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List songs by Song title | Performer | Year

You searched for ‘Pop’, which matched 679 songs.
click - person recommending, year, performer, songtitle - to see more recommendations.
"a carol for lorelei"  performed by the cryan’ shames  1967
Recommended by association [profile]

scratch in the sky is the name of the cryan' shames
album that came out in 1967 from these chicago soft/sunshine pop masters whom also added an amazing dash of psyche to all there recordings...
"a carol for lorelei" starts the album off with bells and association(ish) harmonies!! brilliant
ignore what allmusic.com said about this album they are fools the song writing is up to par with the beach boys and others.
if you dig the Association and The Millennium and other fine sunshine pop groups with that mellow groove get it now. the japanese import is worth the extra for the original back cover art work that the sundazed version didn't recreate faithfully. i love 'em

from scratch in the sky (columbia 2786)
available on CD - yes (sundazed or even better the japanese import)


"Baby I’ve Changed"-patience EP  performed by Adam Richman  2004
Recommended by bobbyfree [profile]

Adam Richmand new PATIENCE EP is incredible. Mr. Richmand not only wrote all the parts on the record but he produced it. This POWER-POP/ROCK record covers all aspects of love and loss. He starts the record out with a heart felt honest song, "Baby I’ve Changed." You can hear the earnest in his voice. I would recommend this record to anyone who wants honest songs with rock beats and power-pop vocals.

from Patience EP (OR music)


"Calloway"  performed by The High Llamas  2003
Recommended by pleasepleaseme [profile]

Was already a fan of the LP "Gideon Gaye" with its lovely mix of Beach Boys meets Steely Dan production. Sean O'Hagen is a Genius. He's really outdone himself with this record! SUBLIME!

from Beet, Maize & Corn, available on CD (Drag City)


"stop killing me"  performed by the primitives  1988
Recommended by kohl [profile]

one step away from twee pop, or whatever it's called these days. lyrics are interesting enough. vocals are tolerable, music is catchy and uplifting. the whole album is, without it becoming extremely sugary.


available on CD - lovely


(Here We Go ’Round) The Lemon Tree  performed by The Move  1968
Recommended by nicegeoff [profile]

A wonderful 60's pop song. Dandy, full of little bell sounds and also has diminished chords.

from Move



(Want You) Back In My Life Again  performed by The Carpenters  1981
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

One of the last Carpenters singles from their final studio album. I find this sweet 'n perky song strangely compelling, since it shows Richard and Karen Carpenter awkwardly trying to adjust their wholesome image to an early '80s synth pop template. Karen's voice is so processed and overdubbed that she blends in seamlessly with the synth-heavy backup -- still, the effect isn't cheezy but full and lucious. Knowing that Karen was slowly dying during this time makes this tune odder still.

from Made In America, available on CD (A&M)


...The Collapse of Detective Dullight  performed by Of Montreal  2001
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

'The Events Leading up to the Collapse of Detective Dullight' is not a song but a narrative story, and it’s funny as hell. The off-kilter character voices of the already brilliant stream-of-consciousness plot are cartoonish enough for their own Saturday morning series. When the detectives start their investigation nothing makes sense. There’s Jell-O, serenading butterflies, file cabinets, murder, catacombs, and all the seasonings for a hilarious dream. I am usually brought to tears when Detective Slots reads from his revered exercise in free verse titled ‘The Cause of Gauze’. I will supply you with a sample:
"Oh, the cause of gauze. The Manuels have fondled many memories from my lap though each memory has its own lap and swimmers swim laps. Even swimmers have laps however and while in that condition many require a delicate gauze."
If you hear this without purchasing the actual album, 'Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimisical Verse,' then you are being cheated. The dreams of this band are as colorful as the illustrations they provide us in their album sleeves. The 'Where's Waldo' pictorial representations enrich the listening experience by engaging us in a journey deep into the frying-pan brains of these madmen. In fact, this is a perfect introduction into a very strange world of psychedelicado. Think the Beach Boy's 'Smile.' The reaction of my friends after hearing this have been harmoniously the same, 'they have to be on drugs.' The truth is Of Montreal are not on drugs, they are drugs.

from Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse (Kindercore KC064)


100,000 Fireflies  performed by The Magnetic Fields  1990
Recommended by nicegeoff [profile]

Possibly one of the greatest pop songs I've heard. A minimal arrangement of synth bells and piano over a distorted & looped drum beat.

from Distant Plastic Trees


1000 Times  performed by Tahiti 80  2002
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

A perfect piece of contemporary pop music: uplifting and sunshiny, yet with the right dose of melancholia. The production is excellent, as well as the instrumentation with a very driving rhythm section, warm electric piano, guitars and horns. What makes this really stand out is the terrific string arrangement by Richard Hewson (A protegee of George Martin and quite busy arranging during the 70s) which is very floating, sweeping and lush.

from Wallpaper For The Soul, available on CD (Minty Fresh)




  texjernigan: Ooh yeah
16 Toneladas (Sixteen Tons)  performed by Noriel Vilela  1971
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

This, friends, is the swingingest and most bizarre version of this chestnut you will ever hear. Having recently left the Cantores De Ebano (Ebony Singers), sort of a 60s Brazilian version of Sounds Of Blackness, Noriel Vilela, possessor of an impossibly deep, rumbling basso profundo capable of blowing your speakers, embarked on a brief yet fondly-remembered solo career. This witty reworking of the Tennessee Ernie Ford original replaces the country-western-pop of the original with a rollicking samba-rock rhythm and Portuguese lyrics extolling how much fun samba is, sung by a voice from deep in the crypt that swings like crazy. It stops everybody who hears it dead in their tracks and is the guaranteed highlight of any party. What Messrs. Ford and Travis would have made of it is anybody's guess, but this version refuses to die, having recently become a hit in Brazil all over again, 30 years after its first release. I've heard many, many versions of "Sixteen Tons," but believe me, this one truly runs away with the prize!!

from 7 (Copacabana)
available on CD - Samba Rock (Compilation)




  konsu: I stand corrected. It's just a matter of getting in line for some of this stuff , ya'know? Soo much music, so little time...sigh...
  Festy: São Paulo group "Funk Como Le Gusta" have a wonderful version of this also from their 1999 album "Roda de Funk". It's in the same style that Noriel Vilela did, but tighter.
  sodapop650: If you get a chance - try and track down a copy of Juarez Sant'ana's first LP it has a super-cool version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" to complete the bizarre brazilian western covers.
1969  performed by The Stooges  1969
Recommended by schlick [profile]

Iggy sings about, what else, 1969. What an awesome way to kick off one of the greatest debut recordings of that whole decade, with kick-ass wah-wah guitar playing by Ron Asheton and a pulsating drum beat by brother Scott.

from The Stooges, available on CD (Elektra)


2002 - A Hit Song  performed by The Free Design  1969
Recommended by rum [profile]

Despite '2002 - A Hit Song's insistent chorus of "it's gonna be a hit, hit, hit!", by the end you're not convinced, "it's not gonna be a hit is it Free Designers?" "No… I'm afraid not Rum. To be honest it hasn't a hope in hell. Oh yeah we're bitter, of course we are, but, you know, when you're in the idiom of soft rock you can't get away with angst, you've got to maintain this 'pleasing' façade, so that's why we sound so jolly, so 'up' on this song. But yeah, it's hard..." Yes, they may, as they sing, have "sealed it with a kiss" but the cracks show. And it's that that makes this song particularly memorable. It's fascinating to see the rips in their Peter Pan wonderland, a place where they usually spend their time flying kites, blowing bubbles, befriending dolphins. And so this palpable excitement you hear in their heady harmonies is not fuelled by a surefire optimism of success but by an almost delirious desperation, "hit, hit, hit, sure to be a hit, hit, hit, gonna make a hit, hit, hit" they sing, panting, shaking nervously, craving that big fix. The track is a flip-side to the Byrds' 'So You Wanna Be A Rock'N'Roll Star'. Both are bitter recipes for pop success but whereas the Byrds are pissed off that any talentless buffoon can follow their recipe to success get a hit, the Free Design are pissed that "We did all this last time, and it did not work!". I guess you have to suffer for your art, and maybe the Free Design were having too happy a time. Or maybe their hair didn't swing right or their pants weren't tight.

from Heaven/Earth, available on CD (Project 3)



  olli: heh..brilliant commentary.
  konsu: Wow. I never thought of that song as such an exploded schematic. But it does shed light on their own self awareness even if unintentional at the time.
500 Miles (Theme From Winning)  performed by Dave Grusin  1969
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

Delicate instrumental by Dave Grusin, that grows with each listen and has all the charachteristics of late 60s arrangements i love so much. The instrumentation is diverse, rich, yet subtle with piano, organ, horns, flutes and wonderfully arrangened, smooth strings and some harp embellishments thrown in. The mood is mellow, romantic with a dose of melancholia. Another great instrumental from the soundtrack, "California Montage", has recently appeared on "The Get Easy! Sunshine Pop Collection", while this one unfortunately is only available on vinyl.

from Winning (Decca DL 79-169)



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.
96 tears  performed by ? and the Mysterions  1967
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

The greatest pop song of all time. Without a doubt. I heard this on the radio at about midnight one day in 1979, it took me 10 years to get a copy and that was a bootleg (I know its always been about in the US, but it was impossible to get here).





  tinks: it is indeed, one of the greatest songs ever produced...and some of the covers are just as good! check out big maybelle's (which i've recommended), jimmy ruffin's (temptation david's brother) or aretha franklin's (from her 1st atlantic lp).
  G400 Custom: ...but don't check out the Stranglers' very weedy cover from 1990, by which time they'd lost it completely.
A Christmas Lullaby  performed by Shane MacGowan and the Popes  199?
Recommended by mattypenny [profile]

This is Shane MacGowan who wrote and sung 'A Fairy Tale of New York' with Kirst MacColl (and in the near future, Kate Moss, according to the papers). As far as I know this is his only other Christmas song.

Its a good song, although not as good as 'Fairy Tale'. Its slower and its late period Shane, so his voice isnt quite as strong as it once was, but its got bags of atmosphere, and his song writing is always great

It came out on an EP I've not seen very often.




A Tijuca Em Cinemascope  performed by Ed Motta  2000
Recommended by Festy [profile]

This really is the stand-out track from Ed Motta's 2000 album, "As Segundas Intenções Do Manual Prático". On this album, and in albums since, Ed seems to span jazz-latin reluctantly with pop. The rest of the album, bar a couple of tracks, is a fairly straight forward pop affair, but the song writing on his albums since have been a lot more adventurous and in this vein, but nothing has matched it since.

from As Segundas Intenções Do Manual Prático, available on CD



About a Girl  performed by The Academy is...
Recommended by AMorFati [profile]




Accident Prone  performed by Jawbreaker  1995
Recommended by meatball [profile]

Great song. Starts off slow then gets gets a little heavier. The song seems to be telling a story (like most of the better songs on this particular album). Although this band is not to popular here (in the states) this particular album (Dear You) is worth checking out.

from Dear You
available on CD - yes



Across the universe  performed by The Beatles
Recommended by koala5790 [profile]

psychedelic pop song. Indian inspired lyrics.




Ad Gloriam  performed by Le Orme  1969
Recommended by antarctica [profile]

Ad Gloriam is a beautiful, light, joyous psychedelic pop song. It's built on looping melodic layers of sound by the standard guitar/bass/drum combo as well as piano and background vocals. I challenge anyone not to smile when they hear this track.

from Ad Gloriam



Ai Ai Ai  performed by Emma Sugimoto  1970
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The "Softrock Drivin'" series is a terrifically compiled collection of japanese soft rock and bossa nova gems from the late 60s/early 70s. And it clearly shows that the japanese interest in all kinds of easy listening music wasn't solely influenced by contemporaries like Burt Bacharach but by native artists as well. This track by Emma Sugimoto is a delightfully light and fluffy piece of japanese pop and sounds like a blueprint for some kind of "Shibuya-Kei" track artists like Pizzicato Five could have produced. With shimmering strings, harpiscord embellishments, slightly funky electric guitar and a wonderful trumpet on top. With the clear, transparent production and fine arrangement it's a true standout track of the series.

from Softrock Drivin': Between Waves, available on CD



Albatross  performed by Slowdive  1991
Recommended by Genza [profile]

Hell, I could have picked almost anything from the back catalogue of this band. Albatross is the stand-out track of an outstanding 4 track EP (entitled Holding our Breath) from early ’90s shoegazers Slowdive. Bemoaned, decried and hated by Britain’s Britpop-loving press, Slowdive’s beautiful multi-layered sound has latterly found a kindred spirit in much lauded post-rockers Sigur Ros. So maybe they were right after all…

Back to Reading – and there is no stronger example of the Thames Valley sound than Albatross. Layer upon layer of minor chords – almost symphonic in their beauty – Albatross swells to a powerful crescendo of highly processed guitars. Non-believers should check out double A-sides Catch the Breeze and Shine. The fourth track on the rather grand EP is a cover of Syd Barrett's (former lead singer of Pink Floyd) Golden Hair. Utterly remarkable.

from Holding our Breath EP (Creation CRE 112)



Alfie  performed by Cilla Black  1966
Recommended by FlyingDutchman1971 [profile]

My personal favorite version of this song. Cilla Black has a very rich and powerful voice that is just right! She sings it with much more feeling than Dionne Warwick's more popular version a year later. Burt Bacharach originally wanted to use this recording on the soundtrack to the film 'Alfie', but Ms. Black declined.

from Capital Single #5674 (Capital 5674)
available on CD - the Look Of Love: the Burt Bacharach Collection (Box Set) (Rhino R2 75339)



  Mister C: Cilla's version of this knocks spots off anyone elses, especially as Burt Bacharach conducted the orchestra at the recording session, he made Cilla do 19 takes of this, before George Martin chose take 4! Dionnes version suited the USA market more.
  Flippet: I agree with all of the sentiments above. Fans of Ms Warwicke are generally scathing of Cilla's Bacharach/David recordings - but I have to say that I find Cilla's interpretations generally have lusher backings and definitely have more heart. The 2 artistes voices are in fact very similar. But for me - Cilla's recordings of "Alfie" and "Anyone Who Had A Heart" are the definitive!!
All For You  performed by Sex and Machines  2007
Recommended by nicksex [profile]

Hypnotic, rocking Neo Pop.

from EXPLITIVE, available on CD


All The Great Writers and Me  performed by Tompaulin  2001
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

A great, gritty pop song with some really fantastic lyrics.
"You think that you know tragedy? William Shakespeare's got fuck all on me".
A lazy comparison would be to Belle & Sebastian, but Tompaulin are really worthy of being taken on their won terms. The whole album is just brilliant.

from The Town and The City, available on CD



alla luce del giorno  performed by ennio morricone  196?
Recommended by olli [profile]

a catchy organ riff and some duh duh wailing...it's just one of those fun obscure mid sixties soundtrack songs. sounds like a cheesy party sequence, although i've never seen the film it originates from.
good clean fun. Actually i was surprised when i found out morricone originally wrote this, because some cheap dance/pop bill (can't remember who right now)had a hit wich borrowed heavily from this sometime during the mid-to late nineties... why is it that every time something catchy pops in top 40-music, it turns out to be borrowed from one of the old masters?


available on CD - mondo morricone



Alleys of your Mind  performed by Cybotron  1981
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A Detroit take on Kraftwerk,Depeche Mode and European Disco,sparse remote synthetic drums and bass lines,and squelching fat melody lines that you can still hear in todays pop and R and b (Justin Timberlake,Timbaland ,Lady Ga Ga ),lends heavily from Trans European Express but is also looser and a tad more joyous .

from Clear
available on CD - Clear or Best of


Almost Arms  performed by The Minders  1996
Recommended by two-headed boy [profile]

'Back to the Almost Arms again.' One minute, 29 seconds of pure heaven. Clapping hands, sugary-sweet bass, warm acoustic guitar, and perfectly stylized harmony demonstrate the greatness of this band. The Minders' ability to streamline their brit-pop sound into short cuts such as this says volumes of their talent. They have grasped the art of the rock strip-tease as we sit and drool and demand more of their form. A thousand and a half listens later 'I am hungry but still smiling' rings truer than ever, this is but the appetizer for their more developed works; taste this and you too will be The Minders' biggest fan!

from Cul-de-Sacs & Dead Ends (spinART / Elephant 6 spart 76 / E6-021)



Alone again or  performed by Love & Arthur Lee  196?
Recommended by AndreasNystrom [profile]

Very different sounding song for me. It sounds like a mix of late 60ies pop with arabic/turkish influences. A bit sad sounding, but still there is hope :)
I love it cause its got great harmonies, and a mix of guitars, violins, and spanish guitars.





  callgirlscene: Most of Loves material for me is not that great. I don't choose to listen to it - except for this song. It has this 'Summer of Love' dreamy hippie wistful feel. And, yes, wonderful harmonies. In it's way, it captures the mood of that time.
  john_l: Great song from a great LP, which naturally I hated when I first bought it and didn't re-discover until 1980, after hearing the (very good) UFO cover of "Alone Again Or" from their "Lights Out" LP!
  leonthedog: My first experience with this song was a cover version by The Damned ... it's actually very true to the original in my opinion - bold acoustic guitars, trumpets and all. Give it a listen!
Alone Again Or  performed by Love  1967
Recommended by sinister [profile]

the words "i could be in love with almost every one/ and i will be alone again tonight with you" are sung in a very intimate high-register, backed by glorious acoustic guitar plucking and horn bursts. two minutes in, the song erupts into an extended horn solo! probably the most perfectly orchestrated pop song.

from Forever Changes, available on CD



  plasticsun: I agree - unfortunately so did Miller beer, which used the horn part in a commericial aimed at the "Cinco de mayo" crowd. Still an incredible song.
Alright  performed by Cast  1996
Recommended by numbersix [profile]

great jangly guitar-pop song

from All Change


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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP_PgEysRH4
Always You (Single Version)  performed by The Sundowners  1968
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

To me this is certainly a pinnacle of pure late 60s sunshine pop. Composed by pop genius Roger Nichols the timeless, idealistic lyrics were written by Tony Asher (who wrote most of the lyrics with Brian Wilson on Pet Sounds) not by his regular partner Paul Williams. Sunshine pop hardly gets any sunnier than on this track: great production, strings galore, Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies, great bassline & trumpet and catchy as hell with it's uplifting chord progressions throughout. While the album version (recently included on the highly recommended "The Get Easy! Sunshine Pop Collection") is good already, the single version is just crisper, lusher, just perfect.

from Captain Nemo (Decca)
available on CD - The Get Easy! Sunshine Pop Collection (Universal)




  delicado: I have to agree. What a beautiful track! Very similar to the Small Circle of Friends record, but perhaps even better! I just have the version from the compilation; I'll try and track down the single.
  eftimihn: Delicado, you have the single version already, it's the one on my Roger Nichols compilation, i just somehow forgot to mark it as the single version. The single is clocking in at 2:18, the album version runs 3 minutes.
  delicado: Cool; I'll listen again. This track is sure to make it onto one of my comps; surely it could make a soft pop fan out of anyone!
  tinks: great album, and a horrendously overlooked group..."dear undecided" is the best beatles song that the beatles never recorded.
  Major Minor: I agree this is the best version... I think it's the same one that's on the "Sunshine days" compilation.... The one on Captain Nemo isn't awful or anything, but the orchestral intro does go on a bit...
American Scene  performed by American Scene
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

A breezy popsong, produced by Anita Kerr... a grrrrrrrreat slice of uptempo sunshine pop...a tune that makes you feel good... isn't that what music is all about ???





