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search results for “Dramatic”
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List songs by Song title | Performer | Year

You searched for ‘Dramatic’, which matched 48 songs.
click - person recommending, year, performer, songtitle - to see more recommendations.
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 (Motown), available on CD (Motown)



  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.
be with me  performed by beach boys
Recommended by stemmer58 [profile]

dramatic orchestral pop noir from the sunshine people.
unexpected dept, maybe because Dennis Wilson sings it

from friends
available on CD - friens/ 20 20


Bitter-Sweet  performed by Roxy Music  1974
Recommended by delicado [profile]

For someone like me, the strangest thing about getting really into Roxy Music is the overt rockiness of a lot of their material. Even on this track, which is one more of their slower, more mournful numbers, there are a lot of very heavy rocky moments. They work pretty well though, and I'm certainly not complaining.

The atmospheric opening is breathtaking, and Bryan Ferry's vocal as he sings 'I've opened up my heart' is incredibly beautiful. The words and music seem to meld together in a very pretty way, but then before long the track mutates into a stomping, carnival like passage that clearly influenced Nick Cave to a considerable extent. Throughout the song there's this interchange between delicate, melodic verses and the rowdy, discordant section. Like another favorite Roxy track, 'Just like you', this song finishes with a clever chord change.

I'm sure many people would find 'Bitter-Sweet' much too dramatic and serious - perhaps some days I would too - but it does have an incredible elegance and style that makes me keep on listening.

from Country Life, available on CD



Bouncing Babies  performed by The Teardrop Explodes  1980
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Teardrop Explodes’ second single, "Bouncing Babies", was released in July 1979, following the departure of organist Paul Simpson and the arrival of his replacement Gerald Quinn. With those changes, the group's sound, too, would alter dramatically, as Quinn took the band into the crypt-like depths of proto-Goth; in true Phantom of the Opera style, his organ haunts the grooves, while Gary Dwyer pounds his drums like a man who’s just discovered he's been buried alive, and Michael Finkler reenacts the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his buzzsaw guitar.

Ecstatic reviews greeted the single, but its lifespan was short – before long, ”Bouncing Babies” was so hard to find that the Freshies came close to scoring a hit simply by bemoaning that difficulty – their &"I Can't Get (Bouncing Babies by the Teardrop xplodes)" itself ranks alongside its namesake among the most memorable of the age.
(AMG)

from Kilimanjaro, available on CD


Boys of Summer  performed by Don Henley  1982
Recommended by StAgGeR [profile]

OK, OK, OK........I know that many of you hipster types out there are probably wincing at this recommendation, but...deal with it. I'm sure that most people are all too aware of this track, and probably avoid it at all cost, but in my humble opinion, this is one of the best pop radio songs ever recorded. I think I heard it first when I was about 12 or 13 while on summer break from school. I was immediately drawn to the eerie, repetitious, heavy delayed intro guitar line. Granted, it has some cheezy lyrics, and a fairly melodramatic tone overall, but this song will forever hold a special place in my heart....awe.


available on CD - yes




  callgirlscene: Yeah, this is an absolutely great song, a classic to my mind, yearning for that perfect love, that perfect moment, and the chance to prove ones self. And this comes from an Eagle, who weren't bad but have been way overplayed these last years on radio.
  konsu: I agree, Don nailed it with this one.It's eerie simplicity is what was great about the Eagles better tunes. It is too bad about overplay, at least in the USA. FM radio is like a Coke machine in a vegatable garden...
  Archipelago71: This is one of those few 80's songs that is still valid today. Instead of being about the excesses of the period, it's a very haunting song about missing something. Or is it about not looking back and having no regrets? You could probably argue for both sides of it. It's a true classic.
Breve Amore  performed by Mina  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Another great dramatic pop number by Mina, this song is from the comic Alberto Sordi film, 'Fumo di Londra'. The backing track is identical to that used in the film, although Mina's version was released separately as a single. What can I say? This is an other deeply affecting dramatic pop number in which Mina belts out the words in a heartfelt manner. If these are the same words I used to describe her track 'se telefonando', then that's because this song is pretty much in the same vein, with a heavy, brass-laden pop arrangement.
ps. a version of this song exists with none other than ME singing in Italian - reverb-laden vocals belted out karaoke style over the same background track.

