Tag Archives: ballad

Friday, 25 November 2011

Cilla Black: Anyone Who Had A Heart / Just For You (1964)

here we have another cute girl pop number, this time from the other side of the big pond. cilla black was born priscilla white in liverpool 1943, and was the first (and only) female musician to sign a contract with the beatles’ manager brian epstein. funny enough she picked up ‘black’ as her stage name after the editor of the local music newspaper ‘mersey beat’ wrote about her with that name by mistake. ‘anyone who had a heart’ was her first #1 hit and her big breakthrough, after her first single ‘love of the loved’ (a lennon/mccartney song) only made it to #35 in the UK. it is a sweet and touching ballad about unreturned love, which becomes even more touching by cillas incredibly rich and powerful voice. when you first listen to this, the first impression that hits you might not even be the beauty of the song itself but rather the overwhelming realisation of ‘wow that girl can SING!’. cillas marvelous vocals are accompanied by some orchestration and a background choir, which makes the whole arrangement more sweet and soulful. awww, this is another number i just cant stop listening to! the b-side, however, is far …

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Friday, 25 November 2011

Irma Thomas: Wish Someone Would Care / Break-A-Way (1964)

here is my first music post for a loooong time, and it is special in many other ways, too. first of all this a very big favourite of mine, and also it is the first example of girl pop that i ever posted on twenty flight rock. and telling you why i love this record so much, i will start with the b-side: i have heard this song thousands of times on the radio sung by tracy ullman (as you may know i was as unfortunate as to be born around that time, the late 20th century). i always wondered how i could like a song from the 80s that much, because except from the blues brothers (1980) i dont let anything from that decade touch my ears (im a weird kind of purist somehow). of course i wasnt surprised at all when i found out that miss ullman covered a 60s song and instantly looked for the record to add it to my collection. in fact its a pretty shame that ullmans version became so popular and this one slipped into obscurity so soon. irma thomas, the ‘soul queen of new orleans’, who is often associated with …

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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Jacques Dutronc: La Publicité (1967)

resuming the series on french artists that i once started (yes i admit it is not very coherent), heres a (imho) marvelous ep by french singer jacques dutronc (husband of francoise hardy by the way).
the style of his music ranges from 60s pop, rock to garage rock or yeye as french 60s music is often called, and – unlike michel polnareff for instance – exclusively sung in french. the title track is a swinging little number with a lot of drive, followed by a slow beautiful ballad somewhat more into the vein of chanson, with amazing soft vocals. again i am sorry that i cant tell you a lot about the lyrics, if youre curious just google the title and look for a translation (the better if you speak french yourself ;-).
the flipside starts with a song that id call the weakest on this record, but, as this is a fine record, even the weakest song is a good one. well, my favourite track on this ep, and i must say also my favourite dutronc song over all, is the last one: hippie hippie hourrah. this time i also looked up the lyrics, and …

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Monday, 9 August 2010

Q65: Sexy Legs / There Was A Day (1970)

its quite a while ago now that i posted some nederbeat here, right? so here we go with another record by my favourite dutch rockers q65. although this still is “neder” it is not really beat anymore, neither id call it garage rock.
the a-side is a solid, driving blues rock number, that gets a lot of its drive from bielers rough vocals like from the first garage recordings four years ago. a tough number, five stars worth!
the flipside, ‘there was a day’, is much more sophisticated. a slow, pensive ballad about changes in life and the challenges of marriage – that become easy with the supporting power of love: “and i like it, because my wife, is very good for me.” very beautiful, and of course also five stars worth. dig it!

additional info on this record and reviews from readers

Finally got ’round to listening to this. The a side is a good blues-rocker for sure, but it’s the b-side I find so striking — rock-n’rollers celebrating marriage while acknowledging it’s difficulty! Rather unusual! The first minute is very much English …

