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24 tracks on Virgin have been recommended.
Order by - songtitle - year - performer - date recommended
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Bitter-Sweet  performed by Roxy Music  1974
Recommended by delicado [profile]

For someone like me, the strangest thing about getting really into Roxy Music is the overt rockiness of a lot of their material. Even on this track, which is one more of their slower, more mournful numbers, there are a lot of very heavy rocky moments. They work pretty well though, and I'm certainly not complaining.

The atmospheric opening is breathtaking, and Bryan Ferry's vocal as he sings 'I've opened up my heart' is incredibly beautiful. The words and music seem to meld together in a very pretty way, but then before long the track mutates into a stomping, carnival like passage that clearly influenced Nick Cave to a considerable extent. Throughout the song there's this interchange between delicate, melodic verses and the rowdy, discordant section. Like another favorite Roxy track, 'Just like you', this song finishes with a clever chord change.

I'm sure many people would find 'Bitter-Sweet' much too dramatic and serious - perhaps some days I would too - but it does have an incredible elegance and style that makes me keep on listening.

from Country Life (Virgin ROXYCDX4), available on CD



1979  performed by smashing pumpkins  1995
Recommended by callgirlscene [profile]

Loud drums and simple recurring guitar riffs are the setting for a melancholy, but rocking look back on a special time. Billy Corgan manages to sound like Mick Jagger. There's a kind of regretful feeling Smashing Pumpkins evoke that I felt in the movie "The Last Picture Show".


available on CD - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Virgin)


Chanson D'O  performed by Francoise Hardy  1971
Recommended by delicado [profile]

You might be familiar with Francoise's incredible 1971 album La Question, a track from which was recommended by another user almost four years ago (Oui, je dis adieu). I managed to get a friend to copy the album for me at the time, and I recall being very taken by 'Viens', the first song. I put this track on a compilation but somehow never really savoured the album as a whole.

Recently I found I could get the album on CD, so picked it up (along with another interesting Francoise album, 'If you listen').

The difference for me now I have the CD is vast, and I'm now able to appreciate the album in all its glory. The clincher for me is the blend of percussive Brazilian guitar, beautiful strings, and the Melody Nelson-style sparseness of the arrangements.

I chose this track to recommend because of the bizarre extra dimension brought by the fact that Francoise is just scatting - there are no words - and the intermittent moments of complete silence, which are surprising and really hold the attention. Parts of the chord sequence remind me of Henry Mancini (in particular, a track called 'Softly' from the Mr Lucky soundtrack), while the overall effect of the sexy echoey vocal naturally brings to mind Ennio Morricone's work with Edda Dell'Orso.

from La Question, available on CD




  26 Apr 06 ·ambassador: this album's a favorite of mine, too. I also really like her album "Soliel" of a couple years earlier. The interesting thing about this album is that the Brazilian female guitarist Tuca (just one name) backed her on this as she did on Nara Leao's gorgeous tribute to Bossa Nova (recorded in France), "Dez Anos Depois." If you listen to these albums side by side you can clearly here the similarities, not to say they sound identical. And doesn't Fracoise look stunning on the b&w album cover?
You are the one  performed by Mike + the Mechanics  1985
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Just a great soppy synthy song. Nice chords. The lyrics are pretty good in a dreamy, soppy way. I heard it for the first time yesterday. I probably wouldn't have liked it much in 1985.

No-one seems to be certain which of two guest singers performed the lead vocal, but it certainly sounds nothing like Paul Carrack or the late Paul Young, who were to become the band's usual vocalists.

from Mike + the Mechanics (Virgin)


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