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288 tracks from England have been recommended (see also UK).
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Standing In The Rain  performed by Hambi and the Dance  1982
Recommended by john_l [profile]

This is the final track off their 1982 LP "Heartache", which is the Most Underrated LP Of All Time, and one of the three or four best of the 1980s!! The song actually sounds quite a bit like David Bowie's "Let's Dance" (which it preceded by about 18 months, in case anybody wants to raise plagiarism issues), only serious instead of stupid.
It's one of the more subdued tracks on the LP, which I would characterize as being most like the livelier end of Simple Minds (say "Sparkle In The Rain" or "Once Upon A Time"-era), but with a powerful lead singer who is probably closest to Jay Black of '60s hitmakers Jay and the Americans, or maybe Gary Puckett of the Union Gap (I am not knocking Jim Kerr's vocals by the way).

The full track listing for this wonderful LP: Time After Time, Living In A Heartache, Madelaine, L'Image Craquee, Spirits; The World, Dancing Inside You, Major Major, Too Late To Fly The Flag, Standing In The Rain. Produced by Mick Glossop.

from Heartache (Virgin)


I Dreamed Last Night  performed by Justin Hayward & John Lodge  1975
Recommended by john_l [profile]

After he Moody Blues released "Seventh Sojourn" late in 1972, they took a hiatus during which each of them released at least one solo LP, and Hayward and Lodge collaborated on "Blue Jays". By this time the mellotron had been put out to pasture permanently with the departure of keyboard player and 'tron expert Mike Pinder; as a fan of their late'60s - early '70s style I regard this as mostly unfortunate, but most of the solo LPs contained some superbly orchestrated material like this song, which really is glorious! All manner of strings, horns, and flute (not by Ray Thomas, I don't think) combine to make this one of the best-arranged songs in rock history. Moodies veteran producer Tony Clarke did the honours here, although he didn't last beyond 1978's "Octave", which coincidentally (or not?) was their last really good LP!

from Blue Jays, available on CD (Threshold)


Carry Me  performed by John Lodge  1976
Recommended by john_l [profile]

John Lodge's "Natural Avenue" was overall the best of the Moody Blues' solo ventures of the mid-1970s, being almost up there with the "Blue Jays" effort on which he collaborated with the band's guitarist Justin Hayward (whose own solo LP "Songwriter" was the biggest disappointment of the lot). This track has a wonderfully exotic feel to it, what with lyrics like "Show me your island of a thousand names" as well as orchestration including strings, oboe and bassoon, and some kind of bubbling thingy which may be a synthesizer. On a darker note, some of the other lyrics seem to indicate the alleviation of an addiction to certain substances, e.g. "Paint all the clouds the colour of 'No'" and "Gone is the white horse that carried us home", but hell, every band was addicted to stuff back then and I'm happy that 99% of them seem to have survived intact. Anyway, it's a lovely exotic song that if you haven't heard it, it's about time you did!

from Natural Avenue, available on CD (Threshold)


This Girl’s In Love With You  performed by Dusty Springfield  1968
Recommended by Auriane [profile]

Just wonderful. The CD reissue for this album is Philips 846 049-2 if you're interested in hearing the rest of this album. The song is truly Dusty with the husky vocals and the quiet but wanting tone. Bacharach comes through clear and strong with his interludes. The whole thing is as I said, just wonderful...

from Dusty... definitely (Philips (S)RBL 7864)
available on CD - Room Service 2 (Festival Mushroom Records)



  07 Oct 06 ·sammykipper: Very swoony indeed.
Wishful Thinking  performed by China Crisis  1984
Recommended by john_l [profile]

This is an utterly lovely song with synthesized strings and organ (and a real oboe) which actually made the Top Ten on the east side of the pond, the side where more people have "musical taste" it would seem. The bowed strings back much of the song, while the plucked strings and the oboe make some nice fills between vocal lines. And the line "I sat on the roof", out of context, sounds exactly like the identical line in Elton John's "Your Song", although that one continues "and kicked out the moss" while this one continues "and watched the day go by" ...

from Working With Fire And Steel
available on CD - The China Crisis Collection (Virgin)


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