  Major Minor: What album is this available on?
Amoureuse  performed by Kiki Dee  1973
Recommended by john_l [profile]

This is a fabulous, lush, orchestrated ballad sung from the point of view of a woman who is totally in love ... the only unusual thing is that it is very serious and sombre, rather in opposition to the lyrical intent. Vastly superior to her forgettable mid-'70s pop hits like "I've Got The Music In Me". Oh, and a different set of lyrics by somebody named Dahlstrom enabled the wretched Helen Reddy to have another hit named "Emotion" -- same melody, but an absolute piece of rubbish. This just proves that a song's worth comes from the arrangement more than anything else ...

There are a number of CDs available which contain this song.


available on CD - Greatest Hits


And Our Love  performed by The Buckinghams  1968
Recommended by konsu [profile]

Pure cinematic pop genius.This song was the flip for their single "Don't You Care?" which was a big hit for them lasting 14 weeks in the top 10.And even though I love that song, the B side has always captivated me more.The orchestration is just breath taking. It sounds more like a soundtrack theme than an album track.Like a lost Bond theme or something, really stunning!!

The LP uses the same style for another great one called"You Are Gone"as well. Vinyl copies are almost everywhere in the US for like 5$, Well worth it!

from Time & Charges (Columbia CL 2669 CS 9469)


Anna's Garden  performed by Louis Philippe  1993
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

I don't like all of Louis' stuff. Some of it I can't stand. His cover of "Witchi Tai To" from this album really makes me gag. Sorry. But Louis has made more than a handful of wondrous, timeless pop songs. This one captures Louis at his most Beach Boys-influenced. It doesnt sound JUST LIKE the Beach Boys, but, yeah, the influence is there. A stunning track.


available on CD - Sunshine/Delta Kiss (Cherry Red (UK))



  bobbyspacetroup: Just for the record, I'm starting to come to terms with "Witchi Tai To."
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


Another Girl, Another Planet  performed by The Only Ones  1977
Recommended by Ricard [profile]

This manages to have a late seventies punk spirit, yet still be a really well crafted guitar pop song. Always great to hear on the dancefloor.


available on CD - Darkness & Light (BBC)



  kohl: yes. good to see this one here.
Any Girl Can Make Me Smile  performed by ANT  2002
Recommended by kkkerplunkkk [profile]

A beautiful, soft, sad, fragile piece about a couple breaking up and bursting into tears as they do. Incredible for its intimate feel and sparse instrumentation (voice, organ, harmonica, egg shaker) chilling lyrics 'you close your eyes but there's no paradise, you count the cost of all we've lost and all we've wasted'. It hits the nail bang on the head! Love it to bits.

from A Long Way To Blow A Kiss, available on CD


Anyway  performed by Barbara Lewis  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Barbara Lewis was famous earlier in the sixties for 'Hello Stranger.' This is simple, soulful pop music with a very cool production: crisp drums and nicely orchestrated woodwind on top of rhythmic guitars. Somehow the charm of the recording overrides any feeling that the chord sequence is slightly obvious. Barbara's voice is beautiful here: emotional, yet understated. A small female choir comes in to accompany her at various points. The song is remarkably tight and catchy, with a prominent bass part driving it on. The producer at Stax for this record was Ollie McLaughlin, and I'm now looking out for more stuff that he worked on.

from Many Grooves of Barbara Lewis, available on CD




  Arthur: Ollie McLaughlin was a prolific producer. Look out for 45's on the Carla and Karen labels. They where both his labels
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



Are kisses out of fashion?  performed by Sudeten Creche  198x
Recommended by olli [profile]

Brilliant melancholy synthpop trac. from a bootleg compilation with tracks from the german 80's new wave magazine Flexipop, wich used to come with flexidiscs and tapes.
Been trying to dig up information about the band, without much luck. from the minimalist sound of this song it may even be just one person.

It's a simple song, (complete with a preset 80's synth drumline)
yet it's very effective in conveying a romanticised sense of loss and dread. It's a good song. You can listen to it on sunday afternoons.






  Erky: What do you want to know about Sudeten Creche? I can probably help ya out.
  olli: well, just about anything would be nice, actually:)
  glorious: Oh I can tell you volumes about that group. I received my first kiss while that song was playing.
  glorious: What would you like to know about the band?
  markwarner: I am surprised anyone has heard of us. It's been 24 years since we split. We only recorded 2 12" EP's. I will be happy to answer any questions.
  Henke: I remember the song "are kisses out of fashion?". It used to be my favourite in the early eighties (and still is one of my favourites together with New Orders "Blue monday" and ODWs "Lawnchairs") and I tried to get it but couldnt find it in sweden in the early eighties. I dated a girl who had a compilation with the song on it, unfortunately i didnt get the right upportunity to steal it.... Did "Sudeten Creche" record any more songs? Any chance that they could be found on the internet? I guess the records are not easy to find.... Who were the members? Where are they now? Did they play live?
  markwarner: Website http://www.sudetencreche.com
  Henke: Thanx, cool sleeves, I now recocnize the EP I wanted to steal from my ex-girlfriend (Europe in the year Zero) but please give us some more info. What about the name? What does it mean???? Do I have to visit all these underground vinyl shops to try to get the songs? I have "are kisses out of fashion?" on an old cassette from around 1984 (its getting noisy)
  markwarner: Henke, At the moment your best bet is probably Ebay. Most of these are seriously rare. For more information bookmark the website http://www.sudetencreche.com , be patient, all your questions will be answered and many more!
  Henke: I hope so, I ve heard that answer too many times on the net :-( Has SC reformed? Will they tour this summer???? Arvikafestivalen in Sweden would be THE place for a reunion concert!
  markwarner: Henke, We are about to release more information via the Minimal Wave web site http://www.minimalwave.org and also East Village Radio http://www.eastvillageradio.com and we will also provide News as well via http://www.sudetencreche.com . Plans for new (and old) releases are under discussion as well as possible one-off concert in 2007. Our web site will grow from its small start and information will be added as it becomes available. I am sorry to seem vague but many of your questions are answered in our interviews for MW and EVR. You are welcome to subscribe to our mailing list for our news letter. Please send an e-mail to [email protected] with more information about Arvikafestivlen (ATB Sudeten Creche.
  Henke: www.arvikafestivalen.se The synth and goth festival in Sweden (well there is a lot of other music too... but mainly synth) BTW your homepage seems to be working out fine, i just sent an email to your mailing list
  olli: wow, there´s been a lot happening here since the lat time i logged in! thanks for the info mark, it´s really nice to hear that you guys may be doing more in the future!
Are You For Real  performed by Astronaut Wife  2003
Recommended by MoeShinola [profile]

This is from "Flying Saucer", which for me is the record of the decade. It's electronic synth-pop w/ 2 female vocalists. There's an youthfulness and innocence about the music that makes me think it'd be a good soundtrack for a manga. There's some grown up melancholy there, too, on some of the songs.

from Flying Saucer (Susstones)


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.
As tears go by  performed by Nancy Sinatra  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This song is an interesting case study into the question of 'why do I like this version of the song more than any other'. I have a half-baked theory that for me, I mostly just like the first version of any great song I hear, regardless of whether or not it is the original or 'best' version. But this track is so different to the Rolling Stones's version that I think it would probably divide people pretty clearly. Produced by Lee Hazlewood/Billy Strange, 'as tears go by' is here recast as a crisp pop bossa nova. They even change the chords slightly (adding a new chord as she sings 'by'). To me, this makes the song vastly superior to the original (or any other I've heard). But I'm not sure anyone has ever agreed with me yet on that one...

from Boots, available on CD




  tinks: i had to go back and listen to this album after you mentioned it...and it is an incredible version, i really love that soft bossa sound that it's got going on. the rest of the lp is great, too!
  FlyingDutchman1971: i was lucky enough to find a vg++ copy of this LP at Goodwill several years back and this is definitely the best track on the album!! A great interpretation of the song!!
  n-jeff: I love this version, theres a cello or something under the introduction that adds a lovely melancholy feel. Quite a sophisticated sounding track. well removed from the bludgeoning innuendo I associate (and love) with Nancy and Lee. I had one of the few run-ins over musical policy with my old promoter over this track, he thought it far too downbeat.
  RCA76: I love this version of this song, infact I didn't know for a long time that this is a Rolling Stone's tune, but again because it's a version that is so original it really is incredible. Quite popular in Latin America (not so much w/ the Stone's version).
Ask me no questions  performed by Bridget St John
Recommended by milhouse-paris [profile]

Bridget St John is an english folk singer, whose records were released through Dandelion, DJ John Peel's record label, in the 70's. Her songs remind me of Nico or Nick Drake.
Take notice : surprisingly enough, there are 2 singers called Bridget St John. The 2nd one is an american pop/rock singer

from Ask me no questions (Dandelion)
available on CD - n/a anymore (see for miles)


Ask Yourself Why  performed by Michel LeGrand  1969
Recommended by konsu [profile]

A really nice cinema-pop gem from the team that brought us The Windmills of your Mind. Sung by Sally Stevens, one of Hollywoods great voices. Such a charming little song. It's one of those things you instantly play again after the first time you hear it. It's more or less a song about freedom, with lyrics that still sound fresh today:"...Bullets fly like popcorn on the screen, recommended wholesome nice & clean, making love's the thing that can't be seen... Why?"

Found it on this sort of cash-in LP for LeGrand's UA soundtrack work from 1970. Originally from the soundtrack for "La Piscine", which is harder than hell to find on it's own. The LP is awsome for fans of LeGrand for it has 3 tunes from "The Thomas Crown Affair" , "La Piscine" , "The Young Girls Of Rochefort" & the jazz theme from "Play Dirty".

from The Windmills of your Mind (United Artists UAS 6715)


At My Most Beautiful  performed by REM
Recommended by javaviolet [profile]

This song is such a happy one, without being overly pop oriented. Just Michael Stipe's voice, a piano, simple percussion and the kindest words.

"I read bad poetry
Into your machine.
I save your messages
Just to hear your voice.
You always listen carefully
To awkward rhymes.
You always say your name,
Like I wouldn't know it's you,
At your most beautiful."





  FlyingDutchman1971: Mike Mills and Peter Buck orchestrated the music on this track as an homage to Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. One of the best REM songs in recent years!
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!
baby i love you so  performed by Colourbox
Recommended by alkine [profile]

there is absolutely nothing wrong with the bass in this track, forget about Channel One and the whole history of dub, or the hi hat that gives meaning to the sweet vocal by Loretta, i'll quite happily sink into pop bliss with this tune, and forget Disco or Detroit ever existed. a peach of a lime. never has the obvious sounded so fresh.

from Colourbox (4AD)


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


Before We Begin  performed by Broadcast  2003
Recommended by tempted [profile]

Peers and close friends of Stereolab, Birmingham's Broadcast are one of the most interesting alternative pop acts in the world. This song is an example of their extraordinary skills in crafting a haunting, beautiful melody to go with a sound that's like a son of the band The United States Of America and Ennio Morricone. These folks took four years building their own studio. Can't blame them a bit as the results are simply stunning.

from Ha Ha Sound, available on CD



  eftimihn: Oh yes, this track is gem, no doubt about that. To me the melody and harmonies incorporated are quite reminiscent of late 60s sunshine pop/soft rock stuff of that era.
  tempted: You're correct there. They must be fans of people like Curt Boettcher and Margo Guryan, too!
  tinks: i love this band. they are so very excellent to see live, as well. and they'll be here in about a month! woohoo!
Being Boring  performed by Pet Shop Boys  1990
Recommended by Genza [profile]

Surprised to see nothing by the Pet Shop Boys on Musical Taste. Now the only remaining intelligent British pop act, the Pet Shop Boys have consistently mixed dramtic chord changes with pathos-loaded lyrics. Being Boring is possibly their finest moment - reflective, sad and beautiful.

from Behaviour



  Mike: Totally agree re the worth of the PSBs output and the dramatic and very distinctive use of harmony therein. Several of their songs would be in my all-time favourites list if I ever made one.
Berimbau  performed by Golden Boys  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An addictive and perfect track, which fuses several of my obsessions (vocal groups, Ennio Morricone-style chord sequences, Brazilian pop) with incredible power. The song is a Brazilian standard, written by Baden Powell, but this version is very different to any other I've heard. This recording opens feverishly with brass and strings, maintaining a doomy and very serious mood throughout. All the same, it manages to be extremely groovy, with rock drums and a twangy guitar accompanying the strings and harmonizing vocals. The arrangement is quite brilliant and never sounds crowded, with a stark feel produced by the different parts dropping in and out. The part of the track which to me is pure genius is the instrumental break in the middle, which sounds like it's excerpted from one of the coolest of Morricone's late 60s B-movie soundtracks - honey smooth strings, blended with some excellent drums and a cool trumpet part. The vocals are also rather gripping - always very serious sounding, and often wordlessly chanting the melody.

from Golden Boys (Odeon MOFB 3590)
available on CD - Blue Brazil Vol 3 (EMI)




  Galt: You should check out the 1971 Odeon album 'So Vou Criar Galinha': 'Chuva de verao' starts with the sound of rainfall (always a winner) and 'Com a lembrança apenas' has one of those amazing Brazilian melodies you just can't get out of your head.
Bicho do Mato  performed by Elis Regina
Recommended by PappaWheelie [profile]

Many may already be aware of this samba due to Walter Wanderly's space-age tinged organ instrumental version, but Elis's original vocal version is far more powerful with relentless horn blasts. It also demonstrates her range of emotions put into the performance as she goes from delicate to belting.


available on CD - Samba Soul '70! (Six Degrees)




  ambassador: I believe the original version (by anybody) is on Jorge Ben's "Ben e Samba Bom" on philips from the mid 60s.
Big White Cloud  performed by John Cale  1970
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A superb song from Cale's first solo LP after leaving the Velvet Underground. Very melodic, lushly orchestrated and sophisticated, an absolutely impeccably-crafted pop song. I really love the echo effect on the whole thing, coupled with Cale's ultra-fluid viola playing. A great album from start to finish, actually.

from Vintage Violence, available on CD



  G400 Custom: Also check out 'Gideon's Bible' from this album. Soothingly poppy, but with a fantastic, soaring chorus - not usually one of Cale's strengths.
Bill Drummond Said  performed by Julian Cope  1984
Recommended by dsalmones [profile]

A key track from Julian Cope's fragmentary second solo album, 1984's Fried, "Bill Drummond Said" is the only song on the album that resembles the swirling psych-pop of his old band the Teardrop Explodes. This is no doubt intentional, as the lyrics take aim at the group's former manager, Bill Drummond (later half of the Timelords, the KLF, and the JAMS), albeit in a typically vague way. The lyrics are skeletal enough that several interpretations might be brought to them, but they seem to recount a dream in which Cope witnesses his former manager in the act of strangling an unidentified woman to death. In contrast to the vaguely unpleasant lyrics, this is by far the catchiest and sweetest tune on Fried, with a dreamy folk-rock sound to its ringing 12-string guitar riffs and breathy harmonies. Coming between more disjointed and edgy tracks like the bizarre fairy tale "Reynard the Fox" and the Syd Barrett-like ramble "Laughing Boy," "Bill Drummond Said" sounds downright bubblegummy. Unsurprisingly, the always combative Drummond got in the last word with his answer song, "Julian Cope Is Dead," a sarcastically folky acoustic tune from his odd 1986 solo album The Man in which Drummond claims that in the waning days of the Teardrop Explodes, he had suggested that Cope commit suicide to make the band famous and laments that the singer didn't take him up on it.
(AMG)

from Fried, available on CD


Birds And Bees  performed by Warm Sounds  1967
Recommended by BlueEyedYe-Ye [profile]

A brilliant psychedelic dance record mixing over-the-top orchestration and brilliant harmonized vocals. Plus the kind of innocent-meets-intense vocal that I find immensely attractive in pop. Pity it's not officially available on CD, but that could change...





