Bobby Darin - truly one of the smoothest singers the US has ever produced, and there's nothing that showcases this pop-cabaret style like his tenure at Capitol. A singer of great versatility, he swings effortlesly on this album, having great technique and even greater rhythmic feel.
Call Me Irresponsible, something of a standard really, is my favourite. Darin's vocals make you fall in love with his irresponsible, unreliable, unpredictable charm. Accompanied by finger clickin' good Richard Wess big-band sounds. Wow. Whatta man.
from From Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie (Capitol T2194) available on CD - Oh! Look At Me Now / From Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie (Capitol)
This song starts with a great simple keyboard riff, and the driving bass gives it a real urgency, unusual for the Beach Boys 70's music in that it makes you really want to dance. A great vocal performance by Dennis Wilson, with intriguing lyrics.
from Sunflower (Capitol #25692) available on CD - Sunflower/Surf's Up (Capitol)
Although it´s just a 50 seconds bonus track at the end of Capitol reissue of "Friends/20/20", I think it contains one of the most memorable vocal harmonies ever sung by the Beach Boys. The irruption of voices that come at the end is just sublime. I think there are longer versions in an "Unsurpassed masters" record but I have never listened to it. Anyone has ?
from Friends/20/20, available on CD
16 Aug 06 ·ambassador: I would love to hear a longer version of this. I agree, their harmonies on this classic bacharach/david tune are mind-blowing.
Beneath the avant-garde lyrics and futuristic synth textures, there was always a pulsing dance music quality that drove the classic Duran Duran sound. As they progressed into the late '80s, they allowed that dance element to move up front and dominate their style. A good example of this tactic is "Skin Trade," a hit whose silky and funky style led to it being mistaken for a Prince song. The lyrics have a surprisingly direct, soul-searching feel to them as they lay out scenarios of people shortchanging their dreams to make money. These moments are followed with the dramatic proclamation that makes up the chorus: "Will someone please explain/The reasons for this strange behavior?/In exploitation's name/We must be working for the skin trade." The music lends contrast to the angry tone of the lyrics by creating a sultry, mellow melody that juxtaposes verses with a soft, hypnotic ebb and flow with an ever-ascending chorus that revs up the song's inherent drama. Duran Duran's recording is fuelled by funky but gently layered guitar textures and subtle drum work that push its groove along, plus some atmospheric synth textures on the chorus. Interestingly, Simon LeBon uses his normal tenor voice for the choruses but sings much of the verses in a lush, soulful falsetto that led many pop fans to initially mistake "Skin Trade" for a Prince ballad. The result was a perfect blend of slow-dance textures and adult social critique. It didn't do as well as "Notorious," just barely making the Top 40 in the U.S., but it got plenty of radio airplay and is fondly remembered by the group's fans as one of Duran Duran's most mature achievements of the late '80s.