from the single Breve Amore
available on CD - Studio Uno 66 (BMG Italy)




  tinks: the 'fumo di londra' soundtrack was recently reissued as a 2lp set, with tons of outtakes. i really, really love it. i'd make a recommendation from it right now, but i can't remember the song title, and the record isn't with me. argh!
  delicado: The one which really bowled me over was 'Mr Dante Fontana'! Like 3 brilliant songs rolled into one!
  tinks: wouldn't you know it? that was the one i was trying to remember! i couldn't recall if that was the title or if they just said "hey, mr. dante fontana" a lot.
  jeanette: Also from that Fumo Di Londra album: that fabulous 'You Never Told Me'. A Brit-girl-sound lost classic!
  delicado: Yes; that's actually an English-language version of this same song
Chelsea Girl  performed by Simple Minds  1979
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

Simple Mind's second single, "Chelsea Girl", was an apt follow-up to its predecessor "Life in a Day", an epic chant, a shimmering melody, and a sing-along chorus that paid spell-bound homage to Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico, in her role within Warhol’s movie of the same name.

Producer John Leckie gives "Chelsea Girl" a lovely delicate quality, especially across the long, tinkling keyboard intro, an aura that barely dissipates even when drummer Brian McGee and bassist Derek Forbes's kick in with their thumping rhythm. The band were proving to be masters at these juxtaposed styles, creating rock solid bases and overlaying them with much more fragile and elegant melodies and atmospheres. Here, those latter are close to effervescent and, as the band shift down into the long bass-driven, overlapping tag teamed vocal outro (a playful lift from Roxy Music’s ”Mother Of Pearl”, but no matter), absolutely crystalline.

On album and onstage, ”Chelsea Girl” remained fans' favorite, on 45 though, it inexplicably crashed and burned, and didn't even reach the UK chart.
(AMG)

from Life In A Day, available on CD


Conversazione  performed by Mina  1967
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Opposed to the dramatic Morricone interpretation of "Se telefonando", recommended elsewhere on Musicaltaste, Mina is in a beautifully light bossa mood here on "Conversazione". And the arrangement adequately reflects this with joyful flutes, gentle electric guitar and rather muted strings.


available on CD - Una Storia, Il Mito (Universal)



Davy Jones's Locker  performed by Flaming Stars  1995
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A superb instrumental, featuring a nice organ sound and the sublime twangy guitar of Johnny Johnson. I believe Johnny has now left the Flaming Stars (who are led by Max Decharne, once of Gallon Drunk), which is a shame - he is a masterful guitarist. This is a rather dramatic, moody track, opening gently and building up nicely with fast strummed guitars. While I doubt this is deliberate, the overall effect is reminiscent of some of the tracks on Morrissey's guitar-heavy 1992 album 'Your Arsenal'. Anyway, like much of the band's other material, this is a nice hybrid of 50s and 90s styles.

from Hospital, Heaven or Hell EP, available on CD



Desiree  performed by The Left Banke  1968
Recommended by tempted [profile]

If romantic, dramatic, emotionally fragile and beautifully orchestrated baroque pop with woodwinds moves you then you're blessed... by me.


available on CD - Complete Recordings (Mercury)




  gaymod: is this a cover of the old doo wop standard ? which Zappa was involved in
  tempted: No, it's a Left Banke original.
  Swinging London: Haven't heard that for years! Nice to be reminded of it. My fave by them is 'Pretty Ballerina'. As far as I know, they never had a hit here in England.
Footprints on the Moon  performed by Francis Lai  1973
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An incredibly perfect easy listening piece, this opens with an other-worldly, John-Barry-ish synth sound, and then leads into a groovy, lightly funky piano riff, with shimmering strings. Francis Lai's signature organ sound carries the tune as the song builds into a dramatic orchestral pop masterpiece. A standout track, with superb wistful, lazy, summer day feel, rather like some of the best tracks on the 'Sound Gallery' compilation of a few years ago.

