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1412 tracks from USA have been recommended.
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Walk Away Renee  performed by Orpheus  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A really lovely version of this song, which was more famously recorded by The Left Banke. The introduction nicely recalls the melody of The Association's 'Never my love'.

The instrumentation has a folk flavour, with a nice strummed acoustic guitar. The production is superb, with great, slightly distant sounding vocal harmonies and occasional sparkly percussion sounds. Overall, it's a sound not millions of miles away from groups like Spanky and Our Gang, but it has a melancholic edge to it that makes it more listenable to my ears. Something has happened to me over the last couple of years, and some of the more lightheartedly happy music I used to like appeals to me much less.

from Ascending (MGM MGM 4569)
available on CD - The Very Best Of Orpheus (Varese)




  25 Nov 03 ·executiveslacks: I had just finished recommending Belle & Sebastian's "Piazza, New York Catcher" when I came across this recommendation. They namecheck "Walk Away Renee" in "Piazza..." I haven't heard this song, but now I want to hear it!
  10 Dec 04 ·WayCool: Orpheus' version of "Walk Away Renee" is a classic example of how this group effortlessly applied their distinctive sound to material by other bands. I enjoyed the original version by The Left Banke but always thought the wimpy vocals could have used some testosterone. The Orpheus version is without fault and I'm totally puzzled why it failed to eclipse the original.
  13 Dec 04 ·jeanette: I hear the legendary Pink Lady have also recorded a version - what a treat! Anyone heard?
  11 Oct 06 ·delicado: Having heard several versions of this song (most recently, The Blades of Grass), I'd just like to reiterate that this for me is THE rendition of the song - I'm with WayCool on this one!
  19 Apr 07 ·artlongjr: I have a 45 of this by the Four Tops...I like their version, it sounds very mature the way Levi Stubbs sings it, compared to the youthful innocence of the original! I have the Orpheus version and it's great, but I will always like the Left Banke original best...I wonder if anybody ever covered "Pretty Ballerina"?
Claudine (Instrumental Theme)  performed by Gladys Knight/Curtis Mayfield  1974
Recommended by dacottom [profile]

What a wonderful gem of a song. It gives a "Shaft" type of feel with an fresh air feel to it. A great underated masterpiece written by the late great Curtis Mayfield for this movie. Apparently this is a forgotten track on this album and overshadowed by the sublime on and on. Break this song out during a party and you become the definition of hip. Enjoy!

from Claudine Soundtrack
available on CD - Claudine (Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Capitol)


Sweet Surprise  performed by Blossom Dearie  1970
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This is a track of off Dearie's second Fontana album "That's Just The Way I Want To Be". An overlooked gem of a record, unusual sounding for Blossom, blending together jazz, bossa nova and folk with nicely arranged orchestration. "Sweet Surprise" has a dream-like, airy feel with it's jazzy waltz rhythm. The album is available on the japanese "Whisper for you" compilation. Unfortunately, her first Fontana album "Soon It's Gonna Rain" from 1967, featuring lots of Jobim and Bacharach songs, has yet to be released on CD.

from That's Just The Way I Want To Be (Fontana)
available on CD - Whisper For You




  04 Dec 03 ·FlyingDutchman1971: The album 'Thats Just the Way I Want To Be' is now available on CD. There is also a really good Japanese compilation CD of the Fontana and Verve years called 'For Cafe Apres-midi'. Several tracks from 'Soon Its Gonna Rain' are featured so those of us who love Blossom will have to savor these meager crumbs unless the evil music overlords open the vaults.
  05 Dec 03 ·eftimihn: You're right and i forgot to mention the "For Cafe Apres-midi" compilation, this one features all tracks of "That's Just The Way To Be" except one track (they left out the opening track, not a bad choice though since it's the weakest track on the album and not quite fitting to the rest of the songs). Unfortunately there are just 2 songs from "Soon It's Gonna Rain", Meditation and Dindi, on it. But these sound absolutely gorgeous, arranged with some very cool harp embellishments. Too bad the entire album hasn't been picked up by some japanese label yet.
  28 Oct 04 ·konsu: Great song, great album, great singer/composer. Why she's not completely worshipped in the USA I have no idea. I really have to disagree with eftimihn on the opening track, it's in my opinion one of the coolest things she ever did! Sure her jazzy renditions of evergreens and her more hip stuff are great, but to stretch out like she does on "That's Just the Way" is just sublime. What was she doing there? Some kind of CA inspired latin/folk/psyche-pop? Genius! True, it isn't like the rest of the album... Also her great take on Frishbergs "Long Daddy Green" is worth mentioning for it's uniqueness.
My Other Voice  performed by Sparks
Recommended by cccb [profile]

Very moving early electronic anthem. Moroder involved. My all time number one song (still) after 20 years.




Spirit Ditch  performed by Sparklehorse  1995
Recommended by executiveslacks [profile]

I really could've picked any song from this album, but this was the song that stood out the most when I first heard it.
A gentle, almost fragile, home recording. Hushed vocals, simple guitar lines, and minimal drums, its intimacy is compounded tenfold towards the end when he samples what could very well have been a message left on his answering machine.

from Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, available on CD (Capitol)


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