  artlongjr: Never heard "Birds and Bees", it sounds interesting. I have a 45 by Warm Sounds that I may do a write-up on, it's called "Night Is A-Comin'/Smeta Murgaty", from 1968 on Deram Records. The reason I mention it is because it is one of the most totally "out-there" psychedelic numbers I've ever come across. Features the wonderful lyric "In my head the Grateful Dead are peering through the bars!" Unfortunately I don't think it's on CD either.
  Sadman: it's amazing! heard it from "A Walk in Alice's Garden" compilation.
birds do it (german’ sex education movies’ songs of  performed by compilation
Recommended by modette [profile]

maravillosa recopilación alemana que con frase irónica por título nos presenta una veintena de canciones de diversa musicalidad.
en él encontramos desde el funky mas setenta a cargo de Heinz Kiessling (petra), el sonido hammond y groove del siempre increible Jack Arel (following you), la diversión erótica más lounge de Uschi Moser (love, jet t'aime, l'amour y sunny honey) o el beat ritmico de Gerhard Heinz (look at me), junto con otros temas que recuerdan al pop, la psicodelia, etc...
en conjunto, un disco para pedir ya, con el fantastico libreto repleto de fotos de las peliculas mencionandas que tampoco tiene desperdicio.

from birds do it, available on CD


Black Cherry  performed by Goldfrapp  2003
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

The title track from Goldfrapp’s second LP is everything pop music should be – sexy, glamorous, smart and weird - but rarely is these days. If their debut album was all about, in the duo’s own words, “Ennio Morricone and disco”, then the follow-up is all about disco and…Ennio Morricone – only wrapped in a shimmering gown early 1980’s inspired electronic textures. Electro-clash with heart and soul, a Madonna song with 170 I.Q., a tune for Milva to sing on Moonbase Alpha – I could go on and on…

from Black Cherry, available on CD



  eftimihn: Excellent recommendation and great description. Unfortunately the only track off their sophomore effort that can moodwise hold up to such exquisite songs like "Pilots" or "Utopia" from their debut.
  robert[o]: I actually dig the second LP a great deal. Very disco/electro, (as opposed to Ennio), but really high quality disco/electro. (And simply delivering a "Felt Mountain" Part II would have been a bit dull - I think.) "Forever" and "Hairy Trees" are pretty darn exquisite, likewise.
  catfish: a beautiful track that simply melts into your ears. You get the impression that something very naughty is going on but never quite sure exactly what. Has Rachel Stevens ripped this band off or what?
  OneCharmingBastard: A sumptuous moment from one of this decade's most solid slabs of sound.
Black Horse and The Cherry Tree  performed by KT Tunstall  2006
Recommended by Betto_Colombia [profile]

I love how this scottish girl spice up her pop songs with a little blues. This song gives me a lot of energy. Makes me dance in the streets!!


available on CD - Eye To The Telescope



  Issie: Yeah i like this song a lot too!
Black Is Black  performed by Lord Sitar
Recommended by scrubbles [profile]

An exciting instrumental version of Los Bravos' hit single, done sitar-style. Playing pop music on the sitar must be difficult, since it never was the most melodic of instruments. Lord Sitar is the best I've heard of the psychsploitation musicians that briefly came into vogue around 1967 or so.





  konsu: The details as to the group on this record are discussed quite often, because it is soo good! Most people believe it's Jim Sullivan, Who did a lot of freakbeat/psych library music during this period. Also check out his "Sitar Beat" LP ,which has great versions of Brighter Shade of Pale & She's Leaving Home!
  shaka_klaus: i dig this one, but i like the b-side of the single better. it's a version of "have you seen your mother..." by the rolling stones.
Blowin' Bubbles  performed by Call and Response  2001
Recommended by ronaldo [profile]

Just a perfect, perfect pop song. Makes you wanna dance and groove along, but at the same time it's soo unbelievably sweet and a just a liitle melancholy. It starts with a drum beat, and then there's this bass-and-drums groove for a few seconds. Then a little sweet electric piano line enters, just before the voice begins singing the melody: "I'm drinking stars up in the sky, you know where you are / I'm driving cars around your house, it seems so fun". When it's time for the chorus ("So listen to my bubble go pop / I'm coming in, I'm coming over the top"), the main voice sings over a backing vocal doing an "ooh" harmony, and then there's absolute genius backing vocal, where the word "pop" becomes "papapapa". After that, a little guitar riff/solo, along with a very cool electric piano line. Then it just repeats everything all over again one more time, for infinite happiness. The time for a middle break has arrived. A new funky bass groove with lots of different "papapa"s harmonizing together. Now, go back to the first bass-and-drums groove, with a jazzy, relaxed guitar solo, and then it's just grooves and grooves and heavenly harmonies, "Blowin' bubbles".




Blue Glasses  performed by Smokey & Miho  2002
Recommended by aquila49 [profile]

Put some SPF-40 on your ears before listening to this unadultered mix of bossa-pop sunshine from the duo of Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto) and Beck session man Smokey Hormel.

An infectious guitar joined by percussion and horn slinks around and through Miho's precise, breathless vocal.

Four plus minutes of aural ecstasy. (You have to work awful hard to make something sound so easy.)

from Smokey & Miho (Afros Sambas 001)



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.
breakdown suite  performed by serge gainsbourg
Recommended by olli [profile]

a couple of great spy jazz tracks from the movie "si j'etais un espion" by my favourite old pervert..funky guitar/strings combination followed by a morricone-like piano part. (this entire soundtrack seems to be quite inspired by some of morricone´s work...) there's a really nice repetetive bass line that pops up a couple of times during the track.


available on CD - le cinéma de serge gainsbourg, vol 1



Breathalyser  performed by Cocktail Cabinet  1967
Recommended by Lonely Lottie [profile]

Super groovy percussive Hammond work-out on the mod-pop Page One label. (The B-side to Puppet On A String.) I got pretty tired of listening to wimp-out Hammond slop, but this is a dancefloor-filling boomer. Costs an arm and a leg on a 7" - anyone know if it's on a compilation?




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
Bubblegum Factory  performed by Redd Kross  1990
Recommended by popgoestheculture [profile]

The best bubblegum pop song ever. Literally.

from Third Eye, available on CD


Bubbles  performed by The Free Design  1970
Recommended by PappaWheelie [profile]

Sunshine Pop in the same vein as "Up, Up and Away" by The 5th Dimension of "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things" by The Cowsills...but Bubbles has a smidgen of funk in the drums and bassline. This track was also covered recently on the 'Powerpuff Girls' soundtrack.

from Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love (Project 3)
available on CD - Bubbles (Siesta)



  Sem Sinatra: This is the undoubted King of Sunshine Pop ... how can you possibly top the follwing: "My tummy has a little pain, when does Jesus come again?"
  charlesives: Notice the wacked out time signature in the hook. They shave a 16th note off the hook making it a little Mahavishnu-esque. A couple of years before Mahavishnu of course.
Bubbles  performed by The Free Design  1970
Recommended by Pal [profile]

Grovvy pop. A little favorite.

from Sing For Very Important People
available on CD - The Best Of... (Varése Sarabande)


Bulletproof Soul  performed by Sade  1992
Recommended by MoeShinola [profile]

Hey - don't knock Sade. This is from the Love Deluxe album, which is a great record by any measure. All the songs are original and heartfelt, not formulaic, and with an awareness of third-world misery that's striking coming from a pop princess like her. But she is from Nigeria and knows what she's singing about. Bulletproof Soul is my favorite on the album, a song very dry and quiet and sparse. The backing vocal works in a very sad, soulful harmony line in the chorus that really makes the song.

from Love Deluxe (Sony)


By Design  performed by Big Sky  2003
Recommended by deese411 [profile]

Guitar-driven original pop-rock single with intellegent lyrics and catchy hooks.

from By Design


By The Time I Get To Arizona [Whipped Cream Mix]  performed by The Evolution Control Committee  1994
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

This is the record that pretty much kicked off the whole 'bastard pop' genre - where a clever bootlegger would fuse the vocal track of one song with the backing of another. Here we have Public Enemy and Herb Alpert (Bittersweet Samba, from Whipped Cream...).

The reason this record (unlike most of the other mash-ups) works so well is that it sounds like a genuine collaboration - the parps of the Tijuana Brass and Chuck D's rap spits meld perfectly. It's a smart-arse idea that becomes a work of art.

from the single By The Time I Get To Arizona [Whipped Cream Mix] (Pickled Egg Egg 8)


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)



Bye Babe  performed by Lee Hazlewood
Recommended by olli [profile]

great piece of whiskey-soaked break up pop from our friend lee, here. it's basically driven by guitar and harpsichord, but a warbling hammond organ pops up in the end. really dig the balance between lee's weary voice and the backup singers' purring wordless hums here.


available on CD - love and other crimes


Call Me Irresponsible  performed by Bobby Darin  1964
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Bobby Darin - truly one of the smoothest singers the US has ever produced, and there's nothing that showcases this pop-cabaret style like his tenure at Capitol. A singer of great versatility, he swings effortlesly on this album, having great technique and even greater rhythmic feel.

Call Me Irresponsible, something of a standard really, is my favourite. Darin's vocals make you fall in love with his irresponsible, unreliable, unpredictable charm. Accompanied by finger clickin' good Richard Wess big-band sounds. Wow. Whatta man.

from From Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie (Capitol T2194)
available on CD - Oh! Look At Me Now / From Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie (Capitol)



capsized  performed by Sarah Harmer  2000
Recommended by mitchiavelli [profile]

This song is haunting. The lyrics are about loss and are bouyed by a simple arrangement of guitar and organ.

I like this album more with each listen.

'You Were Here' is the first solo album from Ms. Harmer who is also one of the principle members of a Canadian folk/pop group called 'Weeping Tile'.

from You Were Here (Cold Snap/Universal in Canada - Rounder Records)



Captain Jack  performed by Ken & Beverly  1968
Recommended by konsu [profile]

One of the far too few originals on this great underrated LP.The duo has a familiar west coast pop-jazz sound,much like their labelmates Bud Shank & Joe Pass.Except where as those two have way too much generally lackluster output,this duo has tons of talent packed into one exciting session! Ken plays an icy alto & soprano not unlike Paul Desmond and Beverly sings with all the grace and soul of ladies like Lena Horne and Dinah Shore. In this track, one of the most energetic on the LP,the group swings in a brisk 5/4,with Ken blowing a soulful line and alternating into creshendos with Beverly paralelling in a sassy vocalese. Wonderfully breezy,and just the kind of peppy bossa-like lounge tune you'll listen to over & over & over...They also do great versions of"A Man & A Woman"(with Ken adding some tasteful vocals himself)and "Eleanor Rigby"! A tough record to find, and no compiled tracks are anywhere to be found.... sad.

from Watch What Happens (World Pacific WP-1862)



Carcara  performed by Nancy Ames  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A great track, sung in spanish by Nancy Ames. It opens with pulsating horns, a wall of strings and an insistent latin beat. Everything quietens down in the middle, and Nancy sings accapella before the song explodes into action again. The way the brass, strings, flute, bossa guitar and fiery pop vocals are all crammed into two minutes is pretty cool. The whole thing is extremely catchy and intoxicating.

In 2004 this album, along with Spiced with Brasil, finally made it onto CD.

from Latin Pulse (Epic)
available on CD - Latin Pulse/Spiced With Brasil (Collectables)



Caroline Goodbye  performed by Colin Blunstone  1971
Recommended by Pal [profile]

Terrific pop from former Zombies singer...

from One Year, available on CD


Casa Bianca  performed by Ornella Vanoni  1968
Recommended by respiro [profile]

Guitar, piano, violins, drums, backing chorus and Ornella Vanoni singing in this gorgeous San Remo hit from 1968. This is one of the type of 'slow burn' italian 60's pop hits that I can't get enough of, sort of mid-tempo with a rich detailed backing arrangement and vocals with a certain weight but which by the end will soar.


available on CD - Nostalgia Italiana 1968


Cavaleiro Andante  performed by Abilio Manoel  1970
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

This song is simply unreal. It starts out in a kind of 4/4 samba groove with a highly prominent cuica and a funky strummed acoustic guitar chord progression before the super-catchy pizzicato-violins riff comes in, and Abilio's mellow voice singing the melody. It's sunshiney and catchy, with a bit of a haunting aftertaste, very Brazilian. I can never hear this song enough times!! Abilio Manoel is a Sao Paulo-based singer-songwriter from the late-60s-70s (still active) who wrote a few moderate hits without attaining even a Marcos Valle level of popularity. Good for Marcos, since Abilio's work would have caused me a few sleepless nights if I were him. And both on the same label, too! Abilio's stuff is hard to find, but very worth the effort.....I've already given Dusty Groove the heads-up about the CD....

from Pena Verde (Odeon)
available on CD - 20 Sucessos (EMI Brazil)




  delicado: sounds great; I look forward to checking it out!
Cecil Beaton’s Scrapbook  performed by Would Be Goods  1985
Recommended by andyjl [profile]


The finest moment of a legendary 80s UK indie label which fused a post-punk spirit with the best elements of 60s pop style - bossa nova, light psychedelia, girl groups. And pre-empted the lounge/easy listening revival by about 10 years. The Would Be-Goods were two sisters, Jessica and Miranda, who couldn’t sing and did so beautifully. The él catalogue is being re-issued on CD by Cherry Red Records. Well worth checking out.


from The Camera Loves Me, available on CD


Charlotte Anne  performed by Julian Cope  1988
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I heard this again today for the first time in a while; I still think it's one of the best pop songs written in the 80s. The production is smooth and slightly spooky, and the repetitive tune which continues in the background throughout the song makes it even more catchy. The words are rather stirring, and Julian is as enchanting a vocalist as ever.

from My Nation Underground (Island)
available on CD - Floored Genius (Island)



cherish  performed by terry kirkman
Recommended by mario [profile]

soft, pop-rock. Itis simply beautiful. As good art should be, it is uplifting




Cherry, Cherry  performed by Music Machine  1967
Recommended by artlongjr [profile]

Just discovered this cover of the Neil Diamond song on Youtube, along with several other videos by the Music Machine, and it really stunned me. It's a beautiful soft pop version of "Cherry Cherry" complete with flute solo-nothing like the other songs I've heard from the band. Nothing garagey about it at all, more in the easy listening vein...and I mean that in a good way!

Another great cover version that the Music Machine do is "Hey Joe"-their's is my favorite version of that oft-recorded chestnut.


available on CD - Turn On the Music Machine (Collectables)


chit it laeng  performed by sinn sisamouth and ros serey sothea  196x
Recommended by olli [profile]

I won't pretend to know anything about this, i just found it while searching the web for more cambodian rocks-esque music. Old cambodian folk-pop piece with a comforting beat.
It sounds very familiar somehow, so it might be a cover of a well known song i can't dig up from my subconsience right now. listen and tell me if something pops into your mind.





Chocolates  performed by The Aluminum Group  1997
Recommended by tempted [profile]

This is a song that has made me cry twice. The first time was when I first heard it. The second...

"Am I bringing you down/when I'm giving you candy/all I want is the best for you tonight"

Burt Bacharach would be proud of this song had he written it. It reminds me a lot of his work.
The Aluminum Group are truly unique in the world of pop music today. With help of Jim O'Rourke among others they've created celestial music.

from Plano, available on CD




  musicmars: I agree. The Aluminum Group are incredible and "Chocolates" is their best song. Talk about Sophistipop. The new cd "More Happyness" is a masterpiece. I really thought "Happiness was alright but More is ... definitely MORE. I was lucky enough to see them live last year and they put on a wonderful show. the Navin's have unique music, voices and personalities - very funny, beautiful people.
  tinks: i djed a show with them and parker & lily a while ago...they're really nice guys and have impeccable taste in music.
  eftimihn: Perfect song, really with gorgeous, bittersweet melancholia. From the songwriting to the production and arrangement, this is truly impeccable.
  moondog: yeah, really great song, but i think they completely lost it after the plano cd. I thought "pedals" should be their masterpiece after the promising two first cds but remember how disapointed i was after hearing it.
Circuit No Musume (the readymade JBL mix ’99)  performed by Puffy (Puffy Ami Yumi)  2000
Recommended by synth [profile]

Hyper-lounge remix of definitive Puffy Ami Yumi song. While the original track put forth more of a Sunday soapbox derby theme, this remix is Formula 1 all the way.


http://puffyamiyumi.com,
http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Music/Arch/ES/Puffy,
http://www.sonymusic.com.hk/puffy,
www.furinkan.com/tomobiki/wagaku/artists/puffy.htm .

from PRMX - Puffy Remix Project (Sony Music Japan)


clair  performed by Singers Unlimited  1975
Recommended by klatu [profile]

A nice a capella version of my favorite Gilbert O'Sullivan song, in a very full arrangement reminiscent of the Swingle Singers, with whom they share a member. Lyrically, the song is an antidote to the sleazy feeling I get from Rod Stewart's "tonight's the night". I used to think they shared a theme of pedophilia until I listened closer. I got this on a Japanese collection put together by Toru Hashimoto, probably the greatest compiler ever. He puts together all the Cafe Apres Midi (perfect!) and Free Soul (quite nice) collections. They can be had for $25 a pop from the Dusty Groove site, which seems high for a single disc, but they are all close to eighty minutes and packed with great songs which have lead me to several thousands of dollars worth of related purchases in the last few years. Gilbert O'Sullivan's stuff is worth looking into if you have an ear for it, and there is a nice cheap two disc collection on JVC Japan.

from A Capella II (MPS)
available on CD - MPS for Apres-midi Grand Cru (MPS/Jasrac (Japan))


clip clap  performed by kahimi karie  200x
Recommended by olli [profile]

cute little song about a girl stalking someone she's fallen in love with, listening to the "clip clops" of his shoes. the melody in the song is very similar to "cosmonaute" by stereo total, only more upbeat (it was written by brezel göring from stereo t., so i guess that's excusable). kahimi's ultra-bright voice fits this song perfectly.

