Friday, 16 September 2011

Dusty Springfield - "Stay Awhile"...

As this is my 100th post (thanks everyone for reading!), I'd like it to be a song that's very special to me, Dusty Springfield's "Stay Awhile".

It was upon hearing this song after a late autumn afternoon spent shopping on the Portobello Road in 2003, and purchasing two polka-dotted teacups that were a major influence as well, that I thought "I want to start a band that sounds like today" and thusly formed H Bird.

To me its a POP DREAM, the epitome of that type of 60s song.  And it clocks in at under 2 minutes!!  (The Soft Close-Ups are getting there, our next single may well be one minute something)  It evokes the magic of the moment, that special moment that pop can take you to.  It's there in the title, "Stay Awhile", not forever, just awhile, enough to let whatever wondrous magic that's there unfold.  That possibility inherent in all great POP - "Treat me right, must you run now?  For the night's just begun now".  And the enticement to let it all happen - "So come on baby!"

I truly love this song.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Ladies Of The Avengers...

A tribute to one of the most stylish, elegant and all-around AWESOME shows ever made. All 3 leading ladies of The Avengers also released pop singles!

My favourites, perhaps, being Linda Thorson's.  The sassy, take charge strut of "Here I Am":

Or the lovelorn Southern gospel blues of  "Bad Time To Stop Loving Me".  A handful of other songs were recorded for Ember Records and can be found on A Snapshot Of Swinging London along with Twiggy's pop singles.

Diana Rigg (and oh how Emma Peel has influenced my own pop efforts) recorded 2 songs in 1970,  "Sentimental Journey" ,  featured in Tom Stoppard's "Jumpers" play, and "Forget Yesterday" .  These are the 7" versions but there are alternate versions for each as well (on Spotify).   Shame there's no YouTube clips for these so here's her singing "You're The Top" in the film Evil Under The Sun:

And who could forget Honor Blackman & Patrick Macnee's "Kinky Boots":

And the even better b-side "Let's Keep It Friendly".  "MEOW"!!!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Stone - "Auguste Le Chat"...

Sophia Wyeth introduced me to this song by Stone the other day.  I love it because not only is it a fun pop song, a sassy stroll down the boulevard, but it also contains my name and mentions cats and armagnac ; )  Annie Gautrat took the stagename of Stone because her haircut made her look like Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones.

From her 1967 "Vive La France" EP, which also features the Serge Gainsbourg composition "Buffalo Bill":

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Real Tuesday Weld - "Dreaming Of You"...

Achingly gorgeous, wonderfully romantic.  Drifting through gigantic lazy swirls of deep colour, sinking and sinking in their warm ecstasy, The Real Tuesday Weld's "Dreaming Of You" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.   It was one of those moments, lasting long after the band finished performing it over the closing scene of Hans Richter's Dreams That Money Can Buy at the NFT, April 2005, where the song lingered within me and I was devastated not to have in my possession, to listen to over and over again.  Luckily later that year, Comes With A Smile magazine featured it on Vol. 16 of their compilation series, How They Wash Away..., and I immediately special-ordered it.  A "live" rendition was later released on The Real Tuesday Weld's The End Of The World album.  The version with Stephen Coates singing is the one I'm most familiar with, seen and heard here live at the Corsica Arts Club in Elephant & Castle, London:

The film is a lovely, surrealist masterpiece, featuring dream sequences by Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Alexander Calder and RTW provided a live soundtrack that special evening, later released on the DVD.  Here is a version sung by Cibelle, featuring beautiful footage from the final sequence of the film:

The new Real Tuesday Weld album is great, my review for godisinthetvzine is here.  And here's Alex De Campi's excellent video for their majestic "Tear Us Apart":

Thursday, 8 September 2011

"So Sad About Us"...

"So Sad About Us" has been stuck in my head lately, such a perfect little pop gem, using that riff for maximum Pop impact.  Written by Pete Townshend allegedly for The Merseys, Townshend's own version of it appeared on The Who's A Quick One While He's Away the same year.  The Breeders' version is one of my favourites, and how I first heard the song, on their 1992 Safari EP (the only Breeders release to feature both Kelley Deal and Tanya Donelly).

And live on Letterman:

The original Who version:

The Who live at The Marquee 1967:

The Jam version:

A slow, chimey Primal Scream version (1987 b-side):

A very good version by Shaun Cassidy:

And The Merseys version: