There are some songs which just aren’t meant to be covered and this is one of them!
This is a track, and the lead single, from her album of cover versions titled “Lifelines” released on 30th May 2011.
Amazon UK is quoted as saying “Produced by John Reynolds and featuring co-production on several tracks by Brian Eno, `Lifelines’ is a personally curated collection of songs that have resonated throughout Andrea’s life and includes stunning versions of songs by a range of artists from Velvet Underground, Kirsty McColl, Harry Nilsson to Ron Sexsmith, Nick Drake and The Blue Nile. Expansive yet intimate, grown-up yet powerfully vulnerable, the primary instrument on the album is the voice and `Lifelines’ see’s Andrea at her most diverse, pushing the vocals and extending her range far beyond her previous recordings.”
Her choice of songs is excellent and you cannot question her bravery for taking them on……but why?
Well you heard why from the woman herself.
The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” as so brilliantly covered previously by Paul Quinn and Edwyn Collins doesn’t fair much better.
If the album introduces a whole new audience to a selection of great songs why should we really complain, go buy the originals but if you wish you can buy her album by clicking HERE
Rab Noakes has been a contemporary songwriter for over 30 years.
From his first album in 1970 “Did You See The Lights” he firmly established himself at the forefront of Scottish pop music as both a prolific and gifted writer of hook-laden songs and an original and affectionate interpreter of the American popular music back-catalogue.
With material ranging from blues to country, from early Motown to Beck, from Sam Cooke to Radiohead, and from Felice Bryant to the inimitable Rab himself, it is easy to see why his repertoire has been described as “a roots festival in itself” (The Herald).
With a career spanning over fifteen albums and major collaborations with Lindisfarne, Gerry Rafferty, Stealers Wheel and early Dylan producer Bob Johnston, Rab displays “the expertise of someone who’s done it all” (Living Tradition).
In the 1990′s Rab formed the Varaflames, whose members have included such luminaries as Rod Clements (Lindisfarne), guitar wizard Jerry Donahue, Ewen Vernal (Deacon Blue), Pick Withers (Dire Straits) and harmonica ace, Fraser Speirs, with whom Rab still occasionally performs.
It was a performance with Fraser at Backstage at The Green, in Kinross which I was to attend, though ultimately didn’t, that had me searching my archives recently for some lost tunes.
On doing so and despite him being a recognised songwriter, I came across a few interesting cover version two of which I bring you now from the album “Standing Up” released in 1995.
First up is an interesting take on a talkinh Heads song.
“Psycho Killer” – Rab Noakes
Next one of my favourite Blue Nile songs, but without the voice what is the point?
“The Downtown Lights” – Rab Noakes
An album of piano based songs it lives in a world somewhere between The Bathers and The Blue Nile though it doesn’t have the polish of the latter or the complexities of the former it is the perfect soundtrack to those maudlin Sunday’s we will all experience come January.
Tom Waits is another of my artists of the year and will feature in Christmas and New Year holiday posts as well.
I have always been a big fan of his earlier albums with “Closing Time” being a particular favourite, this year however I have delved further and deeper into his later works.
My choice for this post is however from the 1985 album “Rain Dogs” and in particular the song chosen was due to it being covered by James Grant at his recent concert at The Fox and Hounds in Houston (see HERE).
A late contender for “Album Of The Year” may well be the latest musical project from Swimmer One singer Andrew Eaton (above) who has delivered an album of piano based songs titled “There Are No Maps For This part Of The City” under the guise of “Seafieldroad”.
“Hanging” – Seafieldroad
In promotion of the album release tomorrow (29/11/10) you can dowload two free tracks by clicking HERE
For years he had been writing music on the piano – delicate, melancholy, occasionally funny songs inspired by writers as diverse as Mark Eitzel, Momus, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega and Steve Reich.
A few of these (The Dark Ages, The Erskine Bridge, Drowning Nightmare 1) evolved into songs for Swimmer One’s first two albums, but until recently most of them stayed in his head.
“Erskine Bridge” – Swimmer One
To buy the music of Swimmer One click HERE
Then, while finishing their second album, Dead Orchestras, Swimmer One decided it was time to record some of this other music as well. Andrew played piano and sang. Laura Cameron Lewis co-wrote several new songs and sang too. Hamish Brown produced it all and added electronic noises and ambient effects. The very talented Pete Harvey (Withered Hand, Meursault, The Starlets, The Leg) contributed string arrangements.
Today on browsing through some of my favourite blogs I was pleased to see Gary in his various disguises appear in a post within the brilliant The Vinyl District blog.
You can obtain MP3′s of the folowing tracks for a short period only by clicking HERE
“Mary’s Prayer” – Danny Wilson
“Imaginary Girl” – Danny Wilson
“Any Sunday Morning” – Gary Clark
“Saturday Night” – Gary Clark (Live Cover of Blue Nile song)
“Life After You” – King L
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