(there's WAY too few sweet and uplifting songs about stalking, by the way.)


available on CD - k.k.k.k.k



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!
CLOWN  performed by THE HOLLIES  1966
Recommended by norfy [profile]

FROM THE 1966 'LP-FOR CERTAIN BECAUSE'-A HYBRID OF RUBBER SOUL AND THE BYRDS-COMPLETE BLURRED POP PERFECTION IN THE TIME IT TAKES TO MAKE A CUP OF TEA-SAD AND BEAUTIFUL AND A MILLION MILES AWAY FROM THE USUAL BEAT OF THE HOLLIES,IT SHIMMERS IN A SLOW MOTION 12 STRING DAYDREAM AND MAKES ME REALISE WHY I LOVE MUSIC AND WHY I AM STILL AWAKE WHEN I AM AT WORK IN 4 HOURS TIME-SEARCH FOR THIS AND WALLOW IN IT'S SPLENDOUR...........

from FOR CERTAIN BECAUSE, available on CD


Cologne Cerrone Houdini  performed by Goldfrapp  2008
Recommended by komodo [profile]

Gorgeous track off Goldfrapp's latest - a lush slice of 60's tinged sexiness, all breathy vocals, soaring pop strings and hints of Serge Gainsbourgh.

A mere pastiche? More than that I think. The track certainly has strong echoes of times past, but there is also something distinctly modern in the mix too.

There is other good stuff on this album, but it took me a few listens to absorb and appreciate it - which is no bad thing.


available on CD - Seventh Tree (EMI)


colour me in  performed by of montreal  2004
Recommended by olli [profile]

short, bouncy cover of the broadcast song.
it's interesting because it removes all the dissonant electronics that make up the "broadcast sound", leaving a much purer-sounding piece of 70's style pop-psych.
in a weird way, this now feels like the alternative universe original version, and the original song the cover.
i love the giddy woooh-ing in the chorus.





Come Closer  performed by Miles Kane   2010
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Something new from pops new boy wonder ,former Rascal and Last Shadow Puppeteer Kane trawls through pops back pages to define the sound of NOW!.
Brit pop arrogance with Bolan esque flirtations and a smattering of David Essex combine to forge a great fresh poppy sound that will undoubtedly have a limited shelf life but for the rest of the summer this will be the album to have

from Colour of the Trap, available on CD


Come On People  performed by Grobschnitt  1979
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Most so-called "progressive rock" was really progressive pop, but not this track, which does rock out and which has a great big guitar hook (you'll know it when you hear it), which resolves several different ways within the song, i.e. the band were creative. It kicks off the last of their big three LPs ("Jumbo" and "Rockpommel's Land" were the first two), and according to the liner notes was a concert favourite.

from Merry Go Round, available on CD


Comin’ Home Baby  performed by Claus Ogerman  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This track wasn't what I expected. My previous favorite version of this song (although I have many) was probably the one by Mel Torme on his 1962 album 'Right Now'. And since that version was arranged by Ogerman, I had expected this version to be simply an instrumental version like Torme's recording - a cool, finger-clicking, jerky pop number. In fact, there's something much cooler and more sophisticated about this version.

The tune is picked out first by an organ, and then by the brass and woodwinds before returning to the organ, which then jams around the main tune. A really beautiful string section comes in early on, creating some unusual chords that really add to the song and work very well alongside the 'cool' effect of the organ and rhythm. I wish Claus had recorded more songs with this mixture of percussion, jazzy instrumentation and lovely thick string parts. A few tracks on one of his other 60s LPs, 'Latin Rock,' come close, but I'm not sure any of them are as nice as this one.

from Soul Searchin' (RCA LPM 3366)



contact  performed by brigette bardot
Recommended by daidai [profile]

there is something very modern about this song. it's a timeless tune that was later reworked by godzuki on the album pop romantique. brillant song and my personal bardot favorite.





  king8egg: pizzicato five do a great version of this song(with kraftwerk samples!) on their album "romantique 96".
  daidai: p5's version is great however i think i like godzuki's cover better[just a little] . ^.^
  Erik: And don't forget John Zorn's brilliant a capella version.
Cordeiro De Nanã  performed by João Gilberto  1980
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Just one minute and twenty seconds long, this a perfectly distilled piece of Brazilian pop/mood music. The song consists of a simple, beautiful chord progression, which is repeated over and over. João sings a simple vocal over his guitar, and then some brass and strings come in to join him. The arrangement is stunning: sweeping and beautiful, with a delicate, sparkly sound at the beginning and end. It sounds very like the work of Claus Ogerman (who arranged the tracks on 'Amoroso', which appears on the same CD), but in fact, it's arranged by Johnny Mandel. Although this was recorded in 1980, it has a timeless feel. The entire Amoroso/Brasil CD is quite incredible. It took a few listens to really hit home, but has now become one of my 'desert island discs'.

from Brasil
available on CD - Amoroso/Brasil (Warner Brothers)



  barry_c: I agree, a beautiful, beautiful tune. You should check out the original version of this tunes, by Os Tincoãs: http://www.luizamerico.com.br/fundamentais-tincoas.php
  kfigaro: I really love very much this song with these subtile orchestration of Johnny Mandel me two, and I also know the original version of Os Tincoãs (1977) which is very different and with verses that J.Gilberto don't sing... Thalma de Freitas also sing this dreamy tunes in her album (2004) _______________________ http://chantsetheres.over-blog.com/
  delicado: Just listening to this again a few years after my initial recommendation. It really does encapsulate a lot of the mysterious, seductive elements of Brazilian music for me.
Couleur Café  performed by Serge Gainsbourg  1962
Recommended by phil [profile]

I've tried quite a lot to get into African music and have only got into bits and bobs so far. However, what I have very successfully got into is a white frenchman, with an all french choir, based in Paris, singing songs in an african style. Any amount of race-focussed amateur psychoanalysis can be done on the above I know, but I also know that this song is absolutely fantastic. As far as I can tell, Serge's african work seems to be inspired by a genuine love of african music and singing, but it also has a very pop edge - maybe it is this crossover aspect that makes it so accessible. Anyway, in this one the lyrics are pretty seedy ("ce soir la nuit sera blanche"), but the singing and drumming are just so beautiful - it's a brilliant song.

from Gainsbourg Percussions
available on CD - Couleur Café (Mercury)



Country Boy  performed by The Associates  1988
Recommended by geezer [profile]

The genius of Billy McKenzie is distilled in this largely unheard epic.Tribal drums introduce a synth pop backing which allows a bit more floorspace for what sounds like a barber shop quartet before McKenzie,s yerning vocals commence the song proper.
Both chaotic and cohesive ,this really shouldnt work but a maverick self belief produces a truly fantastic odd,unforgetable moment.This remained unreleased for nearly twenty years by a short sighted record company looking for a uqick repetitive return.Some things never change .

from The Glamour Chase, available on CD


Crne Ruze  performed by Kaliopi Bukle  2008
Recommended by ESC_Dream [profile]

Balkan pop music.




Crooked Teeth  performed by Death Cab for Cutie  2005
Recommended by HelterSkelter [profile]

Very nice sound to it, you got your basic instrument set in this one, I like it because of the lyrics.. They're not totally simple. It's easy to understand today's pop and stuff like that, but Deathcab actually puts some more effort into their music.

from Plans (Atlantic)


Cry all over me  performed by the Soft Parade  1991
Recommended by h_cos [profile]

Early ninties dutch rock-pop in a velvet underground "Loaded" style.




Crystal Illusions (Memorias de Marta Sare)  performed by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66  1969
Recommended by m.ace [profile]

If there is such a genre as psychedelic impressionist easy pop, this song should be its flagship. Dreamy, lulling, yet subtly disturbing, this seven-minute plus tune is like entering a watercolor painting.

from Crystal Illusions (A&M)



  konsu: Written by Edu Lobo. Apparently for a play he wrote a few songs for. A year later he did it on his own A&M album "Sergio Mendes Presents Lobo", which is an incredible album produced by Sergio. Also check out his LP "Missa Breve" from 1973.
Cuckoo Clock  performed by Rachel Sweet  1978
Recommended by blacktype [profile]

This a wonderful slice of punk-pop quirkiness that just NEEDS to be jumped around to. Rachel's singing voice is wonderfully petulant and even though I have no idea what the lyrics are about the attitude and jadedness come across loud and clear. She's better known for her covers such as B-A-B-Y and New Rose but this is far and away her finest recording,

from Fool Around (Stiff)



  unathanthium: Rachel was my pin-up.A slightly chubby teenager with a voice that could break rocks.So convincing is this song that I have spent many years breaking into cuckoo clocks in order to liberate the toy singer trapped within.I have yet to find her but the search goes on.
Curso Intensivo De Boas Maneiras  performed by Tom Zé  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

You've got to love a guy who has a song on his first album that translates as "Catechism, Toothpaste and You". From that same LP, here's a great off-kilter tropicalia with a heavy baroque-pop influence and really odd instrumentation, featuring fuzz guitar, organ and trumpet in a very nice way.

from Tom Zé, available on CD



C’mon And Join Us  performed by Alzo & Udine  1969
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

Folk? Soul? Pop? Rock? I don't know, I just know I REALLY like it. The sole album by this mysterious duo (Alzo's got a solo album too) is the very definition of groovy. This song, like the rest of the record, is hard to describe, but let's just imagine a funkier version of the 60s Bee Gees crossed with, I don't know, Donovan? No, maybe the Rascals crossed with Jose Feliciano and Joe Bataan is closer to it. It totally works, especially when they get to the falsetto chorus of "Everybody feel iiiiit......come on and clap your hands!" People, find this record: it will improve your life!

from C'mon And Join Us!, available on CD



  delicado: It totally works; thanks for bringing it to my attention!
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)


Dancefloor  performed by The Brunettes  2002
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

A brilliant pop song from Auckland bubblegum pop combo The Brunettes. The interplay between Heather and Jonathan's voice is just fantastic, and the song gets the crowd dancin' every time. Imagine Jonathan Richman and Debbie Harry dueting with Chuck Berry on lead guitar ...

from Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks, available on CD


Dansero  performed by Richard Hayman  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

The album that this track is taken from was one of those strange albums that acquired mythical status in my mind. Based on a mixture of rumor and personal imagination (I could never actually find a copy), I convinced myself that this must be the coolest album ever made, a perfect fusion of moog, latin and mod sounds. A few years later I picked up the album very cheaply on ebay. Beautiful and interesting as it is, many of the tracks go slightly over the line for me.

'Dansero' is the only track on the LP that captures the blend that I was looking for. It's nice and short at under 3 minutes, and features a delightfully kooky introduction that sounds like the Jean-Jacques Perrey moog flourishes that the group Stereolab sampled on their 'Transient Random Noise Bursts...' album. The drums and moog then join up for a nice pop instrumental, catchy and bouncy. Different moog effects are piled on, but always quite effectively, making this one of the most enduringly successful moog-pop tracks in my collection.

from Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine (Command)



Daphne (Laurel Tree)  performed by Kayak  1979
Recommended by john_l [profile]

This is one of the great chase songs that I know. From the insistent piano-based beat you can imagine Apollo getting it on for Daphne, and putting her in the sky or something, which seems to have been de rigueur for Greek gods. Kayak played guitar-and-piano-based progressive pop/rock (without anything overly long) but didn't really come together until "Phantom of the Night" in 1979 (ignore the UBL ratings, they're way off the mark). "Ruthless Queen" and the title track are very pretty and overall the whole album is excellent.

from Phantom of the Night (Janus)


Darlin  performed by Paper Dolls  1968
Recommended by Ashley [profile]

Brian Wilson given the full-on 60s Brit-Girl treatment. It has wonderfully uplifting brass and some powerful vocals. The Paper Dolls had a couple of decent soulful easy hits in the UK in 1968. The CD is well worth checking out.

from Paper Dolls House, available on CD


David  performed by Creation of Sunlight  1968
Recommended by andyjl [profile]

From a legendary pop-psyche LP in the Strawberry Alarm Clock vein ("the Sound of Young Ambition" according to the sleevenotes) about a small boy’s world of make believe, propelled by swirling keyboards. Sunny without being drippy.


available on CD - Creation of Sunlight


Day Without Love  performed by The Love Affair  1968
Recommended by Swinging London [profile]

This is one of the best British pop singles of 1968.

Love Affair had already had a Number One hit with 'Everlasting Love' & a top five hit with 'Rainbow Valley' and went on to have a few more hits, including this one, before changing their lead singer from Steve Ellis in 1970 and slipping into oblivion.

Their sound was quite influenced by 'The Phil Spector Wall Of Sound', but with a 'Swinging London' slant.

Great melody. Great lyric. Tremendous pop orchestral arrangement. Wonderful lead vocals from Steve Ellis, who sounded like a sort of British Len Barry.

I think this song is probably one of the best pop singles I've ever heard.

It never happened in the USA and after it fell from the charts was rather forgotten in the UK, overshadowed by the groups more famous 'Everlasting Love', but, in fact, this was their strongest single.

Very much of its time, but what a tremendous time it was, musically and otherwise.

from Everlasting Love Affair (CBS)



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)


Daydream  performed by Wallace Collection  1968
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

it's the Belgian "summer of love" anthem... a great flower-power song that was a big hit all over Europe in 1968. For those who don't know it, do a search on the web for a soundclip...





Daydream  performed by Wallace Collection  1968
Recommended by Trijnie [profile]

Yes!!!! Found it!
I live in England (nearly 20 years, but am originally from Holland. Saw twice a new commercial the last 2 days on tv here (can't remember what it was for), but regonised the song that was played in it (although it wasn't the original version). I knew it was a hit in the sixties. And always liked it. But hadn't heard it for years! My partner ,who's english, knows and does remember a hell of a lot about (popular)music and whenever a song is played HAS to announce WHO, WHAT and IN WHICH YEAR IT WAS A HIT! Get's a bit annoying at times.
He said he knew it from a "chill"-album, but I told him I was certain that it had been a hit in the sixties.
After surfing the web for an hour orso tonight, and not even quite sure if the title was "Daydream" and not knowing at all what the bands name was. At some point I found out that it could be Wallace Collection, but eventually after finding your website, and you were the only one I was able to hear that song, I got it right!
Thank you so much. The song brought back so many memories! I will keep your website in my favorites list. It was a great help.
Thanks again, Trijnie





  delicado: Yes, I think Ron, who recommended the original version, did us and the Wallace Collection a great service! The song is well known here in the UK via a remixed version by a band called 'I-Monster', who sampled and rejigged a version by the Gunter Kallemann singers (available on a common charity shop record here in the UK, 'Easy Listening' - 2LP set on Polydor). Further 'daydream' trivia fact: the melody for the middle section is lefted from a famous Tchaikovsky piece. There's a version by the 'Baker Street Philhamonic' that's also kind of cool.
Daymaker  performed by Bob  1990
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Absolutely cracking track. I was nuts for this back in 1990 when it came out and recently rediscovered it. A really nice mix of guitar driven pop, excellent Beach Boys influenced vocals and catchy, shuffling beat. Just a great track. Bob are a hard band to track down stuff by because their name is so generic. But you can listen to it (and all their releases actually) at their site - http://houseofteeth.co.uk/

from Stride up EP (House of Teeth)


debaser  performed by pixies
Recommended by danielismagic [profile]

good pixies song
it's simple and energetic




Deceptacon  performed by Le Tigre  1999
Recommended by dedismo [profile]

Melds punk, new wave and hip hop into a seemingly cute package. Although I'm not all into riot girl, or angry girl music, this is an exception. Bikini Kill's frontwoman Kathleen Hanna has very well written lyrics. The whole album is something to check out. So... check it out.

from Le Tigre (Mr. Lady)




  daidai: aren't deceptacon the 'evil' transformers? i have to agree with you, this song is wonderful.
  umbrellasfollowrain: If I hear this song on the dancefloor, I go nuts. Absolutely nuts. The only other song that can make me reach that height of sweaty bliss is Blur's "Girls and Boys".
Decollage  performed by Les Balayeurs du désert  2005
Recommended by Aguirre [profile]

Dreamy French ambient pop. Heaven.

from Jules Verne Impact


dedication  performed by Chuck and mary
Recommended by moondog [profile]

If the free design had come from greenwich village and opted for a more folk pop approach they could have sounded like the candian siblings Chuck and Mary. Their songs perhaps doesn´t have the same strong song hooks as "the design" but way more make up for it in their timeless sound and magical voices. Especially on this heartrending track which you can find in an orchestrted version on their second album or acoustic on their first.I´d go for the acoustic one.


available on CD - the last word or life is a stream (rev-ola)


Deep Down  performed by Christy  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I'm surprised to find I haven't recommended this song before. An enchanting piece of futuristic pop written by Ennio Morricone, this great tune was part of the score for the wonderfully stylish Mario Bava movie 'Danger: Diabolik'. Christy, who also sung on some Piero Piccioni scores, was (is?) a heartfelt 'belter', and here she sings the italian lyrics, which are peppered with English phrases, especially passionately. There is a cool echoey effect on her voice, giving the whole affair an other-worldly, underwater feel. Musically, it's a very catchy psych-pop track, with a twangy, rocky guitar. It's quite short, but extremely powerful.

from the single Deep Down
available on CD - Canto Morricone Vol. 1 (Bear Family)




  leonthedog: This "Canto Morricone" volume sent me on a frantic chase for so many things; most rewarding was the "Danger: Diabolik" soundtrack. (The movie is a hoot and quite a bargain, too.) Mina... Spaak... Miranda Martino... Rita Monico... and what about Ken Colman? "Trio Junior"??? This CD will infect you, so you'd better just go get it!
  delicado: I realize it has been almost 10 years since I wrote this - but just to throw it out there - this track really is absolutely amazing!
Deep inside my heart  performed by Blond  1970
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

Another one that came to mind just now, was a great orchestrated ballad from the Scandinavian group Blond (former members of The Tages). Fanstastic piece of work...
Once again... goes crescendo and explodes in the climax ... wow indeed




Desire As  performed by Prefab Sprout  1985
Recommended by Genza [profile]

Steve McQueen is an almost faultless pop album. The first five or so tracks are quite awesome. Desire As comes in later down the album play list and it's got a lovely laid back groove. It builds slowly and Paddy McAloon's vocals are sweet. It's a nice track, make no mistake.

from Steve McQueen (Kitchenware Records)



  Mike: I love Prefab Sprout and Paddy is a great songwriter. Having said this, I do think I would love the band and their output even more were Paddy's vocals LESS SWEET! I mean, just about everything in their entire output seems to be bathed in honey, syrup, or treacle from his sugar-lined voicebox.
  kkkerplunkkk: Yes but isn't that the point of Prefab Sprout? That it was the sweetest pop you could taste. The best love song writer I've ever heard.
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.
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



Devil Dream  performed by Andre Brasseur  196?
Recommended by mike33436 [profile]

This belgian artist was very popular up to the second half of the 70's I believe.

