Always one of my favourites from Hair for its cutie-pie quality. I think it encapsulates a certain kind of teenage girl, forward but fickle, scared but full of bravado. And that's very unusual for a song to do; the complexity of pubescent girls is very rarely explored without titillation and / or simplicity.
Sandie, hardly a teen herself at 23, nevertheless gives this a very beautiful interpretation in French. Her accent to me sounds good but what do I know, I can barely manage "la plume de ma tante".
Good accompaniment arranged by her long-time collaborator Ken Woodman.
from Pourvu Que Ca Dure (EMI 7243 5 91576 2 7), available on CD
17 Feb 05 ·Kevinattheabbey: There is now an English version available of Sandie's 'Frank Mills' (previously unreleased).
It's on 'Reviewing The Situation' (EMI 7243 8 66108 2 9)
Also has a great cappella version of Paul McCartneys 'Junk' on it.
The Fleetwoods were an excellent vocal group from the late 50s and early 60s who are best known for 'Come Softly to Me' and 'Mr. Blue'. Both of these are 'classic' oldies tracks, evocative of the late 50s.
'Lonely is as lonely does' came late in their career, and actually sounds much more modern than its 1964 recording date would suggest. This is really a prototype of the 'soft pop' style that would become popular later in the 1960s. The composer, Chip Taylor, went on to write 'Wild Thing' and 'Angel of the Morning'.
The track opens with a nice picked guitar introduction. As in many of my favorite Fleetwoods tracks, Gary takes the lead vocal, with Gretchen and Barbara singing backing vocals. Gary has a very sincere voice. At the beginning the song sounds very routine, but there are some clever chord changes and some cool lyrics. My favorite line is 'As your tears fall, remember this: you're just a kiss away from happiness'.
from the single Lonely is as lonely does (Dolton) available on CD - Come Softly to me - The Very Best of The Fleetwoods (EMI)
'Laura' has long been my favorite standard. The tune is elegant and haunting, and completely devoid of some of the schmaltzy feel that plagues many popular standards.
Written as an instrumental for the 1944 film of the same name, this was composed as a piano-based number, and so Julie's version is perhaps not the most orthodox recording. However, it's incredibly powerful and atmospheric, and I *think* it's my favorite version.
The entire track lasts just 1 minute and 40 seconds. The first verse is sung as a solo voice without any accompaniment other than the spooky reverberation effect. When the music does come in, it's provided by a small jazz trio led by Barney Kessel. Kessel's delicate jazz chords and picking complement Julie's voice beautifully.
A fascinating out-take from the "Diamond Dogs" sessions, “Dodo” can be seen as the starting point of Lady Stardust’s shift from glitter space-boy to paranoid, plastic soul stylist. Like almost everything on D. Dogs, the lyrics are inspired by Orwell’s “1984”, but the music seems to be profoundly damaged by sleek, eerie production style of Willie Mitchell.
Thus the song plays like Al Green in Hell, w/a great groove and deeply creepy feel. The Thin White Duke starts here.
from Diamond Dogs (out-take) (RCA) available on CD - Diamond Dogs (30th Anniversary edition) (EMI)
As we all know, it has that typical late 60s "rock group with string section added on" sound. I recommend it here mainly because I *love* the change in mood and minor tonality that comes with line "Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit's dead - There's something wrong" which comes after "Tell my wife I love her very much - she knows". The diminished 7th chord under the words "Major Tom" is, well, sublime.
The song was produced by Gus Dudgeon who went on to produce most of Elton John's classic material, and features Rick Wakeman amongst several subsequently famous session musicians. The Wikipedia articles on the track and the album it came from are interesting, well-written, and seem well-researched (unless anyone wants to disagree).
from Space Oddity (Philips) available on CD - lots (EMI)