musical taste home
search results
search results for “Classic”
download an m3u playlist for all available clips for the search Classic

List songs by Song title | Performer | Year

You searched for ‘Classic’, which matched 274 songs.
click - person recommending, year, performer, songtitle - to see more recommendations.
1900 Yesterday  performed by Liz Damon’s Orient Express  1970
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

This song is an intriguing one for me, I can never get enough of it! It's one of the easy listening classics from the early 70's and is one of the most perfect examples of the "Now Sound" genre, recorded by a Hawaiian bar band led by lead singer Liz Damon. Interestingly, it is a cover of a song written by Chicago soul songwriter Johnny Cameron and it was originally recorded by Betty Everett on the Uni label. I was lucky enough to find a copy of Betty's original version, but unfortunately her version has never been put on CD.

This song has a delightfully slow tempo and dreamy, romantic lyrics that somehow seem timeless. To me, the song always seemed to be in an older style than its early 70's release date would suggest. The bridge features great horn playing and a wonderful descending bass run.

The original 45 on White Whale Records had a song called "You're Falling in Love" on the flip side, and that song too is a classic, in my opinion.

from Liz Damon's Orient Express (White Whale), available on CD (White Whale)

  prufrock68: Yep, this song is definitely of its time. It smacks of 'easy-listening' radio, from the staid brass break, the gentle, on-the-beat marimba strokes, and the whispery thin lead vocals of Liz and her equally restrained backup fellows behind her. Maybe the song just feels slower to you in this version. I don't think the Betty Everett version is any faster--it's just more rhythmic with its slightly funky percussion and string arrangements. Don't get me wrong, I like both versions, this one as much for its that kind of cool 'dated' feel as anything else.
25 or 6 to 4  performed by Chicago  19??
Recommended by kaptnunderpnts [profile]

while i don't like much of chicago's music, i like this song a whole lot. their music is often a bit cheesy to me, but this song rocks out. the guitar is awesome in it. it's a fast and furious rock and roll guitar. it single handedly makes this song. the title actually refers to two types of acid available in the 60's(?), 25 or 624. so, to imagine this song, think of a great classic rock guitar on acid.

from Greatest Hits. originally, who knows.

  borgs8: I think you're incorrect about the meaning of the song. The compound for lsd or cocaine is nowhere close to resembling 25 or 6 to 4. The song, written by Robert Lamm, is about staying up all night writing a song. (3:35 am.)
  kaptnunderpnts: You're right. The explanation I gave I heard once and took it as true. Thanks for the correction. I tend to question what I hear but I felt there was no harm in believing the acid explanation.
  allenmurphy: Actually the acid explanation is correct. LSD-25 was a popular type of LSD in the 60's. The drug known as Thorazine was considered to stop the effects of acid trip. Guess what? The number on the pill was 624. The lyrics in every verse suggest the effects of acid, spinning in his room, staring at blurry lights, etc. The question he asks himself is whether to take more LSD(25) and keep tripping or take Thorazine(624) and come down as the day breaks. Your shit has officially been ruined.
  kaptnunderpnts: Right on allenmurphy. I like the acid idea more anyways. I thought that that was a really stupid way to refer to the time. I mean, artistic and creative freedom aside, 25 or 6 to 4 is a stupid way to refer to an hour of the day. I give Chicago a little more credit than that. Let's see if someone else writes and says that it really is a time of day. I couldn't open
  allenmurphy: sorry, try again. nice to hear from ya kaptnunderpnts
3-2-1-Ah  performed by Los Canarios  1967
Recommended by tinks [profile]

These Canary Islands boys try their best to disguise their accents on this snarling proto-Stooges number with almost militaristic drumming and ethereal backing vocals. The flip to the club classic "Get on Your Knees".

from the single 3-2-1-Ah (Calla)
available on CD - Planetary Pebbles 2: Exitos a-Go-Go (AIP)

  shaka_klaus: i love this! great stuff!
90 Miles An Hour  performed by Ricky Fitzpatrick  2002
Recommended by gse [profile]

Remarkable cover of a classically great song. Ricky has an amazing voice and his solo guitar work is clean and just raw enough to engage you. Found him on hte web at

I can't think of another current unknown performer who deserves to be propelled into the realm of stardom more than Ricky.

In a word...spercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

from Ricky Fitzpatrick, available on CD

96 Tears  performed by Big Maybelle  1967
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Searing r&b cover of the ? & the Mysterians classic. Maybelle almost sounds like she singing this about somebody else, and like she's amused by the pain she's caused. I know it's been comped a number of times, but I'm not sure of where.

from the single 96 Tears (Rojac 112)

  shaka_klaus: nice one.
98.6  performed by Keith  1967
Recommended by konsu [profile]

This record always raises my temperature. Honest, charming, and always a delight to hear. The same chemistry that Burt Bacharach crafted comes across here without pretension or compromise. Great mix of loungey now sound and blue eyed soul. A timeless classic, and it doesn't stop there!

from Keith 98.6/I Ain't Gonna Lie (Mercury SR 61102/MG 21002)

  Swinging London: Have you ever noticed how similar the intro sounds to the tune of 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters'? The 'B' side to this song, 'The Teeny Bopper Song' is also very groovy.
  artlongjr: This was the song that turned me on to Keith, I also have "Daylight Savin' Time" which is excellent as well. His producer Jerry Ross apparently added some jazzy elements to his arrangements.
A Banda  performed by Chico Buarque de Hollanda  1963
Recommended by tinks [profile]

The original version of this Brazilian classic, it was covered by just about everybody. Has that children's chorus doing backing vocals that the Brazilians seem to love so much.

from Chico Buarque de Hollanda
available on CD - Minha Historia (Polygram Brazil)

  delicado: I was listening to Astrud Gilberto's translated version of this today (on the 'beach samba' LP), and I found it quite hard to handle. I will have to check out the original some time.
  heinmukk: the astrud gilberto version is rather strange. i mean, it's the march version or what? i don't like it. better take a listen to the version by france gall. i know it as "zwei apfelsinen im haar" which means "two oranges in the hair". (?) it's a classic in germany. france gall sings in german with a subtle french accent. can it get more sexy? i don't think so...
  sodapop650: If its the song Im thinking of, I think that Quarteto Em Cy do a nice cover as well.
A Hard Day’s Night  performed by Goldie Hawn  1998
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

A perfect straight-forward jazzy take on the Beatles' classic. Goldie is in peak performance and reminds me of Michelle Pfeiffer in 'Fabulous Baker Boys' on this song.

from George Martin - In My Life, available on CD

A Really Good Time  performed by Roxy Music  1975
Recommended by Undercover_Owl [profile]

A crooning Bryan Ferry (what else?), Odd timing (as all songs in this album), some classical instruments. Overall, an impassioned statement, sung very persuasively.

My favorite song of all time! I can listen to this one recorded song a million times and get the same feeling every time I hear it. It makes me feel inspired.

from Country Life (EMI ?)

Ah melody  performed by Serge Gainsbourg  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A slow number from Gainsbourg’s classic concept album, ‘Ah melody’ opens with that picked acoustic guitar sound which the group Air have now imitated and made one of their trademark sounds. The arrangement is very bare, with the guitar accompanied by just a vocal, bass, and a spikey, funky drum beat. Later in this short track, strings and Bacharach-style horns slip in and out of the mix, before everything stops abruptly. It’s a great track from what I find otherwise to be a slightly disappointing album.

from Histoire de Melody Nelson, available on CD

  e: ah delicado....
  Mike: Wonderful track; absolutely magic, and second only to "Manon" in Gainsbourg's output for me. In the context of the album, it's a kind of foil to the more vigourous remainder, an all-too-short lyrical interlude.
  Liv: Stellar. "Histoire de Melody Nelson" is one of THE best concept records of all time..period.(But you don't have to understand French to appreciate this wicked album..) The lush string arrangements, interweaving deep&funky bass, Gainsborough's sleazily "seductive" voice:sometimes whispering,sometimes "singing"..all adds to the perfection. I will always treasure this album.. ("Ah!Melody" is one of the "lighter" songs from the album as the overall atmosphere of the album is darker,creepier:a feeling of perversion, death & doomed love..) One of his best. Pure magic.
  olli: got to love that. one of the definite highlights in his amazingly diverse output for me.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough  performed by Diana Ross  1970
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Proving once and for all that she could carry herself as a solo artist and sing a dramatic love song, Ms. Ross slowed down the tempo and sank her emotions into this wonderful tale of unending love and devotion. The original full-length version clocks in at 6:16 but was brutally chopped down to around 3:30 for radio airplay and some of the song's most intimate words are removed. Sadly, the shorter version was featured on her box set a few years back. (what were they thinking???!!!) Get your hands on the 6 minute version and enjoy a true classic american song by a great american artist!

from Diana Ross, available on CD

  Mister C: I agree with you, the full length version of this is wonderful, as is her full length version of Reach Out I'll Be There recorded in 1971.
All I Need  performed by Air  1998
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

A beautiful track off Air's already classic debut album "Moon Safari". Actually the instrumental backing of this song is based on a track they released in 1996 ("Les professionels", later compiled on the "Premiers Symptomes" album). This one boasts such an enveloping warm analogue sound with all the vintage synths Air used (Moogs, Fender Rhodes etc.). On top of that there's the dream-like, sensual vocals by Beth Hirsch that gives it such a floating, laid-back tone. Sounds like the impression of a late summer sunset transcribed into sound. Wonderful.

from Moon Safari, available on CD

Always something there to remind me  performed by Gals and Pals  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An unusual take on this classic Burt Bacharach tune, more commonly heard sung by Sandie Shaw. This Swedish vocal group adds a musical phrase to the song which adds something to the atmosphere. The incredibly wide vocal range of the group is used to full effect. The result is a very appealing mixture of 60s pop and vocal jazz.

from Sing somethin for everyone (Fontana SRF67557)

  tempted: Check out the brand new debut album, "Melody a.m." by a Norwegian act called Royksopp. On the track "So Easy" they sample "Blue on Blue" recorded by the Gals&Pals and use it absolutely beautifully to create a haunting masterpiece.
  delicado: cool; I love their 'blue on blue', and will check it out, thanks.
  daedalia: yup, Royksopp did it well which is why i am at this page. Stunning album.
  daedalia: forgot: does anyone know where i can get blue on blue, what album??
  delicado: 'blue on blue' is on the same album, 'Sing somethin for everyone'; I believe (although I'll have to check) that it's also on the inexpensive Swedish compilation of Gals and Pals, 'Guldkorn'.
  masayo: Wow...I was moved. Much more impressed than Sandie Shaw's version. I want to listen to the whole track.
  tuktman: Bobby Vinton has a version of Blue on Blue, i think it might be his song, just found a 30second clip of it, between gals and pals and royksopp it's been changed a bit
  ashie259: There's also a 1963 Dutch-language version of Blue On Blue by Rob de Nijs called Stil Verdriet. There's a short clip on YouTube of it:
ano zero  performed by egberto gismonti  1972
Recommended by 77lemming [profile]

astonishingly beautiful, early 70s brazilian masterpiece. a classical piece disguised as a pop song, with a simple piano playing a wistful melody punctuated by an amazing unexpected ascending chord hook. gismonti sings the original version, with a string section and morricone-like wordless vocal backing him. for the final minute the key changes and the vocals and accompaniment stop, and the solo piano veers off into satie territory, before resolving back into the refrain. gismonti re-recorded this a few times, after finding success in europe as an avant/classical composer. this song also inspired the guitar and mandolin trio agua e vinho, who cover it on their self-titled album along with a few other gismonti compositions.

from agua e vinho, available on CD

Apple Of My Eye  performed by Ed Harcourt
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

Ed Harcourt has now committed this song to tape three times in three years. Firstly on the excellent debut mini-LP "Maplewood" in 2000. It was fleshed out and re-recorded for his full-length debut LP, "Here Be Monsters", in 2001, and now surfaces again in 2002 as the a-side of his most recent single. This time it's even better still, and comes accompanied with a great video. This is classic, piano led pop which could have been recorded at any time in the last 30 years. Comparisons to Randy Newman, Nick Drake andTom Waits have been forthcoming, and not unjustified. A great song which just gets better with each trip to the studio.

from Here Be Monsters, available on CD

As it is, when it was  performed by New Order  1986
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A classic 80s pop song, with New Order trademarks such as a super heavy bassline, strong drums and some frenetic guitar work. The lyrics aren't too bad for Bernard Sumner either - it's a touching (if not entirely coherent) story about lost love. A great song which fills me with nostagia.

from Brotherhood, available on CD

  frmars: No melody, poor voice, binary drums, rough and gritty instrumentation, It is a very bad song.
Autumn Leaves  performed by Grace Jones  1978
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A perrenial sesonal classic given a veneer of French disco sophistication,its appeal lies in retaining the melancholy of the songs intent whilst infusing the proceedings with something more up beat and Parisienne ,so the song runs at am exhaustive 8 minutes but leads you out of a forboding autumn and takes you nearer the optimism of spring. All achieved through the genius of arrangement and Miss Jones empathy with the song

from Fame, available on CD

Averil  performed by Mediaeval Baebes  2000
Recommended by Cyninglich [profile]

Taken from a 13th or 14th century poem (Fairest between Lincoln and Lindsey) this song is quite heartbreaking in its simplicity.

from Undrentide (BGM Classics)

Bahia  performed by Michel Magne  1962
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

A psychedelic Exotica classic. It really must be heard to be believed. For starters, Magne raises the genre's hallmark bird calls way, way over the top. Some of them sound like Donald Duck, some sound like theremins. Then there is the spaced-out arrangement which integrates the bird sounds and pushes the familiar melody in totally bizarre directions.

from Tropical Fantasy (Columbia CS-8493)

Batman and Robin Swing  performed by Sun Ra and the Blues Project
Recommended by djfreshmoney [profile]

Sun Ra does a kind of classically themed mambo blues thing here. Great stinging guitar work, mambo (cha cha) beat and then he launches into classical themes on organ. Not as wierd as it soungs - it all works perfectly.

from Batman and Robin, available on CD

Besame Mucho  performed by Lila Downs
Recommended by music2go [profile]

I am a collector of songs. Besame Mucho is one of my favorites and my favorite by far is by Lila Downs. The band she is playing with is what makes this song so great. The percussion is awesome. I am amazed that I am the first person to recommend Lila Downs as she was the singer for the movie Frida and has become well known since then. This Amer/Mex woman has several albums and to me is one of the best singers I have ever heard. I could go on and on. If you listen to the clip, it is only 20 -40 seconds and the band plays a long beginning so you may not even get to hear her voice. What a shame!

from Trazos

  FlyingDutchman1971: I will have to find this version and give it a listen. I am rather fond of the version by Cesaria Evora from the sountrack to the film 'Great Expectations' (1997)
Billy Liar  performed by Acker Bilk  1965
Recommended by standish [profile]

Acker's trad-jazz stuff leaves me cold, but this groovy instrumental picks up a musical theme (from the 1963 movie version of the Keith Waterhouse classic) and runs with it.

from Great Themes From Great European Movies (Columbia S(C)X 3576)

Black Talk  performed by Charles Earland  1969
Recommended by tinks [profile]

An AMAZING rearrangement of "Eleanor Rigby". Earland kills on organ, and he's backed up by the incredible Melvin Sparks on guitar and Houston Person on tenor sax. An absolute classic of Hammond jazz.

from Black Talk!, available on CD

Blowin up my mind  performed by The Exciters  196?
Recommended by Maximum_Bygraves [profile]

A Northern soul classic. I don't go a great bundle on northern usually, a bit stiff and strict tempo for me. This however sweats and creaks like the best Nashville Teens song you never heard with three PP Arnolds on vocals and a vibrato laden farfisa. Best lyrics ever as well, natch.

  OneCharmingBastard: What a great tune I just discovered thanks to this site ~ now that's what sites like this are supposed to do!
Born to Run  performed by Bruce Springsteen  1975
Recommended by jcolicchio [profile]

Classic wall-of-sound rock.

from Born to Run
available on CD - Columbia

Born Under a Bad Sign  performed by Booker T. & the MG's  1969
Recommended by tinks [profile]

An amazing, slow, funky cover of William Bell's classic electric blues. The whole thing serves as a great reminder of how instrumental the rhythm section of Al Jackson, Jr. & Duck Dunn was to "the Memphis Sound".

from Soul Limbo, available on CD

Breathe In Now  performed by George  2002
Recommended by sunsilk [profile]

A band that blend elements of classical, jazz, funk, rock, folk, and electronic music.

Why i like it; a beatiful song about moving forward in life, and Katie Noonan's vocals are wonderful to listen to....

...Say i love, i live and breathe in now....

from Polyserena, available on CD

Build A Rocket  performed by Chad Rex  2002
Recommended by MoeShinola [profile]

Chad does country rock. The album is Songs To Fix Angels, which should go down as one of the best records ever to come out of our local scene(Kansas City, MO). The songs on it sound like stuff you grew up hearing on the radio. Build A Rocket is fast & upbeat, kinda punky.

from Songs To Fix Angels (Mars Motors)

Burn The Elastic  performed by Violet
Recommended by diamon [profile]

Was on Mixmag Lost Classics CD.

By the time I get to Phoenix  performed by Dorothy Ashby  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

The idea of a funky jazz harp rendition of this classic Jim Webb song is probably cheesy to some people, but trust me, this one works brilliantly. The opening shimmers delightfully with fender rhodes piano, strings, and a huge breakbeat. Dorothy's harp then takes over, and we move into a nice pop/funk/jazz take on the song. The relentless beat is pretty funny when you compare this version to others (e.g. the Glen Campbell hit version, also Nick Cave's classic stripped down version from 'Kicking against the pricks'), but it is really very charming, happy stuff. A similar funk/pop hybrid occurs on her version of 'Windmills of your mind' - highly recommended.

from Dorothy's Harp (Cadet)

Can Your Monkey do the Dog?  performed by The Tee-Set  1966
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Dutch R&Bsters lay down their finest Spencer Davis Group imitation on this Rufus Thomas classic. From their '66 LP "Emotion", which also features the Nederbeat classic "Don't You Leave".

from Emotion, available on CD

  umbrellasfollowrain: I'm really interested in tracking this down. I badly want it for a friend's birthday mix cd. Do you know of anywhere that I could download the complete song online? Say you did then oh wow, would that ever be cool.
Caroline, No  performed by Nick DeCaro  1969
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

Glad to see all of the Nick DeCaro recommendations here. I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and recommend my favorite DeCaro recording.

DeCaro interprets the "Pet Sounds" classic in a jazz style which recalls Chet Baker more readily than Brian Wilson.

A suprisingly emotional track which stands on its own.

Good Beach Boys covers seem to be a rare thing. This is easily the best I've heard. Any recommendations?

from Happy Heart (A&M SP-4176)

  konsu: Claudine Longet did a great version of "God Only Knows" on her Let's Spend The Night Together LP from 1972 (BR-15001). Although her version is not what i'd call jazzy, more like meadow-flower California country? Nick Decaro arranged a lot of her 60's albums.
  bobbyspacetroup: I've actually been looking for that LP. It seems to be one of the less common Claudine records... Thanks for the recommendation!
  konsu: I was recently introduced to Four King Cousins version of "God only Knows", also an A&M product from 1967... It's more faithful vocally to the original arrangement, only it's four girls doing the harmonies!
  Mike: James Warren (of The Korgis and Stackridge) has recorded a version of "Caroline, No" which I'd be very interested to hear.
  artlongjr: I have this 45 by Nick DeCaro. What's weird is I heard it before I heard the Beach Boys original, which I first listened to in 1996.
Casino Royale  performed by 18th Century Corporation  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a rather ridiculous but super–catchy take on this theme to the 1967 spoof Bond movie. Performed by German session musicians, it ends up being a rather groovy mix, with viola d’amore, flute, female wordless vocals, harpsichord, and that other staple of the Baroque era, funky drums. It’s short and sweet and really very cool. The late sixties were cool for many reasons, but one of them is that they could accomodate TWO albums called 'Bacharach Baroque' - this one, and the other great Snuff Garrett-produced one by 'The Renaissance'. Both are superb.

from Bacharach Baroque (United Artists)

  leonthedog: I found the entire "Bacharach Baroque" album superb! The "baroque" is not overdone. The arrangements are very pleasing - better than most of the hundreds of instrumental takes on Bacharach that surfaced in the 60's and early 70's. So where can I find more by the ephemeral "18th Century Corporation"?
Cast Your Fate To The Wind  performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio  1962
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Two years before he became the musician responsible for the great music featured in the classic 'Peanuts'animated TV specials, Vince Guaraldi and his trio hit the charts with this great little instrumental that is the epitome of San Fransisco-style jazz. Vince Guaraldi was a master at Jazz piano and the artists who performed with him created truly great performances that any lover of jazz will be glad to have in their collection.

