Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I remember every album that I got for Christmas over the years. For Christmas 1987 I got A Very Special Christmas which was a charity album for Special Olympics. It featured some of the genuinely biggest music stars of that decade including Madonna, Whitney Houston, Sting, Bon Jovi, U2 and Bruce Springsteen. It was the first of a series of albums released in aid of Special Olympics. I never got any of the other albums in the series but I would imagine the first album has to be the best in terms of star quality. Several songs stood out on the first album and I''m going to post my favourites over the next three weeks. The first is Eurythmics and their faithful and atmospheric version of Winter Wonderland. I know lots of stars record Christmas albums but I wish those versions filled the charts in December instead of the same songs (Wizzard, John Lennon, Band Aid, Elton John) that we hear every Christmas on radios and shopping centres around the world.
So much of television today features mimed performances of songs. Justin Bieber on last week's X factor had to be the worst mimed performance I've ever seen on TV in years. Not that the demographic of his fans minded and he sure could dance. Almost every major singer will mime and give some excuse for it. For me it really isn't the same. The greatness of a live performance is that even if it is pre-recorded for the show it's usually done in one take and the performance that you see becomes part of your favourite singer or bands best or at least memorable moments in popular culture. On the music star hosted shows of the 70's, especially in the US, there were both live and pre-recorded music shows but most of the guest stars sung live. Here is Toni Tennille and Dusty Springfield and a super live performance of Proud Mary. I think they did Tina proud. This one is for David!