from Plays the compositions of... (UA UA-LA095-F)




  scrubbles: Yow! That sound snippet alone is so cool.
  AndreasNystrom: I finally got the version by Francis Lai, and i think its better then Johnny Harris one. Splendid song!. I love the ending part of it.. cant get that part out of my head :)
  standish: I'd have to go for the Johnny Harris original over the Francis Lai version. It's colder and spookier with less obtrusive strings. "Movements" is available on CD (great sleeve - his expression suggests a combined photo shoot/visit to his proctologist) - but the mono single version (w/"Lulu's Theme") is all you need.
  leonthedog: Well, thanks to all of you I had to track down BOTH versions! Amazing what a difference an arrangement makes. I agree with scrubbles: the clip of Lai's version is the most infectious thing around!
Gone...Like the Swallows  performed by And Also The Trees  1986
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

The exquisite standout of the Virus Meadow album and easily And Also the Trees's best song from its early years, "Gone…Like the Swallows" steers away from the sometimes frenetic vocal intensity found elsewhere on the record it comes from for a more reflective but still passionate approach. Simon Jones delivers his lyric with all the deep-voiced intensity of a student of Wordsworth and Shelley reciting on the hillside to nature (which in some respects is pretty much the point of the song). But Jones isn't explicitly anti-modern — consider the mention of the aeroplane in the sky at various points — while the music is equally ancient and up-to-date in feel. Digital delay on the guitars turns them into rolling, darkly chiming flows and waves of sound, dramatically crashing behind the steady rhythm section and Jones' increasingly intense words. Bass and drums alone wrap everything up on a brief, spare note.
(AMG)

from Virus Meadow, available on CD


He was here but not for long  performed by Sally Dastey  1998
Recommended by phil [profile]

Ridiculously sentimental and melodramatic like a number of songs on this album, but as often rescued by the singing and in particular by Sally Dastey's voice - really, this woman is genuinely the best singer I have ever heard - a beautiful, plaintive Australian accent that deserves to be ranked with asrtud gilberto as one of the most distinctive voices in pop.

The music here on this song very simple - just a banjo, guitar, and mouth organ for backing, with Dastey singing 'he was here, but not for long/ I'll let you in on a little secret now/' before suddenly just speaking, with immense sadness - 'he wasn't the best worker we ever had'. Really fantastic folk music.

Sally Dastey was one of the Tiddas, who I have gone on about elsewhere on this site.

from Over In The West
available on CD - Over in the west


I Don’t Wanna Grow Up  performed by Tom Waits
Recommended by eve [profile]

This song is a little lighter and more fanciful than a lot of Tom Waits songs, which makes it good because it's delightful, as opposed to his usual "good because it's painful/ dramatic/ really bizarre."




I know you love me not  performed by Julie Driscoll  1967
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A great track with that supreme thick kind of arrangement that reminds me of Scott Walker's late 60s solo work.

Julie's vocal delivery is interesting. She's hipper sounding than Jackie Trent; more like a slightly looser Dusty Springfield. But she also has a weird kind of Annie Lennox way of sounding over the top.

The song is pretty simple, but the production and arrangement are so vibrant and colourful that it works very well.

from Jools/Brian (MFP 1265)



I think We're Alone Now (Japanese)  performed by Lene Lovich
Recommended by bloodfever [profile]

Queen of the New wave and possibly Vampires, Eastern Bloc princess of the moogs and synths takes a old 80's teeny bopper cover and refreshes it by singing the lyrics in Japanese and adding a synethically mellow-dramatic and somewhat retro kitsch shibyua district cuteness. Dance to it or cry to it, nonetheless this cover is 1000X better than the original..





Ice Pick Mike  performed by Lalo Schifrin  1968
Recommended by heinmukk [profile]

first of all: great soundtrack!
this track begins slowly with some percussions. and then the almighty horn section starts. i love them loud and dramatic. the way they are here. the rest of the track is also nice but looping 0:58 to 1:36 the whole day would do it for me...

from OST Bullit


If paradise is half as nice  performed by Dave Clark Five  1969
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

Let it be known that I HATE covers... I like originals, but there is the odd exception and this is one of them. Amen Corner had a hit version with the song, but when you hear the 1969 Dave Clark Five version you will immediately forget the Amen Corner one. DC5 started out as a beat group and I don't like 1963-1966 beat. But like many groups they tried to survive in the music business and adapted to the new "sound" of the decade. They gave this song the late 60s treatment the way it should have sounded in the first place. Dramatic, musicall over-produced and full of power. If you like a strong orchestrated poptune, this is one of them. DC5 deserved the hit... not the Amen Corner.