I got to really enjoy most of his tunes because that is what my dad would listen on his 195? reel to reel.

I was able to find most of his albums online.

Very good channel separation.

Enjoy

from Early Bird
available on CD - yes



  n-jeff: Yeah, Andre Brasseur is top stuff, ranging from go-go Hammond cheese to some really nice low country funk. Theres a live album with a killer version of, um, The Duck. Tasty.
Devil, Devil, Go Away  performed by Little Marcy  1973
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Ever felt there was a hole in your life that only a religious ventriloquist's dummy could fill? Then look no further. One of pop's bona-fide eccentrics, Marcy Tigner, voices Little Marcy in a thoroughly winsome way. The song, nay the whole album, encourages all young children to renounce the devil. However, if the devil were to see the scarily-bad drawing of Little Marcy on the cover, he would correctly deduce that no child is likely to listen to the ravings of a freaky end-of-the-pier doll voiced by an even stranger adult woman.

"Marcy wants you all to know how happy she is singing songs about Jesus" relate the sleevenotes. And, gee Marcy, we sure are glad to hear them!

Please don't think I recommended this song simply to mock it. I genuinely think it's a priceless piece of recorded gold and am more than pleased this site, and the world, is big enough to accommodate special talents like that of Marcy Tigner.

Out of Waco, Texas.

from Happy Am I (Word K-721)




  olli: aah, little marcy. i find her oddly touching. i adore the effect where the guitar seems to be meowing on "i love little pussy", it makes the song even more appealing than the questionable lyrics. "guitar festival of gospel songs" by little marcy's guitarist, bob summers is the current downloadable album over at basichip.com right now, by the way. snatch it while you can!
Didn’t Know The Time  performed by The Staccatos  1968
Recommended by john_l [profile]

From Ottawa, the Staccatos were Canada's best pop band of the 1960s and, with the possible exception of Strange Advance, still their best ever. This song is a bit of a clone of their biggest hit, 1967's "Half Past Midnight", right down to the lyrical preoccupation with time, but it's still worth a listen if you like that late-'60s "summer pop" sound, because its production is pretty tight and it has several neat little tricks like the best pop songs do. The flip side is called "We Go Together Well" and it's pretty good too, with its fuzzy guitars (or is it the bass?) ...

All of these tracks mentioned here were found on a 1969 LP called "Five Man Electrical Band", which is what the Staccatos had changed their name to. The LP contains both sides of the "It Never Rains On Maple Lane" / "Private Train" release which was the first under that name, but subsequent material followed a musical change of direction to what I would call "swamp rock" after that ghastly "Joy To The World" by Three Dog Night (ugh!), although "Signs" and "I'm A Stranger Here" at least had some lyrical smarts ... a CD of this stuff has been released but unfortunately the Staccatos material has not, apart from "Half Past Midnight" which showed up on a best-of-Canadian compilation.

from Five Man Electrical Band (Capitol)


Die Antwort Weiss Ganz Allein Der Wind  performed by Peggy March & Benny Thomas  1966
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Alias Blowin' In The Wind.

I don't really care for Bob Dylan, and it is for one reason only; his whingey voice. It just, for me, undermines all the cleverness of his lyrics since he sounds like a child who's dropped his ice cream.

But there's no denying the man writes cracking songs. Virtually every time I hear someone other than him perform a Dylan tune, I find it a great listening experience. Another favourite is Linda Gayle's version of Maggie's Farm (on one of the Girls In The Garage volumes).

Peggy March is famous (if 'famous' isn't stretching it) for a couple of saccharine hits in the early 60's. Few people realise she had a later dimension to her career - great popularity as a German language singer. Her vocal treatment of this Dylan song adds a shyness and grace to the protest, all accompanied by, naturallment, that slight oompah-ness endemic to a great deal of German pop of the period.

from Memories Of Heidelberg, available on CD



Die herren dieser welt  performed by Hildegard Knef  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

From the same album which spawned the mindblowing 'Im 80 Stockwerk' comes this superb track. It opens slowly, with a moody guitar/vocal introduction. Soon the heavy Burt Bacharach influence of 'Stockwerk' returns, as the strings come in and the song develops. The beat is funky in a gentle late-sixties pop kind of way. I have no idea what Hildegard is singing, but it sounds rather positive and uplifting, and I’m a big fan of her smoky voice.

from Knef (Decca)
available on CD - Fur Mich... (box set) (BMG Germany)




  AndreasNystrom: Really great song!, nice rhythm and harmonys.
  bellboy: this song is about "masters of this world" - the text would stir you up rather than just lift you up. It breathes the same air as a song by Alexandra "Mein Freund der Baum". Heavy bittersweet german Weltschmerz. One of the Knef's best songs is "Von nun an ging's bergab" which means "From now it went downhill". She tells us her story: Her birth in cold winter, her film career in the USA, her return to Germany, starting a second career as a singer - and everytime she comments ironically: "From now it went downhill" which is VERY funny! The last words of this song comment herself as a singer: "Es war nicht meine Schuld - ich bitte um Geduld" - "It wasnn't my idea to start singing, please be patient with me"
  heimwehblues: To "bellboy": "Von nun an ging's bergab" is performed by Hildegard Knef as "From Here On It Got Rough" (LP "The World of Hildegard Knef"), last lines: "A change was overdue, from here it's rough on you.".
  eftimihn: Warner Music Germany finally released "Knef" on CD ahead of the celebration of Hildegard Knef's 80th birthday. While it's completely beyond me why people had to wait until 2005 to get this masterpiece in it's entirety, i'm thrilled that it's finally arrived. Also, Hildegard Knef repeatedly expressed "Knef" was her best album.
  n-jeff: "From Here On It Got Rough" is the opening track on teh recent (2005) compilation "the in-kraut". And very witty it is too. But also a very groovy song.
Diffrerent Stories  performed by I Am The World Trade Center  2004
Recommended by MoeShinola [profile]

Synth-Pop candy. Starts out with strummed clean-tone electric guitar, then the electronic beats come in w/ Amy singing in her languid way. The chorus brings Dan in answering her back. It's one of the best songs on The Cover Up, which was their break-up record. Really good contrast of drama-laden lyrics and happy pop.

from The Cover Up (Gammon)


Dinnertime  performed by Spiderbait  1999
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

Its 4 tracks into the CD, and after one of the fluffy pop numbers, so it quite takes you by surprise when a guitar kicks in of such rawness that it feels like small blisters are erupting over your eardrums.
In come the bass and drums, and the girly vocals (Janet presumably) with a nice sarcastic tone. The sarcasm seems to be a feature of the band.
Threres also a triffic 1980 style disco remix on the extra CD, for extra amusement. To be honest I love the whole LP, it has nice fat drums, lovely rolling bass, and they aren't afraid to use the technology, it was hard to pick one song out, but this one had the edge for Janets voice and that ruff guitar. God I love Fuzz.

Oddly the person who played the CD to me first dismissed them as just another Oz-Rock band. Nah, way off the mark.

from Grand Slam, available on CD




  n-jeff: My 4 year old daughter worked out enough of the CD player controls to play the disco remix back to back about twenty times over this weekend. Still sounds great.
Dirty Harry  performed by Gorillaz
Recommended by sungoddess [profile]

It took me a long, long while to ‘get’ Gorillaz. Oh come on, who didn’t like “Clint Eastwood”? I dunno, having sunshine in a bag is a nice lyric to repeat when people are pissing you and your shit off… yet, “Clint Eastwood” didn’t make me a fan.

No, in fact, no Gorillaz track did more to bring me into the fold than “Dirty Harry”, with its amazing keyboards, bassline and children’s chorale…

It’s just been a while since I’ve come across pop music that was so far off the beaten track, that it redefines what is ‘mainstream’. This is always fun for music lovers, but once again goes to prove that noone with taste thinks the cookie cutter approach to popular music is the right way.

Well I’m a Gorillaz fan now, maybe three or four years late, but I’m a fan for sure. “Demon Days” has quickly jumped up to “Heavy Rotation” status in my last.fm and musicmobs profiles in a heart beat.

It’s weird, because someone brought a pre-release copy of “Demon Days” for me way back in April, but I listened to it a few times and then ignored it, forgot it for the most part (if you ignore the iconic billboards and posters everywhere across London). I’m famous for that though, I tend to err on the side of not believing the hype, a la Public Enemy.

It was only about three or four weeks ago, after my flatmate’s accidental stop on the “Dirty Harry” video one night, while I was in another room working.

Said keyboards, bass line and chorale, made me stop what I was doing, get up and go into the living room, calling incredulously as I went, “What are you listening to?”

That my friends, is all Big Mami wrote on the matter…

from Demon Days


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.
Disco 2000  performed by Pulp
Recommended by daniela_por [profile]

Happy dance-pop song about a high school love.




Distant Shores  performed by Chad and Jeremy  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautiful piece of soft pop. Ok, it's corny - the chord sequence is kind of soppy and the lyrics are kind of obvious, but the arrangement and singing are so lovely that I can listen to this song again and again. Opening with a catchy picked acoustic guitar riff, the arrangement soon thickens with with a full orchestra. The singing is deadly serious and amusingly precious throughout the song, and the orchestral arrangement, heavy on oboes and flutes as well as strings, is anything but hip. Still, the song’s simplicity and innocence are really quite charming. I never really got into any of Chad and Jeremy's other songs nearly so much as this one, so any recommendations for similar songs would be welcome. Do me a favor and listen to this and tell me if I’m crazy to love it so much.

from Distant Shores, available on CD




  tempted: Oh yes, it is pure gold. I can recommend anything by The Left Banke, Scott Walker, Margo Guryan, New Colony Six, Sagittarius, The Millennium... Gary Usher from the last two mentioned was the producer on many of C & J's songs.
Don’t Be Cruel  performed by Cheap Trick  198?
Recommended by sallyfosho [profile]

A delightfully poppy cover of Elvis's Don't Be Cruel. Although it is undeniably an 80s tune, it's not dated at all. Just a fun song to sing along to, and a great cover.




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)


Don't Go Breaking my Heart  performed by Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A beautifully gentle and textured version of this song, led by some great group harmony vocals. These are backed by a gentle bossa nova beat, electric harpsichord, and strings which sweep in and out. Gentle and addictive listening.

from Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends (A&M)
available on CD - Complete (Polydor Japan)




  rum: Oh there’s certainly no denying it, this track has an irresistibly seductive melody but there’s no chance I’d be seduced. Oh rum, you’re just being silly, she’d say, “don’t make a mountain out of a grain of sand…” silly?! I caught you in bed with the Mayor of Pensacola, Florida… this is no grain of sand my dear! But rum, it was just one time, a silly mistake, “one drop of rain doesn’t make the sun run away”, does it? Are you mad? What kind of reasoning is that? 17, 18… eighty-seven drops of rain wouldn’t either. So what are you trying to tell me? Am I to hold out for a rainstorm of two-timing before getting in a huff? The summer of love ended last September. This is 1968, the year of revolution, of fighting in the streets, of… but then she’d put her finger on your lips, “DON’T… go breaking my heart…” and look up at you with the innocence of a wee lamb. Oh, you so want to forgive her. Maybe I’ll give her just one more chance, it is such a beautiful melody… “I’ll love you till the sky falls down, even then… you’ll remain in my heart” Ahh, no, no, I’m not falling for that. I’m not an idiot, that’s impossible. Now I know you’re having me on. I’m not getting caught in your web of lies you, you, you… Your melody maybe sweet but your argument stinks. Go on get out, strumpet! “…come to my arms, forever…” No, no, clear off. “…teach my heart how to smile?...” OUT!
Don't Go Breaking My Heart  performed by Burt Bacharach  1965
Recommended by m.ace [profile]

A super-sweet bossa-pop tune. From one of Burt's solo LPs, but actually sung by an unnamed female trio who do magical things with the hypnotically pretty melody line.

from Hit Maker! (Kapp)


Don't you know she said hello  performed by Butterscotch  1970
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

I'm beginning to sound like and old record, because it seems I'm repeating myself in commenting on songs... but this another recommendation. If you have read other comments on my fave songs, I guess you'll know what to expect. A strrrrrrrrong melody, backed by a great orchestration. Butterscotch only made album and a couple of 45s. Take it from a devoted popfan... this is one hell of a tune !





  dexxas: Wow i had a LP of Butterscotch sir in my attic on the RCA label 1970.. i think roughly the year. I agree with everything you say. Chris Arnold - David Martin - Geoff Morrow were butterscotch. a related website to them is http://www.ne.jp/asahi/salaryman/asada/edisco1.htm concerns a chap called Tony burrows another fine singer. I cant recall right now which one out of the three guys first mention was the lead voice. But a bit of trivia for you. You can hear this voice again on a 1970's recording theres a whole lot of love by guys and dolls. this band singer mimed one of the three guy's above who was a session singer and writer. I think the Voice is Geoff morrow. http://www.ne.jp/asahi/salaryman/asada/amandm.htm most of these songs listed for butterscotch are o the LP i belive its suprise suprise the album. Hope that helps.
Don’t Make a Sound  performed by Azure Ray  2001
Recommended by Jackamaku [profile]

Dream Pop from two former members of Bright Eyes


available on CD - Azure Ray



Dragostea Din Tei  performed by O-Zone
Recommended by ladyfelicity [profile]

Romanian pop. Very catchy, upbeat, with trendy romantic lyrics.




Dream On Dreamer  performed by Brand New Heavies  1994
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

The Brand New Heavies were one of the significant groups of the then popular "Acid Jazz" sound in the early 90s. "Dream On Dreamer" still strikes me with it's precisely executed funk rhythm and lush production: Tight rhythm section with funky drums, guitar and bass combined with jazzy piano chords, swirling strings and a crisp brass section. On top of that some flutes, fluegelhorn, percussion and organ with a very pleasant vocal performance by N'Dea Davenport.

from Brother Sister, available on CD



Du e för fin för mig  performed by dungen  2004
Recommended by olli [profile]

Outstanding Swedish psychpop, sounds like the aural lovechild of an orgy between sigur ros, hansson & karlsson and radiohead's karma police. gorgeous stringwork. ends in a psychedelic freakout.
the whole album is pretty good (imo the best swedish record of 2004), don't hesitate to buy the swedish import if you come across it..






  tempted: This is indeed great! Dungen deserve 100% of the attention he has received stateside recently. Ta Det Lugnt reminds me of another one of the great psych-pop albums of all time which is S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things. Although Dungen perhaps comes from a sunnier place and definitely from the Swedish woods. I don't think Radiohead and Dungen have much in common, though. There are so many colours to psychedelia...
  olli: don't get me wrong, i'm not saying dungen sounds like radiohead...just that this particular song shares some musical texture with karma police
Dude [Remix]  performed by Beenie Man featuring Ms. Thing & Shawnna  2004
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

In a stupid pop mood tonight, egged on by seeing the recent McFly recommendation. The sun finally came out over South Yorkshire today too, which is probably what's making me think of this enthusiastic pop-reggae workout. I really click with this, despite the OTT misogynistic lyrics, Beenie Man's homophobia and the general rubbishness of most of his back catalogue (that which I've heard, anyway).

Ms. Thing doesn't really do much to shut Beenie and his sexist mouth up, but at least Shawnna has a but more life to her which is why I'm recommending this remix with her rap on.

