Sunday, August 16, 2009

She Bop

Of all the concerts I've seen in my life seeing Cyndi Lauper last Autumn was easily one of the highlights, it was one of those perfect concerts. David has a wonderful review of seeing her in Birmingham here. That's what I love about my fellow pop bloggers is that they are still so passionate about the pop I grew up with. Here's a post I did on Cyndi previously which includes her version of Strawberry Field Forever.
The songs below are ten Cyndi songs I adore:
  • Who Let In The Rain
  • Sally's Pigeons
  • Heading West
  • Time After Time
  • The World Is Stone
  • Change Of Heart
  • True Colors
  • When You Were Mine
  • Into The Nightlife
and of course She Bop. This is a classic example of a pop song having controversial lyrics but at the same time not being blatantly obvious. The songwriters of today could learn a lot from artists like Cyndi. Mind you five people including Cyndi wrote the song. The video for that song is here;
This is song number 31 of my 40. Here's Cyndi on the US music show Solid Gold and a classic performance of She bop.

Wendy & Lisa

Yesterday I did a post on Prince. Without Wendy & Lisa the days of Purple Rain and Parade would have been very different indeed. The sub plot in that film of the characters played by Wendy & Lisa trying to get their music noticed in Purple Rain was a very interesting one. Their self titled album Wendy & Lisa in 1987 was mainly about relationships and the time they spent working with Prince & The Revolution. Waterfall is the most well known single. It is one of those albums that I love from beginning to end. If you do not have it treat yourself to it. There is an alternative cover which was used on the CD release but the original album release featured the above cover image. Everything But You, Song About, The Life, Blues Away, all classic moments in music. Song number 30 of my 40 is Chance To Grow by Wendy and Lisa but like so many other songs by great music artists it could be any of the songs on their debut album. Check out the William Orbit mix of Lolly Lolly from later in their career too and the lovely mix they did for Gwen Stefani on The Real Thing. From 1987 here is Wendy & Lisa with two songs from their debut album; Song About as well as The Life.

Sidewalk Talk

John 'Jellybean' Benitez worked with Madonna on her songs Holiday, Borderline, Lucky Star, Everybody, Gambler and Crazy For You. In 1984 his song Sidewalk Talk was released. It was written by Madonna and was sung by Catherine Buchanan. Madonna sang the backing vocals. Sidewalk Talk is completely a classic early Madonna song. It got to number 18 in the US Billboard chart but was also a number one hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club chart.
Looking back now, I am amazed at the amount and variety of pop I was able to buy when I was a teenager in my home town of Kilkenny. Sidewalk Talk is fab bubblegum pop. It also had a great B-Side called Was Dog A Doughnut. The cover above is the European edition and featured the legendary Written By Madonna under the Jellybean name. Jellybean had other hits as a music artist himself which included Who Found Who featuring Elisa Fiorillo on vocals and also Just A Mirage featuring Adele Bertei. He also produced one of Whitney's great pop dance moments, Love Will Save The Day. Pop would have been an emptier place without Jellybean. Here's song number 29 of my 40. From 1984 this is Sidewalk Talk by John 'Jellybean Benitez featuring Catherine Buchanan and Madonna on vocals. Here's one other Jellybean pop moment, Jingo.

Where Love Lives (Come On In)

When I first heard Where Love Lives (Come On In) by Alison Limerick I thought it was by Madonna. Of course Madonna has nothing to do with the song but I think it could be a great song for her to cover. Where Love Lives (Come On In) was first released in 1990 and re-released in 1991. It got to number 27 in the UK charts but was a huge club hit. This was a time when dance songs were first hits in clubs and then many of these songs became big chart hits in the early 1990s. If there is a revival of that genre of music in the next decade then that would be a very good thing. A remix of Where Love Lives (Come On In) in 1996 got to number 9 in the UK charts and another remix of the song charted at 44 in 2003. Other great songs by Alison are her covers of Make It On My Own and Love Come Down. The cover for When Love Lives (Come On In) is not the one I have as I look at it now which is the same picture but on a white background. Like all dance songs there is just a few versions I like. This is song number 28 of my 40. From 1990 this is the Classic mix of Where Love Lives (Come On In) which was produced by Lati Kronlund and additional production by both Frankie Knuckles and David Morales.

Yesterday - Well It Seemed So Cool

Between Disco and rock and the New Romantic period of chart music there was a combination of all of those genres, Roxy Music. They defined an age. They were that little bit more respected than other chart acts in the 1970s and early 1980s. They have to be an influence on some of the chart artists today. Bryan Ferry is one of the few singers that I still want to see in concert. In 1979 I was 10 and I remember Roxy Music on the radio, there was always something adult and grown up about their music. Their album and single covers were often very sexual and a few years later you could see a group like Duran Duran using various Roxy Music imagery in their own identity. They are today most well known for the ballads Avalon and their version of Jealous Guy, their John Lennon tribute. In 1979 Roxy Music released the album Manifesto with its mannequin featured cover. For me Manifesto had two memorable singles. One was Angel Eyes. The other song was Dance Away, song number 27 of my 40. Dance Roxy was a number two hit in the disco days of 1979. It was kept off the top by Blondie's Sunday Girl in the UK charts. Lyrically, I love it with lines like Let The Strobe Light Up Them All and Loneliness is A Crowed Room. Here's a song that is 30 years old this year, this is Roxy Music and the extended mix of Dance Away.