  n-jeff: I was always quite fond of the version by Clive Langer and the Boxes from about 82. Sung in a terrible fake South London accent. If Parodice woz alf as naice as evven wen oym kissin yew. But I've not heard the DC5 version. Must say, I'm intrigued.
In the Name of Love  performed by Kenny Rankin  1975
Recommended by human-cannonball [profile]

My track of choice in the excellent Silver Morning 1975 LP of this distinguished singer/songwriter. To the best of my knowledge, this is not a cover version, but a shining original. It comes in swinging 3/4 time, it's the most jazzy of the LP's tracks, it has a kinda dramatic soundtrack feel, it's simply great!

from Silver Morning (Little David)



  konsu: Great album. I love the versions of "Penny Lane" & "Berimbau" as well! James Taylor, eat your heart out!
Just A Touch Away  performed by Echo & The Bunnymen  1997
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

This song was to be a key moment in the reformation of Echo & the Bunnymen. Ian McCulloch originally wrote "Just a Touch Away" back in the mid-Nineties, in the midst of the Electrafixion era, but felt it inappropriate for that band. Over time, the singer found himself shelving more and more songs, as it became ever more evident that Electrafixion's days were numbered. Eventually McCulloch played a demo of the song for Will Sergeant, who was decidedly impressed; soon after, the pair turned out the lights on Elektrafixion, re-united with Les Pattison, reformed Echo & the Bunnymen, and began work on their new album, 1997's Evergreen. "Just a Touch Away" would take pride of place within, its evocative atmospheres and haunting lyrics creating an eloquent showcase of the band's new styles and sounds. Today, the song is Sergeant's favorite track from the set, proving McCulloch was right to have so much faith in it all along.

from Evergreen, available on CD


King Ink  performed by The Birthday Party  1980
Recommended by phil [profile]

All birthday party songs are pretty much the same - start the drums, then the bass, and repeat these till the end of the song. Meanwhile, Nick rants over the top, and guitars come in at the dramatic bits. Sounds bad I know, but once you have listened to them about a hundred times, they suddenly become absolutely incredible. This is my favourite one - the unbelievably low bass line kicks in, and Nick yells such gems as "Express yourself! Say something! Say something! Like 'Er'! Or 'Um'! or 'Er'!" For about 6 minutes. Brilliant.

from Live 1981-82, available on CD



Major to Minor  performed by The Settlers  1967
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

The U.K. (or possibly Australian?)group the Settlers do a great job on this Tony Hatch song, sounding somewhat like American contemporaries the Sunshine Company and the Mamas and the Papas. I just love the vocal harmony groups of the mid to late 60's and this is an excellent example of that musical genre. The arrangement is very dramatic and the male-female vocal blend is very well done. This is much more pop than rock, and is definitely one of my favorite Tony Hatch tunes.

from Paisley Pop, available on CD


Me About You  performed by The Mojo Men  1967
Recommended by john_l [profile]

A dramatic arrangement of a often-covered song by a couple of guys whose names I see elsewhere on this site in several places. Lenny Waronker was the producer.

The band, from San Fran, was best known for its hit cover of Stephen Stills "Sit Down I Think I Love You", which is described as "a whirring music box" in the CD liner notes and indeed it blew away the dull original. "Me About You" meanwhile was covered by the Lovin' Spoonful among others.


available on CD - Sit Down It's The Mojo Men (Sundazed)


Mecca  performed by Gene Pitney  1963
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

Middle-Eastern '60s teenpop! Wild backup singers and a groovy guitar/flute solo add a distinctive, exotic touch to this lovers-from-different-cultures song. Still, it's Gene Pitney's incredible, dramatic singing that pushes this over into the "so weird it's wonderful" arena.


available on CD - 25 All-Time Greatest Hits (Varese Vintage)



My Suitor  performed by Berntholer  1984
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Rediscovered this as I was uploading an audio clip for Belle Epoque (this is next alphabetically in my 45's).

I can't work out whether this is joyous or heartbreaking. It eats into the very soul of you when you hear it. My, that sounds dramatic - different from my usual carping. Tinkles on the piano break up the dense atmosphere herein and get you into the claustrophobic world of singer Drita.

