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Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:08 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Let's talk about weird Beach Boys stuff from the later years, the early 90s especially.

"Smart Girls" is a song by Brian Wilson for his rejected 1991 album Sweet Insanity, part of when he was being exploited by creep psychologist Eugene Landy. It ends up being a goofy rap journey through Brian's Beach Boys career, with samples thrown in at random by Landy and company. A lot of, "hey, remember this one?"

For awhile, Brian became fixated on recording "Shortenin Bread ..."

Here's Mike Love and company re-recording early Beach Boys hit "Surfin'" in 1992.

And hell yes, it's time for Mike Love and company on Baywatch. Spooky stuff.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Emma Bunton - My Happy Place: The fourth solo album from Emma Bunton, alias Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, consists of two original songs and eight straightforward covers. For her first studio album since 2006, it's a pleasant listen but also feels like a low-effort piece of work, apart from the two singles.

There's a 60s (or early 70s) vibe to much of the album, and "Baby Please Don't Stop" and "Too Many Teardrops" are sultry throwbacks which sound like Bunton is singing about James Bond. If you're in the right mood they're the right tracks.

The cover songs are fine but don't add a lot to the album. Bunton covers Madison Avenue's "Don't Call Me Baby," which was originally a house dance track, apparently because she couldn't resist the joke.

"I Only Want to Be with You" features Pop Idol favorite Will Young, who sounds bizarrely out of place here, throwing an otherwise fine Dusty Springfield tribute out of balance. When Bunton covers Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me" (featuring Josh Kumra), I wondered why she bothered, as the target audience for this album probably still has Norah Jones' original on their playlists.

"You're All I Need to Get By" features Bunton's partner Jade Jones, who certainly has the singing chops for this Marvin Gaye throwback. It makes the album a family affair, but is another example of Bunton singing with a man whose voice is higher than her own. Meanwhile the apparently obligatory Spice Girls cover "2 Become 1" features Robbie Williams.

"My Happy Place" accomplishes what it sets out to do. There's a couple of decent singles and it gets Emma Bunton back in the charts and in record shops in time for the Spice Girls reunion this month. It's a teaser for what Bunton could have done if she put more time and thought into recording new material.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:15 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
Sia is one of the biggest stars in pop, and one of the most iconic and recognizable, with her bold black and white wigs. But for the past decade she's been reluctant to actually show her face when performing. Those bold wigs tend to obscure her face entirely, and she heavily features child/teenage dancer Maddie Ziegler in most of her music videos and live performances, on television and otherwise. Both the music video for "Cheap Thrills," and many of its live performances, feature Sia in a "negative spotlight," darkening her in favor of the eccentric dancers.

She started recording in the 90s. Petty corporate disputes with Sony and other record labels kept her from any sort of big stardom in the mid-2000s, and she kept going as an indie artist. Reportedly around 2010 she decided to give up performing as herself, and work full-time as a songwriter. Many big stars had already rejected Sia's tracks when, in 2011, David Guetta released "Titanium" with Sia's temp vocals intact. The single was a huge success, taking Sia quite by surprise. Apparently she hadn't even authorized it.

It seemed that Sia didn't want that kind of stardom. She didn't want her appearance constantly picked apart by tabloids, and she didn't want performance anxiety, and the booze-and-pills lifestyle of a pop star, to push her to the brink of suicide, as it had in the past. She didn't want to be recognized on the street and be unable to live her life.

Today she works with pop's biggest artists, crafting lots of hits like "Chandelier" and "Cheap Thrills," and horsed around in the animated My Little Pony movie. No one seems too bothered with those wigs that cover her eyes, or the dancers that take the spotlight while she hides in the dark.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:21 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Nobody informed me the recent Beatles remaster albums are real remasters ...

So I asked Alex Douglas what the issues were with these:

"Off the top of my head? they fucked up Pepper (Reprise), Happiness is a Warm Gun at the chorus, and the bass in while my guitar gently weeps.
Pepper reprise didnt fix any of the issues with the original stereo (the crowd noise being nearly inaudible, removing Paul's screaming at the end)
Happiness is a Warm gun moved John's vocals to back right for the first half of the chorus
The bass in WMGGW is panned hard to one side throughout"

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:13 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

It's a quirk of the order they were released in, and it will always be strange that we, as a filmgoing culture, had to care so much about the almost offensively dull Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and pretty much skipped over the Elton John musical "Rocketman."

This is the first I've seen of it, and, oh, it was THAT kind of musical. Might get some attention in retrospect round Oscars time.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:25 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Sia wrote "Sweet Design" for Jennifer Lopez. It's a quasi-sequel to Sisqo's "Thong Song" and Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back," which is another way of saying the song is about Jennifer Lopez's ass.

Jennifer Lopez never recorded it, so Sia recorded it for her 2016 album "This is Acting," which is made up of songs rejected by other artists.

Sia is a notoriously private and camera-shy performer who rarely shows her face these days, so it's kind of hilarious that she ended up releasing a song about her ass. Or Jennifer Lopez's ass. Anyway here it is.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:13 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Bill writes about Here Comes the Sun:

"One critique: before the final verse, the original mix did a dynamic range build with the synths that they sort of miss here. Its from about 1:36 to 2:05. They kind of get it there but not quite. It's lost its drama."

Alex writes:
"I meant to bring that up before. The whole instrumental buildup of that middle part has taken backseat to vocals for some reason."

Also the drums are very present early on in a way which made me queasy, but I'm so glad they're finally doing this.

They should have done this ten years ago. Having to sit through a rerelease which pretended to be a master was annoying. This one has gone under the radar by comparison.

The shadow stuff is very clever, makes it feel like they're there - and good use of their final photo shoot also.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:45 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
Still one of the best music videos ever made.

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:03 am
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: Recommend one song.

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:20 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
Have you ever seen the 1984 music video for "Take On Me," by A-ha?

Of course you have. But no, you actually haven't. The 1984 version is said to have only sold 300 copies.

35mm scan of the famous 1985 version. Actually this is a little different than the familiar version, and is a more polished edit in some ways, especially introducing the band around the 2 minute mark. Not sure which came first.

Bonus: 1982 demo for the song.

1983 demo:

Other demo:

‘Take On Me (A-Ha) 1985 Demo Fragment’
with thanks to Alex Douglas ... o-fragment