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1411 tracks from USA have been recommended.
Order by - songtitle - year - performer - date recommended
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Make it Easy on Yourself  performed by Burt Bacharach  1969
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Such a very sad song, with simply wonderful melody and harmony. This arrangement, originally issued on an album of the same name, makes the very most of its poignancy and drama. Bacharach himself sings beautifully,while carrying all the intelligence and emotion of his song. I don't think I've conveyed what it is that's so superb about this record, so will return to this review at a later date.

from Make it Easy on Yourself
available on CD - Best of Burt Bacharach (A&M)



  01 Oct 05 ·Flippet: Cilla Black does a brilliant cover of this song on her 1966 album "Sing A Rainbow". Rich lush orchestration and Cilla at full ballad belt. It was her early interpretations of songs like this that brought her to the attention of Bacharach himself!!
Ship Rolls In  performed by Faster Pussycat  1987
Recommended by understudy constantine [profile]

What a great band they were! Surely one of the very best of the late 80's glam resurgence, and putting on a great live show reprising the Beasty Boys with a song called Babylon! This song brings to mind a pub crawl in Soho... raucous, tuneful, swaggering and knowingly gorgeous... a kind of smash-and-grab version of Don't Rain On My Parade!

from Faster Pussycat (Elektra)


Mile of Fence  performed by Pete Droge  1998
Recommended by understudy constantine [profile]

Originally a Tom Petty sound-alike, but on the Spacey and Shakin' album sounding a whole lot like he's finally found himself a niche, Droge delivers a collection of guitar-heavy songs that tip the wink to grunge, but without the buzz of overblown amps. This is one of the heaviest and best... check out the break.

from Spacey and Shakin (FiftySeven Records)


Richard Nixon  performed by Rod & The MSR Singers  197?
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

One of the more famous song-poems, this is sung by the man with a thousand names, Rodd Keith. Being English, I had never really heard of the song-poem concept until an article in (I think) Cool & Strange Music magazine. Then this compilation CD came out and, wow, pinch my cheeks and call me a convert.



Anything that encourages the bizarre side of human nature gets my approval and song-poems certainly do that. Especially the right wing freaks, who seem to be over-represented in the genre. This is one of those very over-zealous numbers, stating (pre-Watergate) that Nixon is "a man of priceless worth".



What I love about Rodd Keith is that, no matter how banal or weird the lyrics kicked out by some Arkansas dweller are, he gives a sterling performance. This is no different. The spirit in which the song is written is strictly adhered to by Keith, adding of course to its overall charm.

from The American Song-Poem Anthology: Do You Know The Difference... (Setanta SETCD126), available on CD



Egyptian Shumba  performed by The Tammys  1963
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

A wild ride down the Nile. If anyone ever accuses the girl group sound of being all innocent or only about boys then just shove this riot in their ears.

Resplendent with one of the greatest nonsense refrains in popular music ("shimmy-shimmy-shimmy-shi-mi-mis-pe-dis") and screams aplenty, this track is a winner on every conceivable level. The instrumentation is clearly designed to sound Egyptian, but instead resembles the soundtrack to a campy exploitation flick about girl gangs among the pyramids (or something).

A highly unusual platter, and deservedly enjoying a greater cult reputation as the years go by.

from the single Egyptian Shumba (United Artists UA 678)
available on CD - Egyptian Shumba: The Singles And Rare Recordings (RPM)




  05 Apr 04 ·unathanthium: Yes,most songs that have Egyptian in the title are fabulously stupid.Egyptian Reggae,Walk Like an Egyptian for instance.Egyptian Shumba is better than the pyramids and should outlast them.Also available on Girls Go Zonk.Shimmy,shimmy,shimmy,shy-yi,meece-e-deece according to their sleeve notes.
  07 Apr 04 ·jeanette: That Girls Go Zonk CD is cool, esp. that vocal version of Mission: Impossible. But you know when you have your own version of lyrics in your head and are reluctant to change them? Their sleevenotes are probably accurate but I'll never think of the song that way. An example: until embarrasingly recently I thought the the lyrics to Fame by Irene Cara were "take your pants down, and make it happen". It is of course "passion" and lord only knows what relatives thought of a four-year old me singing those lyrics at the top of my kiddy voice.
  09 Apr 04 ·unathanthium: Are you sure you misheard the lyrics of Fame?Your version makes more sense to me.
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