The video's cute too, especially where Beenie, Thing, Shawnna and various cronies do a ridiculous trot-dance at the end.

from Dude CD Single, available on CD




  Issie: I totally agree - it's a very good song!
  olli: he he. "stupid pop mood". i like that.
eagle wings as filtered through pigeon shit  performed by hell on wheels  2000
Recommended by shaka_klaus [profile]

hell on wheels is a three piece outfit from oxelosund in sweden. this song is one of my favourites. how is sweden's best live band in their genre (weird-nothing-like-it-pop).

from there is a generation of handicapped people to carry on, available on CD



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.
East Breeze  performed by Okay Temiz  1975
Recommended by djfreshmoney [profile]

I got into Turkish pop/rock music after picking up a Mogollar CD in Istambul a year or two ago. Like Mogollar, Okay Temiz combines eastern rhythms and instrumentation with rock sounds. You can forget most of this because all you need to know is "East Breeze" is Super FUNKY. Great driving rhythms mesh with flute and synths and the whole thing rocks.

from Drummer of Two Worlds (Finnadar Records)


Eat Yourself  performed by Goldfrapp  2008
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

My favorite track from the latest Goldfrapp LP.
The song takes AM-Radio sunshine pop and exposes the concept to English psychedelic folk at its most radioactive.
The resulting mutation is both sexy and ominous.
The groove is languid, but insistent.
The samples and the synths sound dusty/dirty.
The strings/guitars/harps brood luxuriously.
And then there is Allison's lovely/creepy voice/melody: all woozy sex appeal and little girl menace.
It sounds like that image from the film "Blue Velvet" - lovely summer lawn under which throbs thousands of huge bugs.
Wonderfully slurred....

from Seventh Tree


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)


Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell  performed by The Flaming Lips  2002
Recommended by pleasepleaseme [profile]

Funky Rock. Nice Title! Sweet Lyrics. And i love the Beach Boys break. Move over George Martin!
Is this the best concept album since "Dark Side Of The Moon / Wish You Were Here". Or Maybe even " Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/ Magical Mystery Tour"? Very Trippy Rock! Nice electronics. How do you sound like Neal Young, Bread, America, Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, David Bowie, Beach Boys and the Beatles all at once? You can hear the full album through the thier site: www.flaminglips.com
Super Generous & Super Talented. One of the most beautifully produced albums ever!
POP HEAVEN! "Light Side of the Moon" for the new millennia.

from Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, available on CD



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

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

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

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

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




  unathanthium: Yes,most songs that have Egyptian in the title are fabulously stupid.Egyptian Reggae,Walk Like an Egyptian for instance.Egyptian Shumba is better than the pyramids and should outlast them.Also available on Girls Go Zonk.Shimmy,shimmy,shimmy,shy-yi,meece-e-deece according to their sleeve notes.
  jeanette: That Girls Go Zonk CD is cool, esp. that vocal version of Mission: Impossible. But you know when you have your own version of lyrics in your head and are reluctant to change them? Their sleevenotes are probably accurate but I'll never think of the song that way. An example: until embarrasingly recently I thought the the lyrics to Fame by Irene Cara were "take your pants down, and make it happen". It is of course "passion" and lord only knows what relatives thought of a four-year old me singing those lyrics at the top of my kiddy voice.
  unathanthium: Are you sure you misheard the lyrics of Fame?Your version makes more sense to me.
Ela desatinou  performed by Chico Buarque  1970
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This great ethereal brasilian pop number is from the portuguese language version of Chico Buarque's 'lost' 1970 album, recorded in Rome with Ennio Morricone, while he was in exile from Brasil. While Buarque's vocals are excellent, it's Morricone who really shines here, providing exquisite sweeping arrangements, and some great backing vocals from his protege Edda Dell'Orso.

from Per un pugno di samba
available on CD - Sonho de um carnaval (Universal France)



Elijah  performed by Donald Byrd  1963
Recommended by tinks [profile]

One of the few succesful attempts at using a gospel choir on a jazz recording (along with Max Roach's "It's Time" LP from the previous year...which, coincidentally, featured the same chorus), Byrd's "A New Perspective" album was the first time it was really attempted with a small group setting (Roach's was backed by an orchestra). This, the opening track, begins with a vocalese scat by the choir that calls to mind old slave work songs. From there, the incredible band (featuring a very young Herbie Hancock and Kenny Burrell, among others) strikes up, and begins to follow a basic riff with the chorus that takes you through the remaining nine-plus minutes with various tempo changes throughout. An equally impressive edited version appeared as a b-side to the single of "Cristo Redentor", which got to be a minor hit on the pop charts.

from A New Perspective, available on CD



Elle a... elle a pas...  performed by Michel Legrand  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A very cool and swinging jazzy pop vocal. Michel's range is quite remarkable, and there are some cool backing vocals too. About halfway through of the song, some completely over the top scat vocals kick in, and two different vocal Michels carry out a nonsensical scat 'conversation' until the end. Definitely an unusual way to complete a song, but it works fantastically.


available on CD - Le Meilleur de Michel Legrand (Philips France)



Ely Arcoverde Quarteto  performed by Ely Arcoverde  1965
Recommended by sodapop650 [profile]

Ely Arcoverde is a Brazilian organist. His sound is similar to Ze Maria but not as chime-like and almost even a church-organ sound at times. I love this LP because it has a real low meditative sound. It is a quality I find in much of the music from Bahia as opposed to that from the south. The quarteto inludes organ, drums, bass and - a quality that I love alongside the organ - an accoustic guitar. It is mostly instrumental with some vocals similar to the way Jorge Ben would just make repetetive humming and moaning noises in his early LPs. The whole record has a very dark and mysterious feel - sad and lonely the perfect LP for the dark just the light from the stereo tubes flickering. It is available on ebay a lot, it is Ely's most popular LP and it should run you about $50 - 75.

from Ely Arcoverde Quarteto (RGE RXLP-5.279)


Entre e Ouca  performed by Ed Motta  1992
Recommended by ambassador [profile]

I didn't entirely get Ed Motta until I listened to this album. For me this is his perfect mix of sacred and profane styles, his soul and his jazz. Only his third album and his first two employ retro styled instrumentation, it sounds like a 1970s session from Luther Vandross without the glitzy disco production. Ed's voice sounds so great paired with the Fender Rhodes which dominates this album. The arrangements are complicated, unpredicatble but entirely accessible. Entre e Ouca, which means "Enter and Listen," has a mid-tempo disco feel with a bouncing bass line, sharp guitar lines and that rhodes. I like his newer, more challenging albums as well, but this sound immediatly speaks to me like the best crafted pop songs.

from Entre e Ouca (WEA)
available on CD - not that I know of


Eque  performed by Duke Ellington  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Taken from his exquisite Latin American Suite, this is an unusual sounding track to me. Mid-tempo, with an unrelenting bossa nova style beat, the action is shared between the piano and various horns and saxophones. I guess it's the strange discordant tones that take this track higher for me. They remind me of some chords I've heard in the more adventurous Brazilian pop music of the late 1960s - basically taking what is fundamentally a sweet sounding, warm chord, and overlaying notes that provide a darker, more forboding feel.

Adding to this, the punctuating horns and reeds give the whole thing a gently groovy feel that's reminiscent of quirky 60s soundtrack music. Really cool stuff, and I recommend the whole album.

from Latin American Suite, available on CD


eternity  performed by paul haig  1983
Recommended by lhoda kblerz [profile]

optimistic synth pop from the early eighties that is the perfect track to play directly after hearing "white car in germany" by the associates.Paul Haig made a few near perfect pop songs that got nowhere ,millions of people can be so wrong

from the warp of pure fun


Europe Endless  performed by Kraftwerk  1977
Recommended by phil [profile]

This song is absolutely full of class and confidence - over 8 minutes long, and over a minute at the start is without drums or bass, just to get you into the groove. Then, they don't pull out the best tunes straight away - instead, they build up to them gradually with variations on the theme before building into a bigger and bigger climax. The tunes are as simple as you expect from Kraftwerk - the confidence to just hold a single note for 8 beats without changing is just fantastic - but the cumulative effect is brilliant.

The song is both hypnotic and euphoric and I can't recommend it too highly. When I looked at the iTunes stats as to what songs I had listened to the most, it turned out I had listened to this a heroic four times as much as any other song.

This song has clearly been hugely influential on groups like depeche mode and new order, and yet it somehow sounds quite separate from the things it has influenced. For example, just can't get enough by Depeche Mode is clearly influenced by this, but Europe Endless is much less poppy and commercial.

This whole album is fantastic - there is a kind of sister song to this one later on the album called Franz Schubert.

from Trans-Europe Express, available on CD


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)


Everyday I Write the Book  performed by Elvis Costello  1983
Recommended by geezer [profile]

In which Costello lands the role of Smokey Robinson,a bittersweet lament to the unluckiest man in love in the style of The Miracles at their best,the usual lyrical brilliance assisted by the wonderfully eclectic Attractions,a pop masterpiece in the form of homage to one of his own idols

from Punch The Clock
available on CD - Punch the Clock


Extensive Care  performed by Crossover  2001
Recommended by PappaWheelie [profile]

Much like Miss Kittin or Adult., Crossover are convincing that minimal neo-new-wave-electro can revitalize the underground with a self consciousness and dry delivery of vocals.

from Fantasmo, available on CD



Fadeaway  performed by Laika and the Cosmonauts  1990
Recommended by delicado [profile]

No one talks about this band much. Not in my experience, anyway. It's all instrumental, so I guess they're not for people who are lost without vocals and lyrics. But have a listen - to me they really seem utterly superb. I would love to see them live.

I only have a couple of albums, but they're great. This one was released in 1996 (shit - that was 9 years ago!), but recorded in 1990. Really beautiful twangy surf-pop that fits in perfectly with the whole David Lynch mood that I find so appealing. The album is an intoxicating mix of energetic surf tracks and slower, more atmospheric ones like this. Their recent 'Local Warming' album is great too. Can anyone recommend me any more of their tracks?

from Zero Gravity, available on CD



  olli: Yeah, they're certainly one of the better neo-surf acts out there. See Laika! Se Laika run! Go laika, go!
Faith Hope and Charity  performed by Tony Kingston  1973
Recommended by john_l [profile]

An absolutely lovely smooth soul/pop ballad, and I'm someone who usually hates such things (if it's from the last couple of decades anyway). Did I mention it was smooth? His vocal especially. No idea where to find it, but a series called "Vintage Canadian Music" has released his other single "I Am The Preacher" (which I once saw Deep Purple do under the name "Hallelujah" on the tube) on one of their CDs, so I am hopeful ... hint, hint!




Falling From Grace  performed by The Gentle Waves  2000
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

"The Gentle Waves" was the guised solo project of Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell, before she eventually recorded under her own name after leaving the group. This is pure etheral, introverted, delicate indie pop with a strong late 60s feel to it. The track starts with toned down drums, bass and acoustic guitar to complement Isobel Campbells's airy vocals. Later a wonderful harpsicord joins in, together with some violins and cello giving it a flowing, autumnal feel.

from Swansong For You, available on CD



Family Affair  performed by Iggy Pop  1985
Recommended by djjetraven [profile]

Very worthy cover of Sly & family Stone song. Iggy croons!

from Nuggets, available on CD


Fascination  performed by Saint Etienne  2004
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

With Saint Etienne being one of my favourite groups of the last decades (and possibly the best british pop group today) it's really hard to pick a track, it wouldn't be hard to recommend dozens of amazing tracks they did the last 15 years. That said, "Fascination" is the only new song they produced since Finisterre (2002) and it was included on their first compilation released in the US. It doesn't really matter if they embrace a more late 60s style a la Good Humor or a more electronic or dance approach to their music, due to Sarah Cracknells distinctive voice and Stanleys and Wiggs' ear for strong melodies it always sounds essentially Saint Etienne. This one is a heartfelt, bittersweet song, with an almost Hip Hop-ish basic beat, lush synths, floating harp-like electronica and a great piano melody.

from Travel Edition 1990-2005, available on CD



Feelings  performed by the Grassroots  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

Given the recent reevaluation of "mainstream" 60s pop acts such as the Association, the Monkees & Free Design, it seems a shame that more people aren't aware of how great the Grassroots were. Best known for their oldies-radio staples "Midnight Confessions" and "Let's Live for Today", they were purveyors of great well-crafted, country-rock-tinged pop music. This track is a perfect example, deftly combining vibes, mandolin, handclaps, fuzz guitar and terrific lyrics into an inimitable 60s L.A. sound. Check them out, it's high time that they got their due. And a special note for all you trainspotters out there...you can see the band perform this song in the 1968 Doris Day vehicle "With Six You Get Egg Roll".

from Feelings (Dunhill)
available on CD - Anthology: 1965-1975 (Rhino)



  adam12: Right! I can remember most local bands covering this tune in the mid-late 60's. Sounds good coming out of a garage. Kinda like "Nobody But Me" by the Human Beings.
fell down the stairs  performed by tilly and the wall  2004
Recommended by lexie [profile]

geeetars, synthesizers and tap dancers + pop-ish happy sound=amazing. what more is there to say? this song was lovely live, as well.

from Wild Like children


fell in love at 22  performed by starflyer 59
Recommended by olli [profile]

I'm not usually too big on this kind of indie pop, but this is just gorgeus. Melancholy lyrics, slow picked guitar, piano, church hall ambience...This could have been just about a zillion bands, yet it manages to have a voice of its own.
Just a great song for me right now.

Sounds eerily similar to Magnet, though.






  Ricard: Christian Rock... aaaggghh!
  olli: Yeah, i know, they're christian.. So was Johnny Cash. it's not like they're spreading propaganda or anything,and this happens to be a minor classic. The fact that I don't share the personal beliefs of the artists involved has never stopped me from listening to interesting music.. I'm not too narrowminded to shy away from music by buddhists, nazis, italians from the 80's, satanists, mooncat-worshippers or even christians, and neither should you be.
  rum: I agree olli. Good music is good music whoever's playing it. Narrow-mindedness will only lead to bitterness in old age, bemoaning all the great things you missed out on. I must confess though, ages ago I did once judge little known 80s Bristolian band, the Waxing Gibbons on their MoonCat worshipping beliefs. A mate of mine was really into them, but I was having none of it, wouldn't listen to their, "mumbo jumbo music". Then one time he played some stuff without me knowing who it was, and I was like, "woah, what is THIS?!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Absolutely awful.
  Ricard: Hmmm. You sound like some sort of preacher to me Olli... a Christian Preacher!!! Using the innocent world of Musical Taste to spread your sinister "Italians from the 80's" message to society's more susceptible elements. Despicable
  olli: Magnificent creatures, mooncats. Indeed. Take a look for yourself: http://www.mooncatstudio.com.tw/fu.jpg
Fell in Love at 22  performed by Starflyer 59  1998
Recommended by avalyn [profile]

a wee lush love song that makes me turn into a puddle without fail. very dreamy and ethereal, and it has a gorgeous melody too... so if you're into that brand of guitar pop, you'll dig this.

from The Fashion Focus, available on CD



  konsu: Already recommended, only with olli's "mooncat style" lower case spelling... While you are there, observe if you will the ensuing religious commentary thread. One of the more entertaining on the site so far.
  avalyn: heh. merci for letting me know. i'll keep me nose to the ground then, and just watch from afar. (religious thread -- would it have to do with them being on Tooth on Nail or summat?)
First Day  performed by The Futureheads  2003
Recommended by agnamaracs [profile]

Has anyone ever seen "The Hudsucker Proxy?" You know the scene where Tim Robbins first comes to work for Hudsucker and he gets an orientation that lasts exactly one minute ("Punch in late and THEY DOCK YA!")? "First Day" is more or less that scene's musical equivalent.

Clocking in at two minutes and not wasting a second, "First Day" describes someone's first day at work that begins optimistically enough ("And they say this is the job that people die for / I hope you're ready for the next stage"). Eventually, the day goes on too long (through dinner!) and his spirits are dampened by a coworker ("And he says like it or not / You have to do what they say / And it is something that you would like to talk about / But it is only your first day"). And then things just go out of hand.

"And they say 'faster, faster!'"
The song speeds up slightly.
"AND THEY SAY 'FASTER! FASTER!!'"
And the song now reaches breakneck speed. Incredible!

I have no doubts that "First Day" could've been one of the greatest, most brilliant post-punk singles ever, had it been released 25 years ago. As it stands, the Futureheads are becoming quite popular in England with the impending release of their first full-length album (for which "First Day" was re-recorded). They are a band worth hearing and I can only hope their album gets an American release.

from First Day, available on CD


Fly High  performed by Cotton Casino  2004
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

A solo single from a member of Japanese space rock collective Acid Mothers Temple. For them she plays Synthesiser (a nice old Roland) Cigarettes and Beer. On this she also sings.
Its a strange sounding thing, theres no bass or even much lower mid range. Echo'd synthesiser, a very old sounding drum box, and vocals all occupying the same accoustic space to very psychedelic effect. But yet, very poppy, the vocals stay with you for ages.
Lovely stuff.

from its a single
available on CD - we love cotton (silly boy)


Flying Up Through The Sky  performed by The Oxfords  1969
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

An underrated, forgotten gem of perfect sunshine pop. Why this is rather little known is completely beyond me, since the song just has it all: breezy, swirling, lush strings, tight rhythm section, sweeping french horns and great male/female vocal harmonies. It's an uplifting uptempo song, pretty much in the vein of the 5th Dimensions' "Up, Up and Away".

from Flying Up Through The Sky, available on CD




  artlongjr: This is gorgeous! Great title, too. I've never heard of this band before.
  Major Minor: YES! The Oxfords have three of my favorite Sunshine Pop tracks: Flying Up through the sky, My world and Lighter than air... all great sunshine pop... however be warned much of the rest of the album seems to my ears to be fairly awkward Blues rock attempts that just don't work to my ears.... but those three tracks are Sunshine Pop perfection!
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!
For Love  performed by Lush  1992
Recommended by parlop [profile]

"this is so real, it's what i feel. i look in your eyes and lose myself" this song is a great dream-poppy ditty about someone falling in love with falling in love... which is kind of cheesy in a sense... but Lush just does it so amazingly. I really like how this band really embraces their girly-ness and doesn't try to act like their trying to keep up with the boys as many female-led bands from their era were doing. the background vocals are amazingly beautiful as are the guitar solos. There's a nice, lush, romantic feeling received from listening to this song. the imagery from the aforementioned lyric is very nice as well.

from Spooky (4ad)


For one moment  performed by Lee Hazlewood  1966
Recommended by delicado [profile]

An incredible doomy pop masterpiece, 'For one moment' is a dark, haunting ballad, laden with rich strings. I guess what makes it stand out is the recording itself - Lee was a master of studio techniques, and so the whole thing has an uncanny, almost Phil Spector type feel to it.

from The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood (MGM)




  plasticsun: Have you noticed that the string part sounds a lot like the string part in Scott Walker's "Plastic Palace People"?
  olli: Brilliant song, was going to recommend it myself, but luckily remembered to check for earlier entries. Always thougt this had kind of a Michel Magne feel myself..it's the swirling strings, i guess. Check out his version of Poinciana and Petrol Pop to see what i mean.
Ford Capri II  performed by Christian Bruhn  1973
Recommended by heinmukk [profile]

actually, this is a german advertising-song from 1973. i wonder how advertising was in those days, since this track lasts 2:56min.
found on popshopping, a compilation with old funky german advertising-songs issued by the lable crippled hot dick wax, where you can find many of those obscure old recordings. for example shake sauvage. a compilation with old french film soundtracks. great catchy tunes in there, too!
anyway, christian bruhn is rather known here in germany. he wrote a lot of hits and a great soundtrack for the 70s/80s cartoon/anime series captain future.
this one is funky and catchy, with female "aaaaah" singings and great brass hits (which i like more and more....)

from Pop Shopping (Crippled Hot Dick Wax)



  n-jeff: Yeah man! Brash horns on the intro, a nice mellow bit in the middle and out with a bang. Remixed by Ursula1000 on a 12, which although it seems redundant, isn't bad at all. Sounds nice when driving around my own Ford Capri MkII. Lovely!
ford capri II  performed by christian bruhn  1973
Recommended by texjernigan [profile]

This entry and the one before it come from a compilation called pop-shopping - juicy music from german commercials 1960-1975, and I can only imagine seeing these with their original car commmercials. This music is fast, stylish, and vintage.