Stands alone in 1984. Nothing else sounded anything like it.

from the single My Suitor (Blanco Y Negro NEG 5)



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)



Open Door  performed by Genesis  1980
Recommended by Mike [profile]

It is hard to imagine a more musically wistful verse than that of this song. The swelling chorus augments it perfectly and very dramatically. This B side from the "Duke" era is surely one of Mike Rutherford's best songs, and one of the highlights of the post-Gabriel Genesis for those who appreciate the band's slower numbers.


available on CD - Genesis Archive Vol 2



  makebusy7: Um, that song was a throwaway no matter how you slice it
  Mike: It's all about musical taste, really, although even if it was not to my taste, I would find it hard to put together an argument for it as a throwaway.
  mrtanner: I think this is an absolutely beautiful track!
  Mike: Oh yes, it's quite special...glad someone else appreciates it!
Ophis le Serpentaire  performed by Vincent Geminiani  197?
Recommended by human-cannonball [profile]

Slow beaty groove, deep, dramatic, emotive. This obscure French library tune was recorded in early 70s for an avant-guard French version of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth', and originally released on a very limited "Musique pour l'Image" 7-inch.


available on CD - Le Jazzbeat Vol 1 (Jazzman (UK))


Presidential Suite  performed by Super Furry Animals  2001
Recommended by delicado [profile]

To be honest, I have little idea of what this song is about, but it certainly sets an intoxicating mood - rather intense and dramatic, but very cool. It's a sprawling, majestic pop song, opening gently with a faint trumpet solo and a picked guitar, and then building up nicely with strings soon after the vocals come in. The chorus is simple and catchy, and the orchestration is lush and beautiful, and the vocals are tender. There is a nice cinematic instrumental section in the middle, with some nods to Burt Bacharach. I don't get the impression this is the most coherent song ever, but there are poignant moments lyrically, such as 'You know that when we met, there were fireworks in the sky...sparkling like dragonflies', set against the moody chorus. It feels kind of nice to be really enjoying a new, 2001 song for once. The new album is really quite good. There are some duff songs, but overall I'd say it deserved better reviews than it received.

Update, ok, I've now figured out this is about the Clinton/Lewinsky furore. I guess I'm just not primarily a lyrics person...

from Rings around the World, available on CD



Quattro Vestiti  performed by Milva  1962
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

Answers the question, "What would happen if Ennio Morricone did a dramatic, Flamenco-style pop song?" Milva gives a lusty, compelling performance. Fantastic arrangement - love those castanets!


available on CD - Canto Morricone, Vol. 1: The '60s (Bear Family)



  delicado: milva also does a compelling 'metti una sera a cena' on volume 3 of the canto morricone series; highly recommended...
Requiem for a Tower  performed by Clint Mansell
Recommended by sanguedelfresia [profile]

It's a dramatic track commonly used in movie trailers. Requiem for a Dream, also by Clint Mansell, is a less dramatic version (and the original) of this track.




resistansen  performed by kaizers orchestra  2001
Recommended by olli [profile]

some nice tom waits-esque norwegian gipsy punk/ folkpop for you. You probably won't understand a word of what they're saying, as it's sung in a weird norwegian dialect, but most of it is about russian roulette, alcohol, corrupt priests, floods, polka, treachery and other things we enjoy here in norway. it's dramatic, fun and entertaining, so go ahead and buy it/ download from some file-sharing service. you won't regret it.

from ompa til du dør, available on CD



Se telefonando  performed by Mina  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A dramatic pop number from the 60s in which Mina passionately belts out the tune. The opening is gentle, with a delicate trumpet melody; it then builds up to a huge climax with full orchestra. The song is infuriatingly catchy and familiar; I'm sure I had heard it many times before I finally identified it about five years ago. Very highly recommended.


available on CD - Canto Morricone, Vol 1 (Bear Family)




  andyjl: This song was covered in a great version by Francoise Hardy (as "Je changerais d'avis"). It's on several compilations of her 60s recordings.
  delicado: Francoise also recorded it in English (the recording is exactly the same apart from the vocals) as 'I will change my life'. Great stuff!
Secret Love  performed by Kathy Kirby  1963
Recommended by Latimer [profile]

This is a British artist who does not deserve to be forgotten. She has a free, ranging voice and total charisma. Her trouble was that she got ripped off for life by a lecherous old-guy manager (Ambrose), who was mainly concerned with her considerable charms and the earnings he could siphon off to himself. She is now impoverished, but remains a great past-pop figure, and a great singer. Also a so-called icon of the homo world, where melodramatic performances are always appreciated. She was contemporary with the Beatles, but of a musical world they left behind.




