarian crooner in this year's contest The song sounded OK - maybe not great but not terrible on the Graham Norton Show

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New faces on Sgt Pepper album cover for artist Peter Blake's 80th birthday

Gosh, I'm in my 'Paul McCartney year', as in side 2, track 2 so I got out my old vinyl cover
The story from the Guardian ....
British pop artist Sir Peter Blake has taken inspiration from his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures he most admires as he marks his 80th birthday. Twiggy, Amy Winehouse, Grayson Perry, JK Rowling and even Monty Python's emblematic foot all feature in a reworked version of the 1967 cover created for his birthday celebrations. Blake, often called the godfather of the British pop art scene, said: "I've chosen people I admire, great people and some who are dear friends. "I had a very long list of people who I wanted to go in but couldn't fit everyone in – I think that shows how strong British culture and its legacy of the last six decades is."