Sunday, July 27, 2014

A "DUSTY" SUNDAY - THE FINAL


For this last Sunday post featuring the music of Dusty Springfield, I'm looking back on the later part of the British vocalist's career. She had experienced a decline in popularity and record sales throughout the 1970's but with "What Have I Done To Deserve This?", Springfield's world-wide smash duet with The Pet Shop Boys in 1987, the public became fascinated with the singer once again. With production assistance from The Pet Shop Boys and Dan Hartman ("Instant Replay", "I Can Dream About You"), Springfield released her first album in eight years, "Reputation" in 1990. The album reached the top twenty in her native Britain and three singles also hit the top twenty on the UK pop chart.

Although "Reputation" didn't find nearly the same reception here in the U.S. but a single, "In Private", which is today's tune, made it to number fourteen on the dance chart. I hope you enjoy another classic moment from Dusty Springfield:



"In Private" - Dusty Springfield (1990)

As a bonus, here is the video for Dusty Springfield's comeback, "What Have I Done To Deserve This?":

Sunday, July 20, 2014

ANOTHER "DUSTY" SUNDAY


Today's tune is "I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face". This song was originally performed by "Baby" Washington in 1964 and tells the tale about a woman who wonders what the look will be on her no-good man's face after she dumps him. Dusty's take of the song appeared on her third British album, "Where Am I Going?" in 1967. While Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick would later record their own memorable versions but what Ms Springfield does with this material is truly mesmerizing:



"I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face" - Dusty Springfield (1967)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A "DUSTY" SUNDAY - THE SEQUEL

This Sunday's Dusty Springfield tune is entitled "Goodbye".

As what is common in the music biz, many songs are recorded for an album and some are ultimately never used for a variety of different reasons. This unreleased track finally made the light of day on the 1999 Deluxe Edition reissue of "Dusty In Memphis" which was around the time when "Goodbye" was originally recorded. I'm really shocked this beautiful but sad song, written by Roland Chambers and Leonard Pakula, never made it on any official record.

If you have never heard this, you are in for a treat as Ms Springfield delivers some of her most impassioned vocals:

"Goodbye" - Dusty Springfield

Thursday, July 10, 2014

JESSIE WARE IS DELIVERING SOME "TOUGH LOVE"


One of my favorite albums from 2012 was "Devotion" by British singer, Jessie Ware and she is finally back with some new music. "Tough Love" is the latest single and I'm loving this. It delivers a very tasty '80's Prince mellow vibe with Ware making it sound fresh and all her own. No clear word on when a new album will actually be released but in the meantime, soak up this tune:

"Tough Love" - Jessie Ware (2014)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A "DUSTY" SUNDAY

I can't think of a better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than by listening to some Dusty Springfield. Today's tune is "Just a Little Lovin'" from the now classic 1969 record, "Dusty In Memphis".

Working with her idol, Aretha Franklin's producers, Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, Springfield decided she wanted to make a entire album of American soul music. The initial recording was done in Tennessee using the legendary backing band, The Memphis Cats and the background singing group, The Sweet Inspirations but the session was difficult due to the British singer's insecurities. Dusty's final vocals were later completed in New York. This song, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, was surprisingly never released as a single but still was a highlight on a near perfect collection.

"Just A Little Lovin'" - Dusty Springfield (1969)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

ROBYN & ROYKSOPP: IN CONCERT


My first visit to the Hollywood Bowl this year was to see Röyksopp and Robyn on June 29th. The evening's weather was perfect and the crowd at the sold-out event were ready to party. Röyksopp came on stage first and the Norwegian electronic band, led by Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland, went through some of their biggest dance tracks. The songs, such as "What Else Is There" and "Poor Leno" were moody and funky which are not usually associated with electronic music but were quite effective.

After Röyksopp finish their set, Robyn suddenly appeared with little fanfare. This was who I had been waiting for and the Swedish pop artist didn't disappoint. Don't even get me started on trying to understand why she's not a bigger star here in America especially with such great songs such as "Call Your Girlfriend" and "Dancing On My Own" which she performed. Although now in her mid-thirties, Robyn came across decades younger as she was in constant motion throughout the night. She also introduced a couple of new songs which were quite intriguing and made me anxious to hear more.

The final act had these two Scandinavian artists join forces to perform songs from their new EP together, "Do It Again". Berge and Brundtland returned to the stage sporting masks, although far less elaborate than anything fellow EDM musicians, Daft Punk would wear, while Robyn changed in to an over-sized sequined jacket. With the help of an amazing light show and trippy video screen displays, this team burned through some of the record's tracks that put the euphoric audience on their feet to dance the night away. Have a listen to the title track:

"Do It Again" - Robyn & Röyksopp (2014)




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TAKE TWO: BOZ SCAGGS


Boz Scaggs is a consummate performer who throughout his long career has created music that features a unique blend of the sounds he grew-up listening to; rock, soul, blues and jazz. His amazing skills as a guitarist, singer and songwriter has made him one of the most respected artists still working today.

He was born William Scaggs in Canton, Ohio in 1944 but lived in several places throughout the country due to his father's work. He ended up in Texas at the age of twelve and learned to play guitar around this time. While here, Scaggs got the nickname "Bosley" from a friend which was later shorten to "Boz". He met fellow aspiring musician, Steve Miller while attending middle school in Dallas and they would perform together in various blues bands all the way through to college. Scaggs decided to drop out of school and took off to Europe to pursue music full time.

He performed with several bands before landing in Sweden and recording his first solo album, simply called, "Boz" in 1965. The album didn't get much attention and Scaggs decided to head back to America. He ended up in San Francisco and would work with Steve Miller again (who at this time had his own blues-rock outfit called The Steve Miller Band) and played guitar on his first two albums. Scaggs managed to get another record deal with Atlantic and released his second solo album, "Boz Scaggs" in 1969. Once again, this record received very modest attention. He moved over to Columbia Records and it wasn't until his seventh album that Scaggs finally found long-overdue commercial success.

"Silk Degrees" was released in 1976 and with the help of his solid session band (that would later become members of the pop-rock group, Toto) there were four hit singles with "Lowdown" reaching the top five on the pop, r&b and dance chart. Scaggs would win a Grammy for Best R&B Song (for "Lowdown") and the album sold over five million copies in the U.S. This album would be the highlight of his career although he would have other hit singles later including "Breakdown Dead Ahead", "Jojo" and "Look What You've Done To Me" from the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack.

Boz Scaggs has spent most of his time recently on the road where he has been warmly received. His latest recording was released last year entitled, "Memphis" that features a collection of mostly covers of soul and blues tunes that have inspired the musician.

Enjoy two of my favorite songs from Mr. Scaggs:

"Miss Sun" - Boz Scaggs (1980)

"Look What You've Done To Me" - Boz Scaggs (1980)

ICONA POP ARE "GIRLS GIRLS"

Those Swedish musical party-girls, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, otherwise known as  Icona Pop are back with a new club-banging anthem. ...