Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A favourite album .... an occasional series

We had a soul grooves weekend and played a lot of 80s favourites - top of the heap was this super album which I played all the time then, by Regina Belle: ALL BY MYSELF, with that great track listing:
"Show Me The Way" / "Take Your Love Away" / "Please Be Mine" / "After the love has lost its shine" / "Intimate Relations" / "You Got The Love" / "How could you do it to me" / "Gotta give it up" / "So Many Tears" ...
I even got a new cd issue with extra extended tracks! I have another album of hers as well but Regina does not seem to be as well known as those other songbirds like Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Angie Stone, Erykah Badu, as mentioned in previous posts, let alone legends like Aretha.

"You Got The Love" still sounds marvellouslly funky, this is a terrific romantic album and soothing too for when a romance is over .... 
I also had to get Regina's "Best of..." as she has done quite a lot.

This also led on to some other 80s soul favourites from those club nights in London, Brighton and Portsmouth ...
We loved Joyce Syms then - her "All and All" was dynamite and I loved that album COME INTO MY LIFE.

Later there was Joni Mitchell's return to BOTH SIDES NOW (right) and those great tracks chronicling the arc of a love affair.   The iPod went on shuffle and began playing those late 90s speed garage anthems: Sneaker Pimps and "Spin Spin Sugar", Tori Amos and "Professional Widow", H20 and Billie's entracing version of "Ain't Nobody's Business", Tiga and Jake Shears revamping Nelly's "Hot In Herre", lots of Talking Heads - "Slippery People", "Take me to the river" - and dance tracks like Col Abrams "Trapped".

I liked 2 of D.J. Rory's: Alba's "Only Music Survives" [ ]  - Italian pop! -  and Zino's "Walk Away Satisfied" [ ].... and that lovely video (as below) for Bronski's "Smalltown Boy" ....[ ] -we used to see Jimmy Sommerville around town a lot. Then there were those earlier disco hits like Pamela Stanley's "I Don't Want To Talk About It" and "Coming Out Of Hiding", Oh Romeo's "Saving Myself for the one that I love" and "These Memories", more Italian disco with The Flirts and "PASSION" and Simone's hi-energy version of Carole King's "Its Too Late"! .... 
Then back to Joan Armatrading and possibly my favourite of hers: "Join The Boys" as well as "Stepping Out", "Cool Blue", "Back to the Night" ... then the Pet Shop Boys favourites like "Love Comes Quickly" and the various remixes of "West End Girls", "Paninaro", "Being Boring", and Bronski Beat and Jimmy Sommerville and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Boy George - one of the great soul voices; along with George Michael's essential album OLDER.(George has had another traffic accident, we trust he is improving). 
Back to the dancefloor with THE anthem: Deee-Lite's "Groove is in the Heart", Alison Limerick's "Where Love Lives" and Eve Gallagher with those various mixes of "Love Come Down" .... and T-empo's "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", and those great voices Jody Watley and Shara Nelson of Massive Attack .... bliss, sheer bliss.  I also have a lot of '80s and '90s mixtapes to transfer to files for the ipod: Donna Allen's "Joy and Pain", Corrine Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On", M J Cole's "Sincere", Alicia Keys' "Falling" - and back to the singer-songwriter years with Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin, Tom Rush, Paul Simon, Van Morrison and of course Joni and Carly and Carole and Laura Nyro, Janis Ian too. 

and we like Irish singer Brian Kennedy's take on these classics, like his version of Joni's "A Case of You" and Nina Simone's "See Line Woman", as well as Irish classics like his lovely slowed down version of "The Homes of Donegal" which he makes a wistful lament. Take it away, Brian ... then there's Leon Russell and that distinctive voice and sound of his ("A Song For You", also superlatively done by Donny Hathaway),  
The Band's early albums and Elton's like "Tumbleweed Connection" where Dusty helps out on vocals, and Lowell George with Little Feat, and the great British soul voice Stevie Winwood, along with new favourites Frank Ocean and John Grant. Those old HITS and compilations were terrific too - I loved Numbers 2 and 4,  with all the current pop and soul hits.  As Gwyneth says "Its all good".

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