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New Wave

New Wave... was a period of music during the late 70's to the early eighties and identified as a departure from the Punk Rock scene. It developed into a more diverse 'grass roots' pop oriented if you will, music that became much more commercially viable. So named from the "La Nouvelle Vague" (New Wave) cinema from France that was instrumental in turning movie making away from the more traditional approach. New wave was not a genre as artists from all over with different types and styles of music began getting lumped in together. There were many artists that came from Punk music roots to transition into more mainstream production, I've mentioned a few in past posts but to me the best example is The Clash. Firmly rooted in Punk Rock since 1974 its collective members formed one of the leading bands to come out of the UK at that time. They are important to the 'New Wave' movement with their 1979 album 'London Calling' and the title track &q

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #1-25

25 of the Greatest Cover Songs Nothing quite grabs the attention more than a list of the greatest this or that, so at 85 posts about cover songs I thought it about time to get to it. As I advised with my other 'Greatest' posts we all have our favorites so anytime there is a list, something or someone 'great' gets left off. And the debate ensues, why is this and that at #11 not #4 and vise versa. My list therefore, shall be no different for it is not scientific but subjective and it is biased by my own tastes and exposure to music. Having said that it's hard for me to have missed many of the truly great cover songs of all time, indeed I think I've talked about quite a few: "Respect" from the writer and original recording  Otis Redding  and a cover she made her own, the Queen of Soul  Aretha Franklin . More about the song and  Aretha  in these posts. Before I get to some cover's I've not mentioned, here are more songs from my previous is

Nina Simone

“ Central Park Blues ” (1958) written by Nina Simone. From her debut album 'Little Girl Blue'. While best remembered for her vocal talents, Nina shows off her considerable chops at the piano. On the same album her cover of  " I Loves You Porgy " from the opera 'Porgy and Bess' (George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin). This would be her highest ranking hit on Billboard at #18 on the Pop chart and #5 on the R&B. The video clip shows how brilliant she was and how effortless her piano playing appears, she was quite remarkable. Born in North Carolina, Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003) she was a student at the Juilliard School of Music. She changed her name when she was performing in nightclubs in Atlantic City, which is when she started to add vocals to her piano playing. She was really only interested in classical music and studies, so performing using pop music and later recording (income) was used to pursue just that. “ My B

Happy Independence Day (updated)

Happy Independence Day/4 th of July to our American Cousins! Seems appropriate we ( July 1, in Canada) have our birthdays so close together. And a hello to my new readers from blogarama.com ! When it comes to cover songs, I will never run out of blog ideas from the south, particularly when it comes to the roots of the blues, country and rock. Today I wanted to find some songs about the USA that focus on a Patriotic theme (not hard to find) but also have been a) covered by other artists and b) some that are not necessarily as 'pro' or at least painting a not so positive light on an aspect of American society and c) have been perhaps mis-interpreted by some. “ Born in the U.S.A .” written by Bruce Springsteen from the album of the same name released in June 1984. My youngest sister and I went to see Bruce at the CNE stadium during this tour in July 1985, as always with Bruce, a great show. I have attached a link that includes lyrics, so you can see that this s

1969

1969 The year in music Being fifty years ago, this year has of course received a lot of attention. While I'm no historian, I will go back to some of the moments in 1969 music history and some of  the songs that are still being covered today. A good indicator of popularity at the time is my oft used reference of the 'Billboard' charts. However as I've indicated several times in past posts some of the greatest songs of our time did not chart well at all and many a number one song has long been forgotten. While this year-end #1 Billboard Hot 100 song is a lot of fun, it's hardly one of the most enduring songs nor of such substance we'd choose to immortalize. " Sugar, Sugar " performed by the 'Archies' and written by Andy Kim and Jeff Barry. The original 'Archies' are an American fictional band consisting of Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, Jughead Jones, Veronica Lodge, and Betty Cooper from the 'Archie' comics TV series. The