PS: Released as the B-Side of a single to radio stations, disc jockeys preferred it over the A-Side.

from Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, available on CD

Catolé  performed by Orquestra Jean Kelson  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a jazzy, haunting track from an LP I bought in Brazil last year. I've tried hard to find information about Jean Kelson, but the only mention I've found (other than those I've made myself) is in one of Ed Motta's excellent archived radio shows at his official site ( Ed plays a different track from this album, Munganga.

Catolé sounds musically like a variation of Baden Powell's classic 'Berimbau', and opens with an incredibly catchy refrain featuring piano, percussion and trumpet. Gentle male voices then come in and flesh out the melody. The entire album is great. I wonder what the chances are of it coming out on CD...

from Berimbau e Bigorrilho (Copacabana CLPS 21012)

Chain of Fools  performed by Jimmy Brown  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Absolutely stunning hammond version of the Don Covay/Aretha classic on this label out of Nashville. Another guy that I know nothing about.

from the single Chain of Fools (A-Bet)

  shaka_klaus: great track!
  shaka_klaus: great track!
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)  performed by Darlene Love  1963
Recommended by schlick [profile]

Darlene really gives it her all on this song which has become an all-time holiday classic.

from A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, available on CD

Classical Gas  performed by Eric Clapton
Recommended by thenewyear01 [profile]

Close to You  performed by The Renaissance  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A great example of a classical-pop arrangement where a pop song gets a pseudo-classical treatment. Here, this Bacharach classic is rendered with harpsichord and wordless scat vocals, and the result is kitschy but also stunningly beautiful.

from Bacharach Baroque (Summit)

  scrubbles: That's a delightful little sample. I've also heard their wonderful rendition of "Always Something There to Remind Me" -- somebody's gotta put that album out on CD!
Cupidz Tune  performed by Hugh Doolan  1998
Recommended by jinjahman [profile]

Classic Byrdsey tone to this folk rock gem from the album 'Slopey'. the drumming is pure delight and the chorus is a gospel-binding rouser

from Slopey, available on CD

Dance Girl Dance  performed by Cinerama  1998
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Dave Gedge, main man in long-time British alternative band The Wedding Present, decided to do something a bit different in the latter part of the 1990s, so he enlisted girlfriend Sally Murrell and a number of musical friends and put out some really good material under the name Cinerama. The purpose was to do some less noisy, more classic-pop oriented tunes, and it worked like a charm! This track, their second single, is a sprightly '60s-influenced number, which means it's mega-tightly produced and has the rhythm guitars at the back of the mix where they belong. It also has a nifty string and piano arrangement. Lyrically it's a fantasy about a girl he wants very badly (not in real life presumably). The song is on my '90s top ten list for sure!

available on CD - Va Va Voom (spinART)

Dance, Bunny Honey, Dance  performed by Penny McLean  1977
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

From that much maligned genre, eurodisco, comes an amazing story of a young girl moving to the city. She has dreams of dancing and making it under the bright lights, but is confronted only by people who see sexuality in her dancing, not freedom. She is exploited; her ideals ruined.

People think I make too much of the genius of Penny. I can often be heard espousing, at length, her brilliance and analysing her songs (I tend to do the latter in my head - there's only so much friends can take). Penny was pretty famous in Germany and only vaguely so everywhere else, primarily for the disco classic Lady Bump. She is now a sci-fi/fantasy novelist but unfortunately her books have not been translated into English else I'd doubtless find social comment in those as well...

from Penny (Columbia (Canadian) PCC-90446)

Dancer  performed by Gino Soccio  1979
Recommended by geezer [profile]

An electronic collusus,the real joy of repitition ,its influence is 50% Kraftwerk and the same of Giorgio Moroder,a lenghthy epic dance workout ,increasing in intensity as it hurtles ,train like, to its sweaty conclusion ,its one concession to its American origins is the radio friendly vocal style ,imagine Hall and Oates being produced by Moroder and you are some way there .

A small hit at the time which has grown into a genuine dance classic,re mixed and revised several times ,but its always that relentless rhythym which grabs the listener,refusing to let go .

from Dancer
available on CD - Best of

Dark On You Now  performed by The Ashes  1967
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

This song is a classic of the psychedelic era, by a group that later became known as the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. I first discovered it years ago on a 1967 compilation album called "West Coast Love-In" which featured about four of the Ashes' songs. It was "Dark on You Now" that really wigged me out-it is an awesome, slow-paced, moody number that features the spine-tingling vocals of Sandi Robison and the prominent 12-string guitar of John Merrill. The song is incredibly atmospheric and reminds me of a combination of the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane when both of those groups were in their prime. It is also at four minutes plus quite long for the era. I listed this as being recorded in 1967 but it may have been waxed in any rate it is surely one of the great songs of the early psychedelic era.

I have the first Peanut Butter Conspiracy album which contains a re-recorded version of this song, harder rocking and not nearly as good. The original Ashes version was recorded as a 45 for the Vault label (which also issued "West Coast Love-In").

from Spreading from the Ashes (Big Beat)
available on CD - Spreading From the Ashes (Big Beat)

  n-jeff: I'm sure I have this on one of the pebbles "Highs of the mid sixties" series ("volume 3 Hollywood a go-go" IIRC) although I believe they credit it as "Follow the sun", I'm sure. Great summer song.
  artlongjr: That is a cover version by a band called the Love Exchange..."Swallow the Sun" is a key lyric in this song, but I really don't know what it means!
Daybreak  performed by Best Of Friends  1970
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Had it been released under different circumstances, this song might have been one of the enduring soft-rock classics of the early 70s. It's got a catchy, haunting melody and one can easily imagine it charting alongside Bread or Seals And Crofts or whoever.

Best Of Friends were essentially the East Coast-based songwriting/guitar duo of Bing Bingham and Joe Knowlton. I'm not sure how, but Eumir Deodato and legendary bossa nova producer Roberto Quartin took a shine to them and recorded this album for Brazilian release on Quartin's eponymous experimental label of the early 70s. The album even features Dom Um Romao on drums. It's actually a straight-forward pop-rock album of its era, with little to no Brazilian overtones. This same duo would later make an album on RCA as "Joe And Bing."

This title track was also covered by Astrud Gilberto on her 1972 "Now" LP, arranged by (coincidence?) Mr. Deodato himself....

from Daybreak (Quartin)

Death Angel  performed by Substantial Evidence  1967
Recommended by jscarbo4 [profile]

Classic, classic, classic....what an awesome use of keyboard technique. Written by Rusty Zoller, the song was recorded by this Biloxi, Mississippi group and has been relead in a compilation disk by Gear Fab label. See more about the group at:

Detroit 442  performed by Blondie  1977
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

In some ways an obvious pop-punk classic, but still one that's generally overlooked in favour of their singles. One of the greatest nights between my best friend and I was the time that not only did we discover this was both of our favourite Blondie song, but we found out that, rather shamefully, each of us harboured a secret crush on Rimmer from Red Dwarf.

The song is the best among some real class on Plastic Letters. The noises made by a band on the brink of the mainstream super-success they were so worthy of. Deborah Harry never sounded tougher (except perhaps on Rifle Range), a persona that fits her like the ripped catsuit she famously sported on Top Of The Pops.

from Plastic Letters, available on CD

diggin deeper  performed by asha puthli  197?
Recommended by hewtwit [profile]

This is a great funky version of the jj cale classic. Groovy and sexy as can be.

  tulipthe: hi, thats a great track. Its from the first LP "Asha Puthli". Have u heard the song "Space Talk" from her album ' The Devil is Loose' also a fantastic track. btw, the year for 'Right down here " is 1974 way ahead of its time,like most of her music.
Disco 2000  performed by Pulp  1995
Recommended by chris kane [profile]

Britpop classic from the mid 90's. Bits of every great pop record ever

  daniela_por: I love this song. Have you heard keane's cover? It's not as good as the original, but it's nice :)
  delicado: There's a Nick Cave cover that I think is pretty cool.
Don’t Talk to Me About Love  performed by Altered Images  1983
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

By late 1983, when Altered Images' third and final album, Bite, was released, Altered Images were already dead in the water. The group had never made any particular headway in the US, where their blend of Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Monkees (not to mention Claire Grogan's bizarre, baby-talk hiccup of a singing voice) was just a little too weird for mainstream tastes, and in their native UK, their colorful look and bubblegummy 1982 singles "I Could Be Happy" and "See Those Eyes" had forever typecast them as a kiddie-pop band. Grogan was already branching off in her second career as an actress (she played the title role in Bill Forsyth's 1982 cult classic Gregory's Girl), and Bite seemed like a mere contractual obligation. For the most part, it sounds like it, too, but the brilliant single "Don't Talk To Me About Love," which led off side two, was a welcome surprise, and possibly the best song they ever did. Mike Chapman's production recalls his work with Blondie, while the disco-tinged electronic beat, chicken-scratch electric guitar part and rubbery, melodic bass part all sound closer to New Order's "Blue Monday" than Bananarama's "Cruel Summer." Grogan herself is in an entirely different mood than usual, with her newly-lowered singing voice (and slightly improved enunciation) displaying a rueful, almost petulant edge that suits the cranky lyrics. Only at the very end does she shoot into her usual helium-pitched unintelligibility, with an air of "See, I can still do this, I just choose not to anymore." Coupled with the most indelible chorus of the band's entire career, it all adds up to a minor masterpiece. Sadly, however, nobody wanted to know.

from Bite (Portrait 25413)
available on CD - Bite...Plus (Edsel)

Double Concerto for Flute and Oboe  performed by claudio abbado  1972
Recommended by lesbianwalrus [profile]

its not a song. its a classical composition. - the most ingenious composition in history.

from clear or cloudy

down at the nightclub  performed by the creeps  1983
Recommended by shaka_klaus [profile]

classic swedish 80's garage. the creeps finest hour. find it and enjoy!

from enjoy the creeps

Dream a little dream  performed by Billie Holiday
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

A beautiful,wistful and classic ballad sung by one of the greatest voices of all time.

  xfanatic50: Love, love, love this song... Billie Holiday has such an amazingly raw voice.
Early Sherwood  performed by Philamore Lincoln  1968
Recommended by geezer [profile]

From a recent cd re-issue of a for once real lost classic from the enigmatic but well connected Mr Lincoln. This sort of mines the same seam as Syd Barrett but this is psyche pop firmly rooted in English folk/folkloreand the joining of a collage of three different song parts,what some would refer to as an opus or epic.Haunting nursery rhyme intro makes way for weird fairground interlude and lysergic distraction before concluding with the painfully beautiful intro section,before finishing way too early for its own good.They dont make them like this anymore and couldnt if they tried this is from a different time and place.

from The north Wind blew South
available on CD - The North wind Blew South

Ears  performed by Cinerama  1998
Recommended by tinks [profile]

The first line says it all: "I've gone as far/as I can go with this crap". A classically lush pop tale of infidelity. This bitter duet featuring Emma Pollock of the Delgados has a brooding feel reminiscent of great orchestral pop of the past, especially that of Barry and Bacharach.

from Va Va Voom, available on CD

  delicado: I was a huge 'Wedding Present' fan, so I really should check this out, thanks.
  tinks: absolutely, cinerama's first album is excellent. quite a bit different from the wedding present, but very good in it's own way.
Earth (Gaia)  performed by The Orb  1991
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

This song is a great trancy piece of work! It opens with dialogue lifted from the soundtrack of the cult classic 1980 film 'Flash Gordon. "Klytus, I'm booooored.... what plaything can you offer me today?" "... the inhabtants refer to it as the planet... earth..." "how peaceful it looks"... The song then goes to a great drum break and a voice not unlike Alexander Scorby reading cryptic Bible-like phrases, "the mountains shall drop sweet wine and the hills shall melt"

A nice change from watching Wizard of Oz with the Dark Side of the Moon soundtrack, if you know what I mean...

from The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, available on CD

Eden Rock  performed by Fifth Avenue Band  1969
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Another stunner from an album full of them, "Eden Rock" finds common ground between folk-rock and quiet storm, sounding very ahead of its time. Piano, congas, bass, Spanish guitar and a smoooove lead vocal over jazzy changes mark this as a lost classic. It anticipates many of the paths that 70s pop, rock and R&B would follow. Two minutes and twenty-five seconds of joy.

from Fifth Avenue Band (Reprise RS 6369)

Empty Pages  performed by Traffic  1970
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Classic period Traffic ,soulful vocals ,jazzy electric piano and funky flute .Never soaring but gently uplifting on a sunny morning.

from John Barleycorn Must Die, available on CD

Eu Nao Sou Causa, Sou Consequencia  performed by Claudia  1972
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Completely delightful "Garra"-style Marcos Valle song, only available as an obscure B-side. Claudia gives a typically stirring vocal performance over an arrangement filled with strings, horns and probably the exact same rhythm section as on Marcos' classic tune, which Claudia also covered.

from 7" (Odeon)

Eurpe After The Rain  performed by John Foxx  1981
Recommended by geezer [profile]

The magical Mr Foxx begins to allow some warmth into his sound after the detached ,sometimes clinical feel of his early Ultravox records and alienated classic "Metamatic".The voice is still remote and the lyrics open to a vaugue interpretation but this sublime piece of post punk pop benefits from Spanish guitar and an almost Abba-esque piano motif .This new found warmth adds a feel of hope and optimism to a previously bleak musical landscape .

from The Garden, available on CD

Everybody’s Got to learn Sometime  performed by The Korgis  1979
Recommended by Mike [profile]

An absolute classic of British pop. Beautiful song whose verses and chorus each use original and stunningly effective chord sequences. The verse's melody line is exceptionally fine, as is the atmospheric production.

from Dumb Waiters (Rialto)
available on CD - Don't Look Back - the very best of the Korgis (Castle)

Exodus  performed by Tielman Brothers  1965
Recommended by eleki-san [profile]

Vocal version of the classic 'Exodus' Theme. Reverberated deep 60s stereophonic sound, Andy Tielman's voice, the powerful background choir and the reverberated guitars make this version a true masterpiece.
(there's an incredible story on the listener reviews at Amazon about this band)

Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)  performed by Julie Andrews  1964
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Most people probably prefer 'Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious' or 'Spoonful of Sugar', but this is my favorite song from the classic film. It can still make me cry whenever I hear it.

from 'Mary Poppins' Original Soundtrack, available on CD

Flowers And Beads  performed by Iron Butterfly  1968
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Not everybody remembers this, but the "other" side of the famous "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" album featured five rather terrific songs. And this one has "cool passion" written all over it, because the lyrics are straight-ahead I'm-in-love-and-I'm-almost-tongue-tied-about-it but within a medium-paced 6/8 framework rather than a frantic groove. Meanwhile the organ and the choir-like backing vocals give it a lot of warmth. So it sounds like what I'm saying is that it manages to be both cool and warm at the same time. That may not make sense, but it's a great song off a classic LP.

Incidentally, rock writer Dave Marsh in one of his reviews said "It's now garbage" about this LP. Bullfeathers! It's still a classic. It makes me wonder what Marsh thinks is not garbage these days -- misogynous rubbish about ho's and bitches perhaps?

from In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, available on CD

Focus II  performed by Focus  1971
Recommended by Mike [profile]

The second in a series of instrumental tracks all sharing the same name as the band which appeared on different albums by them.

What do I like about it? I like the fact that I have the same feeling some of the best Genesis gives me that these guys have really absorbed some of what I find appealing about classical music and fused it with something rocky.

from Moving Waves (EMI)

Foolin' Around  performed by Chris Montez  1967
Recommended by Swinging London [profile]

'We won't do anything that shouldn't be done, only the groovy things like having fun'...& there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, in my book.

This is the title track to Chris Montez's third album with A&M, produced by Herb Alpert & it's very, very sweet, but, for some reason not sickly so. That's the magic of mid-'sixties Chris Montez.

This song was almost a hit in Britain. It was released just as the pirate radio stations were about to be banned. It was 'Record Of The Week' on Radio London the week it was shut down and sadly never grabbed it's deserved foothold after that.

A lot of people are taken aback by how high Chris's voice was when he sang, but once you get over that, his music from the A&M era (1966-8) is strangely addictive. Very warm and melodic.

He did mostly cover songs, mostly 'hits of the day', but also generous helpings of classics from the 1940's & '50's. Always giving them a brand new very mid-'sixties treatment.

from Foolin' Around (A & M)

For a Few Dollars More  performed by Al Caiola  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A wickedly funky and twangy take on this classic Morricone theme. The beat is very cool - funky and surprisingly insistent, reminiscent of some of the best tracks on Howard Roberts's albums of the time on capitol. This track is from the interesting LP 'King Guitar', which also yields a Vinnie Bell-esque 'watery guitar' take on 'Sleepwalk' and a version of 'Tiny Bubbles' done in Latin boogaloo style.

from King Guitar (United Artists UAS 6586)

For Once In My Life  performed by Pia Zadora  1986
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Do not rub your eyes, you read that right, PIA ZADORA! Don't stop reading now, I promise you this is not a joke! Who knew that the squeaky little girl with the string of bad movies and the chubby cheeks had such a great voice. I didn't and was only buying the LP with the expectation of amusement at how hilariously bad this listening experience was going to be, but I am now a convert and you will be too if you ever chance to come across this rare out-of-print album. With the help of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the lush arrangement by Robert Farnon, Ms. Zadora takes this classic Stevie Wonder track and transforms it into a beautiful torchy anthem that escalates to a triumphant finish!

from I Am What I Am (CBS/Columbia BFZ 40533)

Function at the Junction  performed by Ramsey Lewis  1966
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A very swinging, groovy Latin jazz take on Shorty Long's Motown classic finds Lewis at the height of his form. As expected, Richard Evans turns in an astounding arrangement, utilizing handclaps, studio chatter and a magnificent horn chart.

from Goin' Latin (Cadet)

Genius Next Door  performed by Regina Spektor  2009
Recommended by Mike [profile]

It's all very beautiful, but the power is particularly in the chorus and the instrumental break which follows it. I am pretty sure that Regina has heard a piece of music which I know and like, such is the strong sense of familiarity I get when I hear this short instrumental part...I mean it sounds like something I particularly like and already know. I can't place the piece at the moment, but will amend when I might be something from a jazz/classical crossover albums.

