Pop

Covers Week: Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You

When it comes to the “theme” of this blog, this choice seems quite a controversial  choice seeing that it is the epitome of pop – both versions. But that is not why this is a controversial choice. This is because both of these songs are unbelievably good versions and picking a better version is actually very difficult. The Dolly Parton version is so good that only Whitney could pull off what she did.

Dolly’s song hit #1 on the Country chart twice in 1974 and in 1982! She wrote the song during the professional parting of ways between her and Porter Wagoner. There’s so much heart and emotion poured into the song. Coupled with her huge voice, this song is beautiful. I really do HATE country music but I make an exception for this version.

Whitney is just Whitney and delivers one of the greatest soul ballads of all time. This song stayed on top of the US Billboard Charts for 14 weeks. No matter what genre of music you are partial too, the talent that Whitney has and portrays through this song makes your spine tingle while making you truly believe in the power of music. I love how the songs starts all unassuming with an a cappella verse then builds to that enormous climax. I remember being bombarded by this tune in 1992 as it was played EVERY WEEK on Pick a Tune on Fridays at 20:00. I don’t think I particularly loved the song back then. It’s very different now when you listen to it critically. You really are left breathless after it – it really is that good. It was a great loss to the world of music when she passed away earlier this year.

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Female Vocal, Folk, Pop

Covers Week: Fleetwood Mac/The Corrs – Dreams

I really like Fleetwood Mac. They’re not the most palatable classic band with many equating them to pop groups that existed with them but there is just something extraordinary about them. Their album Rumours is hauntingly beautiful. The album was written and recorded during breakups (even within the group itself.) A few months ago, I was lucky enough to come across the album in a second hand vinyl store. The album was unopened. I don’t think you understand how excited I was at that moment in time. Their recorded version  of :”Dreams” is amazing. Heartfelt, honest and filled to the brim with their musical genius.

The Corrs are one of my favourite bands (to watch on TV!) I remember coming across them when the UK were going gaga over them. So much so that there was a point when the album Talk on Corners  charted at #1 while their older album, Forgiven not Forgotten was at #2.

This success started with this video, I mean this song. The band was invited by Fleetwood Mac to cover “Dreams” for a tribute album to the band. In 1998, the song and video came to prominence and charted at #6. The song is a total rework with the soothing violins, Andrea’s extraordinary voice and an understanding by The Corrs that they were taking ownership of the song.  The Todd Terry remix added that subtle electronic vibe which propelled the song into something just amazing. I remember being completely in love with this song from the first time I heard it. It never did heavy rotation on MTV but it was played a lot on VH1 especially during the Album Chart Show (seeing that Talk on Corners stayed on it FOREVER!) As much as I love Fleetwood Mac, I really believe The Corrs do a better version.

As much as The Corrs will be remembered as a pop band (after all, can you really call “Breathless” a great piece of music? If you say yes, I will judge you severely) but Talk on Corners was really a milestone album. If you feel like broadening your discerning music taste, take a listen to it with an open mind and see what you think. Even though their later albums are forgetable, I am really glad they released this album – the world is a better place because of it.

The imagery in the video is stunning and really worth watching. However, you are going to watch the video because they are SO hot! You shouldn’t lie to yourself that you’re watching it for any other reason.

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Female Vocal, Pop, Uncategorized

The Sundays – Summertime

It’s December 🙂

That’s thoroughly fantastic. It really is my favourite time of the year. As a kid, as much as school was fun, the joy, love and togetherness of the endless December held something really special. I’ve always savoured and enjoyed my Decembers. It really is such a happy time.

I think this is the happiest song to welcome in this incredible month. This song was released in 1997 and reached an honourable #15 in the UK. It’s completely happy and fun and smiley and captures the essence of summer better than probably any other song I’ve heard.

The album Static and Silence was much acclaimed as an album to listen to when you want to enjoy the greatness of love. The album has also been described as the epitome of pop music. December is a month of love after all.

For me, this is an introduction to one of my greatest loves – female vocal. Harriet Wheeler is one of the first voices I truly fell in love with. We shall explore this in the coming months. In the meantime, just enjoy this song. Play it a couple of times – you’ll thank me later.

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Pop

Ann Lee – Two Times

Did you know that Ann Lee wrote “Sexy Eyes” by Whigfield?

Even though that song was MASSIVE, it only charted at #68 in the UK. I find this rather bizarre seeing that “Saturday Night” was a #1 smash hit in 1994. Anyway, this does make “Two Times” the biggest song of Ann Lee’s career when it hit #2 in the UK in 1999. And what do you know, she wrote it herself.

When the song hit #2, the chart was packed with pop behemoths of the era. Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” beat Ann Lee to the #1 position while songs by Britney Spears, Eiffel 65, Shania Twain, S Club 7 and Lou Bega populated the chart that week. Getting in between these artists is seriously admirable. What’s more, she held on to the #2 slot the next week!

This song stood out because its just pure fun. The video was quirky yet accessible. The lyrics are bouncy. The riff is so catchy and the overall effect is just awesome. I dare you to hold back the smile while you listen to this song! It’s impossible.

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Pop

Jennifer Brown – Tuesday Afternoon

It’s Tuesday afternoon. I think we need a Tuesday afternoon song. And whaddayaknow, this song is even called Tuesday Afternoon!

Jennifer Brown is a Swedish singer best known for her work with Paul Van Dyk on his phenomenal track “We Are Alive.” That track has a lot of pop sensibility but its really feel good.

This was one of the first songs that I remember from the early days of MTV Europe’s broadcast in South Africa. I didn’t really relate to the song back then but it ignites such nostalgia. This song did pretty well in Scandinavia but only managed to reached #57 in the UK charts.

I never took the advice about never partying on a weekday. I prefer partying on a weekday in all honesty.

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