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Live It Up 49: Steamy Windows – RIP Tony Joe White

I was sad to read of the passing of singer-songwriter Tony Joe White, who died last week. His was an idiosyncratic voice.

I have already noted his sole UK hit Groupy Girl. His greatest success was perhaps as a writer of songs made famous by others. Elvis Presley recorded Polk Salad Annie (I featured White’s version here.) Tina Turner had a big hit with Steamy Windows in 1989. White’s version is a bit less strident.

Tony Joe White: Steamy Windows

White’s breakthrough as a songwriter came with Rainy Night in Georgia which has been covered multiple times. His original is still quite soulful, though.

Tony Joe White: Rainy Night in Georgia

Tony Joe White: 23/7/1943 –24/10/2018. So it goes.

Live It Up 48: Good Tradition

Tanita Tikaram had an unusual background for a 1980s pop star, born in Germany to a Indo-Fijian father and Sarawakian mother, moving to England in her teens.

This is one of those jaunty-sounding pop songs which has a lyric that hints at something darker.

Tanita Tikaram: Good Tradition

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

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.

Live It Up 45: Pure

Just a piece of perfect pop. From 1989.

The Lightning Seeds: Pure

Live It Up 44: Satellite

Another space connection.

It does remind me a bit of Safety Dance by Men Without Hats, though, which was no. 17 in this Live It Up category.

The Hooters: Satellite

Live It Up 43: Only You

A few weeks ago I featured Yazoo’s Nobody’s Diary. Their first hit had been Only You which they took to no. 2 in 1982.

The Flying Pickets went one better a year later scoring a no. 1 with their a capella version.

Here’s them miming on German TV.

The Flying Pickets: Only You

And this is the original, with the somewhat weird video.

Yazoo: Only You

Live It Up 42: Nobody’s Diary

Vince Clarke – in 1982 very recently ex of Depeche Mode – hit on a wonderful combination of electronica and traditional when he formed Yazoo with the distinctively voiced Alison Moyet – or Alf as she was known when she first hit the public consciousness.

They never had a no. 1 but this was a no. 3 for them in 1983.

Yazoo: Nobody’s Diary

Live It Up 41: – Market Square Heroes

This was the one that started it all off for Marillion in a singles sense but I didn’t come across it for a few years after its first release once I was catching up with their back catalogue after the release of their second album Fugazi.

There are some thematic similarities here with The Knife, the last track on Genesis’s second album Trespass.

Marillion: Market Square Heroes

Live It Up 40: Waiting for a Train – RIP George Young

Another string to George Young’s bow was the group Flash and the Pan which he set up with co-writer Harry Vanda and whose biggest hit in the UK was Waiting for a Train.

Flash and the Pan: Waiting for a Train

George Redburn Young: 6/11/1946 – 22/10/2017. So it goes.

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