Jeff Lynne does a fantastic job with the production...the sound is spectacular.

from Far, available on CD

Girl Don’t Come  performed by Sandie Shaw  1964
Recommended by golden [profile]

From the minor key trombone intro to the teenage angst of the lyrics, this is a classic song of the 60's that totally encapulates the innocent era of the UK beat boom. Sandie Shaw was probably the best selling UK female singer from 64 to 69, slightly outselling her contemporaries Dusty, Cilla and Lulu and although she possessed a weaker voice than the others, what she lacked in volume she made up in style and interpretation. Sweet and slightly soulful with a quasi tuneless ache to her voice which epitomised a teenager stood up by some beatnik no hoper, she was only 17 and showed the ways of a woman several years older. In the UK it was the follow up to the massive UK No 1 ''Always Something There To Remind Me'' and was a massive Top 3 hit that should have gone all the way to the top.
I love this record - it sums up an era, it is the beginning of a suit of girl singers who changed then style of singing, from 50's twee to 60's ''dolly bird'' and it remains a classic pop single from a girl who held the record for the most No 1 hits for a ssolo female for 19 years

from n/a (Pye)

  shakeahand: Quite agree. One of my first LPs as a teen was a greatest hits - and for me she summed up the 60s female vocal. For big, brassy and emotion-laden power pop, see also Long Walk Home.
  Swinging London: It was initially released as the 'B' side of the much weaker: 'I'd Be Far Better Off Without You'. Someone, probably a DJ, flipped it over. I love the arrangement on this. It's full of atmosphere. It seems to completely capture the time. Another of her songs that has a similar effect is 'You've Not Changed', which wasn't as big a hit and seems to have been forgotten and is often excluded from Greatest Hits Comps.
God only knows  performed by Mandy More
Recommended by moondog [profile]

Absolutely heartrending cover of the beach boys classic. May i even go as far as to say it superseeds the original ? I think i will for the time being. Mandy puts the whole song in a groovier context but never forgets the universal melody/appeal of the orginal. Taken from an reissue thats worth checking out too

from but that is me

  delicado: Wow - this changes the song completely - different rhythm, different melody, different chords! It\'s definitely interesting although I think if I had to choose a cover to recommend I\'d choose the Four King Cousins version. Do you know that one?
  moondog: No, i haven´t heard that one although i know four king cousins, i guess its on that rev ola reissue with the roger nichols track, have to check it out then.
  moondog: No, i haven´t heard that one although i know four king cousins, i guess its on that rev ola reissue with the roger nichols track, have to check it out then.
Going out of My Head  performed by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A wonderful version of “Going out of my head”, which was originally sung by Little Anthony and the Imperials. It's a great song anyway, with really nice words (well, nice for a Smiths fan like me, anyway: 'there's no reason being shy...should keep us apart...'), but Sergio Mendes also adds an extra musical edge to the chorus, and this really adds a new dimension to the song. The instrumentation is classic Brasil 66: Percussive jazz piano, group vocals, and a driving bossa nova beat.

from Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 (A&M SP4116)

  whoops: I totally agree with you. Their version of Caetalo Veloso's Lost in paradise is also quite wonderful.
Gudrun  performed by Pierrot Lunaire  1976
Recommended by dedismo [profile]

One of the best groups immersed in the second wave of Italian progressive bands. They were able to fluidly combine classical and avant-garde elements in an involving manner with electric and acoustic instruments complemented by light, soft vocals. Arturo Stalteri piano, organ, spinet, cembalo, synth, glockenspiel, acoustic guitar, recorder, tambourine, violin Gaio Chiocchio electric & acoustic guitar, mandoline, harpsicord, synth, shaj baja, zither tirolese, sitar, bell Jacqueline Darby voice This group was formed by piano virtuoso Arturo STALTERI , it reminds me of Schoenberg+Ennio Morricone goes to the prog church with a crisp broadcast-like vocalist (experimental). Sometimes it makes people want to skin cats.

from Gudrun (MP RECORDS MPRCD008)

  delicado: this sounds very cool! I particularly like your last comment about skinning cats; I wonder if it will have that effect on me...
Guitarras Em Fogo  performed by Waltel Branco  196?
Recommended by sodapop650 [profile]

Waltel Branco is the guitarist on a lot of classic early and mid-sixties Bossa LPs with outfits with Wilson Das Neves, Eumir Deodato and I think Ed Lincoln. There is also the classic and highly prized "Mancini Tamem e Samba" LP under his leadership that is available once again on the whatmusic label. Branco is like a Brazilian Les Paul but a little less quirky and a lot more hip. You can't help being more hip with that latin beat backing you up. Lots of deep lumbering compelling beats allow Branco to highlight his fretwork, thus the title - as far as I can translate becasue the cover is a picture of a flame - "Guitars on Fire." Similar to Heraldo Dos Monte "Batida Diferente".

from Guitarra Em Fogo (Musidisc HiFi 2.056)

guns of brixton  performed by nouvelle vague  2004
Recommended by olli [profile]

bossa nova version! superb cover of the clash classic. highly recommended.

from nouvelle vague (peacefrog)

  Ricard: Love this version... it's all slowed down, and it makes it sound so menacing!
Gutter Cat vs. The Jets  performed by Alice Cooper Band  1972
Recommended by Tangento [profile]

Here is a prime example of the endless amount of creativity this band had.
They take a song/ concept from a broadway musical, and transform it into an unparalelled, irresistable rock classic.
(That you will NEVER F*#%ing HEAR on a "Classic Rock Station" - They choose stale ClearChannel Playlists over quality & taste)

Alice & the band (his best lineup ever, 1969-74) have created a masterpiece of imaginative rock music here.

The sequence beginning with:
"...Midnight/ Catfight/ Neckbite/ ...Die!"
...and the following interlude leading up to the
'Street Fight' and including the 'Jets Chant'
is one of my favorite pieces of music EVER, by ANYONE.
I get chills to this day.
I wonder if Leonard Bernstein ever heard this, and what he thought.

from School's Out, available on CD

Hammerhead’s apartment  performed by David Whitaker  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a beautiful bossa-tinged theme with a great blend of strings and brass. The flute/trombone melody is accompanied by an incredibly rich and airy string sound, which swells as the melody builds. The strings alone compel me to listen to this track repeatedly – their remarkably thick, drenched sound recalls some of my favorite Ennio Morricone pieces (particularly those on the fantastic ‘Mondo Morricone’ compilation). Musically, the entire ‘Hammerhead’ score seems to have been influenced by John Barry's Bond scores, and by the less goofy parts of Burt Bacharach's ‘Casino Royale’ score. As well as being a haunting movie theme, this track has elements of that classic loungey film score sound from the mid-sixties.

from Hammerhead OST (Colgems)

  nighteye: This song is excellent! Haven't seen the movie starring Peter Vaughan yet, but the bossa sound reminds me of the early John Barry pieces. I can't stop listening to it! Thank you Jonny!
Hazel’s Groove  performed by Custom Blue
Recommended by aquila49 [profile]

Chill classic!

from Acoustic Chill

Henry The 8th  performed by Herman’s Hermits
Recommended by SuzyCreamcheese [profile]

The song is kinda annnoying, but you just gotta love that beat and the classic line, "Second Verse, same as the First!" :)

Here Comes The Sun  performed by Nina Simone  1971
Recommended by jaflapper [profile]

Nina's version of this George Harrison classic is brilliant. She makes this song sound as if it were her own. The emotion in her voice send chills down my spine.

  rooftop_holler: wow, this is hauntingly lovely. thanks for pointing me in it's direction. it's gonna be a refrain on the "summertime tape" (working title only) i'm building right now...a refrain someplace in there to track 2 (the beatles version, following ELO's "mr blue sky")
Here Comes The Sun  performed by The Beatles  1969
Recommended by fr0mthepast [profile]

60s classic pop song, perfect sound for a sumemrs day. I like it because it is the song to just make a day fele brighter and happier, it's picnic music.

from Abby Road

High Wire  performed by Edwin Astley & His Orchestra
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

A gem from the classic '60s television soundtrack to "Secret Agent Man"/"Danger Man". Driving rhthym with harpsichord and brass.

Hot Wind  performed by Les Baxter  1969
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

I'm surprised this hasn't been recommended already! "Hot Wind" is a breakbeat classic that's been sampled by the likes of DJ Shadow. Unlike a lot of breakbeat sources, however, this is a great little number in itself. It begins with a desolate harmonica, then those killer drums, fuzz guitar and quasi-Blaxploitation horns kick in. I could picture it backing a raunchy scene with some biker dude peeling out into the desert, spreading dust everywhere. Cool.

from Hell's Belles soundtrack (Sidewalk)

Hotcha Girls  performed by Ugly Cassanova  2003
Recommended by Open Book [profile]

Ugly Cassanova made its mark in my soul with this track. Combining Isaac Brock's brilliant song writing with the painfully sweet voice of John Orth from Holopaw, this song sweeps in and out of beautiful melodies in such a way that leaves me absolutely awestruck. It's too bad they couldn't make the rest of their debut this good... the album itself has it's moments, but besides a few standout tracks, fails to completely fulfill my hopes for it's potential with such a star-studded line up. Nothing, however, will ever take away from the solid truth that this song is absolutely stunning, and as far as my opinions go, it's an instant classic.

from Sharpen Your Teeth, available on CD

Hurry to Me  performed by Roy Budd  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A superb recording of a really perfect song. Ennio Morricone's theme to the obscure movie 'metti, una cera a cena' (one night at dinner) is here performed in a classic crisp, clear version by Roy Budd. I'm not sure if I love this recording so much because it was the first version I heard, but I think it may even be better than the Morricone recording. Anyway, if you don't know this song, you will probably recognise it when you hear it. It features an infuriatingly catchy repetitive female wordless-vocal over a gentle bossa beat, with rich strings and piano. Every now and then everything goes quiet and all you hear are the vocals and a faint tremelo guitar. It is really amazingly beautiful. There is also a great italian version of this song by Milva, which sounds amazingly like the group Stereolab.

from Soldier Blue (Pye NSPL 18348)
available on CD - Sound Spectrum (Sequel)

  leonthedog: The Budd version is also available on "Rebirth of the Budd," for those (like myself) wanting an introduction to his work. The Sandpipers' version on "Canto Morricone Vol." is equally nice.
  DickieB: I just wanted to recommend ‘The Sound Spectrum’ which this is on. I’ve had a copy of years but have only just realised that it’s essential listening - if you like this sort of thing, probably drive you mad otherwise.
  delicado: Yes, it\'s a cracking compilation. It\'s so well done that if you listen to the tracks out of context (e.g. on the original LPs), they don\'t sound as thrilling as they do on this mix!
I Am the Walrus  performed by Spooky Tooth  1970
Recommended by schlick [profile]

The band transforms the classic Beatles hit song into a great, heavy, throbbing rocker.

from The Last Puff (A&M (US) / Island (UK))

I Bleed  performed by The Pixies  1989
Recommended by naked mardou [profile]

This song is recommended for anyone who likes Weezer's Undone (The Sweater Song), and doesn't know its true roots. This track happens to be the exact same song, with different lyrics, recorded many a year before Weezer came along. With a slow and steady tempo and half-sung, half-spoken lyrics, this chill classic is a must for any playlist.

available on CD - Doolittle (4AD)

I Can't Wait To Get To See My Baby's Face  performed by Dusty Springfield  1967
Recommended by tempted [profile]

To me this is the coolest recording of the loungey soul pop classic. Dusty's performance is as excellent as ever and it puts a lot of weight on the lyrics that contemplate what to do with an unfaithful man. Saint Etienne built their track "Nothing Can Stop Us" on a sample of the main flute and horn riff.

from Where Am I Going?, available on CD

  delicado: Wow, Saint Etienne used the sample well! I must confess I had no idea that riff was sampled. Great track!
  Arthur: A much covered song and I'm afraid the over rated Dusty is way down the list in the quality stakes. Stick with Jeanette "Baby" Washingtons 'Sue' label version !
  eftimihn: Hmm, i must admit i don't know enough versions of this song to put up a ranking, but i just can't imagine Dusty scoring rather low on such a list. Simply wonderful and yeah, Saint Etienne used that sample to great effect.
i don’t know what i can save you from  performed by kings of convenience  2001
Recommended by device [profile]

personally, i enjoy this song in a large part because of the story it tells. i would really like for this to happen to me... it's just a very poignant thing. as to the mechanics of the song, however, some gentle strumming and a bit of classical guitar-style picking lends to the mellow and comforting quality of this song (and the whole album).

from Quiet is the New Loud, available on CD

  FCS: I like this song also, both because of lyrics and melody. And I suggest you check out Royksopp's remix of this song
i heard it through the grapevine  performed by the slits  1979
Recommended by olli [profile]

brilliant version of the marvin gaye classic. the funk bassline, primitive drumming and the sheer energy of ari up's semi-braying vocals is what makes the song for me. often i find the slits' songs a bit directionless, but this one really hits the spot. look into miy window while this is playing. chances are i'll be doing some sort of jerky white guy- dance.

available on CD - cut (bonus track) (antilles)

  Ricard: Totally agree... straight from the ominous chanty intro and drum break this one really makes you want to dance.
I Know You  performed by Angela & The Fans  1966
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Think bouncy, 60's brit-girl classic. Makes me tingle all over with happiness. This was on the flip on a Man From UNCLE novelty, Love Ya Illya, and is actually by that queen of opulence Alma Cogan in disguise.

from the single I Know You (Pye 7N.17108)
available on CD - Here Come The Girls 6 (Sequel)

I Never Dreamed  performed by The Cookies  1964
Recommended by john_l [profile]

A girl-group classic! It has a very interesting rhythm, which guitars, bass, piano, drum fills, and backing vocals all help to construct ... and then it changes completely within the bridge! The sound is lush, the lead vocal great and soulful. Even in its own genre this is a standout, so why it didn't become a hit is beyond me.

available on CD - The Complete Cookies (Sequel)

I Promise to Wait My Love  performed by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas  1968
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

'60s Motown rarely strayed from that classic sound, but this one attempts an earthier, Muscle Shoals/Stax-like sound -- with brilliant results. Martha's voice could even be mistaken for Aretha here. An underrated, mighty danceable single with killer rhythmic guitars, tambourines and a bubbling bassline.

from Ridin' High (Gordy)
available on CD - Ridin' High/Sugar and Spice (Motown)

I See The Rain  performed by Marmalade  1967
Recommended by john_l [profile]

So I'm watching the finale of Survivor: Marquesas (a year ago, in May '02) and on comes this ad for The Gap with, to my utter astonishment, the guitar intro to this 1967 classic. And better yet, they got the correct version! Meaning, the one with the gritty-sounding guitars (there have been a number of inferior versions released that were re-recorded, or at least remixed badly, or something). "I See The Rain" should be quite familiar to British readers but perhaps not to Americans. Anyway, I've always loved this song, and it's the aforementioned guitar sound that makes it stand out, although those harmonies in the chorus and a just-right unhurried tempo help make it one of my faves ...

from There's A Lot Of It About
available on CD - The Definitive Collection (Castle Communications)

I Stand Accused  performed by Isaac Hayes  1970
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A breathtaking cover of the Jerry Butler classic, drawn out to 11 1/2 minutes of heartwrenching glory. A true masterpiece from Hayes' most brilliant period. Beautiful string arrangements by Dale Warren, and ghostly backing vocals make this something that you won't soon forget.

from The Isaac Hayes Movement, available on CD

I Think I Love You  performed by The Partridge Family  1970
Recommended by geezer [profile]

To think there was a time when pops vision could be this grand and ambitious .This song originated from an American tv show "The Partridge Family" and was played out by pedigree session men and David Cassidy. its elements contain sunshine pop vocals ,harpsichord and a psuedo classical middle eight and an irrestible chorus,the song almost sounds like two songs alternating with each other and managing to resolve their differences at every chorus ,As good as pop ever got.

from Best of The Partridge Family and David Cassidy
available on CD - Best of

I Want You  performed by Elvis Costello  1986
Recommended by elfslut [profile]

This is the classic stalker song. It's also one of the most emotionally charged Costello songs from the album Blood and Chocolate. It's a long one, over 6 minutes for the full version, but worth every second.

from Blood and Chocolate (Columbia)

  umbrellasfollowrain: I'm a fan of this song too. It's got a hypnotic, level devotion set to crack and freak any second. It reminds me of the Jarvis Cocker of This is Hardcore.
I’m A Bitch  performed by Fred Barton (as Almira Gulch)  1984
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Fred Barton is a musical comedy Genius! In the mid-1980's he put together a one-man (or woman) show in which he resurrected the classic Wizard Of Oz character, Almira Gulch. This track is described as the song that was "cut from the Wizard of Oz" while "Judy Garland got to sing 'Over the Rainbow'" [because] "somebody was working for her". His hilarious lyrics are side-splitting and right on the mark for the character he is protraying. Almira boasts of her ability to spoil frozen food just by walking thru the kitchen, kicking her obstetrician during her first visit as a child, and finding deliciousness in maliciousness at every available moment...

from Miss Gulch Returns! (Gulch Mania Productions MGR 5757)

In Bloom  performed by Nirvana  1991
Recommended by brooksyinc [profile]

Grunge Bliss. A deliberately catchy chorus makes it a song many bands wish they crafted. Of the classic album Nevermind it's well worth a listen

from Nevermind

Interlude (Time)  performed by Diamanda Galas  2008
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

A truly heartbreaking/hair-raising reading of the Timi Yuro classic.
Just Diamanda's spacey/ghostly piano and that apocalyptic voice, recorded live.
The lady sounds like a lovelorn Banshee, wandering some abandoned, seaside amusement the the middle of 2 a.m.

from Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

It’s Impossible  performed by Aldemaro Romero And His Onda Nueva  1972
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

This is an uptempo, light bossa nova vocal interpretation of this song, very much in the vein of the classic Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 sound. Very nicely arranged male/female vocal harmonies, superb electric harpsicord and swirling, lush strings really make this version quite outstanding and contrasting to the Perry Como version, who popularized this song a year earlier.

from Aldemaro Romero And His Onda Nueva (Columbia)
available on CD - Brisa Brasilera (CBS)

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me  performed by Nick DeCaro  196?
Recommended by konsu [profile]

Whenever I hear this track I think the same thing, that it seems to be the beginning of something
bigger. ....And it seems in a way that it was...

What a great version of an already undisputed soul classic! He really adds something to it thats loose and breezy. Like he did with his arrangement work, he adds something indefineable, but definately something we would hear for decades to come in american radio pop. More precisely, in the 70's.

It's one of the many blossoms in the blue-eyed soul bouquet!

from Happy Heart (A&M SP-4176)
available on CD - Afternoon Tea Music - Orange Iced Tea (UM3 (Japan))

  klatu: Anyone interested in the work of A&M sound sculptor/master arranger Nick DeCaro would be well directed towards the masterful album "Italian Graffiti", MCA 74.
  steveo443: Happy Heart album by Nick Decaro has some great tracks..Outstanding is the title track(Happy Heart) there is a Bacharach influence here....Another Great tune on the album is Quiet Sunday?(think thats the title) Nick Decaro was a certifiable genius! Love his arrangements.
J’Attendrai  performed by Michael Berard  2001
Recommended by russk666 [profile]

An acoustic (classical) guitar rendition played over the closing credits of the Showtime Film: "Varian's War" The vertuoso Jazz musician from Quebec has graced us with the finest performance of this much loved and performed chanson extant. It is perfection.

from DVD :"Varian's War" (Showtime Entertainment)
available on CD - not (none)

jack  performed by Tom Petty
Recommended by youn109 [profile]

newer song by Tom Petty but it sounds just like his classic hits with the heartbreakers. more of a blues/rock feel

from highway companion

je suis venu te dire que je m’e en vais  performed by stereo total feat. alex chilton
Recommended by olli [profile]

great version of the classic gainsbourg song. this is one of the bonus tracks on the rerelease of "oh ah", and it features some absolutely fantastic backing guitars courtesy of alex chilton. a pretty lo fi recording, but the feel on this is quite a few notches up from the album version. it basicly gives me the chills and stops me from doing anything productive each time i hear it. probably the most played track in my itunes folders right now.

(original recording by serge gainsbourg. think there´s an english language version by mick harvey.)

available on CD - oh ah (rerelease) (kill rock stars (?))