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Saturday, 31 July 2010

Michel Polnareff: Pourquoi Faut-Il Se Dire Adieu (1968)

sorry first of all for the poor quality of these rips, but my copy of this record was already damaged when i bought it earlier this year. but as the first track is a melancholic ballad, the crackling sounds ironically somehow fit the atmosphere and give a nice nostalgic feeling. the title track is nice and sentimental, but occasionally the orchestral arrangements become just too much and it gets sort of trashy; but this is compensated by polnareffs clear and soft vocals – stunningly beautiful!
the next track, ‘ring-a-ding’, is a sweet pop song that i like a lot. it has a cute chorus, accompanied by a (hardly to be heard) female background choir, and im always sad when i reckon the songs over again, as it runs for only 2:21. does anyone know about an extended version of it? :-)
the b-side opens with a rather melancholic piece again, ‘jai du chargin marie’ is sung in french like the a-side, but with occasional lines in english in the chorus. orchestral arrangements are to be heard here aswell, but far more discreet and thus the ballad isnt trashy at no point – a pleasant listen for …

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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Michel Polnareff: Le Bal Des Laze (1967)

closing a gap of more than two months, heres the next record by michel polnareff. this time it is a favourite of mine – more than the one i posted last time – a ’67 ep called ‘le bal des laze’.
of course the title track is the first one on the a-side and it also is the most beautiful song on this record. a slow, moody ballad with a sort-of bewitching, continuous organ play dominating the orchestral accompaniment. although this track is rather long (almost 5 minutes) i like it a lot and it doesnt get boring. following is a short filler track, ‘le temps a laisse son manteau’, a bit distorted and strange, but it fits the musical context of the a-side.
the flipside, however, is a lot different, as both tracks are rather tounge-in-cheek, a slow, bluesy chanson and a crazy wild-west vocal parody (or how the hell would you call this??).
so all in all this record offers a lot of variety and is pretty interesting, despite the rather boring cover art. enjoy!

interesting links:
a detailed biography
michel polnareff on rateyourmusic
michel …

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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Michel Polnareff: Mes Regrets (1967)

keeping up with my series of french records, or rather series of records by michel polnareff, heres the chronologically next ep by one of my favourite french singers. mes regrets is not my favourite polnareff record, but could anyone (not you guys of course) resist this incredibly cute cover photo? it looks much better in reality than the scan that i made of it, but i hope you enjoy it anyway.
now about the music: this is a three-track ep only, and all three tracks are more or less long, slow and rather chanson- than pop-music. the title track is moody, with a lot of classical accompaniement, especially some beautiful string arrangements. perhaps i could say much more about it if i were able to understand the lyrics, but as i dont speak a word of french youll have to be satisfied with this short description. the second track on the a-side, miss blue jeans (sung in french despite the english title), is more pop-orientated than the other songs, and i gave it the highest rating on this record. the third track, dame dame, runs for four minutes and thus fills the entire b-side. this song is …

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Sunday, 4 April 2010

Michel Polnareff: Ame Câline (1967)

im going through the eps by michel polnareff chronological now, and this is the next one after ‘ta ta ta’ which i posted first, confusingly (this actually was because it had been the first one i bought).
well, its hard to say if this record is just really bad or if its simply funny. the rather dreadful side however is the a-side, which contains the title track – a rather trashy ballad with painfully high vocals – and a very much toungue-in-cheek song about a ‘fat madame’ sung in english. i dont really know what to make of this track, a joke, social criticism or just making a mockery of obese females. this track is so silly and badly sung that its better to skip it anyway.
the b-side now is a lot better, starting of with le roi des fourmis, a lively pop number with good drum support. the last track, le saure pleureur, is cute pop song in the same vein with some lightweight flute and acoustic guitar play, and just like all the other songs it doesnt take itself too seriously.
following this release, well have the ep mes regrets next time …

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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Michel Polnareff: Sous Quelle Étoile Suis-Je Né? (EP 1966)

in addition to the lp by michel polnareff i posted last week, heres the respective ep to that record. it contains no non-album tracks, and the sound quality is no different from the rip that i posted last time, so it is rather the pretty cool cover you get here.
just look at these glasses, man! thats just the kind that i always wanted to have… but as this mini-series will go on (lots of eps to follow), you will soon see that michel polnareff anyway was extremely creative and inventive in making a showy and flamboyant appearance especially in the 70s – sometimes with even bigger sunglasses!
on the back cover of this ep you can see the previously posted lp in its original issue from 1966 by the way. stay tuned for more such goodies!

