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15 tracks recommended by Mike have received comments.
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Yes it is  performed by Beatles  1965
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Not a particularly well-known song which was originally a B side and not on any of their original albums, it's actually particularly musically advanced for the time. A pity that George Martin didn't get them to do a few extra takes of the vocals, as the difficult harmony signing which starts the song sounds...difficult. The song, which deserves to be more talked about, contains interest and variety in its melody, rhythm, harmony and arrangement. In its way this is truly a masterpiece.


available on CD - Past Masters Volume 1 (EMI)




  04 Feb 02 ·delicado: It's a very nice song, but it is indeed a shame about the vocals. I wish the Beach Boys had recorded this song. I just heard a demo version (from the Anthology vol 3 cd) that is perhaps better - it's barer, with some nice acoustic guitar work and mostly just John singing.
  31 Mar 04 ·Mike: The demo version screams out for the harmony singing heard on the final version, in my opinion. All we really needed was an extra take or two. George Martin should have sorted it!
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye  performed by Soft Cell  1981
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A pop song of epic grandeur. Marc Almond's rather out of tune singing doesn't ultimately detract from what is a great song and a very good recorded performance. The synth player of the duo, Dave Ball, appears to have been a somewhat underrated pop genius.

from Non-stop erotic cabaret (Some Bizarre), available on CD (Mercury)




  01 Apr 04 ·delicado: Yes, isn't this a brilliant, devastating track. I think the out-of-tune vocals are all part of the package! This shares some of the desolate and empty electronic feel of some of Joy Division's work, but puts it into a pop context.
Gates of Babylon  performed by Rainbow  1978
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Sheer joy to listen to - a perfect example of the extended melodic heavy rock song. Superb control of tension and release. Super arrangement and guitar playing. Currently very under-valued...

from Long live rock 'n' roll, available on CD (Polydor)



  10 May 04 ·Issie: A good choice!
  19 May 04 ·anotherdodgybassplayer: Fantastic choice, always been my favourite. Loved it since I was 14. (now 39). The instrumental section is just as good as it gets.
Cigarettes and Lies  performed by The Lightning Seeds  1999
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Excellent track in which rather Beatley-sounding vocals are married with some nice synthesized sounds. It took me several minutes of thinking to remember what it is that the verse of this reminds me of - it's the title track from Procol Harum's second album "Shine on Brightly".

from Tilt, available on CD (Epic/Sony)



  10 Jun 04 ·farawayfriend: A great song, by a typically underrated British pop artist - how many Americans have ever heard of Ian Broudie and are aware of his musical output? The man is a genius. The break in this song is gorgeous. "There were times or moments we'd steal when i wish that time stood still knowing it won't but hoping it will oh, i'm hoping it will"
Julia  performed by Eurythmics  1984
Recommended by Mike [profile]

This is my favourite Eurythmics track by some considerable margin, though I also rate some others on the album quite highly. I consider "Julia" to be a classic of 80's electronica, with a rather haunting chord sequence underpinning an effective vocal line with extensive use of vocoder on Annie Lennox's voice. There is a bridge section (heard twice) which is rather derivatve of Vangelis's "Chariots of Fire" theme, but as the track progresses and builds up texturally, there is an undeniable emotional impact, and I always enjoy the various instrumental melodies and counter-melodies that appear.

from 1984, available on CD (Virgin)



  22 Sep 04 ·delicado: A fantastic track. It definitely rises above a lot of other songs of the period, even though it does feature an extremely cheesy guitar solo. And I still have the 12 inch of it that you sold me in 1987!
  23 Sep 04 ·Mike: Hold onto that 12"... a lot of great work was done in rock and pop during the 1980s. Rather like 1960s British housing, much of it has yet to reach classic status, but for some of it at least, its time will surely come!
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