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

  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!
  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!
Jump  performed by Van Halen  1984
Recommended by savintheuk [profile]

Eighties Rock Classic, Cheers me up during dark times.

from 1984 (Warner)

Jungle Montuno  performed by Les Baxter  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A really nice gently tropical instrumental with strings and a rock (drums/guitars) backing. I seem to be in a minority in adoring Les's 'Que Mango' album (which apparently was originally sold only in supermarkets at $1.99). I actually listen to this album as much as I listen to his classic exotic jazz LPs from the late 50s. It contains lots of great, shimmering, groovy tracks, such as 'boca chica', and the superb 'tropicando', which you can now hear almost everywhere (via a TV ad, and the aptly named 'Thievery Corporation'). Record geek part: on the vinyl version of this I have, the track 'Jungle Montuno' is shorter and sweeter - it begins one minute into the CD version of the track. I'm just mentioning this because the first minute seems to me to be inferior, and from a different song.

from Que Mango!, available on CD

Just Lust  performed by Buzzcocks  1978
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

"Just Lust" was the B-side to the Buzzcocks' highest-charting single, the Pete Shelley punk-pop classic "Ever Fallen in Love?," eventually reaching number 12 on the U.K. singles chart in September of 1978. The mysterious co-author " Dial" is, in fact, a pseudonym for the band's early manager, Richard Boon, who also shared songwriting credits on "What Ever Happened?," the B-side to the Buzzcocks' infamously banned first single "Orgasm Addict." However, the effect of his involvement in not apparent here, as the music is classic Buzzcocks — masters of the punk-fueled power pop nugget. The rhythm is springy, the track's nervous tension as wired as the melody is infectious. Punchy verses with quick-hit vocals are alternated with short dreamy sections of woozy flanged guitar and chopped up-tempo shifts, the band expertly maneuvering in tight spaces. Shelley follows the twists and turns with clipped phrases followed by drawn-out melodies in sync with the compact arrangement: "Your dream to possess/It hurts/It's so unjust/Just lust, just lust/If nothing mattered less/Then I wouldn't make a fuss/Just lust, just lust/I was slow to catch on and that just makes it worse/If passion is a fashion then emotion is just a curse." Though the track was also included on the Buzzcocks' second album, Love Bites, the group had yet to make an impact in the United States. Thankfully, this little gem was not left to languish in obscurity as it was included in the influential collected singles package Singles Going Steady, compiled as the band's introduction to American audiences and released in the states in 1979.

from Love Bites, available on CD

Just Watch The Fireworks  performed by Jimmy Eat World  1999
Recommended by Shan207 [profile]

Absolutely wonderful song. One of those tracks that you need to listen to in your headphones about a million times before you fully realise the scope of just how wonderful it is. An all-time classic.

from Clarity (Capitol)

Killing Floor  performed by Jimi Hendrix Experience  1967
Recommended by kaptnunderpnts [profile]

the song is live at the monterey pop festival. it is one of the cleanest, tightest, most rippin' songs i've ever heard from the jimi hendrix experience. one of the best classic rock guitar songs.

from Jimi Plays Monterey

komputa no.3  performed by hi posi  2000
Recommended by daidai [profile]

genki japanese pop band's take on france gall's classic. reworked in japanese, hi posi takes this cover the upmost hyper level. ^.^ complete with breathy vocals, hi posi add their own personal touch to the german oldie.

Laura  performed by George Shearing  1959
Recommended by Mike [profile]

A really beautiful arrangement of this classic film number which I just found out was written in 1944, not the 1950s as I had always thought. Superb orchestral parts move in and out of the texture, through which a lot of harmonic interest not present in other versions is heard. Shearing's divine pianistic touch is shown at several key moments. I don't always like Shearing's recordings, but this one is special.

from White Satin (Capitol ST1334)
available on CD - The Best of George Shearing (Capitol)

Lavender Thursday  performed by Nanette Natal  196?
Recommended by konsu [profile]

A lost folk-jazz classic. I remember hearing this the first time and thinking that Portishead must have used this as a schematic for their live album.Spooky art-school-chick folkie lyrics with lush,velvety arrangements by an enigmatic Leon Salem. Jazzy and very passionate!

from Yesterday,Today,Tomorrow (Vangaurd VSD-6508 (OOP))

Lay It On Me  performed by Heatwave  1976
Recommended by ambassador [profile]

Heatwave's first two albums can almost be seen as prototypes for Michael Jackson's breakthrough album "Off the Wall." With Rod Temperton, future Quincy Jones and MJ collaborator, driving this album the sound is both funky and catchy, sophisticated and accessible. "Lay It On Me" is an overlooked album track that bubbles and gurgles under the surface of the groove until the chorus arrives with strings soaring for the ectasy of Johnnie Wilder's sweet vocals, "lay it on me, lay your sweet love on me!" Beautifully arranged and excellently executed and just one of many classics of their debut album.

from Too Hot to Handle, available on CD

Le Locomotion  performed by Sylvie Vartan
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

Sylvie Vartan is supposedly one of the cheezier "ye ye" singers, yet I am so in love with this French cover of an American pop classic. It's so charming, the seriousness with which Sylvie Vartan approaches the song. "Must ... Locomotion ... NOW!"

available on CD - Est-Ce Que Tu Le Sais (BMG)

  olli: i love the scopitone video to this track. nice and silly. it's probably the reason she's considered to be cheesy. it _was_ downloadable on a while ago, but they seem to have removed it. oh well, it will probably resurface somewhere.
Let me take your life  performed by Final Boss  2006
Recommended by ref. [profile]

The song is mostly comprised of guitars, though it also features synths that provide timpanies, mallet sounds, and string sounds, as well as an electric bass guitar.

Its a really interesting arrangement and has quite a memorable main melody. The song ends with an interesting modulation (key change) that sustains the main them.

Its a beautiful rock instrumental song with a focus on arrangement, textures, and mood that you might see in a classical piece.

Reminds me of the Stone Roses without the psychedelic rock vibe.

from not released
available on CD -

Let’s Get Married  performed by Mariya Takeuchi  1984
Recommended by drchilledair [profile]

I am a connoisseur (er, fan) of Japanese pop music, not just young further-out acts/groups like Cornelius (lost w/o his tape loops) and Love Psychedelico (think Beatles Meets Velvet Underground). But also that strain of Japanese pop which draws heavily on the stylistic traditions of the usual Brill Building suspects. i.e. Solo Nihogo artists like Mariko Takeuchi, especially those tracks with arrangements by the great Tomaji Sogawa. Also Chage and Aska, Eichi Ohtaki, (sometimes called Japan's Phil Spector), Gospellers, Rag Fair and, of course, Pizzicato Five. I am especially drawn to the efforts of Tatsuro Yamashita as a solo artist, and of his tracks with his wife, Mariya Takeuchi, released under her name. On their own and as a team they have been recording since the 1980s and in (affectionately known by his fans as) Tats' case since the late seventies (his first album was co-produced and arranged in the U.S. by the 4 Seasons' Charles Callelo). There are a number of other artists like this in Japan with uncommonly lengthy---by U.S. standards---careers. And believe it or not, a hit record in Japan sells in numbers that are generally far larger than the U.S. despite a population that is roughly half as large.

One of my favorite Takeuchi - Yamashita collaborations (she writes and sings, he arranges) is "Let's Get Married," which would not be perceived as being retro or sixties or somesuch by (IMHO) the more flexible and openminded Japanese music audience. Even though, admittedly it does draw upon such musical conceits. Instead, Let's Get Married would merely be regarded as a great record, case closed.

This 1984 cut track is timelessly, and extra-territorily infectuous. But with the exception of Kyu Sakamoto in 1963 with his fluke number one single, Sukiyaki, to the best of my knowledge no Japanese artist of any musical inclination has been able to crack the U.S. charts in any significant way. General garden variety xenophobia coupled with a hard time wrapping the tongue around those hard-to-pronounce names with two many vowels and and syllables. It is doubtful that LGM, even though it is sung by Takeuchi in perfectly accented English, was ever released in the U.S.

Starting with a full blown fanfare of the Wedding March played on organ, after twenty seconds, Let's Get Married abruptly switches gears and mood and becomes an ever-ascending excercise in neo-Spectorian pop, replete with castinets, chimes, a swirling ooh-wah background chorale (courtesy of an overdubbed Yamashita), multiple drumkits, a full complement of string players and plenty of good old fashioned Gold Star Studio-style echo. A paen to the joys of marriage, my favorite moment happens at 1:42 way down in the mix right after Takeuchi sings the line "You and me with a small house and a dog," where, if you listen carefully you can hear the sound of a dog yapping for joy. Homage to the "Pet" at the end of Brian Wilson's "Caroline, No" perhaps?

Both Yamashita and Takeuchi had number one albums in Japan last year. Unlike most of their 70s and 80s U.S. rock/pop counterparts, they have not been cast aside by the bulk of Japanese record buyers, but continue to peak at the top of the charts with every new issue. A listen to this perfectly crafted, classic, three minute (well. . . 3;45 actually) track should help illustrate why this is so.

Bill Reed (new to this list)

from Impressions, available on CD

Liebestod  performed by Leontyne Price
Recommended by cryofthecelt [profile]

This song, as heard at the death scene of "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet", is a piece from Richard Wagner's famous "Tristan und Isolde."
I don't know exactly how to describe it, but I can tell you this:
A few years ago, after studying Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" and watching Baz Luhrmann's version of the film, young student Kip Kinkel became obsessed with what is often called "the greatest love story ever told." Kip believed that "Romeo and Juliet" was exceptionally relevant to his own life. He had recently been a victim of unrequieted love and he felt his parents' constnat pull over him. One day, Kip had a psychotic break. He carried a gun to school and shot several of his classmates, killing them or leaving them seriously injured. He ran. As his parents arrived back at home, Kip blasted "Liebestod" on his stereo, took up his gun, and shot and killed both of them. The music was still playing loud and clear when the police arrived at his home to arrest him.
Scarily enough, that is how moving this music really is.

from Prima Donna Collection Highlights (BMG Classica/RCA Victor Red Seal)
available on CD - William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Volume 2 (Capitol)

  weaveroffates: Actually, Kip Kinkel came home the night before the school shootings, shot his parents (who were very upset because he was expelled from school for having a gun in his locker) and then the next day went to school and killed/injured his peers. The soundtrack to the 1996 version was playing on repeat when the police found the bodies of his parents...but when he killed his parents.
Life on Mars?  performed by Seu Jorge  2004
Recommended by stupidwall [profile]

A beautiful, soft version of the classic David song sung in Portueguese(sp?). It's only his voice and his guitar.

The song is from the movie 'Life Aquatic'. Wes ANderson asked Seu to translate 11 Bowie songs into Portueguese and perform them on the set.

Also has a personal thing to it for me.

from Life Aquatic- The Motion Picure Soundtrack

  olli: i picked up the soundtrack before i even saw the movie on this one.. great stuff, love the "incidental" feel and the one-take roughness of seu's recordings.
Lolita Go Home  performed by Jane Birkin  1975
Recommended by tempted [profile]

A simple and groovy, mid-tempo easy pop tune with a nice wah-wah guitar riff and Jane B.'s trademark teen fox vocal. Everything apart from the words "Lolita go home" is sung in French. Jane B. didn't really know French and it sounds quite funny. Gainsbourg and Birkin must've had a hell of a relationship! Another classic in my dj set which again shows Gainsbourg's tremendous ability to write sunny bubblegum pop as well as arrange it deliciously.

Lonely is as lonely does  performed by The Fleetwoods  1964
Recommended by delicado [profile]

The Fleetwoods were an excellent vocal group from the late 50s and early 60s who are best known for 'Come Softly to Me' and 'Mr. Blue'. Both of these are 'classic' oldies tracks, evocative of the late 50s.

'Lonely is as lonely does' came late in their career, and actually sounds much more modern than its 1964 recording date would suggest. This is really a prototype of the 'soft pop' style that would become popular later in the 1960s. The composer, Chip Taylor, went on to write 'Wild Thing' and 'Angel of the Morning'.

The track opens with a nice picked guitar introduction. As in many of my favorite Fleetwoods tracks, Gary takes the lead vocal, with Gretchen and Barbara singing backing vocals. Gary has a very sincere voice. At the beginning the song sounds very routine, but there are some clever chord changes and some cool lyrics. My favorite line is 'As your tears fall, remember this: you're just a kiss away from happiness'.

from the single Lonely is as lonely does (Dolton)
available on CD - Come Softly to me - The Very Best of The Fleetwoods (EMI)

Long Shadow  performed by Joe Strummer  200?
Recommended by mattypenny [profile]

A sad situation but a fine, positive song. Joe Strummer recorded this as a demo for Johnny Cash, I guess with a view to it being recorded for one of the 'American' records.

Within a couple of years both had passed on.

The song is classic Strummer though - upbeat, with vivid words (as usually laying it on with a trowel), the chorus being 'You cast a long shadow' - I hear it as a tribute to Johnny Cash. It finishes off with the words 'there's always rock and ROLL!', which is kind of fitting.

I've only got this on a freebie with Uncut magazine - I dunno if its commercially available or not.

Lord Hypnos  performed by In Flames
Recommended by redphoenix2 [profile]

Classical melodic death metal brutality and beauty combined, interesting vocal message and important moreso now than ever. The vocals on this song are although as brutal atempting to follow the melody more than the rest of the album.

Love Theme  performed by Vangelis  1982
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

A classic, congenial, groundbreaking electronica score to Ridley Scott's movie "Blade Runner". While the most significant cues like "Love Theme" and "Memories of Green" were included on numerous compilations before, it took 12 years for the soundtrack to get released officially. Since Vangelis "recompiled" the music for the soundtrack, adding new music, reworked cues and left out parts of it, it's the best sounding but far from complete version of the soundtrack. Due to this fact there have been a huge amount of unofficial bootleg releases over the years, mostly private releases put out in small quantities. Even after over 20 years since the soundtrack has been recorded it still sounds fresh and highly evocative as ever before. The feeling throughout the soundtrack is a neo-retro, future-noir mood with grand soundscapes created with a mass array of various analogue synths. Especially the wonderful use of the Yamaha CS-80, with it's somewhat organic, sweeping, harmonica-style polyphonic sound gives the music such a remarkable feel. On "Love Theme" though Vangelis prominently features pretty much the only "real" instrument on the whole soundtrack, a saxophone played by Dick Morrisey.

from Blade Runner, available on CD

  nighteye: This is one of the best instrumental synth soundtrack track ever made, Vangelis is a genius! The pads / strings and the saxophone are so incredibly relaxed it feels like you are floating in space. My other favourite song from the Blade Runner soundtrack is 'Blade Runner Blues', it's also amazing!
  nighteye: Forgot to mention there is a variation of this song on the Blade Runner Bootleg by Esper called 'Thinking of Rachel', which is a muffled warm analog synth piece.
Love Will Tear Us Apart  performed by Nouvelle Vague  2004
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Nouvelle Vague is the project of Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, who basically took classic late 70s/early 80s new wave songs and transformed them into light, easy going, predominantly bossa tinged tracks, including heavily accented, whispery Longet-esque vocals. They claim these young vocalists never even heard the original songs. It works brilliantly for sure on "Love will tear us apart" where they manage to interpret the song as a melancholic, chilled stroll down a beach with sparse percussion, acoustic bass and guitar, vibraphone and some samples of waves rushing on the seaside. I'd like to think even Ian Curtis might smile down on this cover version...

from Nouvelle Vague, available on CD

Love’s A Lonely Place To Be  performed by Virginia Astley  1982
Recommended by john_l [profile]

A gossamer light track with cello, glockenspiel and some other non-standard rock (?) instrumentation, by a classically-trained musician. The only song that it is heavier than is the Caravelles' 1963 hit "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry", which is probably the song it sounds most like as well, if I had to pick one. Quite gorgeous! But there was a re-recorded version that found its way onto the 1986 "Hope In A Darkened Heart" LP; it's NOT nearly as good as the original.

from Promise Nothing (Why-Fi)

Love’s Theme  performed by the Love Unlimited Orchestra  1973
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Barry White flawlessly blended the sounds of soul and classical music and practically invented disco. This instrumental rescues the string section from the stuffy opera house and creates a difinitive sound for the 1970's. You can hear his influence in much of the decade's music that came after this song's release.

from Rhapsody In White (20th Century Fox Records T-433)
available on CD - Barry White: Ultimate Collection (Polygram POL 542291)

  konsu: Hey! There's a great vocal version of this tune on one of the "Love Unlimited" vocal records Barry produced with a trio of ladies. It's on the album "In Heat" (20th Century T-443 1974). It just got reissued on CD. It's kinda fun hearing lyrics to a song that's so well remembered as an instrumental!
Lynn’s Baby  performed by Mark Eric  1969
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

It's hard to recommend a single track from this album, the whole thing is a classic of California pop. I'm glad it's finally been reissued on CD.

Mark Eric Malmborg created a genuine masterpiece with this recording, which has a bittersweet mood throughout that reminds me of "Pet Sounds". I originally came across this LP in 1989 when I found a copy at a thrift store (it had once been in the collection of the local public library!)and just looking at the cover I figured it would be great, and it was!

"Lynn's Baby" is the last track on the original LP and is a beautiful song about a girl who has been seduced and left with an out of wedlock baby by an older, manipulative guy who's left her after the usual empty promises...rather an unusual theme for a pop song! The combination of Mark Eric's voice (somewhat reminiscent of Brian Wilson) and the gorgeous string arrangement are enough to really bring out the goose bumps.

This CD is one that I absolutely can't recommend enough to fans of the beautiful 1960's pop music.

from A Midsummer's Day Dream, available on CD

Magic Garden  performed by Dusty Springfield  1968
Recommended by audvoid [profile]

I discovered this on The Dusty Springfield Anthology 3CD set (1997) and fell in love with it instantly. Until this release Magic Garden had never been available in the U.S. and was originally released on an obscure British-only EP. The song's an absolute classic that veers between Phil Spector-esque surging pop and dreamy summer of love escapism. Truly a rediscovered lost masterpiece.

from If You Go Away EP (Phillips BE 12605)
available on CD - The Dusty Springfield Anthology (3CD) (Chronicles)

man in the box  performed by alice in chains
Recommended by forzaf308 [profile]

This song has a classic grunge rock sound, and is one of the best to come out of the era.

Mark Rae’s Medicine (Kraak & Smaak Remix)  performed by Kraak & Smaak  2007
Recommended by iPodChick [profile]

The multi-talented Dutch artists Kraak & Smaak shine in their unprecedented, soul-shaking compilation, “The Remix Sessions” due out May 29th. Named by IDJ as "one of the most incendiary live outfits," Kraak & Smaak take that crackling energy and infuse classic jams with their signature style. Music lovers everywhere will rejoice as hard-to-find tracks, many of which were only released on vinyl, join each other in this boogie-licious showcase.

From banging dance floor "Mimezine – Can't get Enough (Kraak & Smaak Remix)," to funky, midtempo "Jamiroquai – Electric Mistress (Kraak & Smaak Remix)" to eerie, internationally-infused "Skeewiff – Man of Constant Sorrow (Kraak & Smaak Remix)," Kraak & Smaak reveals their astounding vision for the possibilities of electronica. This beat-driven assembly is an invaluable resource for re-tracing the various pathways of this modern musical expression.

from The Remix Sessions (Quango Records)

  aquila49: Recommendation is by a recording industry shill. You can find the exact some wording at and—straight from a press release. Ugghh.
Mary Lou  performed by Young Jessie  1955
Recommended by bloozshooz [profile]

A classic she-done-me-wrong song that melds tough call and response R&B with rockin' doo wop -- don't miss this one. I heard it in the 50s but never had the 45 -- looked for it for years before I found the Ace CD of 21 Young Jessie songs from the Modern label in L.A.