from pop-shopping - juicy music from german commercials 1960-1975



Frankly, Mr. Shankly  performed by The Smiths
Recommended by daniela_por [profile]

I consider it a mix between britpop and country. However, it sounds great.

from The Queen Is Dead


Freio Aerodinamico  performed by Os 3 Morais  1969
Recommended by delicado [profile]

A truly incredible vocal/jazz pop track which really has everything. Os Tres Morais were (are?) a mysterious Brazilian vocal trio. Here they tackle a great Marcos Valle song, and do such a storming job of it that this may be one my very favorite tracks EVER in the whole world ever! Honestly. Until I put a sound sample up, please accept these measly words of explanation:
1. It's bouncy and smooth and has warm strings
2. It's actually quite funky as well
3. The vocal harmonies are fantastic. I don't think there are any actual words - it's all just beautiful interwoven sound
4. Someone starts playing a scratchy electric guitar rebelliously at end of the song, completely out of context with the rest of it. It sounds cool.

from Os Tres Morais
available on CD - Blue Brazil volume 2 (EMI UK)




  tinks: i have a sneaking suspicion that os tres morais and os tres brasilieros were in fact the same group...the reason that i say this is because os tres brasilieros were a family group comprised of two brothers and a sister, whose last name just happened to be "morais". if so, have a look for the album that i've made a recommendation from. it'd seem to jive, since this comp is on emi, and the lp i have is on capitol.
  delicado: hmm, interesting. Shame there is a dearth of info available for either group... are os tres brasilieros consistently good, out of interest?
  tinks: well, the album i have is pretty standard vocal bossa & samba-type stuff, but it's not bad. very easy to listen to, and there are a few inspired moments. i'll check the liner notes to see if i can garner any more info on them.
  clmarcel: i think the correct name this band is "os tres moraes". here in Brazil, moraes is frequently a last name, while "morais" can be traduzed by "ethics", "moral".
  clmarcel: sorry, i made a mistake. The real name is MORAIS. The link to this band is http://acesso-raro.blogspot.com/ . There can be downloaded the mp3 e see the album cover.
  Luroberto: This ensemble was the best one in the end of the 60s in Brazil. The accurate voise of Jane Moraes was simply marvelous. They have been influenced by Les Swingle Singers. They began their career singing music erudite and in a second moment they joined Bossa Nova hits of Chico Buarque and Tom Jobim. They have enregistered three LPs. When Jane married Herondy and make the kitsch couple Jane & Herondy her brothers relpaced her by Ana Lucia and after one last LP they splited the ensemble for separate careers. One of them is now new as "Santo Morales", a bolero singer. One of their best hits was O Sonho (The Dream), 1968, of Egberto Gismonti.
Fridays Angels   performed by Generation x  1979
Recommended by geezer [profile]

A punk band that made the progress limited to just a few like the Jam and Killing Joke.This is guitar shaped power pop with a healthy slice of mod swagger and a fantastic chorus .A kind of Bowie esque tribute to wasted cool and what should have been a sure fire top tenner .This came from a buried gem of an album produced by Mott the Hooples Ian Hunter and listening now with hindsight that makes perfect sense ,the group and producer managing to crytalise glams optimism and punks negativity.

from Valley of the Dolls (Chrysalis)
available on CD - Valley of the Dols


friends of mine  performed by adam green  2002
Recommended by olli [profile]

uplifting, string-laden, lyrically abstract modern indie-pop. i think adam green`s strenght as a songwriter lies in his ability to combine bizarre random lines of text and catchy, but sophisticated melodies to something that`s bigger than the sum of its parts. that`s why i prefer his latest work to what he did back in the moldy peaches, the more well-produced sound really helps to balance out things. the strings on this song, for instance, is what makes it a slice of near-perfect sunshine pop. i really need to get around to actually buying this album soon..

from friends of mine


frozen warnings  performed by Nico  1971
Recommended by n-jeff [profile]

At first appearance, its not the most appealing of combinations, that deep flat voice accompanied by the unforgiving Harmonium alone. And it is quite stark, but at the same time strangely warm and hypnotic.
The song itself has a strong chorus and there are well played hooks. Slow, dark, magnificent. And it strangely is a pop song where the rest of the EP isn't.

from Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit SFPS064)


Garra  performed by Marcos Valle  1971
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Another wonderful, genre-defying track by Marcos Valle, Garra is a bouncy mix of scat vocals and funky, soulful pop. The arrangement somehow manages to remain very tasteful and tight. The entire album is highly recommended.

from Garra (Odeon)



Get In Line  performed by I’m From Barcelona  2011
Recommended by Livy19 [profile]

Indie Pop feel. More than one singer (big group of people singing this song) fun and upbeat!
- I like this because its good to dance to when your with your friends and the lyrics are quick to learn.
- Electric guitar, keyboards,

from Forever Today
available on CD - Yes (yes)


Get It Up For Love  performed by David Cassidy  1975
Recommended by Flippet [profile]

Cassidy recorded this track as part of a suite of songs for his new record label in 1975. Attempting to redefine his image from teen idol to serious artist, this song was David's first new single. It is a perfect example of the west coast R&B sound popular at the time. A brilliant recording, the song was banned from radio airplay by the BBC as the title was too shocking. More likely was the fact that no-one understood who this "new" David Cassidy was. The banning of the song was solved by flipping the b-side to the a-side with the result that Cassidy's version of "I Write The Songs" became a huge hit for him internationally and later inspired the less sensitive and more commercial rendition of the song produced by Barry Manilow. David Cassidy at his best!

from The Higher They Climb The Harder They Fall, available on CD


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.
Getting Away With It  performed by Electronic  1989
Recommended by ref. [profile]

Straight up pop song with a disco sheen. I haven't liked many songs in Electronic's catalogue, despite featuring Bernarnd Sumner from New Order and Johnny Marr from the Smiths, but this song is up there with my favorites from each group.

This song features Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys. What star power!

The lyrics are typical Sumner - casual dream-speak about his relationship with the world.

The refrain is gold, as are the melodies.

Check out the song here:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=42979805

from Getting Away With It (Factory FACD 257)


Getting Started  performed by Ashby  2005
Recommended by eftimihn [profile]

A delicious slice of indie-pop. Very european sounding (influences by early Cardigans, Saint Etienne and Birdie spring to mind), this duo (consisting of Evelyn Pope & Bill Cowie) are actually from Boston. With all ingredients properly in place to conjure up images of a breezy summer day: Warm, analogue keyboards, horns, trumpets and some joyful flutes (played and arranged by Zé Luis) and very light and breezy female vocals.

from Looks Like You've Already Won, available on CD



Giovanna  performed by Henry Mancini  1970
Recommended by bobbyspacetroup [profile]

When I first started actively listening to Mancini, I guess it was in '94 or '95, I was put off by his work from the late '60s/early '70s. I guess my impression was that he wrote these brilliant pop scores until the mid-'60s and then just starting doing mediocre orchestral Beatles medleys and stuff like that. Well, lately I've been realizing how misinformed my first impression was. In fact, it seems i've been enjoying Mancini's work from this era even more than much of his older stuff. "Giovanna" is a great, jaunty little instrumental from Vittorio De Sica's 1970 film "Sunflower." The very Italian-sounding arrangement is carried by the organ and accordion. I think the "Sunflower" soundtrack is too often compared to Morricone. While I can maybe hear the influence, the sound is distinctly Mancini. Another good track from the album is "Love In The Sand" which features, uh, some very nice harpsichord work.


available on CD - Sunflower OST (JVC (Japan))



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.
Girl on the moon  performed by John Southworth
Recommended by moondog [profile]

If Burt Bacharach would produce a hawain cabaret/ukulele band under the supervision of David Lynch with songs written by aliens and Paul Mcartney they could come close to the music of John Southworth. Confused ? well, but canadian popster Southworth defies description. And it´s not just orginality for orginalitys sake. Southworth is just as interested in crafting a fine melody. Maybe his whiny voice is offputting for some but i find it all the more charming. Girl on the moon is taken from his marvelous debut album (which he sadly hasn´t topped yet although the new Yosemite comes close) Mars, pennsylvania and i believe you can find it for just 1 dollar on amazon. So, what are you waiting for ?


available on CD - Mars, Pennsylvania (Bar/none)


Girlfriend  performed by Eric’s Trip  1994
Recommended by sardonicsmile [profile]

rick white is a prolific songwriter, whether with eric's trip, or his more recent project elevator. 'girlfriend' in particular characterises the sound with acoustic guitar up front, fuzz guitar in the background and floating away vocal. eric's trip came out of the so-called halifax pop explosion of the early 90s, and their name comes from the sonic youth song. but their sound is a lot more lo-fi and home recorded, guitars and sounds popping out of strange places in the mix.

from Forever Again (Sub Pop)


Giro  performed by Elis Regina  1969
Recommended by gregcaz [profile]

The MPB goddess breaks free from her previous samba-jazz orientation towards a more pop vibe in keeping with the Age Of Aquarius, via a short-n-sweet Adolfo-Gaspar composition.

from Elis, Como & Porque, available on CD



Golden Brown  performed by The Stranglers  198?
Recommended by jcb3 [profile]

We got (still get) very little British music here in the States, even the top of the pops - I'm continually discovering great stuff that is decades old...

One of my all time faves is this Strangler's tune - beautiful imagery, some etherial background vocals, altogether a wonderful "mellow" tune from a band best known over here for punk.





  n-jeff: Lovely, surprisingly, considering what boorish herberts the stranglers could be. Nice video too, 20's Cairo chic, grubby whie suits, rubber plants, faded sepia hotel splendour. I've always wanted that sort of white suit, maybe it was watching Casablanca at an early age.
  audioadventures: I was into the band before they broke as they were based in our town. Golden Brown is from La Folie album (1982).
Golden Lights  performed by Twinkle  1965
Recommended by delicado [profile]

This is a simple but rather bitter pop song, although on the surface it sounds quite sweet. If I recall correctly, it was written about the singer that Twinkle was seeing at the time. The gentle arrangement features acoustic guitar and some brass. It's not hard to hear why Morrissey liked this song enough to cover it with The Smiths.

Twinkle has a lovely clear voice, and much as I respect Moz, this version towers above the one done by The Smiths, which suffers from a strange mix of production styles. That said, I have a strange mix of emotions on hearing the song, since I heard the Smiths version at 14, but only got into this one in the last few years.

from the single Golden Lights
available on CD - Twinkle (RPM)



Good Dancer  performed by The Sleepy Jackson  2003
Recommended by geezer [profile]

Fantastic Austrlian pop drawing on the post Beatleseque for references ,perhaps an imaginary collaboration between John Lennon and George Harrison,the Dark Horse meets No9 Dream .Bright and energetic from start to finish with a sun bleached aura to make your day shine .incidentally this group split and re emerged as Empire of the Sun well worthy of perusal .

from Lover, available on CD


Good Fruit  performed by Hefner  2000
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I've come to really like this band, but when I first heard them, I wasn't so keen. Like many great bands, Hefner feature a highly distinctive singer, who can take some time to grow on you. This simple 3 and a half minute pop song has an engaging arrangement, in which the piano, drums and guitar are superbly complemented in the chorus by synth, brass, and some great backing vocals. The chorus is quite glorious, with a chord sequence that somehow reminds me of the group Mercury Rev's very best songs. The words go very well with the emotional music as well: 'Lost feelings of love come flooding back/Every time you cry/ you give me little heart attacks/Love seems strongest when it's new/but that's something I can't prove/I can't prove that I love you...'

The only other reference point that occurs to me is Pulp - as the song builds, lead singer Darren Hayman's delivery becomes ever more exhuberant, like that of Jarvis Cocker in the best Pulp songs. Looking at the CD, I notice that the excellent backing vocals are by Amelia Fletcher, who if I remember correctly did some Wedding Present backing vocals, and was the singer in the Sarah records band 'Heavenly'. Anyway, this is a really infectious track, highly recommended.

from We Love the City, available on CD




  kkkerplunkkk: Good taste my friend! That is one of my favourite Hefner songs. Should have been a huge hit, it only made number 50 in the UK charts for 1 week. It did go straight in at 1 in the indie charts though!
goody goody gumdrops  performed by 1910 fruitgum co  1968
Recommended by shaka_klaus [profile]

bubblegum pop. covered by teenage fanclub in the 90s. big bubbles! no troubles!

from goody goody gumdroops (buddah bds 5027)



Gordon's Gardenparty  performed by The Cardigans  1995
Recommended by tinks [profile]

A lovely, sugary piece of easy-pop, with a nice flute, some subtle strings, fingersnaps and terrific lyrics. "We were swinging oh so nice/bubbly pink champagne on ice"...plus a few "la la la doobie doobie doo"s for good measure.

from Life, available on CD



greater heights  performed by motion soundtrack  2001
Recommended by bandag23 [profile]

this song makes me loopy with goodness.
motion soundtrack rocks.

from nine days wonder (racecar records)


Groovin With Mr. Bloe  performed by Mr. Bloe  1970
Recommended by tempted [profile]

With the likes of Buzzsaw by The Turtles and Dance With The Devil by Cozy Powell, Groovin' With Mr. Bloe is one of my favourite late 60's-early 70's groovy "novelty" pop instrumentals.
Beginning with a tight drum beat that carries on throughout the song and followed by one of the fattest basslines ever, this is a real dancefloor gem for hip crowds. Best of all is the harmonica lead by Mr. Bloe himself, a session musician by the name of Harry Pitch. Groovin'...became a surprise top ten hit but the best credit to the song is that it allegedly still enjoys club play by Richard Searling, the legendary northern soul deejay.

from Groovin' With Mr. Bloe (DJM)



  n-jeff: I take the opportunity to play it out whenever I can, it's a belter of a record, and still relatively easy to find in UK charity shops. Good choice!
ha ha  performed by mates of state  2003
Recommended by catch_her [profile]

" It's difficult to place MOS in a genre as the song structures are unique, often complex. At the same time there are always the pop elements of catchy melodies and loads of harmony. Even though there are only two of them, they fill up the space with the monster, bass-heavy organ, creative drumming, and constant dueling vocals. The music can be sweet. At other times it's spastic, but either way, you leave MOS shows with a warm feeling.



Mates of State has been described by critics as unabashed joy, honesty at its best, a two piece with balls, and a band that you must see live. " (taken from official website)







amazing.

from team boo


Hair  performed by Zen  1969
Recommended by Ashley [profile]

Yes it is the title tune from the hit musical, but this Dutch band played it fast and funky. Kind of like Speed Lounge. The single comes from a five CD set which has plenty of other wonderful garage/pop tunes from the 60s.

from Neder Best (Hunter Music HM 1351 - 2)
available on CD - Neder Beat (Hunter Music)



Half Forgotten Daydreams  performed by John Cameron
Recommended by texjernigan [profile]

This track is so beatiful, and i find it popping up in a lot of degradingly funny places; its one of those tracks you hear in situations that are extremely sexy, though if you watched Nacho Libre, you might have noticed a more ironic use of the track.






  eftimihn: Terrific track, loved it for many years and was stunned to hear it in Nacho Libre.
Harriet’s Got a Song  performed by Ben Kweller
Recommended by purrple [profile]

no one can resist the poppy sounds of the beautiful Ben Kweller.

This song opens with the great line: "I don't stand a chance in this fucked up world..."

from Sha Sha


Have you got ticket to the Dome?  performed by Ip  1993
Recommended by Genza [profile]

Japanese recluse Ip rarely leaves the confines of his room-cum-studio - and it's usually to attend a naff 1980s-stylee disco. The shy, clumsy student takes on the persona of a mentalist when news of a party spreads.

To celebrate his love of all things crazee, Ip recorded a series of bizarre poptastic tracks in the early 1990s. The songs suffer from dreadful production values and annoying lyrics, much of which is spoken in broken Engrish. But hey, that only adds to the fun.

Ip's debut album 'Floor 15: Room 17' is his best. Two stand out tracks include: 'Knocking on door while Mr Room Mate is away now', and 'Why are all new friends arrive for special event not on?'.

But his best song is 'Have you got ticket to the Dome?', a slice of Human League-esque rom-pop, bolted on to a 130 bpm, glam rock rhythm.

I used to know his acquaintance, this bloke that used to wear a plastic suit and fake glasses. He would hang around with a can of cheap lager. But I haven't seen him in months. I think he lost his mobile phone, or something. He'd probably say: 'Oh yeah, Gonza, Genzo. I remember. The good old days. Hanging out in the Lounge.'

Whatever. But Ip. Far out.

from Floor 15: Room 17, available on CD



  delicado: I don't remember Ip's music. Wasn't there a related thing called 'DJ Bakesey'? I remember that being really good.
  Genza: Don't remember Ip? What on earth...? If I remember rightly, you used to hang around with him and those two mates of his that used to jump up and down on bed and squeal in a high-pitched way. Very, very odd. As for 'DJ Bakesey', he wag good - and some of his mates in the JCR Squad were pretty hot. Their sound - looking back - was pretty ground-breaking. 'MC Lem' was amazing and I loved his booming anthem 'Fish Pie': 'All I want for tea is Fish Pie All I want for tea is Fish Pie If I get it, I won't swear like a bad boy If I get it, I won't play Duncan no more...' Who was Duncan? And what did it all mean? Am I scared? Can I sleep here?
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


Hear in Here  performed by The Association  1968
Recommended by tinks [profile]

My favorite track on what may very well be the Association's best album. Great late-60s pop that brings to mind the Monkees' "For Pete's Sake".

from Birthday, available on CD



Heaven Knows  performed by The Corrs  1995
Recommended by Mike [profile]

According to most educated musical minds, the Corrs are purveyors of irritating, unambitious, tasteless pop tinged with Irish folk. I'd tend to agree strongly, and this track starts off so as to suggest nothing better - twelve seconds of unimaginitive and poorly-recorded drum solo, which moreover reappears with just over 3 minutes on the clock, followed by a truly dreadfully contrived-sounding modulation to the supertonic à la Eurovision. And a horrible brassy backing at one point towards the end.

