Sunday, August 01, 2010

Is Music Killing me ?

This week I watched (again) a Stevie Wonder concert that I had put a K (for keep) onto my Sky+box.
I've been a life long fan ,,, what can I say ,, I've watched & listened to "Little Thunder", the wee music man since he was about 12 ,,, Steveland Morris is a genius ( not such a wee guy nowadays but a genuine genius giant ,, If you don't believe me listen to Innervisions / Fullfillingness First Finale, Songs in the Key of Life, or Stevie's Journey through the Secret Life of Plants.  
There are a few in the "G" class but more of them later !
My problem now is that to listen and sing along is becoming almost impossible ,, it's the same with Opera ,, well certainly with Luciano Pavarotti, and even fellow tenors José Carreras & Plácido Domingo  ...
I can't listen to certain stuff any more without dissolving in tears !
Stevie's, You are the Subshine of my life ,, Isn't she lovely ,,
Fat Lucy's Nessun Dorma (None shall sleep) the aria from the final act of  Puccini's opera Turandot,  ... Connie Francis' My Happiness ,,
I'm a wreck !
I think auld age is turning me into an uncontrollable melancholic ? ( I'm off the booze these days you see ! )
I think I'm gonna try doing a list of the stuff that's gotten into my soul over the years affecting me so badly ,, so wonderfully !
See if that stops the maudlin in me from comin' oot ?
So, to begin ,,, the true Genius ( or "G" ) class :
Well of course there's Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Buddy Holly, ( how much more might we have had if Buddy hadn't taken that damned 'plane ? ) Abba, John & Paul,
Then there's the awfully good : Performers who have ( and still do ) move me, to the bottom of my very soul.
Sinatra, ( still & always the King ) Tony Bennett, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, ( I'm not sure Eric & Lenny shouldn't also be in the "G" class ? ),
Nat King Cole singing Mona Lisa just blows me away.
John Denver ( his love lost Annie which in the end obviously killed him )
José Feliciano singing anything & playing his wonderful guitar,
Stephane Grapelli playing with Django ( I once shook Stephane's hand after a concert ,., such soft, smooth skin & and a lovely gentle man )
Billy Joel puts his heart & soul into all his writing & performing,
Jack Jones ( for his album Harbour .,., )
Gerard Kenny ( who? I hear you say ,, listen to his tribute to Cole Porter album Play me some Porter Please and just listen to Do I Love You .,., track 6 to save you looking ! ),
Then there's Mark Knopfler & Dire Straits ( a fantastic series of albums, the peak of which surely must be Brothers in Arms )
Don Maclean ( His song for Buddy, American Pie, but also Vincent, And I Love you so, Wonderful baby, and so many more, right from the heart ,, & do listen to Building my Body ! )
Wee Chris de Burgh has done some beautiful things too ( and not only have a Beauty Queen daughter ! )
Barry Manilow, the Showman, wrote & sung some brilliant numbers but has sadly now lost his way ( and his face !  Why did you do that Barry ? )
Freddy Mercury and Queen were extraordinary .,., I'm so glad to have witnessed all Freddie's performances excesses. ( Go Freddie ! You are sadly missed )
Gary Moore brings me to my knees with his guitar solos, I can listen to Parisienne Walkways all night.
And talking French, Gabriel Yared's score from the movie Betty Blue is truly sensational as are most of Jean Michelle Jarre's wonderful electronics ?
Leaping in from my teenage years is Ricky Nelson's Stood Up, Poor Little Fool, Someday ,,,, Ahhhhh
Bobby Darin was a great favourite .... as was Gene Vincent
Elvis of course ( well the early Elvis ,, not the caped wonder of later life ! )
Jerry Lee Lewis' Great Balls were always a Whole Lotta Shakin', his was the ultimate rockin' piano,
Johhny Ray & me Cried together manys a time whilst Walkin' my Baby Back Home !
Marty Wilde was great long before he produced his American girl ! 
Young Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers were top of my pops for a while, back then I too was a Juvenile Delinquent ,,
Mick & Keith's Rolling Stones will live on forever ( always & STILL the best Rock 'n Roll band in the world ),
I loved T-Rex in the Glam age, Marc Bolan, another one gone with much more to give ?
I know there's no logic to this blog but these songs just come into my head in whatever order they like ,,
I have little or no control here ,,so bear with me , ok !
Take That's Gary Barlow will eventually get onto the "G" list if he keeps up his output of magical heart rending songs ( you don't need Robbie back in the band guys ! )
Chrissie Hynde (& her Pretenders) is something else ,, the raunchy bitch of Rock ,, superb.
I'm also a fan of Thom Yorke and Radiohead ( ugly little Creep but a real thinker ! )
Neil Young, in all his guises ,, with or without his Crazy Horse is strange but magnificent.
Belive it or not but writing this I'm currently also listening to Crazy ,, the wonderful velvety voice of Country singer Patsy Cline is melting me as I type ( has anyone ever seen two pictures of Patsy that look like the same woman ? )
On the country front I was once hopelessly in love with Crystal Gayle ,,, her sexy voice did things to me .,., Oooh ya !
Willie Nelson is a legend in every sense of the word, a true singer/songwriter with stories told from his soul.