"Mary Lou
she took my watch and chain
Mary Lou
she took my diamond ring
She took the keys to my Cadillac car
jumped in my Kitty and then drove afar"

with Maxwell Davis & Orchestra

Great music for the drive-in!

from the single Mary Lou (Modern 961)
available on CD - I'm Gone (Ace (UK))

Mechanical Emotion (Featuring Morris Day)  performed by Vanity  1984
Recommended by Nickfresh [profile]

If you are looking for Classic but Overlooked 80's Electro Soul, look to one of Prince's girls to fill your need. Vanity, who at this time was a 'vamp' going it alone after Prince, got together with Bill Wolfer and Morris Day with a serious sound of synthesizers, clean electric guitar, and risque lyrics, making it one of the two releases from her first solo album, "Wild Animal." The grooves in the song and the french breakdown has me going wild everytime. I have loved the song since I was a little boy (when I was told that I couldn't listen to songs like that), and I don't think I will tire from it anytime soon.

from Wild Animal (Motown)

Mi Querido Amor (My Cherie Amour)  performed by Cristian Castro  1994
Recommended by RCA76 [profile]

I love this Spanish version of the Stevie Wonder classic because it the new instrumentation. It is still very Stevie Wonder with a new, latin flair. The vocals are absolutely amazing, this guy can really sing.

from El Camino Del Alma, available on CD

Middle Of The Road  performed by Denim  1992
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

From the era when it seemed every band was named after a fabric, this angular indie gem was, for my money, one of the very best singles of the nascent Britpop era. Precipitating the self-referential indulgences of later bands, but not with the aura of smugness that pervaded the Albarn-esque dahn-tha-dawgs mockernee, the legend that is no-surname Lawrence (from alternative gods Felt) spews forth a classic.

The best way to describe this is 'miserable glam' - a great Mud-style beat clashes perfectly with Lawrence's scathing vocals of how he hates everything about so-called classic rock: "Spector's wall, knock it down; Jerry Lee, run him out of town." He ends up extolling the virtues of MOR and, in a stroke of utter pop genius, segues his tune into Middle Of The Road's hit Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep as sung by the kind of girl who populated the 70's Top Of The Pops LPs.

from Middle Of The Road CD Single, available on CD

Middle Of The Road  performed by The Pretenders  1984
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Who could forget the rousing "woo-hooa-a-hooas" that helped define the Pretenders' 1984 smash hit "Middle of the Road"? In a decade that saw synthesizer-oriented pop music arriving on U.S. soil from England, singer/guitarist Chrissie Hynde and bandmates tear it up on this classic example of pure, unadulterated rock music. The Pretenders' offering successfully maintains a formulaic rock pattern, with drums that beat on at a driving frenetic 4/4 pace and guitar riffs that induce foot stomping by the most conservative crowd. By the time the harmonica solo kicks in toward the track's end, "Middle of the Road" has worked itself up into such a musical romp that it challenges anyone to remain sitting down. There is no technical or instrumental trickery to be found here, no "secret sauce"; the song is very much in your face. Its rollicking music and lyrics that paint a picture of a journey make anyone want to hop into the car and take off for the open road. "Middle of the road, is trying to find me/ I'm standing in the middle of life with my plans behind me." You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who didn't identify with that sentiment. The Pretenders zeroed in on one of humankind's most basic, secret desire — to get up and go — and backed it with an equally driven musical arrangement. And that's what makes this recording a timeless classic.

from Learning To Crawl, available on CD

mo funky  performed by zoobombs  1999
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

I think Zoobombs are a Japanese Heavy Metal band, but this is not metal, sort of groovy rock, maybe derived from the Stone Roses. Most of the words are in (presumably) Japanese but the chorus is English, and you can just imagine the meeting with an A&R man that gave rise to it. "You're a good band, y'know, you just need to get more funky". And he may have been right, this is mo funky, percussion, driving bass, great chorus, It gradually builds up and speeds up all the way through. Until it falls apart then the dub starts with guitars all over it. Classic.

from let it Bomb, available on CD

  penelope_66: I haven't heard anything from this album, but I love the song "Flat-Top" off their 'Welcome Back, Zoobombs!' album. I'd have to say there are some catchy tunes that pop up throughout the record, but overall it's rather mediocre and strikes a bit of ambivolence within my taste. One of those things you buy for a song or two.
  n-jeff: Let it bomb is a bit of a mixed bag, too. I love mo funky and mo dub, but don't play much of the rest of it.
Money  performed by Pink Floyd
Recommended by nicolebaker [profile]

A classic, everybody's gotta love this.. Yeah?

Morning  performed by Cal Tjader  1971
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Clare Fischer's oft-covered Latin jazz classic was first recorded by the man himself on a 1966 album whose title escapes me right now. Cal Tjader first cut it on "Soul Burst" the same year, but the truly classic rendition for me is the 1971 Tjader re-recording on "Agua Dulce." With a smooth, flowing Rhodes-based sound, some synth effects floating around and none other than Wendy & Bonnie on backing vocals, this version is the one to beat.

from Agua Dulce (Fantasy)
available on CD - Descarga (Fantasy)

Music to Watch Girls By  performed by Horst Jankowski  1967
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Great cut with angular piano and brushed drums. Bongos provide an excellent percussive counterpoint on the breakdowns. A very well-crafted version of the Sid Ramin lounge classic.

from With Love (Mercury)

My Doctor  performed by Bruz Fletcher  1935
Recommended by almosteva [profile]

Funny double entendres from mysterious doomed gay star of the 1930's. It can be heard online at queermusicheritage or Quick wit and chatty singing style that is like Dwight Fiske or Spivy, but far more musical and accessible. Nightclub classic, a jewel of an era and style no longer heard.

My Lagan Love  performed by Roisin O’Reilly  2003
Recommended by flange1515 [profile]

A bit of sugar but a nice version of the classic

Nethers (Dubstep Twilight Remix)  performed by eO -  2011
Recommended by phaeocstar [profile]

eO's through-composed, symphotronic poem incorporates exotic world-fusion compositions with heavy post-dubstep beats, evocative vocals, and elegant instrumentation.

from River Through an Open Door, available on CD

  Nathan1623: Just listened to it. It is pretty soothing and I enjoyed it thank you. (:
new slang  performed by the shins
Recommended by blackstars [profile]

classic. the live version on the single for Oh Inverted World is so
good. please seek it out.

Night of wonders  performed by The Crystalairs  1994
Recommended by roberto [profile]

The Crystalairs are a german vocal quartett that started out in the 80`s. (Their earlier name was "Del Romans", they released many records on the "Crystal Ball" - label, what was the influence for their new band name.) In their youth the 4 guys had all collected many 45's from the USA ranging from doo wop to girl group classics, but all their songs are self-arranged self-written originals or unreleased songs from others.
"Night of wonders" is one beautiful example for their harmonic style and their loving vocals.

available on CD - And then they sang again (Little Maria)

  fantasticsupremedeluxe: Not to forget: "First time romance" from 1990, available on the "Crystal Ball" label!
Nightingale  performed by Les Baxter  1956
Recommended by delicado [profile]

When you consider just how wonderful it is, Les Baxter's 'exotic' work is under-represented on this site. From a superb and reasonably easy-to-find album, this cut is an intoxicating mix of shimmering 50s style strings and gentle bongo rhythms.

'Nightingale' is a Xavier Cugat original that is very much in the style of classic Lecuona songs like 'Taboo'. Melodically, it also reminds me of another standard, 'Invitation'.

from Carribean Moonlight (Capitol T-733)
available on CD - The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter (Capitol)

Noah’s Dove  performed by 10,000 Maniacs  1992
Recommended by Yammer [profile]

For admirers of classic pop song construction, production, and performance, Noah's Dove is jaw-dropping in its perfection. The subtle piano hook, deep and dark chord changes, and the warm, dry-eyed, heartbreakingly acute singing grab your ears, while the lyrics (an unhurried, unsparing epitaph to a relationship with a cheating scumbag) clench your heart. The best part may be that it introduces Our Time In Eden, a collection of finely-crafted folk-pop songs that served as a worthy finale for the Maniacs.

from Our Time In Eden

November Rain  performed by Guns n’ Roses  1991
Recommended by izumi [profile]

Another song that needs no introduction. This is a classic rock ballad known to all, by one of the greatest bands ever. The music has this grand, anthemic feel to it which I really like. I don't think it's trying to be pretentious at all, as some people might think. It's a great ballad that uses orchestral music, with an amazing guitar running through it.

from Use Your Illusion Vol. 1 (Geffen GEFD24415)
available on CD - Greatest Hits (Geffen)

Oba, la vem ela  performed by Jorge Ben  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An incredible, hard-to-describe classic from Jorge Ben. It opens with a funky, feverishly strummed chord sequence, and builds up beautifully. Warm strings come in, while the vocals become more and more manic (in a good way). I really can't do this song justice in words, but I urge you to check it out. Jorge Ben really is a genius songwriter, and his backing group, 'trio mocoto' really rock.

from Forca Bruta
available on CD - mojo club volume 4 (Polygram Germany)

  sodapop650: My favorite Jorge Ben is his work on the LP "Tudo Azul" by Ze Maria. If you are not familiar with Ze Maria he is a very hip brazilian organist. The easy comparison whould be with Walter Wanderley, but he is way way cooler with a chimelike reverbed style and a lot darker sound, almost creepy voodoo northern Brazil Bahia sound like the way "Os Afrosambas" by Baden Powell Vinicius de Moraes and Quarteto Em Cy is. A guy I work with is from Brazil and says that although just about everyone is Catholic in Brazil many practice voodoo too and that Vinicius made a pact with the Devil in return for his career - There is something distant and weird about that LP - and the Ze Maria LP as well. Anyway, I think "Tudo Azul" which is available on CD is the first versions of Ben classics Mas Que Nada and Por Causa de Voce Menina. If you go on to ebay look for a guy named Alan Bastos, he sells tons of cool Brazilian CDs cheap.
  tinks: was this recorded in '69? it's the first track on his '76 "samba nova" that a re-recording, or what? can somebody shed some light for me? at any rate, it's a great album for, uh, "lovin'". my favorite track would have to be "vendedor de bananas cosa nostra--bicho do mato", if not for its unwieldly title alone.
  sodapop651: No this LP is on Continental Label and recorded in 1963. It is available on CD. Tudo Azul, I think it means "everything Blue"
  tinks: the version i have is definitely not from 63, it's waaay too funky.
  delicado: I'm confused about the whole thing. I have no idea where I originally got 1969 from (other than that the arrangement suggested it); the song is on 'Forca Bruta', which I thought was from 1975, but I think in retrospect that's just the date of the copy my (appalling quality) LP was bootlegged from.
  delicado: Ok. It turns out there's a pretty good Jorge Ben discography at, which confirms the date of Forca Bruta as 1970. I think sodapop was talking about the (completely separate) Ze Maria album. I heard 'mas que nada' from this album, and it was indeed excellent.
  Marco-Visitante: Official and completes discography of Jorge Ben Jor is here:
  sodapop650: But I've changed my mind. My new favorite Ben classic is "Carnaval Triste" of the Sacundin LP. There is also a great Ze Maria cover of it off an even earlier LP I'm not sure who penned it or recorded it first. But its meditative and chantlike and very voodoo.
Ode to Billy Joe  performed by Ronnie Aldrich  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A near-perfect take on this classic song. Ronnie dispenses with vocals, instead building a beautiful mood with some great strings, a relentless beat and percussive guitar. The bluesey melody is carried delicately by the piano. I'm not really getting it across here, but the track is astounding - astonishingly addictive and well recorded, building wonderfully to a warm and incredibly groovy climax.

from For Lovers Only (London/Phase 4)

Off and Running  performed by Lesley Gore  1965
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Here's a really cool one. This is Lesley Gore doing a cover of the Mindbenders' stomping mod classic "Off and Running", which originally appeared on the "To Sir, With Love" soundtrack. This version completely outpaces the original, in my opinion.

from the single Off and Running (Mercury)
available on CD - Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows: The Best of Lesley Gore (Rhino)

Oh, Calcutta!  performed by Dave Pell Singers  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This short track opens the classic 1995 easy listening compilation The Sound Gallery. I'm sure it's well known to anyone with a remote interest in the whole revival scene. It's a really beautiful track, with funky drums, organ, a gentle, whispery vocal chorus, and some great jazz piano. Evocative and glamorous, this evokes a swinging party attended by people wearing sparkly dresses. For me, this is perhaps the ultimate stylish/glamorous 60s recording.

from Mah-Na-Mah-Na (Liberty)
available on CD - Sound Gallery (EMI)

  n-jeff: Its funny that it should make you think of people wearing sparkly dresses, when of course the show itself was primarily famous for having large numbers of hairy hippies naked onstage.
Only For You  performed by The Match  1969
Recommended by laughingmood [profile]

I love the "New Light" album by the Match. Such a perfect example of soft pop. I think these guys, along with The Small Circle Of Friends and The Free Design, are the perfect example of what harmonic soft pop sounds like. This track, with that great trumpet line, is just one of 14 classics on this album. I had heard some label in Korea was supposed to be re-issuing it but that was a long time ago.

from A New Light (RCA)

Oops!  performed by Britney  2000
Recommended by phil [profile]

Honestly, I really like this one. I've done a lot of thinking as to the Max Martin style (ex-poodle rocker Max is Britney's songwriter and is basically responsible for the pop zeitgeist - he also does 5ive, NSYNC, Backstreet, even Bon Jovi these days), and believe you me, there is a pretty cynical formula here - verse, bridge, chorus, completely different verse, identical bridge and chorus, breakdown, then chorus to finish. Often this is pretty bad - NSYNC's its gonna be me is the nadir - but in this one it works really well - the verses are slinky, the chorus a classic pop one and basically the whole idea of oops! is pretty funny. I can't pretend I listen to it that often but I enjoy it when I do.

from Oops! I did it again, available on CD

  delicado: Check this out (it's a 4.2 mb file).
Open Your Eyes  performed by The Lords Of The New Church  1982
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Opening with a brat beating bass and melody that is scarily reminiscent of some late 70s euro disco pathos, it’s only when Brian James’ raunchy guitar kicks in that you know you’re well away from the lights of that dance floor and in the grips of a very different master. A hedonistic web of Bators’ beloved conspiracy theorizing, the logical successor to the Wanderers’ paranoia-packed repertoire, ”Open Your Eyes” previewed a closet of horrors that embraced organized religion, the impending World Tour of Pope John Paul II, Bolshevik plots and Ronald Reagan’s apparent rush towards nuclear Armageddon. With session man Matt Black’s synthesizers giving the whole thing a classic rock feel that merged edgily with the band’s own punkish sensibilities, it was, as always, Bators’ viperous lyrics that brought the whole thing into the twilight zone of pre-Internet intrigue. The 80s politicking of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain and Reagan’s cold war America pretty much ensured that both sides were far happier not having to open their eyes. A gleeful Bators was there, though, to make sure they did.

from The Lords of the New Church, available on CD

Orange Blossom Special  performed by The Flying Burrito Brothers  1972
Recommended by schlick [profile]

Outstanding rendition of the classic bluegrass number, with Byron Berline doin' some searing, kick-ass fiddle playing.

from Last of the Red Hot Burritos, available on CD

Out The Window  performed by Violent Femmes  1991
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Yeah, yeah, just about everyone has heard the classic first album by the Milwaukee trio... however, some of their truly best efforts are to be found on later releases. "Out the Window" is one of those femme-gems that many people are sadly unaware of. Gordon Gano is in top form in this ode to unfortunate clumsiness ("life was short and life was sweet", I was thinking as I hit the street, I could hardly believe, I could scarcely conceive, that I had gone out the window).
The femme-enized remake of 'Do You Really Want To Hurt Me' on this album is also not to be missed!

from Why Do Birds Sing, available on CD

Over Under Sideways Down  performed by Enoch Light and the Light Brigade  1966
Recommended by tinks [profile]

It's Enoch Light, you know what to expect! Kooky orchestral arrangement of the Yardbirds' classic with a...get this...simulated bagpipe intro! I have no idea why anybody would want to hear real bagpipes, let alone simulated ones, but there you have it. Features blistering work by Project 3 regulars like Tony Mottola and Dick Hyman. Excellent stuff. The same album also yields a terrific version of Lee Dorsey's "Workin' in a Coalmine"!

from Enoch Light's Action: It's Happening...So Let's Dance (Project 3)

Pavane for a Dead Princess  performed by Eumir Deodato  1973
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This stunning instrumental is a reasonably straight version of a classical piece by Maurice Ravel, originally written in 1899. Eumir plays piano over a dense string background, adding a tiny bit of jazz phrasing. The texture of the layered strings and piano is remarkably intense and beautiful, and the piece is quite exquisite. I expect this recording would offend classical purists, but I must admit that having heard this version first, I still like it the best. Perhaps this is down to the sheer richness of the string recording, which may be endowed by studio wizardry rarely used in classical recordings. Either way, it's really quite incredible, and I urge you to check it out.

from Deodato 2, available on CD

  Mike: While I find Deodato to be a stimulating and interesting artist (and am far from being a "classical purist" of any sort), I can't really muster any great enthusiasm for this recording. Too close to being a kind of synthesis of Ravel's original for solo piano (1899) and version for full orchestra (1910), I find Deodato's funky adaptations of Stauss's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and, particularly Debussy's "Prelude to the afternoon of a faun" somewhat more worthwhile. Maybe I should listen again to the Ravel adaptation, but in the past I have found its blandness a little irritating...
  G400 Custom: What I like about this track is the fact that it's a very black, funky take on a piece with questionable Aryan overtones. It can be heard to great affect in Hal Ashby's 'Being There', which I think was Peter Sellers' last film.
  G400 Custom: Re the above comment: I was talking about 'Also Sprach Zarathrustra', not the Ravel piece. Sorry for any confusion.
  G400 Custom: As far as the Ravel adaptation goes, I find it pleasant if a little bit chocolate-boxey, reminiscent of the 60s soundtracks of Francis Lai. I can't argue with Delicado's comments about the string sound though, which is astonishing.
  sodapop650: Bore - Ring! If you are going to listen to Deodato. Listen to the early Equipe LPs. When his sound was so hip, hipper than hip, the bastard brazilian son of Henry Mancini hip. Get a copy of "Tremendao" grab a beer and try to find a nice warm spot of sunshine.
  delicado: Well, you have to remember that I'm someone who is obsessed with string sounds. I listen fanatically to late 50s and 60s mood music records, and am a fan of both Percy Faith and Jackie Gleason's records. Yes, I love Brazilian music, and enjoy all of Deodato's 60s Equipe LPs, but I also have a very real and intense love of what my pal G400 defines as 'chocolate-boxy' easy listening music. Deodato's 1972 LP 'Percepcao' (recently reissued on CD in Brazil) also falls into this category, and I adore it!
  [email protected]: One of the purist fusion jazz artists of his time. Listen to the music, don't try to interpret it or rationalize it. Your missing the point. Eumir is unmistakeably one of the pioneers in this gendre.
Peaches En Regalia  performed by Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention  1969
Recommended by Tangento [profile]

This song was a milestone in Zappa's career.

The "Hot Rats" album really set the notion in motion of FZ as a 'Composer'.

I remember as a child, seeing his band perform this on 'Saturday Night Live',
and how exciting it was to see Frank Zappa in action, and this band of virtuoso musicians tackling this unbelievably complicated musical work.

In my opinion, the use of a horn section in rock music had always added an element of cheesiness, but with this song it is a necessary element.
Besides, "Cheesy" was often Zappa's middle name, and nobody did it better.

He turned it into an art form.

The original version featured multi-instrumentalist Ian Underwood who along with his wife,
the infamous Ruth, became fixtures in Zappa's lineup in the years to come.