Sequoia  performed by Fay Lovsky  1997
Recommended by mojoto [profile]

The consistent high quality of the ever expanding oeuvre of Fay Lovsky doesn't make it easy to pick one song to examplify her work, so I'll just go by the moment and will choose my present favorite Sequoia, a humorous ode to a wooden californian characterised by a laid back bluesy pizzicato groove and tremelo glissandi especially towards the end, where they tickle the tree to a dramatic finale. All instruments on this track are acoustic (drums, bass, guitar, violins) and the sound is warm and direct as usual.

from Numbers (Basta 30-9069-2)



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.
(AMG)

from Notorious, available on CD


smell memory  performed by mum  2002
Recommended by theaugustchord [profile]

this is a unique piece that comes from the depths of iceland, 4 piece dark electronic group Mum have there shining moment with this gem. Smell memory is a 9 minute epic of errie substance, it has grown on me since the day i bought the album - yesterday was dramatic, today is ok - to really absorb this you must be the a mood where you really want to lose yourself and see where you are at the end of it.

from Yesterday was dramatic, today is ok., available on CD


Summer (The First Time)  performed by BOBBY GOLDSBORO  1973
Recommended by callgirlscene [profile]

This story-song uses an imposing repeating piano riff, 12 string guitar, a little tasteful organ, and dramatic wistful strings as it recounts someone's first, well, lay. On a hot June day/night the singer loses his virginity with a older Southern belle. The version on the Honey CD though isn't as good as the original Bobby Goldsboro vinyl- it seems too lavishly produced, and is from the Summer of '42 soundtrack.

from SUMMER (THE FIRST TIME) (UNITED ARTISTS LA-124)
available on CD - HONEY (REMEMBER)




  Arthur: Millie Jackson covered this song and takes all the saccharine out of it!
  pottymoon: 'Summer the first time' by Bobby G doesn't have an ounce of Saccharine, it is a powerfully evocative track taking me back to when I was 19 (and that's 32 years ago!)so completely that I can smell, taste and feel everything as if I'd dropped back into 1973 from a time machine! And if you think that I write with Saccharine, then hey,I get paid for it!
  commonsense: I am just listening to this tack as I am typing and it really is an excellent example for nostalgia. The way the song is constructed makes it easily slip into your mind and float downstream to past encounters...
The Awakening  performed by Pizzicato Five  1995
Recommended by Erik [profile]

Considering the number of songs P5 recorded, they have made very few ballads. It's a shame, because Maki's voice is so beautiful in slow, dramatic songs. 'The Awakening' is the first song on 'Romantique '96' (after a short opening-collage) and it still amazes me because it's such a strange way to start an album. I think it's the most beautiful melody Konishi has ever written.

from Romantique '96 (Triad Nippon Columbia COCA 12889)




  johannp: The song is on "great white wonder" as well, but sung by a male singer (Konishi or Takanami perhaps?). It's a beautiful song, though not a typical Pizzicato Five tune :)
The Cutter  performed by Echo & The Bunnymen  1983
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