Yesterday

Paul McCartney's iconic song "Yesterday", is now inspiration for a movie. The Movie ' Yesterday ' is due out in theatres on June 28th. Looks like it will be a fun movie, anything with a lot of Beatles songs has to be good. Initial reviews aren't very great but I recall Bohemian Rhapsody was in the same spot, seems it did very well at the box office and at awards shows. Though in this case 'Yesterday' is not autobiographical it is fiction, still one has to think a Beatles Soundtrack is going to do as well or better. At the very least it will remind us of how great The Beatles actually were and that songs still hold up today. The plot of the movie is based on a struggling musician being the only one who remembers 'The Beatles' existed 'yesterday' as 'today' they are absent from everyone's memory. It's a brilliant premise and poses the question, what if these songs did just come out now, how popular would they be? If n

Famous Duets

As in the ' Couples that Sing ' post, I've mentioned some duets in past posts, specifically the number one duet according to Billboard.com, Endless Love . If you follow the Billboard.com list next is a song by Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson which I have chosen not to add, but here is a cover by Louis Delort & Atef Sedkaoui , 'The Voice France' in 2012. Rounding out the top five are " The Boy Is Mine " (1998) Brandy & Monica, " Ebony And Ivory " Paul McCartney once again with Stevie Wonder (1982), and " Dilemma ", Nelly & Kelly Rowland (2002). If we look at RollingStone.com from 2014 the 'duets' readers poll (list) looks like this; " Under Pressure " (1981) written by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and David Bowie, the duet being Freddie and David though I think the rest of Queen was in on that song as well, followed by " Stop Draggin' My Heart Around " (1

Couples that Sing Together

Couples (that sing together don't always stay together) There have been many 'couples' that sing together and I have mentioned several already in previous posts such as;  Johnny Cash and June Carter , Tammy Wynette and George Jones , Tim McGraw and Faith Hill  and  Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood  all from Country Music. While anecdotally we can say that Country Music has the most couples that sing together, and from what I've seen this is indeed the case, what about other genres? In looking at these couples it seems singing together is not a formula for staying together-at least in most cases. Ok I will get this one out of the way real quick, Jay-Z and Beyoncé ! And despite their initial assertions they were brother and sister, Jack and Meg White ( White Stripes ) were married from 1996 to 2000, but performed together until 2011 (not as an unusual situation as you might think). Carly Simon and James Taylor were married from 1972-1983. Then there's the who

World Music

Women of World Music When it comes to music outside of my usual purview, generally that being for the most part Canada, the U.S. and the British Isles, this is what I'll refer to as 'World Music'. Vague definitions aside it is easy for me to decide where to begin. In 1915 in Belleville, Paris, France, a little girl named Édith Giovanna Gassion was abandoned by her mother at birth and dropped off by her father on his way to fight in WW1 to be raised by his mother in her brothel in Bernay, Normandy. There is a story she (and others) had told that she was blind from the ages of 3 to 7 when she was miraculously cured after a religious pilgrimage. By age 14 she had left the brothel and rejoined her father who was a street performing acrobat. She soon met her half sister Simone "Mômone" Berteaut and in 1930 the two began singing and performing together, earning enough to rent their own room at the Grand Hôtel de Clermont. Soon after Édith's boyfriend moved in t

Elton John

Elton John Elton and Bernie 1968 Rocketman , the story of Elton John is due in theatres May 31 Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 25 March 1947 in London, England. Surrounded by music at an early age he learned to play on his grandmother's piano. The young Reginald could play back anything he heard including complex classical compositions. His music career started with his band 'Bluesology' but really began gaining traction when he met Bernie Taupin at Liberty Records, writing songs for people like Roger Cook a noted British songwriter and recording artist who co-wrote " Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) " by the Hollies. His first release as Elton John is now a very rare song " I've Been Loving You " Written entirely by Elton but he gave Bernie songwriting rights to help him establish his publishing credit. He has gone on to become the fifth best selling artist (alb