A classic and innovative track.

Read more and sample the track:


from Hot Rats, available on CD

Peaches En Regalia  performed by Frank Zappa  1969
Recommended by G400 Custom [profile]

A short instrumental featuring dozens of musicians playing sumptuous melodies, this perfect fusion of rock and 'classical' forms might just be the most authentically radical record I own.

from Hot Rats, available on CD

Peg  performed by Steely Dan  1977
Recommended by 4StringSweetness [profile]

Classic tune. Chuck Rainey on Bass, Rick Marotta Drums. Don and Walter doing their usual. My all-time favorite rhythm section. Michael McDonald's back-up vocals are interesting. Lyrics you can relate to, as soon as you decode them...

from Aja (MCA 088 112 056-2)
available on CD - same (same)

Piano Sonata No. 14 (Moonlight Sonata)  performed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Recommended by Darke Soul [profile]

This is my favorite piece of classical music, so beautiful it often brings me to tears. You are strictly forbidden to go to your grave without having heard this song.

available on CD - Beethoven's Greatest Hits

Picking Wild Mountain Berries  performed by Kurt Wagner And Cortney Tidwell Present KORT  2010
Recommended by beligerent_ghoul [profile]

A beautiful slice of country, a little too classic to be Alt.

I really enjoy a male / female, duet on a country, i dont think Kurts voice is strong enough on this album, but it hits it for this song!

  FranMusicNotes: This one's nice
Pink Frost  performed by The Chills
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

Classic New Zealand psychedelia .... jangly guitar, haunting, evocative lyrics, fragile vocals and an otherworldly feeling which perfecly evokes Dunedin. The best New Zealand pop song ever written.

from Kaleidoscope World, available on CD

  delicado: I saw The Chills at my first ever gig in March 1990. They were really good actually, but somehow I never followed up and bought any of their records. I will have to check this one out. Playing at the same show were McCarthy, whose records I did buy, and who became Stereolab.
Planet Rock  performed by Afrika Bambaataa  198X
Recommended by black_beans [profile]

Classic old school bass track.

Po’ Boy  performed by Bob Dylan  2001
Recommended by Gumbo [profile]

Just when I had almost lost all hope of ever hearing a new Dylan song which, as a combination of an engaging vocal performance and fascinating lyrics, just fill you with a strange sense of happiness - he comes up with this one. While not being like a typical Dylan classic, this one has a very, very warm feel to it + vocals which I thought he couldn't produce in 2001 anymore. After the rather cold and almost posturingly melancholy "Time Out of Mind" album, "Love & Theft" was pleasantly wise and human.

from Love & Theft, available on CD

Poxa (Pôxa)  performed by Evandro Marinho  2001
Recommended by RCA76 [profile]

I love this song, it reminds me why I love Brazilian music. Its very sexy, sultry and classically bossa nova. There about 50 versions, but this one I enjoy a lot. Any other recommendations?

from O Som Do Barzinho vol. 6, available on CD

Psychotic Reaction  performed by Señor Soul  1966
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A rather quizzical Latin jazz workout of the Count V's garage classic, rendered here with fuzz guitar and flute! It sounds to me like this uses the same rhythm track as the original version, and since they were both released on the same label, that's quite likely. Another version exists by Brenton Wood (of "Oogum Boogum" and "Gimme Little Sign" fame), also on the same label and also with the same backing track! Talk about getting as much mileage out of the royalties as you can!

from Señor Soul Plays Funky Favorites (Double Shot)

Pyar Karne Wale  performed by Asha Bhosle  1980
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

A week ago I was in India, the holiday of a lifetime. As well as all the tourist stuff, like temples and museums, I always make sure that I get a slice of pop culture when I'm in a foreign country. So the night tended to conclude in the hotel with a bit of Indian TV.

Watched a fair bit of MTV India which, if anything, is even heavier on ads and blatent self-promotion that its British and American equivalents. I was cheered to see that most of the music they played was in Hindi and there was a limit on the American and European bands that got airplay (seemingly, strangely, limited to The Rasmus and Britney Spears).

But MTV is only watchable for a limited amount of time. Jet lag and excitement dictates that one spends more time awake than asleep and so I got to see a few late 70's Bollywood classics, among them 'Shaan' (translation: 'Pride'). This Asha Bhosle gem is from this movie. The film itself struk me as a fairly banal James Bond rip off although, not speaking Hindi, I grant that I'll have missed the more subtle aspects of plot construction.

This song stopped me in my tracks. I knew that Bollywood was an area that I enjoyed but was in a grand state of ignorance of, and I was looking forward to rectifying this. Pyar Karne Wale takes the prize for best Donna Summer rip off EVER. Stealing its barely-adjusted backing from 'I Feel Love', Bhosle wails and moans over the top, transforming Moroder's disco classic into something that simultanously establishes common ground between Indian and European disco while evoking its more subtle differences.

Myself and boyfriend came back with what seems like every Bollywood soundtrack produced between 1972 and 1980 including, of course, Shaan. I look forward to educating myself in this genre and finding more similar gems.

from Naseeb / Shaan, available on CD

  pleasepleaseme: Hi, I'm From N.Y.C. In the early 80's we had a show on cable, called "Cinema,Cinema, which showed numbers from the classic cinema. I lucked out on a few OST'S. Can highly recommend "Qurbani" & "Kasme Vaade" & "Sargam" & "Sawan Ko Aane Do" & "Loafer". Would love to know if you found any of those, or if you could recommend some of your finds.
  jeanette: Did indeed pick up Qurbani, which I have now listened to and would agree that its fab. That's the only one I have of those you mention. Got 30-odd CDs and most of them are double or triple headers, and I'm slowly ploughing my way through the pile. Favourite thus far is 'Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai' which is another R.D. Burman stunner.
  olli: RD burman is, ahem, "da bomb". probably my favourite bollywood producer/composer. not that i'm an expert on indian 70's pop culture or anything.
Quizas, Quizas, Quizas or Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps  performed by Lila Downs  2001
Recommended by music2go [profile]

Another Lila Downs version of a classic song. Someone recently told me that this is the opening themesong for some British TV show and that they stay up really late to hear it, but then go to bed without actually watching the show. That's how great it is. I uploaded Besame Mucho but it is not there so I won't upload this one yet.

from Border, available on CD

Real Pain  performed by Kraak & Smaak  2007
Recommended by iPodChick [profile]

The multi-talented Dutch artists Kraak & Smaak shine in their unprecedented, soul-shaking compilation, “The Remix Sessions” due out May 29th. Named by IDJ as "one of the most incendiary live outfits," Kraak & Smaak take that crackling energy and infuse classic jams with their signature style. Music lovers everywhere will rejoice as hard-to-find tracks, many of which were only released on vinyl, join each other in this boogie-licious showcase.

From banging dance floor "Mimezine – Can't get Enough (Kraak & Smaak Remix)," to funky, midtempo "Jamiroquai – Electric Mistress (Kraak & Smaak Remix)" to eerie, internationally-infused "Skeewiff – Man of Constant Sorrow (Kraak & Smaak Remix)," Kraak & Smaak reveals their astounding vision for the possibilities of electronica. This beat-driven assembly is an invaluable resource for re-tracing the various pathways of this modern musical expression.

from The Remix Sessions (Quango Records)

  aquila49: If this recommendation sounds like an ad, it's because it is one! I found the exact same wording on another site— iPodChick works for the recording industry. Is that acceptable to Musical Taste members? It isn't to me. By the way, I like Kraak and Smaak—but I am not coming here anymore if shills like "iPodChick" are going to be posting "recommendations."
  delicado: Hi aquila49 - thanks for your comment. yeah, I figured this was probably an 'inside' recommendation although I didn't do the follow-up googling! I don't mind say people recommending their own band so long as it's one song and they're pretty straight up about it, but obviously this isn't the same thing. I guess I should set out some guidelines somewhere. If anyone else has any feelings about this feel free to chime in!
  n-jeff: I agree with aquila49 - off with their heads! I hardly buy music papers because too much is regurgitated verbatim from press releases. I must admit when I read the initial recommendation my mind glazed over halfway through the first phrase, so I couldn't actually read it. Send them back to MYSPACE!
  aquila49: I guess "ipodchick" doesn't have anything to say about this—or anything else. Good riddance.
  liveinpeace: I think the music speaks for itself, however it may have come to our awareness. I do not criticize ipodchick or anyone else for not posting more here. You have made people feel so "welcomed" to join in the discussion. Just keep on living in peace, love, and music.
Redemption Song  performed by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros  2003
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

Beautiful, moving and uplifting cover of the Bob Marley classic.

from Streetcore (Hellcat)

  inbloom44: Cause all I ever had redemption song.:)
  olli: what about the johnny cash/joe strummer duet version on cash unearthed? s'good.
rock’n’roll  performed by motörhead  1987
Recommended by angelica [profile]

pared-down gritty rock'n'roll, this song hammers away from start to finish in classic motörhead style. the lyrics are what really distinguish this track for me, however... lemmy rasps "i've got rock'n'roll / to save me from the cold / and if that's all there is / it ain't so bad", making this song a paean to his love of rock and roll above all else. no woman, no bed will tie him down... only rock'n'roll will comfort him in his old age. and at 58, he's still rockin' hard. even though he's a dirty old man and i'm slightly afraid of him... well, it still fills me with hope.

from Rock'N'Roll, available on CD

Rocket Number Nine Take Off For The Planet Venus  performed by Sun Ra and His Arkestra  1960
Recommended by executiveslacks [profile]

I've been listening to Sun Ra a lot lately and am mesmerized by this song. As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect blend of jazz and avant-garde. Throw in a space theme (what else?) and you have a classic.

from Easy Listening for Intergalactic Travel, available on CD

Rose Petals, Incense, and a Kitten  performed by The Association  1968
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

This song has been a favorite of mine ever since I first heard it on the album "Birthday" back in the 80's. It reminds me of walking along the beach with my girlfriend, looking at a gorgeous sunset. The song was written by Jim Yester, who also sings lead...the string arrangement, great vocal harmonies, lush melody and delicate guitar solo by Tommy Tedesco make this a sunshine pop classic. Jim Yester also contributed two other equally great tunes on this album, "Birthday Morning" and the stunning, majestic "Barefoot Gentleman". I recommend the entire album to fans of 1960s harmony pop-it is their most psychedelic record, hands down, and my favorite by them,although I still haven't heard their first LP yet, which others have recommended to me as their best.

from Birthday, available on CD

  delicado: This is a truly exquisite track. I've been listening to this album a lot recently actually.
  eftimihn: A track so great it abolutely deserves to be recommended twice, here is my entry:
  artlongjr: I'm glad so many people like this can't go wrong with this album, in addition to "Rose Petals", there is "Everything That Touches You", "Toymaker", "Hear in Here", and "The Time it is Today", all great tunes. I just wonder what the results would have been if the Association had recorded "MacArthur Park" like they were requested to at that time!
  Major Minor: Seconded! Birthday is my favorite Association album containing some of the finest Sunshine Pop tracks ever!
Royal Blue  performed by Henry Mancini  1963
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautiful Mancini piece from one of his best-known soundtracks that I had somehow managed to neglect completely. The Pink Panther was never at the top of my wish-list, but after picking up the CD last week for a mere 50p, I was very impressed. The score utilizes the accordian slightly more than I would have liked, but has some fantastic textured tracks, such as this one.

The track opens with a 'Blues in the night' style riff on the piano. The lead is then taken by a blistering muted trumpet sound. I've always thought of Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks work as being heavily Mancini-influenced, but that link has never been more clear to me than on this track, which has a similar moody tone to some of the best tracks on the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me soundtrack. The classic Mancini string sound is also in evidence, as well as a gentle wordless chorus. About half-way through, legendary tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson takes up the melody. The dreaded accordian gets a brief look-in before the track concludes with some more riffing on the trumpet. Fantastic stuff; Mancini really was an inspirational arranger.

from The Pink Panther, available on CD

  Issie: I like Pink Panther so I bet I like this song!
Ruby  performed by The Apples in Stereo  1997
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

A classic pop gem with the quintessential catchy, sing-along melody. Pristinly written, performed & produced by E6 Godfather Robert Schneider and his Apples in Stereo. With a chorus determined to make you hum in your sleep, or over a dozen pints with your mates, or loud enough for your co-workers to secretly dispise your chummy disposition, this song will never lose its appeal. Piano, guitar, snare and bass bring back the days of 'ole, and they do it in style. This has to be someone's favorite song somewhere!

from Her Wallpaper Reverie
available on CD - Her Wallpaper Reverie, EP

  opl3003: I agree, this is one of the best tracks by The Apples in Stereo! And of of my overall favorite songs! I can listen to it over and over..
Run for Your Life  performed by Lara & the Trailers  196?
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A note-for-note cover of the Nancy Sinatra's version of the Beatles' classic...sung in a very high-pitched Cantonese. Beautiful stuff.

available on CD - Girls in the Garage, Volume 9 (Romulan)

  mpanzera: AY RUVV!
  Swinging London: That one's a lot of fun!
Run Mascara  performed by The Exciters  1965
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Now THAT'S a title. Honestly, I so wish I was a teen in the sixties. You got to gloom along to the highest-quality pop-soul instead of the early 90's alt.rock that was de riguer in my tender years.

The Exciters are one of the most enduring of the 60's "girl" groups (there's one boy in there). No matter how polished the production was, they remained overwhelmingly vital thanks to the harsh vocal power of Brenda Reid, their main singer. They found mucho favour on the Northern Soul circuit, but I think their stuff is substantially more individual than a lot of the platters on offer in that scene.

"Run Mascara" is about a boy who knows how to hurt and make the tears flow, but gives just enough sweetness to keep Brenda in love. Your classic emotionally-abusive relationship. You would think with a voice like hers Brenda would just wallop him. Or shout at him. That'd shut him up.

Musically it races fast, with the other group members yelling to keep up with the breakneck speed. An outstanding few minutes.

from the single Run Mascara (Columbia DB 7606)
available on CD - Something To Shout About! (Sequel)

Run To The Sun  performed by The Owl  1968
Recommended by Swinging London [profile]

This is an absolutely tremendous track.

Very much of its era and an absolute flop, saleswise.

This was, I believe, the only single released by the group,The Owl.
The 'B' side, 'Shades Of Blue & Green Waterfly' is equally as majestic.

Tremendous full orchestra. Very, very powerful vocals by J. Vincent Edwards. Strong melody.

I personally think it's right up there with' Whiter Shade Of Pale' as a classic late '60's, British single, in terms of power and performance.

Beautifully produced and arranged.

Edwards has the kind of voice that was very popular in Britain circa 1968, (sounds just like the lead singer from Plastic Penny).

This should have been massive.

from Pierre's Plastic Dream
available on CD - yes (Market Square)

Rye Bread  performed by Edd Kalehoff  197?
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

The name and artist may not be familiar, but I defy anyone not to smile in recognition at "Rye Bread". It was a composition that Edd Kalehoff conceived in the '70s as background music for the game show classic "The Price Is Right". It's not surprising why some of Kalehoff's cues are still in use today - they're much more imaginative and groovy than mere background music needs to be. "Rye Bread"'s peppy arrangement is fantastic (dig those drum fills!), and it never fails to put me in a goofy, "avocado pant suit" kinda mood.

Sa Marina  performed by Wilson Simonal  1968
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

One of Brazil's classic pop hits of the late 60s, written by an incredible songwriting team responsible for dozens of similar gems between 1967 and 1971. Better known in the English version recorded by Brasil '66 as "Pretty World," but Wilson Simonal truly nailed this with his typically soulful vocals and a vintage soul-jazz-Brazil backing courtesy of pianist/arranger Cesar Mariano and his fantastic Som Tres trio. Also note the swirling strings-and-woodwinds arrangement and climactic hand-clapping singalong climax at the end.

from Alegria Alegria Vol. 2 (Odeon)
available on CD - Alegria Alegria Vol.2 (EMI Brazil)

Sabor A Mi  performed by Eydie Gorme & the Trio Los Panchos  1972
Recommended by TippyCanoe [profile]

Ole Gorme!
She can sing the *&%%**)$% out of this beautiful latin classic. Makes you feel like you're lost in a romantic evening at the Copacabana.

from Amor (Caytronics CYS 1316)

Season of the Witch  performed by Lou Rawls  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

David Axelrod leads ol' Lou through a pent-up take on the Donovan classic. Starts out slow, building momentum as it draws to a fantastic close.

from the single Season of the Witch (Capitol)
available on CD - Classic Soul (Magnum Midprice)

  Goes Up To 11: And definitely don't miss the 1968 cover of "Season of the Witch" by Vanilla Fudge -- an absolute triumph of excessive bombast! The phrase "over the top" barely begins to capture that performance. It will leave you shaking your head in amazement at the sheer audacity and monumental bad taste, but it is so much fun!
  Swinging London: Lou Rawls never really cut it for me. Sounds like '60's soul for housewives. His voice sounds strained a lot of the time.
Sha La la La Lee  performed by Elmer Hockett  1968
Recommended by Ashley [profile]

It's a cover of the Small Faces classic that's about as far removed from the original as it is possible to be. Instead of replicating the mod-beat pounder, producer Mark Wirtz slows the pace down, blends in all kinds of weird percussion instruments and gooes for broke with a kitchen sink finale. Some Small Faces rate this as bordering on blasphemy, I think it's an easy listening classic

from The Fantastic Story of Mark Wirtz and the Teenage Opera, available on CD

Shakin’ All Over  performed by Wanda Jackson  2011
Recommended by schlick [profile]

A truly rowdy version of the Johnny Kidd & The Pirates classic by Wanda herself, guided by Jack White of The White Stripes fame who also played on this one.

available on CD - The Party Ain't Over (Nonesuch)

She's hit  performed by The Birthday Party  1982
Recommended by phil [profile]

Ah - yet another classic about killing women. Cave is excelling himself here - it opens with the immortal line 'there is woman-pie in here.' This one breaks from the standard Birthday Party template - first drums, then bass, then nick, then guitars - by doing all the above, but with the mental leap of playing it at a quarter of the normal speed. The highlight is the inevitable moment when Nick says 'And all the girls across the world.....
hit. '
MAGNIFICENT. Why didn't the sugarhill gang sing it that way?
As far as I know, this the only song bassist Tracy Pew is credited with writing. His part is pretty obvious. It's the bass line.

from Live 1981-82 (4AD CAD9005)
available on CD - Junkyard (Mute)

shortboard city  performed by The T yde  2003
Recommended by norfy [profile]

i love this band-sure they have ripped of the almighty 'felt' but what the hell-this track chugs and grooves along like loaded era-'velvets',the aforementioned 'felt', 'television' and a thousand perfect pop songs-the rest of the album is a killer and i urge you to purchase this immediately-features the godlike ric menck on drums and i beleive thay share members with'beechwood sparks'-a reason for being-a reason to keep believing.

from Twice, available on CD

showroom dummies  performed by kraftwerk  1976
Recommended by phil [profile]

I'm on such a kraftwerk tip these days that I could recommend loads of their tracks, but this one is a real classic - there they all are, looking super-geeky on the cover, and then they serve up an ice-cool 8 minutes complaining about the horrors of fame. It's the normal kraftwerk thing - robotic beats, beautiful, simple melodies, and heavily accented singing, and going on for a LONG TIME.