interesting links:
a detailed biography
michel polnareff on rateyourmusic
michel polnareff on last.fm

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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Michel Polnareff: Sous Quelle Étoile Suis-Je Né? (1966)

TFR goes french again! this lp has also been announced many times before, but here it finally is. i must admit that i cheated a little with this record, as the vinyl i ripped it from is in fact a 1979 reissue, the first volume of a polnareff reissue series focusing on his early work (catalogue no is stec 290 on the AZ label, which also released the original polnareff records). i am sorry but theres a little noise on the tracks, the vinyl was not in perfect shape when i recieved it. the cover picture is identical, except that the reissue has polnareffs name on it additionally, in the top left corner, which i removed on the cover scan so that it looks exactly like the ’66 original. the tracklist differs just a little, track 7, ballade pour un puceau, is not featured on the original lp but on this one – so you dont miss anything, you get something extra!
no about the music on this lovely record: the title track is a smooth and calm ballad with some energetic moments, just in the style of the ep i posted before. and just as before …

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Paul Jones: Thinkin’ Ain’t For Me / Softly (1967)

continuing from the previous post, here we also have a solo release by the singer of a successful group, who lost most of his fame when departing from it. paul jones had been the singer of the all too well known group manfred mann until being replaced by mike dabo in 1966 (although they both strangely look quite alike – and i did mix them up first – it was mike who was with the band at their high times, he is the guy who sang the unforgettable mighty quinn for instance). some side-facts in between: before that, jones had briefly been vocalist with alexis korners blues (!) incorporated, just as young mick jagger had been – but to be honest, i could imagine mick a hundred times more easily being with that group than jones. anyway, at the same time that jones left mann, or rather simultaneously, manfred manns bass player jack bruce left to form cream with eric clapton, and ginger baker, with whom he had played in the graham bond organization before joining the manfreds. jack bruce was replaced by the (far not as famous as he deserved) german bass player klaus voormann, best known …

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Robin Gibb: One Million Years / Weekend (1969)

to serve you some sweet pop ballads once more, here we go with a late 60s solo effort of twin-bee gee robin gibb which was his second non-bee gees release. as you can see with my rating above, i dont really like this 45, in fact i didnt even buy it. it was part of a collection that i “inherited” from my cousin, who gave me all his hard rock, prog rock, kraut rock etc records, ranging from wishbone ash to deep purple and camel – so you can guess how surprised if not shocked i was when i found this record when flipping through the singles he gave me! anyhow, i dont know if this is a rarity or not, or if there are bee gees fans around who will appreciate it – i still thought it was worth posting it, because although it is quite trashy, this trashyness has some kind of appeal that might make you like it in some ironic way; so do i think at least.
now about the music: the a-side with the epic title (ill wait for you for) one million years is the weaker part of this record, a …

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Michel Polnareff: Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta (1967)

still french, but very different. this four track ep is somewhat of the icing on the french cake that i made for you this time. i must admit that this is the only record by french singer michel polnareff that i have, but also i admit that i instantly loved it. it is neither pop nor rock, it is just these beautiful, crystal clear vocals with modest acoustic accompaniment – like a non-commercial jacques dutronc with artistic ambitions.
the first track on the a-side, which is also the title track, is the most lively track of the whole record and also my very favourite one. again, i cant tell you a thing about the lyrics because i dont speak a word of french, but this song just captured me. i love the driving, straightforward and uplifting chorus aswell as the beautiful violin accompaniment (which also provides the main melody, very nice) – ten out of five stars, this is awesome!
the second track has a very long title that puzzles me a lot – but apart from that this a beautiful, mellow ballad you will surely enjoy despite not understanding the lyrics (unless you do of …

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