Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Music I Love - 'E'

It's the turn of the fifth letter of the alphabet as I take a look at artists whose music I have loved and still love.

Sheena Easton comes first alphabetically and started her career in a TV reality show The Big Time which showed her making her record Modern Girl. In the event EMI held that record and released her 9 to 5 track as her first record instead. This soon caused confusion due to Dolly Parton's film and record and became known as Morning Train instead for the chorus lyrics - My baby takes the morning train. He works from 9 to 5 and then...

In the dying days of seaside cafe jukeboxes (1980) this was the record you heard played on them all. EMI rushed out Modern Girl as a swift follow up and in no time she was making history as the first James Bond theme artist to feature singing on screen during the main titles of For Your Eyes Only.

Dave Edmunds is one of my guitar heroes. From classical music thrashed on fuzz guitar (Sabre Dance) through covers of hits of The Ronettes such as Baby I Love You and in the guise of Dave Edmunds' Rockpile for the hit I Hear You Knockin' to my favourite Girls Talk. He appeared as David Essex's girl-hunting guitarist in the film Stardust, stopping playing in mid-song to chat up a girl, yet contributing to a definitive sixties sound on a blinding version of Need A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues. He did a TV special as part of a series Guitarists At The BBC or something like that - This was 1980s, long before the 2008 Guitar Heroes at The BBC on BBC Four. I saw it when it first aired and have been watching for it to be repeated ever since. Each episode featured a different guitarist. Anther episode featured B.B. King I remember.

The Electric Light Orchestra. Or ELO if you prefer but then that would mess up my alphabetical ordering... The first single 10358 Overture driven by Roy Wood was gob-smacking in it's unheard of use of the cello as a rock instrument at the time, but once Roy got interested in Wizzard and his own solo efforts and left Jeff Lynne to get on with things then those things really did approach the sublime.

The singles kept getting into the charts but the albums were just fabulous with a mix of very simple sounds and other tracks that sounded as though Phil Spector's trademark wall of sound had achieved Great Wall of China proportions...

For me, it culminated in this album, Out Of The Blue, which was a double-album and included the heavenly Mr. Blue Sky. His comeback concert at Hyde Park a short while ago was wonderful. I wish I could have been there. Even better to be there on stage playing those oh so brilliant songs.

Duke Ellington. I have quite a few 78 rpm records of his. I'm not a huge fan, but I do keep coming back to Take The 'A' Train which was one of his huge hits. There were many variations of the band, orchestra, smaller groupings of musicians over the years. Some are a bit too Jazz for me - I like my music more structured.

Out of all the great music written by The Bee Gees for the film Saturday Night Fever one of my favourites was this track by Yvonne Elliman called If I Can't Have You. It turned up also on the B Side of one of The Bee Gees own hits - the songwriters' own version, but Yvonne's was the version that stuck in my brain. She had other hits - Love Me probably being the best known of them, but If I Can't Have You is the ear worm.

One of those 1970s Supergroups, where musicians already making waves through past bands, come together in a crescendo of egos and either fall flat or produce something that delights some and bewilders others. Emerson, Lake and Palmer (or ELP but that would mess up... well you know...) definitely came into that category. Their first eponymous album had a few ok tracks. Tarkus was acclaimed by some but I bought it, found it a self-indulgent mess and threw it away (I kid you not). But this one, Trilogy, I still have and it contains some brilliant music. Some tracks demand hard concentration if you are to enjoy them. Without it, you find them an annoying distraction, and others have moments of humour and surprise. The ending honky tonk piano of The Sheriff which then leads into a following track with synthesizers playing a Hoedown... The wistful From The Beginning with a superbly toned recording of an acoustic guitar and the final wild Abaddon's Bolero.

Enya was one of those artists I find hard to categorise really. Orinoco Flow was fun enough with another ear worm Sail away, sail away, sail away... and I thought that would be it until I heard the theme for another documentary series The Celts.

Then suddenly her music seemed to be in cinemas everywhere and would-be followers were searching attics for great-great-granny's dulcimer. There were some very memorable tunes. I was never really struck with her singing if I'm honest, it's the instrumentals I go for. Oh, and I love the thunderclap on Storms In Africa...

Yes indeed, sooner or later the Rhythm Is Gonna Get Ya... Leaping from the ranks of Miami Sound Machine comes Gloria Estefan and soon she discovers that amongst the rock of tracks like Hot Summer Nights, she can croon the old croon tunes too.

Can't Stay Away From You from the previous album was followed by Here We Are, Don't Wanna Lose You, and Your Love Is Bad For Me on this, the second album I expended hard-earned cash on.

I have no records of this artist, but have watched Suzan Erens many times on the videos of violinist Andre Rieu and whilst she left his collection of soloists quite a while ago, I still enjoy particularly her rendition of I Belong To Me from the musical Elisabeth.

And finally before I make up my mind who to include and who to leave out of my 'F' article without leaving certain people FURYous... I could not leave out the fabulous Everly Brothers, Phil and Don, who provided so much of the background to my musical youth. Just hearing the intro to Cathy's Clown and I am instantly 6 years old again and on holiday with my parents and brother in Bridlington, Yorkshire. I heard it lots of other places as well, but somehow, that is the image that it stirs up. I, together with my musical best bud, David, do an Elderly Brothers spot every gig we play... Thanks lads.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments must be passed by moderator before appearing on this post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...