My favourite bit is when one of the guys counts in the song - ein, zwei, drei, vier! As if - as if! - the machines need telling the tempo...

from Trans Europe Express, available on CD

Si Manda  performed by Jorge Ben  1967
Recommended by DJ Markinho [profile]

This song is on one of Jorge Bens best records: O Bidu (Silencio No Brooklin) from 1967. This Brooklin is a district in the city of São Paulo, not New Yorks neighbourhood. In this period of his career Jorge Ben had moved from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo. He was the first to use the electric guitar in samba. His previous records were all recorded with a acoustic guitar and had a more classical Bossa Nova and Samba sound. "Si manda" is a great up-tempo Samba Rock track with a powerful beat and electric rhythm guitar. This record and this song in particluar must have had a big influence on the Tropicalia movement and a band like Os Mutantes.

from O Bidu (Silencio No Brooklin)

Sincerely  performed by The Moonglows  1954
Recommended by jwmoz [profile]

Absolutely classic & phenomenal doo-wop - my all time favorite of the genre. It makes me want to play stickball & start dating some chick who was 18 in 1954. Well, at least play stickball. Let's stick with that then.

Skin Trade  performed by Duran Duran  1986
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Beneath the avant-garde lyrics and futuristic synth textures, there was always a pulsing dance music quality that drove the classic Duran Duran sound. As they progressed into the late '80s, they allowed that dance element to move up front and dominate their style. A good example of this tactic is "Skin Trade," a hit whose silky and funky style led to it being mistaken for a Prince song. The lyrics have a surprisingly direct, soul-searching feel to them as they lay out scenarios of people shortchanging their dreams to make money. These moments are followed with the dramatic proclamation that makes up the chorus: "Will someone please explain/The reasons for this strange behavior?/In exploitation's name/We must be working for the skin trade." The music lends contrast to the angry tone of the lyrics by creating a sultry, mellow melody that juxtaposes verses with a soft, hypnotic ebb and flow with an ever-ascending chorus that revs up the song's inherent drama. Duran Duran's recording is fuelled by funky but gently layered guitar textures and subtle drum work that push its groove along, plus some atmospheric synth textures on the chorus. Interestingly, Simon LeBon uses his normal tenor voice for the choruses but sings much of the verses in a lush, soulful falsetto that led many pop fans to initially mistake "Skin Trade" for a Prince ballad. The result was a perfect blend of slow-dance textures and adult social critique. It didn't do as well as "Notorious," just barely making the Top 40 in the U.S., but it got plenty of radio airplay and is fondly remembered by the group's fans as one of Duran Duran's most mature achievements of the late '80s.

from Notorious, available on CD

Sleepwalk  performed by The Supremes  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

What can I say! I always imagined there would be a vocal version of this classic Santo and Johnny instrumental, but I had never located one until I found this recording. This track remained unreleased until the mid-1980s, was recorded in March 1965.

I can't deny that much of the appeal of this song for me lies in the novelty factor of hearing lyrics sung to this classic tune. If you're interested, the lyrics go something like this:

Sleep walk, instead of dreaming I
Sleep walk, cause I lost you and
Now what I am I to do;
Can't believe that we're through
(I don't care how much you tell me)

Sleep talk, cause I miss you I
Sleep talk, while the memory of you lingers like a song;
Darling I was so wrong
(but I'll be right some day)

Fills me my lonelyness;
I see your face
Spinning through my brain

I know
I miss you so
I still love you
And it drives me insane

Sleep walk, every night I just
Sleep walk; and when
You walk inside the door,
I will sleepwalk no more

If you're having trouble imagining how these words would fit to the tune, I think the Supremes did too; this may explain why the track remained unreleased. Don't get me wrong - the overall sound is very cool, and the verses work quite well. But I think the tune is so well-known that they didn't feel they could change a note, and so some of the vocals are a bit laboured.

Still, a great track, which seems to hold up to repeated listens!

from 25th Anniversary (Motown 5381ML3)
available on CD - 25th Anniversary Volume 2 (Motown)

So Far Away  performed by Carole King  1971
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

Taken from the little album that came out of nowhere and brought Ms. King the recognition that she deserved, this is my favorite track. The simple setting and instrumental arrangement provide an intimate setting that allows the words to sweep over you. My friend's mother wore out two copies of this LP before the age of CD arrived. James Taylor plays acoustic guitar on this track as well as several others and went on to record his own version of "you've got a friend" which also appears on this classic album.

from Tapestry, available on CD

So Tenderly  performed by St. George and Tana  1967
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

Here's a 1960's classic from a rare album I've had for a few years...I found a link to youtube with the song:

Produced by Huey Meaux who also produced Sir Douglas Quintet.

from St. George and Tana (Kapp)

  konsu: This one continues to entertain me. "Big Daddy's Blues" sounds like a primordial X. I also can't seem to live without "Books of Rhythm, Books of Rhyme". Such a treat of a record.
Sola (Then)  performed by Rocio Durcal  1977
Recommended by RCA76 [profile]

This is my most favorite song in the world. I love it because it is a classic, latin, late 1970's, sultry, soft, dinner party or alone-with-someone-special type of track. The instrumentation is not totally typical of latin music (fast rhythm, very ornate), it is soft and easy. The vocals are absolutely velvety and very sensual. Although it is a "sad" song, it is one of those songs that makes you want think about that special certain someone.

from Una Vez Mas (Ariola LA-045)
available on CD - Rocio Durcal – Su Historia y Éxitos Musicales Vol. 1 (BMG/Ariola (2004))

Some Velvet Morning  performed by Slowdive  1993
Recommended by Genza [profile]

Different interpretation of the Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra classic, notable particularly for the Slowdive 'sound'. The song starts with a faded chorus of fazed guitars - and it's a fairly glorious mix of chiming guitars from them on.

Songsmith Neil Halstead had some difficulty adapting the tune to Slowdive's intricate multi-layered sound. As such, the final part of the tune, where the song switches between ‘daffodils’ and ‘some some velvet morning’ has been cut.

from Volume 7 (BMG 7VCD7)

Somebody To Love  performed by The Boogie Pimps  2005
Recommended by mattypenny [profile]

The third in a series of 3 linked postings, the other being White Rabbit and the original Jefferson Airplane version of this song.

It probably wouldn't be unfair to describe this as a fairly cheese-y dance cover of the Jefferson Airplance song. It puts a fairly similar sounding vocal over a dance track, with some extra squelchy noises.

I would never have thought the world needed a dance version of this song, but its good fun, and it fills the gap when you have one of those need-to-hear-a-disco-fied-version-of-a-60s-goth-classic moments.

Where it gets really wierd, though, is the video. The singer is a fairly genericvideo female without many clothes on. But she's shot as if she's a giant lying across several fields. And then you see a number of babies parachuting out of an airplane, and eventually landing on top of her. You could say its tasteless, crass, sexist or all three (and I probably would), but its kind of nutty enough to suit what there is of the howling vocal.

available on CD - Now 60 or 61 (UK)

  n-jeff: I've not heard this, and I'm not really going to go out of my way to find it, although I appreciate your sentiments. Anyway, before Jefferson Airplane, Grace Slick and some of the others were in a band called The Great Society, and they also did a version of this song, produced by Sly Stone. So it feels like something of a circle turning, although in 1966 he hadn't formed the great melting pot of the family.
There are stories attached to that session, but thats by the by, the Great Societys' legacy would be a very fine live album. You should track it down. Proper Psychedelia.

  mattypenny: Jeff, thanks for the comment. Sly Stone being involved in a version of this sounds intriguing, I will try to track it down. Also interesting that you should use the word 'psychedelia'. You're absolutely right to - I think I didn't because I tend to associate it with either very surreal type of music (e.g. early Pink Floyd) or fairly mellow music (e.g Albatross, Good Morning Starshine, or late Pink Floyd), and both Somebody To Love and White Rabbit are neither.....Well, I suppose White Rabbit is surreal, but in a direct kind of way if that makes sense. You could say its closer to punk than hippy. I know very little about this period to be honest - as you can probably tell - but there's more interesting music there than I once thought. P.S. I wouldn't 'go out of your way to find' the Boogie Pimps version. In the context of the video channel they have on in the gym it was great when it came on - the vocal is similar and as I say the video is just so wierd it's worth watching. All in all quite fun but not essential. cheers, Matt
Something Bad on my Mind  performed by Timi Yuro  1968
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

This gets my vote as a lost classic, one of the best "fake Phil Spector" records ever. The tremendous production is matched by Timi Yuro's booming, soulful voice. Still not sure about the lyrics; we just know that Timi's hurtin', and has something bad on her mind.

from Something Bad on my Mind (Liberty records)
available on CD - Best of Timi Yuro (EMI/Capitol)

  delicado: yeah, totally dig the production! As for the words, it sounds like a very similar story to that told in Glenda Collins's Something I've got to tell you.
Something Better Change  performed by The Stranglers  1977
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

”Something Better Change” was released in July of 1977 as the first single from The Stranglers upcoming second album No More Heroes which would appear in mid September. Along with the albums title track, ”Something Better Change” would signal a move in a more overtly pop direction that was only hinted at on the group’s first album and would manage to peak at #9 on the U.K. singles chart. This is not to say that The Stranglers abandon their reputation as caustic agitators as No More Heroes was littered with politically contentious tracks such as ”I Feel Like A Wog”, ”Bring On The Nubiles” and ”Bitching”, but the song’s infectious guitar riff and winning melody suggests a tenuous party rock atmosphere. It’s left to singer J.J. Burnel’s particularly gruff vocal performance to keep thing in the punk zone as he alternates between a gnarly throated delivery and a melodic toned timbre. Pumping organ and a buoyant mid-tempo rhythmic romp keep the energy high as he confronts the status quo with a tirade against stifling apathy, flaunting the punk new order with the taunting second verse, “Don’t you like the way I dance? / Does it bug you? / Don’t you like the cut of my clothes? / Don’t you like the way I seem to enjoy it? / Stick my finger right up your nose!” The bridge becomes a jubilant anthem where Burnel voices a punk battle cry to a flurry of organ runs and a growling bass line, “Something’s happening and it’s happening right now / You’re too blind to see it / Something’s happening and it’s happening right now / Ain’t got time to wait”. The chorus is a simple statement, Burnel demanding “Something better change!” with support from the boys in the band who join in for a group shout. Ironically, the arrangement also shows signs of classic rock moves, including a stinging guitar solo and an old school build up of the chorus late in the track.

from No More Heroes, available on CD

Something I've Got To Tell You  performed by Glenda Collins  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A classic 60s girl pop vocal, produced by the legendary Joe Meek. It's a heartbreaking tale of infidelity with a typical 60s pop-orchestral backing. Apparently this song never even charted, which is astonishing in view of how catchy and generally wonderful it is.

from the single Something I've Got To Tell You (Pye)
available on CD - It's hard to believe it - The Amazing World Of Joe Meek (Razor & Tie)

  jeanette: One of the most astonishing records ever, simply took my heart when I first heard it.
  leonthedog: An anthem - I love the backing vocals, and listen for the cameo by the horn section! Google for the old WFMU program that will let you hear the whole thing. My 6-year-old daughter loves to dance to this one.
Space Lord  performed by Monster Magnet  1998
Recommended by King Charles [profile]

After nearly three and a half years of speculation, I finally bought this album in the fall of 2003. Wow. As soon as I popped it in, I knew that it was Monster Magnet, but I knew I had a new band to add to my favorite list. These guys rock, period, they're in the lower upper class of hard rock (with upper upper being reserved for such acts as Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Dream Theater), hell I don't even want to categorize them, as this would place a restriction on their potential (in much the same way the Jewish cannot write the word "God," and Muslims cannot draw Him, according to friends I have of those faiths). The song starts off like a fireside story, we've got a low bass beat, a great little intro compliments of Ed Mundell. Wyndorf's space, money, power, sex and religion influenced lyrics become prevalent as soon as the song begins, and we are launched into a maracca, tambourine, and 70's/80's hard line influenced metal trip. Ned Raggett's characterization of an 'acid folk' edge to the beginning of the song gives it good justice, and Space Lord slowly cranks up the volume, settling down once, and then cranking it up again, ready to conquer worlds with the hard rock edge that has kept Monster Magnet in the limelight, but away from the new age/pathetic sounds. Upon listening to this song, we think "classic rock," not because of it's refusal to metamorphose (or rather, transmogrify) into today's rock, but because of it's influence from the aforementioned 60's - 80's hard core, unfiltered, instrumentally diverse sound (including alternate percussive effects from tambourines and maraccas, as well as keyboard infiltration that would make The Doors jealous), which is uniquely self-complimenting, orchestrated, and coherent. Space Lord deals with becoming (unconsciously) corrupt with power, wealth, and ultimately desire (Now give me the strenth to split the world into, yeah/I've ate all the rest, and now I've gotta eat you), which may delineate the stereotypical American 'powertrip,' hence the album's appropriate name. If you are looking for unrelenting excellent rock, which isn't too harsh to listen to, but most certainly isn't along the lines of Phish or Weezer (in any respect at all), I recommend this song, album and any others one could get one's hands on. 5 out of 5 stars for its genre.

from Power Trip

Space Oddity  performed by David Bowie  1969
Recommended by Mike [profile]

As we all know, it has that typical late 60s "rock group with string section added on" sound. I recommend it here mainly because I *love* the change in mood and minor tonality that comes with line "Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit's dead - There's something wrong" which comes after "Tell my wife I love her very much - she knows". The diminished 7th chord under the words "Major Tom" is, well, sublime.

The song was produced by Gus Dudgeon who went on to produce most of Elton John's classic material, and features Rick Wakeman amongst several subsequently famous session musicians. The Wikipedia articles on the track and the album it came from are interesting, well-written, and seem well-researched (unless anyone wants to disagree).

from Space Oddity (Philips)
available on CD - lots (EMI)

Splash (sung by Peter Bloom)  performed by Ennio Morricone  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This bizarre Morricone pop tune sounds as if it came from a parallel universe. With an instrumental mix of guitar, harpsichord, bass and drums, it achieves the same kind of spooky, melancholic atmosphere as 'Deep Down', another Morricone film song from the same year. But in contrast to Christy's passionate vocal in 'Deep Down', Peter Bloom's delivery is light-hearted and much more low-key. Both tracks feature classic Morricone wordless vocal effects and some truly ridiculous lyrics. I haven't seen Partner, but I'd be interested to see how this song fits in to the story:

"I want to be your dazzling white knight
I'll splash you sizzling cool with bright light

I'll kiss your cleanliness
...Your soft, silkiness
Oh what happiness:
It's biological...


Ridiculous words, but the arrangement makes the track genuinely powerful. Shame Ennio didn't bring this one out for the crowd at the Royal Albert Hall last year.

from Partner OST (Cam)
available on CD - Morricone a Go-Go

  bobbyspacetroup: I love this song! I haven't seen Partner either but have heard it's pretty awful.
  eftimihn: It's absolutely superb, that harpsicord sound is especially lovely and the lyrics are really weird throughout with Peter singing something with "my super-duper-baby/ we're goin' whoops-a-daisy" in the bridge part of the song...
  megaphonerecords: i can't beleive it!!!!!!!! i first heard this song while i was living in australia. it shot right into my being & resonated hard. since i've been back in the states i've been trying to find this song with no luck. it's been 5 years now & this is the first time i've seen a sign that this song really exists & wasn't just a magical dream i had. maybe i'll be fortunate enough to actually hear this song again before i die!
  dominb: I saw "Partner" at a revival at a cinema in Madrid and although Morricone does the whole s/track this song is the only pop number so it really stands out,the scene which accompanies it features the main character played by Pierre Clementi romping with his girlfriend in soap suds pouring out of a washing machine,he then jams her head in the washer's door and kills her!...Partner is a pretty pretentious film but it's odd enough to be enjoyable.When I saw it,this song was the high point for me,even though it only lasts a few mins....Where did you get this from?
  dominb: ah..."morricone a go go"...I'll look out for it,must be a million morricone compilations,finding new morricone music is a hobby of mine!
  delicado: To see the film clip with the music (dominb\'s description above is pretty accurate), visit
Spooky  performed by Chris Montez  1968
Recommended by konsu [profile]

If anyone could improve this Classics IV ditty, it's the adorable Mr. Montez!

Although the arrangement doesn't change much, (it didn't need to) Nick De Caro did add some nice little "effects" that really set the mood. Like a cool bit of "spooky" delay/filter effecting after the refrain...nice.

Montez's voice just seems to add to the story of the song. Like a guy like him could get spooked by a chick more than your average dude... he's sensitive.

Great Grusin-like organ solo too... That just nails it for me!

from Watch What Happens (A&M SP 4157)

Starsign  performed by Teenage Fanclub  1991
Recommended by MoeShinola [profile]

This song helped turn me on to Alt-Rock. There was a homemade-looking video that MTV aired a few times. It was kinda grainy and unfocused, which suited this song well as it sounds like it's coming from far away. Still rocking, though. There are moments of shimmery clean guitar that compliment the grunge perfectly. The intro is also shimmery & cool. It takes it's time washing over you before the drums come in. A classic. This whole album is a classic. Only one misfire on it, Bandwagonesque was Spin Magazines record of the year for 1991, eclipsing Nevermind and a host of others in that magical year.

from Bandwagonesque (Geffen)

Steppin’ Out  performed by Joe Jackson  1982
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

I grew up listening to Joe Jackson and i still find his venturing into all sorts of musical styles and the eclecticism surrounding his musical work very interesting. Starting as a post-punk, new wave singer/songwriter he released three great albums from 79-81 with his "Joe Jackson Band" before going solo with a string of fine albums in the 80s (musically ranging from jazz, R&B, rock to latin-tinged sophisticated pop) and later writing and arranging soundtracks and even doing classical music. He recently regrouped with his band, produced another album and toured with the original line-up consisting of Gary Sanford, Graham Maby and Dave Houghton and surprisingly it worked as good as in the beginning of his career. "Steppin' Out" was released on probably his best solo offering "Night & Day" in 1982, a highly evocative, melancholic, catchy pop song skillfully mixing a synth sequencer beat and keyboards with piano jazz harmonies and xylophones.

from Night & Day, available on CD

  komodo: I'll second your comments regarding Joe Jackson. I'm surprised that with classic albums such as "I'm the Man", "Look Sharp", "Body & Soul" and the aformentioned "Steppin' Out", Joe Jackson doesn't, in my opinion, recieve the credit he deserves. "Steppin' Out" is a great track, but my favourite version is actually from "Live 1980/86" where he takes a dramatic - perhaps even melodramatic - approach to the song. It shimmers then swells into this wonderful sound, evocative of a kind of fantasy 40's New York, but anchored by JJ's usual lyrical poignancy. Somewhat overblown? Perhaps, but wonderful stuff nonetheless, and definately one to check out if you've not heard it before.
Steps in the sand  performed by Karel Duba and Big Band
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I came across this on what's probably quite an obscure compilation called Surfbeat Behind the Iron Curtain Vol 2. I know very little about it. It's kind of like classic surf, but with some overtly 50s big band influences thrown in. The production sounds very odd - I'd guess this was recorded maybe in the early 1970s but I could be way off. Lots of nice horns and reverb-laden guitar and some weird radio-interference type effects.

from Surfbeat Behind the Iron Curtain Vol 2.

