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You searched for ‘Elegant’, which matched 26 songs.
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37 Hours (In The U.S.A.)  performed by Raw Stylus  1995
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Raw Stylus effortlessly combined british acid jazz elements with sophisticated, elegant Steely Dan-esque american jazz/soul/funk. In fact, like on this track, the music sounds very much like a Steely Dan backing track with warm Fender Rhodes keyboards, precise horn section, funky rhythm section and jazzy guitars. Which really isn't much of a wonder when looking at the credits of the album. Let's see: The album is impeccably produced by the Dan's producer Gary Katz, features an incredible amount of fine session musicians including Steely Dan regulars (like Bernard Purdie, Randy Brecker or Hugh McCracken), has even Donald Fagen providing synths on "37 Hours (In The U.S.A.) and they even embedded some chords of "Josie" in the song. Unfortunately, despite the talent, Raw Stylus remained a one album band to this very day, kinda sad actually...

from Pushing Against The Flow (Geffen 24822), available on CD



ai no toubousha  performed by Yoko NAGISA  2003
Recommended by chipple [profile]

Beautifully produced by Garry ASHIYA (part of the unit hige no miboujin (aka La veuve moustachue) with You-ichi KISHINO), this song from the single of the same name sounds a lot like Garry's works with hige no miboujin, creating a sort of classy, elegant 70's atmosphere. Yoko's vocals are fantastic and suit the song perfectly!

from ai no toubousha (Sounds of Elegance INTN-2001), available on CD



At Once You Fall In Love  performed by Birgit Lystager  1970
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Birgit Lystager is incredible, a Danish cross between Astrud Gilberto and Karen Carpenter with really artily written and composed pop songs. It's hard to choose just one tune from this magnificent and scarce album, but I'm often unable to get that "Eyes and hair and legs, oh what a sight/She's a flash of light in darkest night...." chorus out of my head for days at a time. To the above two chanteuses I might also add a dash of Joni Mitchell because of the conversational lyrics and melodic savoir-faire (maybe I should also mention Francoise Hardy right about here as well!). The arrangement is lush and expansive with more than a hint of Bacharach (whose "Another Night" is covered spectacularly on the same album). All this is already more than enough, but lovely Birgit also opted to go the extra mile and pose stark naked on the gatefold LP cover, tastefully exhibiting her considerable assets. (Heh heh, he said "assets.") In any event, this song, and the album it comes from, would be completely brilliant no matter what she looked like. Extremely hard to find, but WELL worth the search. I recommend Soulseek.....

from Ready To Meet You (Artist)



  criz: Yes, we are talking about a real rare album, worth searching for. Filled with unexpected chords and abosutely anti-typical for that era of Danish popular-music, or should I state it: Compromise-lessness. Compared to Bacharach's music, I myself find the pieces on this album more sophisticated - not saying that Bacharach finds the "easy way out!" "I'm Waiting For A Bus", the opening tune of the album is truly my favourite. May I also recommand the Birgit-album "Love's Labyrinth", also worth a search. Here you will find Elton John's break-through "Your Song" in a version of international class, among other fine pieces. Arrangements made in the same style as Ready To Meet You. And yes, also with a nice-looking picture on the cover. Go look for it - but not in my house!
  tempted: You guys share my thoughts on this 100%. A friend of mine from Stockholm made me a copy of Ready To Meet You just at the doorstep of summer '01. That summer I barely spent a day without enjoying that record. I'd been a passionate fan of 60's soft pop and psych (and Bacharach) but had never heard anything like Birgit Lystager. The adventurousness of the compositions and the colour of Birgit's voice are what sets this record totally apart from other stuff from that era. It's great that you guys have found this, too!
  tempted: ...but please guys, if you have until know somehow managed not to get a glimpse of the cover of Ready To Meet You then don't. It will shatter every pretty thought that you may have about the chanteuse. It's totally rude. But this is just my opinion...!
  criz: Latest news...In Denmark a 7-CD-set has just arrived, with 76 Birgit Lystager-tunes, including the two English albums - and very fair priced. Have a look at www.lystamusic.com - and be guided to the places to buy it on the internet (link-page). Just a recommendation from one who knows!
Champagne And Caviar  performed by Elegant Taste  1975
Recommended by DJJimmyBee [profile]

Lush, with strings, mid 70's sweet soul group ballad...Lyrically about the proverbial lunch box/hard hat guy on the job singin' 'bout the love he's gonna bring home to his gyrrrrl

from only on 45



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


Coyote  performed by Joni Mitchell  1976
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