And will anybody ever top the wee barra from the Blue Grass Mountains for writing & singing country ? Take a bow Miss Dolly P !
The Eagles, ( special mention to the loon guitar man  Don Henley ),  Fleetwood Mac ( special mention to Stevie Nicks but that's just a lust thing ! ) & Bon Jovi ( my wife will want me to specially mention young John B J !! )
There's just so many .,., my soul is obviously an easy touch !
Others who do it for me .,., Katie Melua ( new'ish but very good ,, so far )  Liza ( with a Zee ) Minnelli, especially the album she did with The Pet Shop Boys ( never liked her wee mammy though ! ).,., talking of which, Dusty Springfield ( absolutely brilliant and gone too soon ) and again her song with the Pet Shop Boys was fantastic.
Hey, there's also the excellent and very clever Pet Shop Boys ( see how clever these two are ,, they managed to get three mentions ! )
The Beach Boys ,, although I included Brian Wilson in the "G" class the Boys did some really good stuff on their own ,, of particular mention the magical Holland album, my all time favourite Beach Boys gig.
Going on, Carly Simon and all those teeth, Lisa Stansfield ( but that could be a lust thing again on my part ! )
Sophie Ellis-Bexter ( now this is definitely a LUST thing ! )
Oh and the brilliant Duffy, song writer extraordinaire and what a voice ?
The Beautiful South have done some excellent tracks ,,
Hue & Cry I can't possibly miss since they wrote the brillant Glasgow Song, among others.
Barbra Streisand, it goes without saying the Jewish quarter in NYC produced a right one in Babs !
Chris Rea, also a writer, singer & guitarist of extraordinary talent, many of his lyrics take me to the depths !
Otis Reading & I have spent some lazy afternoons sitting on The Dock of the Bay.
Sandi Thom  made me also wish I'd been a Punk Rocker ,, ( I already had the flower in my hair from way back hen ! )
Marillion was a Big Fish for a while and I really liked his stuff too :) .
Jon & Vangelis I always liked ,, well the Friends of Mr Cairo album ,,
Sting writes beautiful songs and is such a thinker and worrier about bad stuff global but I still get the feeling his  biggest fan is Gordon Sumner ?
Earl Brown & Hot Chocolate were up there in their hey day,  as were Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart's Eurythmics ,, The Kinks with Ray & Dave Davies are old enough to be though of as Fab !
And talking old enough ,, the best of the 20's/30's/40's  ,, Billie Holiday, surely Jazz's finest vocalist ?  But having said that, now we need to mention Ella, Satchmo, och I'm not going any further down this road ,,
KD Lang ( Katherine Dawn, that man  face with the voice of an angel, she has a Constant Craving to Wash me Clean .,., now if you want to have a good greet, listen to KD )
Wet, Wet, Wet did it for me too until Marty went off the rails .,., and hard as he tries he's never gonna get it back I'm afraid.
Natalie Cole had her Da's voice box implanted and was also sensational but what's happened to her ?  Last I heard she was needing a kidney transplant and on drugs ? ( the illegal, hard stuff ) What a waste of a wonderful natural talent gift ?
Now who have I not included ? 
Ah, Mike Oldfield and his wonderful Tubular Bells , oops Bowie, Ray Charles, Diana Ross ( A Miss Beautiful Supreme ! )  David Essex in his Rock On days, Kate Bush ( my 1st album on Cd )  Deacon Blue ,,,,
Oh & who could forget that journey Pink Floyd took us on ? to the Dark Side of the Moon ,,
And perhaps the all time tear jerker ,, Sinead O'Connor doing what Prince could never get close to with his Nothin' Compares 2U .,.,
Now then, how could I forget Robert ,, for I drank pints with him once in a wee pub in Kidderminster .,., Planty ,, Led Zeppelin's main man ,, ( alas now Alison Krauss' ? ) THE heavy rock band ?
That Stairway to Heaven takes you all the way to Kashmir don't you know !
Ahhhh, such memories.
Some newer people ,, Leona Lewis, destined for greatness ?  Alex Parks I also liked but she seems to want another life already ? Amy Winehouse has a voice to die for and seems hell bent on doing just that !
Dido, Sheryl Crow, ( ok Shaza's not so new ! ) Natasha Bedingfield, Eva Cassidy ( sadly gone now too )
Will Young, excellent and getting better with every recording.
And of course my son wouldn't talk to me again if I didn't mention the God Father ( well for him ) and possibly my next grandson's name sake ?  Bob Dylan ,, such a commentry on life & the USA  and what an output over so many years ,, amazing !

And to all those artists that I've missed ( but probably also love ) I'm sorry ,,
And I didn't include all my favourite Classical stuff either, from Vivaldi to the Planets and beyond ,, young Nicola Benedetti & her Violin ( so much prettier than the boy wonder Nigel Kennedy ? )

On reflection, music isn't killing me at all ,,, it's keeping me ALIVE !


Alistair said...

some of those choices may not kill you - but they could make you very ill.

Chris de Burgh!!!!!

{I only went to see him about 5 times in the 80's - but I was young, and stupid....}

The Scudder said...

Oh I know ,,, that was a weak moment ! Sorry ,,don't hold it against me !

The Scudder said...

Oh and I forgot .,.,
One of my favourite music genres
The ole USA Doo-Wop ... love it & too many groups to mention !