10 Jun 04 ·eftimihn: A strong statement, which is debatable to say the least... 12 Jun 04 ·camus: Surely not, I just can't grasp what angle you're coming from, an obtuse one I believe, or is that a triangle, whatever, it's mathematically insane. 15 Oct 04 ·roberto: Hmmm, I thought "Burning Love" performed by Elvis Presley is the best song ever...
17 Oct 04 ·konsu: Personally, I could never make up my mind on that one. Which I somehow find comforting. 17 Oct 04 ·olli: actually, it's pretty cool if you pitch it down about 400% and adjust the speed back to normal. that makes him sound like a romantically inclined orc or something.
17 Mar 05 ·Ricard: Yes, listen to this version by V/VM at
It sounds just like Olli's description!!! "Romantically inclined orc" 17 Mar 05 ·eftimihn: This is funny sounding indeed, the whole song takes on a whole new quality with a very dark and disturbingly menacing feel. Could now also be called "The ogre in red"...
Nick Drake's style is probably catagorized under British folk rock. This song is smooth with the happy keys jumping around and the organ in the background. Best if played while driving with the windows down on a cool morning.
When mentioning Swing Out Sister casual listeners often dismiss them as forgettable, mere 80s martini pop kitsch. Or worse, one hit wonders due to the fact that their 1987 offering Breakout is still, by far, their biggest single hit. But this is completely wrong. In fact, they're enjoying an ongoing career for almost 20 years, recording 8 studio albums. Nowadays they’re fitting a niche no other group fits in so comfortably: escapist, late 60s oriented sophisticated glamorous easy listening pop music with all the right influences that spring to mind of that era: Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, John Barry, late 60s european soundtracks in general, Ennio Morricone specifically and sunshine pop. Since these guys aren't necessarily household names in mainstream pop culture today, Swing Out Sister were practically invisible from the mid 90s on in Europe and the USA, releasing their records primarily in Japan, where easy listening music still gets the biggest exposure. The Sisters’ 2001 album “Somewhere deep in the night” is their most cinematic, most elegant and visually evocative album to date, where the Bacharach/Barry/Morricone spirit is prevailing the most: 60s arrangements with Bacharach-oriented songwriting, Barry-esque lush strings, Morricone-style harpsicord, saxophone, harps, jazzy guitars, muted trumpets, fluegelhorn, wordless vocals, blending vocal songs with atmospheric instrumentals, creating an imaginary soundtrack. The whole album is a truly underrated gem.
from Somewhere Deep In The Night, available on CD (EMI)
17 Jun 04 ·jeanette: I have to say I am thoroughly delighted at learning of the continued career of SOS. I always had time for them, and thought Breakout was actually the weakest of the singles I heard. I particularly remember liking 'Fooled By A Smile' and 'You On My Mind'.
Hearing the snippets of these songs here, I can say I'm intrigued enough to try and seek out some of this later work. It reminds me of the more produced end of Siesta records' (Spanish easy-pop label) output. 18 Jun 04 ·eftimihn: You probably should try "Shapes and Patterns" from 1997 first, it's pretty much in the vein of 1989's "Kaleidoscope World" and thus a good starting point to rediscover SOS. This and the aforementioned "Somewhere Deep In The Night" (2001) as well.
Okay, I'm going to summarize the story as best as I can.
Van Morrison's first recording contract as a solo artist was with a small label called Bang, owned by a man named Bert Berns. Among Bang's hits were "I Want Candy" by the Strangeloves, "Hang On Sloopy" by the McCoys, "Cherry Cherry" by Neil Diamond, and of course "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison.
Bang released Morrison's first album, "Blowin' Your Mind," in 1967. The thing is, Morrison had nothing to do with it. He wanted out of his contract. Berns died in December of that year, but Bang (now run by Berns's wife Ilene) still wanted ten songs from Van. He gave 'em 31.
The Bang Contractuals, as these sessions have come to be known, can be split into three categories: throwaways ("Twist and Shake," "Stomp and Scream"), cynical commentary ("The Big Royalty Check," "Blow in Your Nose" [a play on "Blowin' Your Mind]), and the just plain bizarre.
"Ring Worm" is a member of the third group. First of all, Morrison doesn't sing the lyrics, he speaks them. Second, the lyrics are:
I can see by the look on your face... that you've got ring worm.
I'm very sorry, but... I have to tell you that... you've got... ring worm...
It's a very common disease...
Actually, you're very lucky to have... ring worm, because you may have... had something else.
Finally, after the lyrics comes the most bizarre "singing" I've ever heard. I can't even describe it. You'll have to hear it for yourself. I will say this: if you're familiar with Van's more commercial works, you will be dumbfounded.
Of course, we all know the rest of the story: later in 1968, Morrison signed to Warner Bros., recorded "Astral Weeks," and became a legend. I have friends, however, that believe the Bang Contractuals to be his best album.
The material shouldn't be too hard to find: since its first release (apparently, by a small Portuguese label in 1992), the Bang Contractuals have been released over and over, always as a two-disc set with the more "legitimate" Bang material ("Brown Eyed Girl," etc.) Look for titles such as "The Complete Bang Sessions," "Payin' Dues," and (ugh) "Brown Eyed Beginnings."
from The Lost Tapes (Movie Play Gold) available on CD - ah, thousands of 'em (take yer pick)
18 Jun 04 ·eftimihn: I already knew this weird story, but being a fan of Van for 15 years or so it wasn't until these 2 tracks (together with "You Say France And I Whistle") were featured on Otis Fodder's 365 Days Project that i eventually heard them. Hilarious stuff. It's pretty much a precedence that shows what happens when record companies force artists to be creative and deliver what they want...
An unusal Jobim track, which was recorded in Brazil and is much rougher around the edges than most of his better known work. This track explodes into action half way through with some killer jazz piano.
The big news that I just found out is that this isn't really a Jobim track at all! Apparently, this is really just the work of Deodato and Gaya, even though Jobim's name was put on the cover for the US audience.
from Love, Strings and Jobim, available on CD (Warner UK)
24 Jun 04 ·brasilnut: This song is actually "morte de um deus de sal" by Marcos Valle 24 Jun 04 ·eftimihn: And actually the whole album isn't an Jobim album at all, it was originally titled "Tom Jobim apresenta". The purpose was to benefit from Jobims name (and fame) to introduce new brazilian artists to american audiences. The confusion resulted, if i remember correctly, in the fact that the musicians names were not credited on the album and people thought this must be a Jobim album.