The first track from the first of Joni’s “jazz” LPs of the late 1970’s is all about opposition and equilibrium, (as are all her songs from this period). It is both richly melodic and dense/chant-like in structure, empty and lush in arrangement, its propulsive/hypnotic groove studded with Jaco Pastorius’ weird, atonal bass speed bumps. Joni’s words/voice/performance is likewise wildly romantic and knowingly jaded simultaneously. The song is the sound of best singer/songwriter ever elegantly/effortlessly pushing the envelope.

from Hejira, available on CD


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.
(AMG)

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


Esta Noite Serenou  performed by Fernanda  1977
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Just one of many gems on the wonderful "Simplesmente" LP. A fairly stripped-down arrangement and recording, but which still allows for the song's bright verse and chorus melodies to shine forth. The track is built from acoustic guitar, bass, drums and a hint of (what else?) percussion, which pulse gently along on the verses in a rhythm that reminds me of dancehall reggae somehow, while still being obviously a branch of the bossa nova tree. Fernanda's sweet croon and instinctive sense of swing navigate this terrain effortlessly. Who is Fernanda? Where has she gone? On the strength of this LP, she definitely had quite a bit to offer. But it was tough, back then, being Elis Regina's competition.......

from Simplesmente...Fernanda (Copacabana)



  n-jeff: Thats funny, I was talking only recently abou the similarity of the Baion rhythm to the pulse of the ragga beat. Along with "Its not unusual" having a Baion rhythm, its a neat way of tying up Tom Jones, Shabba and Marcos Valle.
Getting Away With It  performed by Electronic  1989
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The amount of 80s talent was really incredible on Electronic's debut single: Bernard Sumner (New Order) doing vocals and synths, Johnny Marr (Ex-The Smiths) on guitar (pulling off a wonderful solo in the middle of the song), Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) providing background vocals and Anne Dudley (Art Of Noise, arranger on ABC's legendary "Lexicon Of Love") orchestrated a wonderfully lush string arrangement. The outcome is a fluffy, elegant, slightly melancholic and almost timeless piece of british pop music (except for that dated, rather bland sounding electric piano).

from Getting Away With It (Single), available on CD




  delicado: odd - I was thinking about this song just yesterday. The B-side, 'lucky bag', was also quite good as I recall.
  Mike: Electronic could be very good indeed when they started out and I'm a big fan of a number of their songs from this period. Tennant and Marr went on to work together on the last PSB album, but I'd like to hear more collaborative work from Tennant and Sumner.
I’m Bound to Pack it Up  performed by The White Stripes  2001
Recommended by xfanatic50 [profile]

A beautiful but simple guitar ballad, with Jack White foregoing his usual vocal theatrics and screeching. This song utilized really beautiful viola, one of the only times the band ever used outside instruments for a song. The most polished, elegant and beautiful of any of the White Stripes' songs.

from De Stijl



Laura  performed by Julie London  1955
Recommended by delicado [profile]

'Laura' has long been my favorite standard. The tune is elegant and haunting, and completely devoid of some of the schmaltzy feel that plagues many popular standards.

Written as an instrumental for the 1944 film of the same name, this was composed as a piano-based number, and so Julie's version is perhaps not the most orthodox recording. However, it's incredibly powerful and atmospheric, and I *think* it's my favorite version.

The entire track lasts just 1 minute and 40 seconds. The first verse is sung as a solo voice without any accompaniment other than the spooky reverberation effect. When the music does come in, it's provided by a small jazz trio led by Barney Kessel. Kessel's delicate jazz chords and picking complement Julie's voice beautifully.

from Julie is her name, available on CD



Misty Canyon  performed by Sven Libaek  1970
Recommended by mr_klenster [profile]

What can one say that hasn't already been said about this much sought after library track by Norwegian composer Sven Libaek? It's elegant, replete with cool tones, beautiful arrangement, and the feeling of longing. I've listened to this song countless times, and the mist still gives me the chills.






  delicado: Yes, it's a really lovely track with a delicious arrangment - love those vibes and the relentless beat. I had been wondering why the lower-register melody sounded so familiar to me (the one played by what sounds like a distorted horn section, and then by a saxophone). I figured it out today - it's very similar to the tune in the bridge of Bacharach's 'What the World Needs Now' ("Lord, we don't need another mountain"), except that it's played over a very different chord sequence.
  mr_klenster: The two songs definitely do share similar tonal shadings. I was at a loss, trying to describe the Libaek song, it's quite a strange, haunting tune, but you've made a great observation.
Mu Chin Ne Tsai He Fang [Mother where have you gone]  performed by Koo Mei [Carrie Koo]  197?
Recommended by Opium_addict [profile]