However, there is definitely something I really like about, even esteem in what occours between those two points. For one thing, there is the way the depressive lyrics are sung to an assertively forward-moving minor key backing. There is something about the rhythm of word-setting that grabs me. I like the chord sequences. The melody's quite good. I like the violin solo in the middle, and the use of the violin for the riff heard during the introduction. Even if it's just a cheap piece of pop, it sounds as though some intelligence and emotion went into its creation. And as i say, for some reason, something about it seems to click with me somehow.

from Forgiven, not forgotten, available on CD


Heaven Knows I’m miserable now  performed by The Smiths  1985
Recommended by delicado [profile]

I love this much-derided song. People quote it as proof that the Smiths made morose music for morose people, but if you actually listen, it’s an amazingly uplifting song. Johnny Marr’s guitar is heavenly sounding; it all reminds me that no one else really made pop like the Smiths. What I've just said really completely fails to do the song justice. Ah well...

from Hatful of Hollow, available on CD




  schlemmsy: I quite agree. And this is not due to my love of uplifting house.
  john_l: Yup, this is the one that made me sit up and take notice ...
  raumfahrer1rolf: I love this song too. How is a person "miserable" when singing or hearing this song? It shows quite a bit of Morrissey here - he's "miserable" but it all sounds sublime, with a wistful tongue-in-cheekness to it. It's really pretty actually. If this is "misery" then please give me more of it, I'll get along quite nicely!
  daniela_por: This song will never be forgotten. It's simply great :)
Heaven Up Here  performed by Echo & the Bunnymen  1981
Recommended by Fig Alert [profile]

I'm glad that I get the opportunity to be the first to recommend a Bunnymen track, especially since their early work, which I feel is far stronger than anything after "Porcupine," is unknown, primarily Stateside, to many.

"Heaven Up Here" is a car losing it's wheels at full speed while cornering on a high mountain pass. Will Sargeant's opening chick-chick-chicking on guitar gives way to a straight bassdrop, headlong into Pete DeFreitas' insistent pounding on drums, while Ian McColluch's yelps sound utterly desperate, claustrophobic, pleading and angry simultaneously. There's a pause in the careening during the bridge, just long enough for Ian to remind us that "We're all groovy, groovy people...we're okay, we're okay," before it all plunges straight down the cliffside, banging, exploding, scraping and finally, ending succinctly.

I don't ever recall hearing back then, and rarely today, such a beautifully cacophonic melding of swirling psychedelia and assaultive punk/pop. The guitars are cascades of shimmering shards of sound. Les Pattinson's coy, but effective bassline floats beneath the furious energy DeFreitas unleashes on his drumkit. "Mac the Mouth" may be the frontman, but I think this gem is DeFreitas' piece all the way.

After 20+ years of living with this album, and this song in particular, the pump, pump, pump of the bass drum still sends shivers up my spine. Don't overlook this album as a whole either!

from Heaven Up Here (Sire/Warner 3569-2)



help you ann  performed by the lyres  1983
Recommended by shaka_klaus [profile]

the peak of 80s garage from this boston based group! of all the 'new' garage bands who played 60s influenced music i think this one's the absolut best. danelectro guitars, fuzzed up tremolo and pop organ orgasm!

from on fyre (ace of heart)
available on CD - those lyres (norton)



helpless  performed by the flirts  1984
Recommended by olli [profile]

fine little new wave bubblegum desperation pop song, with lyrics wich borrow heavily from the beatles' "yesterday". great bassline and some great new-wavey dance effects. not exactly a masterpiece, it's way too long and a bit clumsy in places, but it has that something that keeps me returning to it from time to time. usually when drunk at parties.





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


Here’s Where You Belong  performed by The Grass Roots  1968
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Mid-paced, with a heartfelt string arrangement, this is a warm and tender song that you can't not like. And, along with the totally different version by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (q.v.), it makes up half of my all-time favourite pair in which the same song has been done by two artists. IMHO not even "Woodstock" or "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" come close ...

from Golden Grass (Dunhill)
available on CD - Grass Roots Anthology 1965-1975 Vol. 1 (Rhino)



  ronin: What's not to like about this whole album? Warren Entner's voice was the hook that drew me in, but harder numbers like "Where Were You When I Needed You?" and "Things I Should Have Said" are more to my taste. "Feelings" and "Hot Bright Lights" merit mention. Even "Bella Linda" with the sappy violins is a gem.
Here’s Where You Belong  performed by The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band  1969
Recommended by john_l [profile]

Fast and furious, with incendiary guitars, this one is a radically different version of the P F Sloan track covered by the Grass Roots (q.v.), and it's half of my favourite pair of song-that-was-covered-by-two-artists-differently. They didn't have much else, although "Transparent Day" is pretty good, but the third LP is just bad country-flavoured pop to my ears.

from West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Vol. 1, available on CD


Hiding  performed by Simon Warner  1997
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Simon Warner sings beautifully orchestrated and heartfelt songs with a mixture of 60s (e.g. Scott Walker) and modern pop (e.g. Julian Cope) sensibilities. Most people ignored his album when it came out in 1997. Apparently he recorded a second that even his record company ignored. I was lucky enough to see the great man a few times live in 1997. He's an incredible performer, with a slightly rough but very tuneful voice. The compositions, all his own, are also first-rate. This is my favorite track from the album, a melancholy pop tune with piano, guitar and bass, and later a full orchestra.

from Waiting Rooms, available on CD




  Eden Marmalade: Yes, Hiding is a superbly melancholy and well crafted song - also one of my favourites, though it depends what mood I'm in. Thankfully, Waiting Rooms has a song for almost any mood (including irritation at slobby flatmates; inappropriate lust; drunken joy et al). I can't actually think of another songwriter as talented as this guy - writing the lyrics and the music and bringing them together so cleverly. Makes ya sick!
  understudy constantine: It strikes me that the music world just isn't ready for someone as eccentric and talented as Simon Warner... who bothers with lyrics these days? Does anyone really appreciate a good witty tale, smattered with drama and an edgy charm? No. Does anyone long for real music, as opposed to a monotonous beat overlaid with a dull mantra? No. But this shouldn't stop the creation of brilliant songs. Simon, you're not the only one swimming against the tide. If you're happy doing it then that's all that matters. Oh, and it looks like you've picked up a few fans along the way - despite the lack of media support!
Hip-Hopopotomus vs. Rhymenocerous  performed by Flight of the Conchords
Recommended by nicolebaker [profile]




History  performed by Mai Tai  1985
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

Dutch pop is where it's at.

One of the best 80's songs, and hard to think of anything that more neatly sums up the decade - named after a cocktail, plenty of synth effects, that slight tinniness endemic to all the greatest 80's pop. I'm sure a lot of you will remember this song, and hopefully with affection. Mai Tai had the un-popstar names Caroline, Mildred and Jetty, and they pissed on Five Star.

from History (Metronome 825 947-1)


holiday  performed by T.V. Jesus  1999
Recommended by MMMp [profile]

I could recommend anyything from the TV Jesus album "Oh! Jesus!" and the accompanying singles, from which this song comes, but I choose this one because of it's singular use of what I want to call "alt-guitars" as in alternative sounding, raining down emo-guitar type effect. It's neat in this T.V. Jesus song which strays a little from the GlamPopRock sound.

from monoclone print ep, available on CD


Hometown Unicorn  performed by Super Furry Animals  1996
Recommended by delicado [profile]

Super Furry Animals are one of a select group modern bands I really like. In a sense, they are too 'rock' for me, but they are so furiously inventive and original that I'm always impressed by their songs - even the ones which I wouldn't necessarily listen to by choice. 'Hometown Unicorn' is a masterful pop anthem with a rich Bowie-like 1970s feel to it. The lyrics are also masterful, and concern the late 70s story of Frankie Fontaine, who claimed to have been abducted by an alien spacecraft. From the first line of the song, I was hooked - 'I was lost, lost on the bypass road...' Many thanks must go to my friend and fellow site user, phil for introducing me to this track and this band.
ps, the group are incredibly good live as well.

from Fuzzy Logic, available on CD



Hot Rod Rock  performed by Edd "Kookie" Brynes  1959
Recommended by JoNZ [profile]

Yes, it's shlocky, but the female voice (Joanie Sommers) goes from syrupy sweet to bad assed babe all in under three minutes. The song is basically about the fact that her boy only talks about his car until she pulls a switcheroo on her sweetness factor. Yes, I said switcheroo,...what of it? It's goofy, but I like it. One for the time capsule to be sure.

from Kookie, available on CD




  singjohn: Joanie Sommers is the MOST! Even after something like 40+ years of recording she still has that "little girl-gone bad" sound to her voice. Very cute and sexy at the same time! Her stuff with "Kookie" is a snipet of a brief era in American Teen History. Times were simple and naive and kids were inventing their own language based on jazz musicians and beat poets. "Squares" didn't "dig it" and those who did were "cool, Daddy-o" (think Jets from West Side Story). Anybody interested in more about Joanie should look here: http://www.homestead.com/joaniesommers/
  Rickybop: Hi Everyone! I'm new here, but I noticed a recommendation for this song by JoNZ stating that edd byrnes was accompanied by Jonnie Sommers. This is not true. The female singer's name is in fact Connie Stevens.
I respectfully submit this correction. You are so right-on about her voice, JoNZ, cute aaaand sexy...
also looked that way... one of my favorites. I love old-style hotrods, and related songs, and this one is right up my alley. I've found this song
on CD, Rhapsody, and Imesh. Be aware that iMesh will eventually disable your ability to play some downloaded songs (including this one) if you don't
agree to pay for a "renewal". Please share if you've found it elsewhere! God Bless Everybody!

  Rickybop: This is a humble retraction of my previous
"correction" statement. So sorry JoNZ, you were
apparently correct that Joanie Sommers, not Connie
Stevens sang with Ed Byrnes on the song "Hot Rod
Rock". Both female singers sound much alike. I've
contacted the site owner to delete my posts. Don't
want to mislead anyone...I'll be more careful next
time to triple-check my facts. Fun song, though.

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


How We Do  performed by The Game
Recommended by loganrhowell [profile]

pop hip-hop rap pop beat




hoy me has dicho hola por primera vez  performed by la casa azul  2000
Recommended by king8egg [profile]

somewhere between the free design and hideki kaji you get la casa azul. sweet 60s pop with some nice "ba ba ba ba..." thrown in. bouncy, quirky and basically all around fun. one of the few new bands i am really excited by.

from el sonido efervescente de, available on CD



Hug My Soul  performed by Saint Etienne  1994
Recommended by LawrenceM [profile]

A lovely, soulful, poppy dance song. I've never understood why a band like Saint Etienne aren't serious chart contenders. They make intelligent pop music, have great tunes, have a beautiful lead singer with an amazing voice. And yet "the kids" prefer manufactured acts like Kylie Minogue. (sigh). The Saints have released so many brilliant pop songs, but this is my favourite.

from Tiger Bay, available on CD


Human Jungle  performed by The Jazz Butcher  1985
Recommended by pmbolt [profile]

Eighties pop with minimalist percussion, quirky lyrics, and jazz-club atmosphere. The organ intro, skillful guitar breaks, spare bass-drum beat, and catchy chorus are my lasting memories of this song which was one of my first "favorite songs." More info on this band at www.jazzbutcher.com

from Bloody Nonsense (BigTime 10014-1)
available on CD - Draining the Glass (Fire, Nectar Masters)


Hurricane Fighter Plane  performed by The Red Crayola  1978
Recommended by Sem Sinatra [profile]

When I hear the opening bars of this song, I can still remember the utter bewilderment I felt as a 16 year old hearing it in 1978 for the first time. It came on a 2 track flexi (the other track being 'Reverberation' by the 13th Foor Elevators) with Zigzag, a UK music magazine. Up to this point I had been listening to mainly melodic pop like Blondie. This completely blew my mind. When Mayo Thompson sang "On the shelf I have six buckets and they are for you. They're full of little things that we can do", I was genuinely scared. This is the song that proves beyond all reasonable doubt that singing in tune is overrated. For me this tops the version on their 1966 'Parable of the Arable Land' version.





I am scientist  performed by The Dandy Warhols  2003
Recommended by megara [profile]

Los Dandy Warhols me han parecido un grupo que siempre debió existir. Desde su nombre hasta los títulos de las canciones. Un pop fino. No puedo decir más.
Esta canción es el susurro We gotta live on science alone, es el consejo más sabio que he recibido en los ultimos 5 años.
Yeah.. uh..

from Welcome to the Monkey House



  spinner303: The song is actually named "Scientist", but album is same. Pretty cool, interesting.
I Belong To You - Mon CÅ“ur S’ouvre À Ta Voix  performed by Muse
Recommended by wonderlandfalling [profile]

It's an interesting and refreshing track from their latest album; very upbeat and powerful with its array of instrumentation, (piano, oboe, especially)
The lyrics are those of one professing their undying love for another. The band manages to keep up their tradition with providing something new to the table by adding a verse from a popular French opera as well as an oboe solo instead of the usual generic guitar.
It's a great listen :)

from The Resistance


I Can See Only You  performed by Roger Nichols & The Small Circle Of Friends  1968
Recommended by laughingmood [profile]

The perfect example of the kind of soft pop song I love. Heavy with melencholy. The strings and clarinet on this track break my heart. The fadeout is one of the greatest in history.

from Roger [email protected] The Small Circle Of Friends (A&M)
available on CD - The Complete Roger Nichols & The Small Circle Of Friends



  olli: hmm, just made me curious. i generally hate fadeouts..they always seem to obscure some kind of interesting or trippy stuff that was starting happen in the studio:) gotta check it out though, thanks.
  eftimihn: This one was arranged by Bob Thompson not Nick DeCaro. Actually i just wanted to recommend this, because today i received my newly reissued copy by Rev-Ola. An even more complete 20 track edition, fantastic remastering, extensive essay and at a reasonable price tag. Awesome.
  laughingmood: Thanks for the info on Bob Thompson's arrangment on this track. All I've ever had is the Japanese reissue and I've never been able to fully read all the info! I'll have to change that. I really need to get that new reissue. I've heard the liners and photos are all really nice.
  delicado: I also have the japanese issue. Are there extra tracks on the Rev-Ola one?
  eftimihn: The Rev-Ola one has one additional track compared to the japanese 19-track version and it's "St. Bernie The Sno-Dog". It was Roger Nichols' first ever recording in 1964 and is, quite frankly, absolutely forgettable (waltzing child-like song, with yodeling and funny voices, makes you feel rather uncomfortable after the preceding soft rock bliss). Nichols refers to this as "a pile of crap" in the essay/liner notes, a track he never really wanted to do. Just read the essay and must say it's wonderfully done. I have to stress that the sound quality on the new Rev-Ola issue is absolutely amazing, surpassing the japanese one on every level: Virtually no background noise, clearer highs, bass is rendered deeper and better, the harmonies got even silkier, overall better dynamics and resolution. It just won't get any better than this. So, kudos to Rev-Ola...
  laughingmood: Wow! That is very cool. Generally I think Rev-Ola's remasters tend to be a bit on the trebley side but of course I'll pick this up. Mainly for the liners by Steve Stanley. This album has been in my top five since I heard it, yet...I know very little of the detailed background because of the japanese liners. Steven Stanley also did the Bergen White reissue liners and is the head of LA-based pop act, The Now People.
  konsu: Hmmm... Once again no mention of Smokey Roberds. He was in the closely related A&M group The Parade. He claims partial writing credits for this in an interview : http://www.doctorroberds.com/parade.html ... If you like this album you owe yourself a listen of that "other" great one-off long player. They do a great version of "Kinda Wasted Without You" thats more raw with less overdubs. Really a magical time at A&M!
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 Close My Eyes  performed by Bee Gees  1967
Recommended by tinks [profile]

It's a sad fact that the Bee Gees are a group primarily remembered for only one thing. If this were a perfect world, people would realize what an jaw-droppingly amazing group they once were. To me, their first LP is an orchestral psychedelic pop masterpiece easily the equal of the Kinks' "Village Green" or Billy Nicholls' "Would You Believe", and also just about as close at Britain ever got to replicating "Pet Sounds". On this track, listen for the insane rubber-band bassline, the staccato organ fills, the odd timbre of the voices or the occassional flute bit. It's a song bursting with an enthusiam the likes of which people only had during the middle 60s.

from Bee Gees' 1st, available on CD




  ronin: Ah, 1967. "NY Mining Disaster 1941" is a major hit in Boston. And Bee Gees 1st, complete w/cover art by Klaus Voorman, was the 1st lp I ever bought. If only the Bee Gees had kept singing like this instead of the whole falsetto/disco bit! "Odd timbre of voices" indeed! Robin (we always assumed) had his top teeth hanging out when he did this one. His vocal versatility is amazing. "Craise Finton Kirk," with its simple piano accompaniment, is a standout from this lp., too.
I could never live without your love  performed by Craig Scott  1970
Recommended by Ron1967-1970 [profile]

This Australian popsong was recorded at the same time by two performers: solo singer Craig Scott and Toomorrow (which included Olivia Newton-John). I like both versions, but the Scott version has that extra bit that makes it better than the group sound. Delightful slice of orchestrated feel-good pop. It must be said that the Australians as well as the French, were the uncrowned kings of cover versions of songs, but from time to time they produced originals ... not too many, but some like this one. Great uplifting, positive song...




I decided - Pt. 1  performed by Solange knowles  2007
Recommended by trixlation [profile]

its a soulmusic track with a little bit of pop.
The melodie makes you happy, and that is why i like it so much!!
The hole new album "Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams" is very good and speciall.

from Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Dreams, available on CD


i don't want another man  performed by the feminine complex  1969
Recommended by e [profile]

this a nice song, slightly out of character to the rest of the album ,"Livin' Love"(which is more traditionally sixties pop) this has a big energetic beat and a rousing chorus. perhaps not the most sophisticated composition in the world, but it makes me happy anyway...


available on CD - livin' love (teenbeat)