Archives » Music

Live It Up 47: The Way It Is

I’m sure you were expecting this. You know how my mind works. I just held it over for an extra week.

A wonderful piece of piano playing from 1986.

Bruce Hornsby And The Range: The Way It Is

The Moon’s Movements

Taken from You Tube via Astronomy Picture of the Day for 12/9/18.

All the ways the Moon moves in a year. Courtesy of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. For full explanation see the 12/9/18 link.

(The soundtrack they’ve used is Johann Strauss II’s An der schönen blauen Donau known in English as The Blue Danube, which of course brings to mind the docking sequence from the film of 2001: A Space Odyssey.)

Live It Up 46: Assassing

Another one from before Marillion became big.

I hadn’t heard this version of the song till I looked it up for this post. On the basis of hearing Punch and Judy and the band’s performance on The Oxford Road Show I bought the album it’s from (Fugazi, the first Marillion record I ever bought) and the track on there is over 7 minutes long.

This is a somewhat brutal edit for the single release (and, I assume, radio play.)

Marillion: Assassing (7” edit)

The longer album version is here, should you wish to sample it.

Something Changed 13: The Life of Riley

Another decade ticked over and The Lightning Seeds got even better.

I remember this song as being the musical background to a montage of football clips on the BBC’s Saturday lunchtime Football Focus when it was a part of Grandstand (remember that?) but I may be confusing it with Bruce Hornby (and the Range)’s The Way It Is as Wiki has The Life of Riley as the theme set behind Match of the Day’s Goal of the Month.

Whatever, it’s another piece of joyful pop.

The Lightning Seeds: The Life of Riley

Friday on my Mind 173: You Only Live Twice

After From Russia with Love we were treated to the big bashing of both Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones in Goldfinger and Thunderball respectively in subsequent Bond theme songs. By the time of You Only Live Twice things had been dialled down a bit. I must say I like the guitar counterpoint under the verses (mirroring the strings in the intro but extending the melody by a few notes.) Robbie Williams, of course, paid homage to this theme in his hit Millennium.

By the way. Is it heretical to be of the opinion that Nancy Sinatra was a better singer than her dad?

Nancy Sinatra: You Only Live Twice

Friday on my Mind 172: From Russia With Love

Reading the book (see my review, four or five posts ago) reminded me of this Bond theme song from the time when Bond theme songs weren’t a thing. It does, though, give me an opportunity once more to feature the vocal talents of Matt Monro.

The song itself is a perfect example of the songwriter’s craft. The slight change in the melody from line one to line two, the way the first verse’s lyrics circle back to the first phrase, the sequential rhyming of places and faces, then tongue-tied and young pride and the rise to the final note.

Matt Monro: From Russia With Love

Friday on my Mind 171: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – RIP Aretha Franklin

Another giant of 60s (and later) music has gone.

Aretha Franklin was undoubtedly the best purveyor of the branch of music she excelled in. Not for nothing was she known as the Queen of Soul.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman wasn’t a hit in Britain. I’m not sure if it was ever released as one in the UK but her expression in this recording is the epitome of soul.

Aretha Franklin: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Her biggest solo hit in the UK in terms of chart placing was actually I Say a Little Prayer, in 1968:-

Aretha Franklin: I Say a Little Prayer

But only one word suffices to describe her achievements.

Respect.

Aretha Louise Franklin: 25/3/1942 – 16/8/2018. So it goes.

Live It Up 45: Pure

Just a piece of perfect pop. From 1989.

The Lightning Seeds: Pure

Reelin’ In the Years 152: Poor Boy Blues

Again speaking of Stuart Henry, he must have had a soft spot for Barclay James Harvest. In his Saturday morning show on Radio 1 he later began to use the, “So goodbye, pleased to know you. We had some laughs along the way. But I have to be leaving and there’s nothing you can do to make me stay,” refrain from this song – in its second iteration at 2.23 to 2.48 minutes in – as a jingle when he was about to hand over to the next broadcaster.

Barclay James Harvest: Poor Boy Blues

Friday on my Mind 170: Early Morning

Speaking of Stuart Henry this is a track I remember him championing when he first started broadcasting for Radio 1.

It later featured on the first Barclay James Harvest album I bought, the retrospective compilation Early Morning Onwards which EMI put out on a budget label when the group jumped ship – or were they pushed? – to Polydor.

I probably liked Early Morning at the time due to the mellotron. Still do now.

Barclay James Harvest: Early Morning

free hit counter script