On ”The Cutter” fellow Liverpool natives, Echo and The Bunnymen successfully wed the Eastern influenced psychedelic sounds made famous by hometown heroes, The Beatles. Crafting Eastern influences into a new post-punk hybrid that was sweeping England in the Early 80’s. It was songs like ”The Cutter” that would help define the newly coined Neo-psychedelic sub-genre, practiced by such group’s of the period as The Chameleons U.K., Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds amongst others. The track opens with a keyboard approximation of Indian strings, whirring briefly before the band kicks into a percolating groove of popping bass, driving straight drums and chinking guitar accents. Ian McCulloch adds another layer of ’60 nostalgia, employing his expressive, slack-jawed vocal delivery that conjures aural images of the late Jim Morrison as he unfurls lines that drip with apprehension “Who’s on the seventh floor? / Brewing alternatives / What’s in the bottom drawer? / Waiting for things to give”. The Eastern strings re-enter at strategic points, filling in space between verses and McCulloch’s esoteric pleas to “spare us the cutter!”, which sounds like a good idea in any case. The arrangement also veers into epic territory quite unexpectedly in the second half, signaled by a sweeping wave of keyboard and McCulloch’s more subdued delivery as poses a string of rhetorically poignant questions, “Am I the happy loss? / Will I still recoil? / When the skin is lost / Am I the worthy cross? / Will I still be soiled? / When the dirt is off” -as the music swell behind him. Like any good single, the track never looses steam, cruising through each section with power and grace. A nod is in order for Ian Broudie, who’s smooth production helped The Cutter become Echo and The Bunnymen’s first top ten single in Britain and a linchpin track for the Neo-psychedelic movement.
(AMG)

from Porcupine, available on CD


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 Nights  performed by Lee Hazlewood  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This song is unlike any other I've recommended, but it's hard to hear this and not sense the pure genius which infused Lee's best work. The song is a dramatic narrative about an American woman who runs off to marry an Indian and join their tribe. Instead of singing, Lee simply speaks the words, while every now and again a manic chorus chimes in with 'Thuuu Nights' while a string section scratches away. If I had as cool a voice as Lee (er, and some talent at recording), I guess I could take the songwriting approach that he has here - the music is quite simple, but the narrative as spoken by Lee is gripping, and the entire production is impeccably executed. Check out 'José' for another successful song with this formula.

from Hazlewoodism - its cause and cure (LHI)


The Town I Live In  performed by Jackie Lee  1966
Recommended by unathanthium [profile]

Dramatic put down of boring towns,so good it influenced a book called Boring Towns nearly 40 years later."The town I live in has 27 churches"sings Jackie with atheistic venom.At least these days the churches will be empty or turned into flats.Bells clang,drums rumble and it all ends with Jackie so bored with her environment the song tails off with her singing "etc,etc,etc."She also did White Horses,so she deserves respect.


available on CD - Dream Babes Volume 1 (RPM)


This is Hardcore  performed by Pulp  1998
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I was never a Pulp fan, and I'm still not exactly a huge one. I never quite got why songs like 'Do you remember the first time' and 'Common People' were so great. I don't mind those songs now, but they never hit me in the way that 'This is Hardcore' did.

It's hard to explain why the dramatic, slightly ridiculous tone of the song appeals to me so much. The song is built around a sample from 'Bolero on the moon rocks' by Peter Thomas, the German film composer, and I think it's used very well - the sample adds texture and atmosphere, but doesn't dictate the song. I enjoy the way things develop at a slow pace, with new musical sections still being introduced late in the song. I'm very fond of all of these, but the slow, dreamy section that comes in at around 4:15 is particularly appealing, with its lush and strangely 80s sounding backgrounds.

Utter, utter genius!

from This is Hardcore, available on CD



  scrubbles: Totally agree ... I remember that the video for this song was equally fantastic - a tribute to '50s technicolor melodramas, but with an added dose of sleaze.
  olli: dammit. just rediscovered this myself and was about to rcommend it. didn't appeal to me the first time around, but then again i probably have a slightly better/ more diverse taste in music now. besides, the years have been kind to it. you're spot on about the use of the peter thomas sample, i have to agree that it's pretty tastefully done.
  olli: if you can use the word "tasteful" about this song, that is:)
Wake me I am dreaming  performed by Love Affair  1970
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

To most people The Love Affair will always be connected with their hits "everlasting love" , "rainbow valley" or "a day without love" ... undoubtably great songs which had lots of airplay and all made it into the charts. BUT ... there was trouble inside the group. The members wanted to play a more progressive sound and get rid of their pop-image. So a deal was made with the producer... he picked material for the a-side, the group could record a progressive tune on the b-side. One of those great a-sides was recorded in 1970 and released in 1971. "Wake me I am dreaming" has all the elements of their hit sound, but was hardly played. Why ? No idea, because it has the commercial potential it needed. Maybe it's due to the fact that the overall music scene was changing rapidly (country rock, glamrock, etc)... they surely deserved a hit with this orchestrated melodramatic ballad




who needs forever  performed by astrud gilberto  1966
Recommended by coffman [profile]

