Songs You May Have Missed #573


Asia: “Ready to Go Home” (2001)

A poignant reflection on the end of life. As I wrote elsewhere in this blog: This is the kind of song most rock bands wouldn’t touch; it takes balls, frankly, to sing about the surrender of earthly cares and the forgiveness of sins within the rock arena. This is the kind of song that makes Asia’s John Payne era matter. With none of the Wetton-Downes power harmony bluster Asia is known for, “Ready to Go Home” might actually be the boldest artistic statement in their catalog.

Co-written by Andrew (“Thank You for Being a Friend”) Gold and 10cc alum Graham Gouldman.

See also:

The Jayhawks are Back!


Roots country band The Jayhawks are a favorite of this blog and their welcome return in the form of new album Paging Mr. Proust arrives April 29th.

Its lead track and first single “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces” has the sweeping, melodic sound of their classic Rainy Day Music LP. Listen to it here.

Songs You May Have Missed #572


Fairport Convention: “Fotheringay” (1969)


Fairport Convention’s second album, What We Did on Our Holidays, was Sandy Denny’s debut with the band. What she brought in the way of ethereal vocals and songwriting capability (she wrote “Fotheringay”) made an already formidable lineup even stronger.

That’s guitar legend Richard Thompson, still a teenager when this was recorded, providing the fluid, folky and atmospheric acoustic guitar. So much was ahead for Thompson, who showed a necessary restraint within the confines of mostly three-minute songs at this stage of Fairport’s existence. He soon left the band to record as a solo act (which he still does today) and to make a series of well-regarded albums with (now ex) wife Linda Thompson. His own material provides a format more conducive to his cutting loose with jaw-dropping solos.

Richard was fortunate enough to have recorded with the two women regarded as the best British female folk singers of all time in Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson.

As for Denny, she left Fairport a few years later as well, forming a new folk band whose name was shared with this song, Fotheringay. Her life was cut tragically short in 1978 when, having fallen down a staircase and hit her head on concrete, she died of a trauma-related brain hemorrhage a few weeks later.

On a Lighter Note…

joy to the world





rap lyrics

own that




dessert highway



rap arrangements

Untangling the DNA of ‘Uptown Funk’


Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ 2014 global megahit “Uptown Funk” has generated some otherworldly sales and streaming numbers, and at over one billion views, it ranks as the fourth most watched YouTube video of all time (in case you’re curious, “Gangnam Style” by Psy is number one).

However, in a situation akin to Robin Thicke’s 2013 smash “Blurred Lines”, it seems the song has become another lightning rod for copyright controversy and discussion of the question of authorship vs inspiration.

The song’s throwback sound echoes the early 80’s and artists such as Prince, Zapp, The Time, One Way and even Earth, Wind & Fire.

But in terms of the song’s feel, probably no song can claim greater influence than “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was), as evidenced by this mashup of the two:

Yet, despite the mashability of “Dinosaur”, there are two songs to which “Uptown Funk” owes even greater debt–in this case, literally, since the writers of both have now been given songwriting credit on the Ronson hit. They are Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything” and the Gap Band’s “I Don’t Believe You Wanna Get Up and Dance (Oops, Upside Your Head)”.

Listen for the interpolated sections of both songs with their corresponding relevant sections of “Uptown Funk”.

So a song with four original credited writers will now have its royalties split six ways, with the songwriting teams responsible for the other two songs now receiving an equal share each.

Stay tuned; maybe attorneys representing Don and David Was of Was (Not Was) will be ringing up to argue for a piece of the pie. The increased publicity drawn to the issue of musical copyright infringement by the “Blurred Lines” judgment in favor of Marvin Gaye’s heirs, combined with the fact that contemporary artists seem unable to create retro-sounding music without actually borrowing the actual content of older music, mean this type of story–and this type of song–will begin to sound increasingly familiar.

Misogyny and Mr. West: Why I’m No Longer a Kanye Fan


by Kat George, reprinted from Noisey

I tried with Kanye West. And I know that now with his Twitter rants, bizarre Derelicte-esque YEEZY Season 3 and The Life of Pablo currently absorbing the popular consciousness, I’m supposed to care. But since he Tweeted the three little words (and multiple exclamation marks) no woman wants to hear—“BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!”—I’m out. I wasn’t the only person to immediately pull up the Tyra Banks “I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you!” GIF. We were all hoping for another, better Kanye West, and were willfully blind to reality in the process of that hope. And like Tyra, we’re yelling as much at ourselves for believing as we are at Kanye for letting us down…

Read more:

Songs You May Have Missed #571


John Ford: “All the Songs I Never Heard You Sing” (2000)

Sometimes you can like a song without the lyrics making complete sense to you. You keep it around for its melodic or atmospheric appeal until one day…boom! Events in your life align to the song and it becomes yours.

It’s a happy event when the song itself is a happy one. But more often, I think, it’s the sad songs that can ambush you in this way.

Tonight for the first time, every line of this song made sense to me. It went from merely poignant to potent. And I’ll listen to it again and again…and I’ll never wash away my misery.

john ford

Songs You May Have Missed #570


The Chapin Sisters: “Borderline” (2007)

The Chapin Sisters evoke the gilded harmonies of the Roches on this version of the early Madonna hit, uncovering an emotional cache the dance version didn’t quite reveal.

Video of the Week: Violin Super Mario

Songs You May Have Missed #569

beach house

Beach House: “Space Song” (2015)

Fans of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval will probably have an affinity for Victoria Legrand, whose delicate and alluring vocals float along on a billowy arrangement accented by Alex Scally’s wistful, whining guitar and playful synths here.

It’s a hypnotic mix, laden with emotional weight. Whether the emotion it induces is bliss, melancholy or outright heartbreak is in the ear of the listener, or perhaps depends upon the listener’s mood.

But it seems impossible to listen to the cooing harmonies and rich, hypnotic cosmos of sound and feel nothing.

If this song’s vibe is appealing, Depression Cherry is an album you could get lost in, especially with a good pair of headphones.

beach house

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