Both The instrumentation and the vocals are very soothing,elegant,smooth and pure, One of the best songs I've ever heard. EVER

from The Classic Years: Koo Mei, available on CD


Murdoch  performed by Trees  1970
Recommended by standish [profile]

Taut and elegant. A cut above most of the progressive teapot folk-rock of the era. Broadcast and Stereolab fans - or those who think all this stuff is a mix of dull traditional tunes and clodhopping blues guitar - should give "On The Shore" a listen.

from On The Shore, available on CD


Nethers (Dubstep Twilight Remix)  performed by eO - www.soundsliketree.com  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. (:
Pilots  performed by Goldfrapp  2000
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

An otherworldly beautiful track. Will Gregory provides an excellent arrangement here: smooth, stylish, elegant, lush orchestration with Barry-esque cinematic soundsacapes, evoking images of a slow-motion nightflight. While there is a strong 60s influence, Gregory throws in some subtle, futuristic sounding digital artefacts giving it a slight neo-noir feel.

from Felt Mountain, available on CD



Pyramid Song  performed by Radiohead  2001
Recommended by space [profile]

An elegantly surreal trip through a dream world. Although this song has only eight lines (repeated twice), it manages to say an amazing amount within that short frame. Thom Yorke's wavering vocals and the slow and simple piano instrumentation strip the song down to its fundamental elements, allowing Radiohead's talent to shine through. From "I jumped in the river, what did I see" to "There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt," this is an amazing song. Every time I listen to it, it gives me a deeper sense of peace.

from Amnesiac



  CEEMOBILE: Good following in the tradition of radioheads style
Ripple  performed by The Church  1990
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

The lead single from one of the Church's all time highs, the dark, powerful Priest Aura, "Ripple" was much like the album it came from - lengthy, with an emphasis on artistic impact rather than radio-friendly ease, charged with a feeling of impending, unnerving threat. The initial guitar chime and Steve Kilbey's singing may provide a familiar feeling for long-time listeners, but the edge of spite and conflict in the words carries through in the performance - Kilbey's not so much blending into the mix as suddenly slicing through it. The full arrangement almost has a touch of film noir threat to it, but not as much as the amazing chorus. Starting with a soft, almost sighed overdubbed vocal part like a mysterious signal, it literally does ripple up in the mix, sneaking up on the listener instead of turning into any kind of a singalong. It's the same approach as with "Under the Milky Way," but the air here is less elegant melancholia and more unsettling electric charge, extra guitar feedback carving arcs through the arrangement, instrumental breaks providing only short, temporary relief.
(AMG)

from Priest=Aura, available on CD


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


Some Sing, Some Dance  performed by Michel Pagliaro  1971
Recommended by prufrock68 [profile]

One of a handful of Quebec artist Michel Pagliaro's (unsuccessful) stabs at the American charts, "Some Sing, Some Dance" is a breezy, acoustic-led pop trifle, lighter than air, with rudimentary lyrics apparently provided by William Finkelberg. A sample:

Ooh you
How would I know just to hold you
How could I show that I want to
'Cause I do wanna hold you
Yes I do

And the following verses expand ever so slightly on that very simplistic base, except by the 3rd terse verse, Michel has sped along from desiring the girl to doubting she could be true, to realizing she, in fact, WAS untrue. Nothing profound here lyrically (and one wonders how comfortable Pagliaro was in 1971 with the English language to keep things this simple), but no matter: The whole package is wrapped in an upbeat, spare but energetic arrangement featuring Pagliaro's acoustic guitar chording, and nice little touches sprinkled throughout, like castanets, shaken tambourine, echoey hand claps, an elegant string arrangement (by Ben McPeak)providing a wonderful counterpoint, and a flamenco-like guitar figure finishing out the brief chorus:

Some sing, some dance
Some like-a romance
I love lovin'

So, even though Michel's been chastened by his lover, he's still coming back for more and longing to still hold this woman...and he loves lovin'...obviously, the magic's in the music here, instead of the lyrics, and it's a little gem of a song. Listen and see if you aren't charmed as well.

from Pagliaro (OOP) (Much)
available on CD - Hit Parade (D.E.P.)