This exceptionally haunting and lyrical song by Quincy Jones has received its definitive interpretion by Astrud Gilberto with arrangement and accompaniment by the Brazilian organist Walter Wanderley. The melancholy urgency of the piece resonates well with the dark/sad tonality that pervades so much of Bossa Nova music, though its character is also reminiscent of certain otherwise very different pieces from the bebop era, which had a formative influence on Quincy Jones' music. There is definitely the remote influence of Charlie Parker and especially Dizzy Gillespie. It's truly a completely unique piece. The drifting melody which seems to skirt over the chord changes has a beautiful inevitability. Only a very gifted and skilled musician could have contrived such a beautiful work. So Quincy Jones deserves especial credit for crafting this song from the film "The Deadly Affair."

Astrud's delivery, so typically limpid and restrained, only serves to heighten the intensity of this darkly passionate song. The subtle but somehow fierce organ playing of Walter Wanderley acheives a sizzling romanticism that perfectly complements the reading of Astrud's apparently detached fatalism.

In my opinion, this track is a true musical masterpiece. Its remarkable economy of means is a testament to the skill of the composer as well as the artistry of the performers. In fact, it's a nearly perfect combination of expressive means and poetic intent. The beautiful resolution, with Astrud's perfect striking of the high B-flat over the half-diminished F-minor seventh, is a moment of sublime dramatic intensity, though profoundly understated, as is typical of her finest artistic moments. One is reminded of Miles Davis. Her poetic skill is rooted in subtlety.

I have listened to this extraordinary track hundreds of times, and always experienced chills rising up on the back of my neck. How amazing that this incredible musical gem was omitted from the original album A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness. Perhaps it was too intense, too heavy; whatever the case, it's a truly remarkable piece of music.

I'm truly grateful to have discovered this great albeit minor musical masterpiece. There's really nothing else quite like it! The sizzling but subtle sensitivity of the rhythm section (Claudio Slon on drums, possibly Joao Gilberto on guitar and Jose Marino on bass) adds an intensity to the piece which helps project the almost existential tone of the song.

I'm really swept away by this obscure and neglected work, which attains -- for me at least -- to a peak of poetic intensity really rare in music. As is usual with Astrud at her best, it accomplishes its artistic ends with what seems like the most minimal of means. But subtlety is always the avenue to the most profound of artistic experiences. I think this is a remarkable example -- one of the greatest -- of the wedding of popular music and high art. It is a truly perfect performance. In my opinion, its greatness increases rather than diminshes with repeated listenings. There is only one word for that -- it's magic!

from A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness, available on CD



  rio: you must pick-up the quincy jones soundtrack (released with the score to "the pawnbroker") with astrud singing "who needs forever". The lush quincy jones score is hauntingly beautiful, and astrud never sounded better. This version is the real deal for me..
  rferus: Amazing guitar on this piece.
Your Guardian Angel  performed by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Recommended by bluewatafrog342 [profile]

Acoustic/Punk Rock, I absolutely love this song because of the way it is starts so smooth and slow and then gradually erupts into an amazing finish. It also has great lyrics and a story to it.

from Don't You Fake It


Your Turn, My Turn  performed by The Go-Betweens  1981
Recommended by Dalriada [profile]

This track is on one of those New Wave compilations that I tend to hoard but never really listen to. Well, yesterday I listened to it and found this precious jewel that's been on constant repeat ever since. I've always known about The Go-Betweens, people always told me "The Go-Betweens this", "The Go-Betweens that" and "Why don't you listen to The Go-Betweens?" but, honestly, I never really bothered to. They didn't sound that exciting to me. But this here! Like most ingenious and overwhelming things, at 3 minutes running time it is much too short and yet it is just long enough. It is 3 minutes of concentrated beauty, drama, new-wavy-angst and poetry. It feels like a heartbreak after a night of heavy boozing with its swaying, jerky melody and Forster's manic-depressive vocal performance. Actually, I should try listening to it after a night of heavy boozing and see if it can get any better than it already is.

from Send Me a Lullaby, available on CD


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