Stop, Look, and Listen  performed by Patsy Cline  1956
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

A departure from her usual country and classic ballads, this song has a definite rock and roll feel. Patsy goes rock-a-billy and tears up this song like nobody else could. It's truly a shame that she didn't record more tracks like this one!!

available on CD - the Patsy Cline Collection (Box Set) (MCAD4-10421)

Strange Fruit  performed by Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra  1939
Recommended by tinks [profile]

"Strange fruit hanging/from the poplar tree" of the most haunting songs ever written. Holiday recorded this song about a lynching several times throughout her career, but this original version features a performance so intense that it is impossible to beat.

available on CD - 1939-40 (Classics)

  Swinging London: Nina Simone's version of this is also very beautiful.
  space: An extremely important and agonizingly beautiful song.
sunday bloody sunday  performed by u2
Recommended by licoricewhipped [profile]


sunday morning  performed by margo guryan  1968
Recommended by daidai [profile]

i love this psyche sounding classic. the backing track vocals compliment one another perfectly. i love the strings in this song. a little poppy but rocking.

from take a picture

  delicado: I agree that this is quite brilliant. I've had the Spanky and our Gang version of this for a few years, and I have to admit I had assumed that they wrote it. But this version is even better! Amazingly rocking and beautiful. The rest of the album is superb as well, don't you agree? I can listen to it all day...
  tempted: Oh yes, the arrangement and the atmosphere on each and every song by Margo Guryan is so beautiful. The intimate chamber strings, flutes and Margo's voice.. a lot like Claudine Longet's. The version by Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell is a fine one, too.
Sunny  performed by Oscar Peterson  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A great take on the pop classic “sunny” - taken at a fast tempo with a bouncy piano style and a hip beat. A really great track, produced by Claus Ogerman, who really was one of the coolest arrangers; perfect for me anyway - able to perfect both lush and beat oriented 'now sound' type stuff.

from Motions and Emotions (MPS 21207137)
available on CD - Snowflakes (Motor)

  konsu: A really cool record. Also with a nice version of "Ode To Billy Joe" and Jobim's "Wave".
Sunshower  performed by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band  1976
Recommended by ambassador [profile]

This one fits well with with my previous reccomendation in the melancholy/eerie vein. I read somewhere that the song was in the African JuJu style, but discofied of course given its 1976 production. It was this song that proved to be the Dr. Buzzard . . . was not your average disco band. Cory Daye's vocals are beautiful and harken back to an earlier era of classic jazz vocals, like Ella and Billie. The children's backup vocals are what gives it the spooky quality, probably because the intrumentation is dark, like seeing those cute (but scary) kids come out of the corn fields in Children of the Corn. The last chorus just sends chills down my spine as Cory digs into the lyrics and dances around them as the everything sort or brightens up, like the sun coming out after a summer rain. This makes the title all make such perfect sense.

from Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, available on CD

  Festy: You know what makes the last chorus for me (or choruses from after the kids singing only accompanied by percussion)... as simple as it may sound... it's the handclaps. They add so much and I always look forward to them coming along. I became obsessed with this song about 6 months ago and bought the CD, which, as I expected, doesn't contain so many fantastic songs on it, but, still an enjoyable CD. I really enjoy your recommendations!
Sweet Talkin' Woman  performed by Electric Light Orchestra  1977
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

Try to remove this from all the boring "classic rock" trappings its acquired over the years. Appreciate what a fascinatingly strange combination of overheated pop, symphonic grandeur, and rock-ish muscle this is. So 1977, yet so timeless. Thank you.

from Out of the Blue, available on CD

Take Me With You  performed by Lyn Christopher  1973
Recommended by Rockstar770 [profile]

Take me With You == Vocals on "Take Me With You" is a classic voice that is never to be duplicated. She has worked with great musicians like Steve Gadd, Hugh McCracken to name a few, oh and don't forget Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley better known as the rock band "Kiss"

from Take Me With You (Paramount Records PSA)

Talk Talk  performed by The Music Machine  1966
Recommended by tempted [profile]

Punk really was born in the sixties. This song, perhaps THE classic of its genre, oozes with energy and rage. The fuzz guitar sound is pure evil and when it comes in you just bless the stereophonic effect. Like The Velvet Underground, this song must've made a lot of people start a band.
The band wore black and had black instruments. They tuned their guitars a full step lower to make their sound more threatening. It worked. And all this back in '66.

from Turn On, available on CD

  tinks: yeah, sean bonniwell really was one of the unsung whacked-out geniuses of his generation.
teach me tiger  performed by april stevens  1959
Recommended by olli [profile]

somewhat of a classic. great little easy listening track..her voice sounds very sexy, and the lyrics are so unbelievably kitchy/catchy i just keep returning to it.

  unathanthium: Great choice Olli.And I thought Norwegians weren't cool.That'll teach me,tiger!
tears of a clown  performed by smokey robinson & the miracles
Recommended by licoricewhipped [profile]

classic motown at its best.

Temptation  performed by New Order  1982
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Although far less well known than the 12" version and the 1987 'substance' rerecording, I'm utterly in love with this 7" version. I think perhaps the band hate it, since it doesn't seem ever to have appeared on CD, and was not even on the recent 'Retro' box set. At a little over 5 minutes long, it just seems much more focused and affecting to me than the overlong 12" version and the scrappy 1987 version.

It opens with that hypnotic beat/synth sound that has become famous since the song was used in various film soundtracks (most famously, Trainspotting, and most recently, 24 hour party people. Both used the later, rubbish version though). On this version, there's a twangy guitar sound added over the top of the introduction. The other main difference from other versions is vastly improved vocals (particularly over the 1987 version), and that wonderful early New Order guitar sound, as witnessed on other classic tracks like 'Ceremony' and 'Procession'. Like a handful of other tracks I've recommended, it's hard for me to be completely objective about this one, because I've adored it since my mid-teens. But having just bought an extra copy of the single, I'm happy to report that it sounds as brilliant as ever.

This recording showcases a raw and under-appreciated New Order/Joy Division sound that mixes early synth sounds and beats with punky guitars in a really beautiful and affecting way. I still enjoy their later stuff, but it's tracks like this that really attract me to the band.

from the single Temptation (Factory fac63)

  n-jeff: I've not heard the 7 since I was at college in 82, but there is also a version about 15-20 minutes long on one of the first "Touch" cassettes, where they have cut it with an interview. The whole thing seems to have been a lengthy Jam, edited differently for different releases. So the 7 would give you the most focused version. Compare the 7 and 12 edits of the KLF's "3am Eternal" for the enhancing effect of a great edit.
  Genza: I totally agree with everything delicado says. Early New Order rocks. Everything after and including Blue Monday is more poppy - and I can live with that. But most of their albums are very patchy - with half the tracks good and the other half almost unlistenable. But Temptation is an utter, utter classic. And I just love Dreams Never End, Cries and Whispers and In a Lonely Place. Well, any early New Order - it all that has tinny dance-music quality but still holds that desolate Joy Division sound.
Temptation Eyes  performed by The Blake Babies  1991
Recommended by DecemberGuy [profile]

Great cover of a 60's pop classic originally done by the Grass Roots. Juliana Hatfield's voice barely registers at first, but once you adjust a bit to it..she completely pulls you in. "There's more baby..ok!"

from Innocence and Experience, available on CD

Tensity  performed by Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

A great cut with that classic Axelrod sound. Also included are compositions by Joe Zawinul and Lalo Schifrin. Check it out...

from Cannonball Adderley Quintet & Orchestra (Capitol ST-484)

  tinks: Great song. Great album all around, in fact.
  nickfresh: Most Definitely one of my favorite albums! One of the great selections.
That was Yesterday  performed by Foreigner  1984
Recommended by Mike [profile]

One of the best classics of the Foreigner back catalogue which I know has so many adherents here at musical taste. A superbly emotional track with a great chord sequence and a mainly synth-based backing.

from Agent Provocateur

  delicado: amazing - I knew this recommendation was from you even before I saw your name! So, no 'cold as ice'?
  Mike: "Cold as Ice" is a great number, too, of course, you're quite right. Watch out for more recommendations soon!
That’s When I Reach For My Revolver  performed by Mission of Burma  1979
Recommended by theothercynic [profile]

This song is one of the post-punk classics, performed by Boston legends Mission of Burma. As their kind-of hit, it is a standard of their live repertoire adored by fans. It features a standard three-piece rock band with guitar, bass and drums, but features jumpy and jagged rhythms, a very pronounced and melodic bass solo and intro, and great vocals and lyrics that, while somber, simply beg to be shouted along.

available on CD - Signals, Calls, and Marches (Rykodisk)

The Classical  performed by The Fall  1981
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Message for yer! Message for yer!

My theory is that everyone seriously into music has time for The Fall. They're just too superlative - in places - not to give them massive amounts of respect.

I have no problem with being a selective Fall fan, and probably err too much to "the Brix Years" for serious Mark E Smith hardcases. I love the early to middle period and The Classical, for me, is the absolute pinnacle of their acheivements. A parity of stupidity and - er, classicality - it marries the phrasing genius of Smith with one of the very best group line-ups in their 27 year career.

So what if MES is a toothless old git now? So what if they haven't released an album of worth in many a year? So what if their back catalogue is being shamelessly exploited by various low-rent record labels? They are one of the biggest unacknowledged influences on British music today and it's time they got the props they are worthy of.

from Hex Enduction Hour, available on CD

The Day You Take One, You Have to Take the Other  performed by The Marvelettes  1967
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Classic uptempo Motown girl sound! Fits the Berry Gordy formula so perfectly that it should have been a huge hit. Features a terrific bubbling bassline and mesmerizing finger snaps!

from The Marvelettes (Tamla)

  scrubbles: Ooooh, I dig this song - gotta love those Smokey Robinson lyrics! "A little bad comes along with every good/You've got to take the bitter with the sweet."
  Swinging London: Reminds me of 'Don't Mess With Bill'. Quite an old fashioned sound for 1967...The Marvelettes didn't seem to really keep up with the times. Good though.
The End of Life  performed by Gabor Szabo  1967
Recommended by konsu [profile]

I have to write about this song just to defend it. Because,among Szabo fans, this is considered crap...

But for a guy not known for his pop,this is a slammer! Most of this can be attributed to the singers on the session, who incidentally, are from The Love Generation. The Bahler brothers wrote this under the guise of "The California Dreamers", who also did a record the same year for Impulse with Tom Scott... And, whereas the Scott record has become a plunderphonic classic, Szabo's record goes unnoticed for it's lack of "breaks".....

This song is a great groovy stomper much in the tradition of all sunshine pop from the time period. Only with the added bonus of being performed by some of the best west coast session players of the time including Tom Scott himself, alongside Jimmy Gordon, Mike Melvoin, and Carol Kaye. And as with all Szabo's stuff,dark and sexy,with that eastern twist that he added to everything he did.... Bill Plummer added some buzzy sitar to this track too, which makes it a must for indo-pop fans!!

Did I mention the cover art?

from Wind Sky & Diamonds (Impulse! A-9151)

The Fog  performed by Kate Bush  1989
Recommended by Steenie [profile]

Hands down, this ballad by Kate Bush has THE BEST violin solo of any non-classical song. The song itself, though a bit of a downer, is really very beautiful.

"The Fog"

You see, I'm all grown up now.
He said,
Just put your feet down child,
'Cause you're all grown up now.

Just like a photograph,
I pick you up.
Just like a station on the radio,
I pick you up.
Just like a face in the crowd,
I pick you up.
Just like a feeling that you're sending out,
I pick it up.

But I can't let you go.
If I let you go,
You slip into the fog...

This love was big enough for the both of us.
This love of yours was big enough to be frightened of.
It's deep and dark, like the water was,
The day I learned to swim.

He said,
Just put your feet down, child.
Just put your feet down child,
The water is only waist high.
I'll let go of you gently,
Then you can swim to me.

Is this love big enough to watch over me?
Big enough to let go of me
Without hurting me,
Like the day I learned to swim?

'Cause you're all grown up now.

Just put your feet down, child,
The water is only waist high.
I'll let go of you gently,
Then you can swim to me.

from The Sensual World

  mrtanner: I agree. This song is stunning.
The Girl From Ipanema  performed by Antonio Carlos Jobim  1963
Recommended by heinmukk [profile]

hm, i wonder why this hasn't been added yet. if this isn't classic, then what is?
there are about a zillion different interpretations of this song by about a million different artists. there are compilations only with this song but by different artists. and i got two of them.
maybe it's mainstream and it's played too often but i love it nonetheless.
my favourite version is on the album "the composer of desafinado plays". of course arranged by claus ogerman. he did also the arrangement for "the wave" which is i think the best album by antonio carlos jobim. an album packed full with classics.
he made the strings sound so cool and you really get the feeling of what for a lifestyle bossa nova seems to have been those days. (as i think and hope it has been...)

from the composer of desafinado plays

  delicado: Totally digging those Ogerman strings. Ogerman is a genius arranger; I particularly like the work he did with Astrud Gilberto ('funny world' and 'non-stop to brazil' are two great ones) and Joao Gilberto.
  brasilnut: I always hear Claude Debussy's 'Claire de lune' in the phrase 'ah, but he watches so sadly'
The Girl I Lost in the Rain  performed by The Walker Brothers  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is total genius. Perfectly formed dramatic faux classical mid sixties pop. Scott does a solo vocal.

available on CD - Everything Under the Sun (Universal)

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly  performed by Luiz Bonfa  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A rather warm and funky take on the Morricone classic, with harp, violins, trumpets and very cool percussive elements.

from Bonfa! (Dot)

The Great Gig in the Sky  performed by Pink Floyd (featuring soloist Clare Torry)  1972
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

One of my favorite tracks from this classic album. Clare Torry's vocals are absolutely haunting without saying an actual word. I always used to visualize being sucked up into space (undoubtedly because of the song's title) when I heard this song. Then I watched it with the Wizard of Oz and now I always invision Dorothy Gale in the eye of the storm...

from The Dark Side of the Moon, available on CD

The Holy Filament  performed by Mr. Bungle  1999
Recommended by Tangento [profile]

This is a truly unique song, from a beyond unique band. Mr. Bungle has a rabid, almost cult-like following, and songs like this are the reason why.
This band has always drawn on many different, widely varying influences, including ska, grindcore, jazz, and funky beats, to name just a few.
This track displays a whole new direction for the band, with dreamy, ethereal bass and piano interplay, retro-vocal harmonies, and an almost rapturous climactic sequence, followed by a melancholy fade-out.
This is a work composed by Bassist Trevor Dunn, (a true talent) and I feel it is more than worthy of a place on this list.
The album is a classic, I highly recommend it for people with just about any kind of musical taste.
I am providing a review/ option to purchase:

from California, available on CD

The Letter  performed by The Arbors  196?
Recommended by konsu [profile]

Man! Out of all the dollar-bin records i've bought in the last six months this one takes the prize. Amazing vocal pop ala' Harpers Bizarre or The Vogues, but more like the latter, due to the sheer genius production and selection of material.

This is a song by the great Box Tops that gets played all over your local "oldies" radio station, only made more superior with better production and beat. It has that misty sunshine appeal of HB, with cooed almost whispered verses, but then takes it higher with their own trademark choir-loft harmonies and effects. It supersedes the original by a longshot, bringing together sly shuffles and baroque arcs of genius.

The album has too many great versions to mention, but look for a review on their version of The Doors "Touch Me" coming soon, with a clip.

A must for fans of HB, Classics IV, Association, Cyrkle etc.

from The Arbors (Date TES 4017)

  delicado: yeah, this one has been on my list to recommend for a while. Superb stuff!
  artlongjr: I used to hear this song back in the early 70's, I didn't know who it was back then but it did get airplay. This group's first hit I really like and recommend, it's called "Symphony for Susan" and came out in 1966.
The Liberty of Norton Folgate  performed by Madness  2009
Recommended by geezer [profile]

An epic cockney travelogue that contains all the essential elements of classic Madness,from their new album just 30 years after their debut,this ten minute epic takes you through the London of their past and present and changes tempo at least every two minutes without ever losing your attention .
This is being acknowledged as a bona fide classic by a group who have been together pretty much since 1978 ,that is a victory for persistance and talent .

from The Liberty of Norton Folgate
available on CD - The Liberty of Norton Filgate

The Message  performed by Grandmaster Flash
Recommended by inbloom44 [profile]

A hip hop classic...Pure and Simple.

The Model  performed by Rock, Onic & Bob  2004
Recommended by Rob [profile]

This is a cover of 'the model' by Kraftwerk. Using a banjolele, bass guitar and drums they've rehashed it in a polka style. It's classic. Go see their website:
you can download a couple of other tracks there.

from That'll do. (robtheserecords)
available on CD - that'll do (robtheserecords(

The Peterman  performed by Bullet  1975
Recommended by HoboTech [profile]

Beautiful slow jazz funk. Funky bass, floating flutes, trombone, rhodes piano. This entire album is a classic. You've probably heard some of it somewhere before, it's been sampled by lots of people from DJ Vadim to Buck 65. Originally recorded as library music and then used in the British TV series the Hanged Man, this record is one of my favorites.

from The Hanged Man, available on CD

The Popular Girl  performed by Martin Newell  1993
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Martin Newell has been writing '60s-influenced jangly pop gems for decades, and this is maybe the best example. It's a mid-tempo affair with a good beat and ringing guitars sounding like the Beatles' "Rain". Other faves: "Goodbye Dreaming Fields" and "She Rings the Changes". The CD is a compilation of his work, and includes a number of tracks by his '80s band the Cleaners From Venus, notably the protest classic "Living With Victoria Grey".

available on CD - The Wayward Genius of Martin Newell (Cherry Red)

The Stumble  performed by Freddie King
Recommended by dwmjuk [profile]

Classic blues-progression, considered one of the first and finest Blues-rock intrumentals. Please ingore the indulgent Gary Moore version.

The Sword and the Pen  performed by Regina Spektor  2009
Recommended by Mike [profile]

Absolute minor-key classic from the first listen. I suppose it's a bit too "obvious", but hey, I like it. She gets a bit "Ruski" in the chorus.

An "extra" track with deluxe versions of the album; also in piano/vocal only version with one of the CD singles.

from Far (some versions only), available on CD

Recommended by DJEDGARMARTINEZ [profile]


  konsu: Don't forget the "Baretta's theme", which smokes as well. From the album "Discofied".
The Underdogs  performed by Rialto  1998
Recommended by john_l [profile]

A majestic, dark, and glorious song. It has a horn in the background through most of it, and lovely strings interjecting at appropriate places. Actually it reminds me of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's '67 classic "Woman Woman" crossed with the Walker Brothers. The weakness is in the lyrics, which weren't Rialto's strong point, but with music this wonderful, I for one can overlook that ...

available on CD - Rialto (China)

The Way You Look Tonight  performed by Air (french band)  2002
Recommended by dedismo [profile]

Good music to fall in love to. Classic Air use of Acoustic guitar, french accented voices singing English, and melodious synthesizers. Fall in love with Air again.

from Everybody Hertz, E.P. (10,000 Hz Remixes) (Astralwerks 11833)
available on CD - Everybody Hertz E.P. (Astralwerks)

The Wild Ones  performed by Suede  1994
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

a classic pop song. a huge, sweeping chirus, fantastic production, a great string arrangement, vocals to die for, and great guitar playinmg. the best song Suede have ever recorded, from one of the best albums of the 90's

from Dog Man Star, available on CD

  delicado: Yeah, this is definitely one of my favorite Suede songs, and the album has grown on me. I still really like some of their earliest tracks though. Can't get into the heavily polished newer stuff at all.
The Windmills of your mind  performed by Noel Harrison  1968
Recommended by Mike [profile]

I know it's almost unbelievably corny, but I've always had a soft spot for this classic cycle of 5ths based number, particularly in this, its original version.

They  performed by jem
Recommended by maizimay [profile]

Vocal, pop with elements of classical

three cigarettes in an ashtray  performed by patsy cline  1957
Recommended by flange1515 [profile]


three imaginary boys  performed by the cure
Recommended by e [profile]

so anyway, this makes me think of being sixteen, and walking slowly through a cemetery at dusk...uh, what it really reminds me of is pacing my room, wishing i had the energy to trek to the cemetery. classic early cure. on the first cd i ever bought.

from boys don't cry, available on CD

Time Out From The World  performed by Goldfrapp  2005
Recommended by komodo [profile]

Ethereal, cinematic soundscape, which builds to a predictable, but still thrilling climax.

A friend suggested that it sounds a bit like a classic James Bond theme, and I can see what they mean - it has got those gorgeous Barry-esque strings that come sweeping in at the 3 minute mark that just carry you away, shaken AND stirred!

from Supernature, available on CD