Suzanne  performed by Leonard Cohen  1968
Recommended by eve [profile]

I loved this song the moment I heard it. The melody is really nice, and Leonard Cohen does his standby trick of singing slowly and hauntingly about mysterious women wearing "rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters." Very romantic in a seventies way. if you like Bob Dylan's voice, you'll probably like Leonard Cohen, although the content is different.

from Songs of Leonard Cohen



  n-jeff: I find too much Leonard Cohen can be a little on the bleak side, but this song is a real gem, A shiny, strangely uplifting jewel. I also have a version by Jack Jones, and I'm pleased that Jack Jones covered this song, in many ways its braver for him to have covered such un mainstream material than, say, Johnny Cash. My Girlfriend, however, finds Jack Jones' version very disturbing.
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 empty page  performed by sonic youth  2002
Recommended by complacentbasement [profile]

very grassrootsy sound, simple, melodic beautiful guitar, great bass, expertly recorded drums, sincere vocals, it's just an all-around beautiful track.
the points in the song where they are just "jamming," in that trademark sonic youth style, are some of the high points for me personally (that's not at all to say that the vocals aren't elegantly done).

from murray street (geffen, (dgc))


The Evenings Young  performed by YELLO  1981
Recommended by beautifulmutant [profile]

Dieter Meier is a hero of mine. Some say I resemble him. If only I had as much suave and cool in my whole body as he possesses in one note, I would be happy. This is synthetic underground dance music at it's finest. They kep on producing albums which may tread familiar territory, but which are never stale or old. I first saw the video for "The Evening's Young" on USA Networks "Nite Flite" TV show and was hooked by the throbbing synths and odd vocal delivery. I became hooked on Yello. This is a quintessential song IMO

from Claro Que Si (Polygram / Mercury)


Through The Sky  performed by Swing Out Sister  2001
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

When mentioning Swing Out Sister casual listeners often dismiss them as forgettable, mere 80s martini pop kitsch. Or worse, one hit wonders due to the fact that their 1987 offering Breakout is still, by far, their biggest single hit. But this is completely wrong. In fact, they're enjoying an ongoing career for almost 20 years, recording 8 studio albums. Nowadays they’re fitting a niche no other group fits in so comfortably: escapist, late 60s oriented sophisticated glamorous easy listening pop music with all the right influences that spring to mind of that era: Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, John Barry, late 60s european soundtracks in general, Ennio Morricone specifically and sunshine pop. Since these guys aren't necessarily household names in mainstream pop culture today, Swing Out Sister were practically invisible from the mid 90s on in Europe and the USA, releasing their records primarily in Japan, where easy listening music still gets the biggest exposure. The Sisters’ 2001 album “Somewhere deep in the night” is their most cinematic, most elegant and visually evocative album to date, where the Bacharach/Barry/Morricone spirit is prevailing the most: 60s arrangements with Bacharach-oriented songwriting, Barry-esque lush strings, Morricone-style harpsicord, saxophone, harps, jazzy guitars, muted trumpets, fluegelhorn, wordless vocals, blending vocal songs with atmospheric instrumentals, creating an imaginary soundtrack. The whole album is a truly underrated gem.

from Somewhere Deep In The Night, available on CD




  jeanette: I have to say I am thoroughly delighted at learning of the continued career of SOS. I always had time for them, and thought Breakout was actually the weakest of the singles I heard. I particularly remember liking 'Fooled By A Smile' and 'You On My Mind'. Hearing the snippets of these songs here, I can say I'm intrigued enough to try and seek out some of this later work. It reminds me of the more produced end of Siesta records' (Spanish easy-pop label) output.
  eftimihn: You probably should try "Shapes and Patterns" from 1997 first, it's pretty much in the vein of 1989's "Kaleidoscope World" and thus a good starting point to rediscover SOS. This and the aforementioned "Somewhere Deep In The Night" (2001) as well.
Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell’Azzurro Mare D’Agosto  performed by Piero Piccioni  1975
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Mixing light bossa nova guitar, gentle strings, flutes, subdued piano and muted trumpet (or trombone, not sure) this is a very elegant, romantic sounding track by Piero Piccioni, evoking, as the title suggests, images of the blue sea glittering in the summer sun. Moodwise it's quite reminiscent of Jobim's "Tide" and "Triste".

from Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino Nell'Azzurro Mare D'Agosto (CBS)
available on CD - Swept Away (King)



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