Tag Archives: pop

Ard’is Nobody’s Business

Yesterday I was listening to a CD “Love Addict” I picked up in Sweden sometime in the beginning of the 90’s. An album I have revisited quite often when beer bottles or wine are emptied on long summer day and nights like right now.

Never really did check out the artist “Ardis”, doing a pop/rock/reggae kinda thing with a strong accent, I assumed it was an African popstar.

This turns out to be wrong, Ardis originated from Dominica Island in the Caribbeans born in 1971, relocating to Sweden age 13, made two successful albums in Sweeden early 90’s and then disappeared from music.

The album also contains a version of one of the earliest blues standards, originally known as “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do” first recorded in 1922 by Anna Meyers with the Original Memphis Five. It was soon to be recorded by a number of other artist.

Bessie Smith (1894–1937) known as the “The Empress of the Blues”, was the blues star of the 1920’s and the highest-paid black entertainer of her time, her voice so beautiful and strong that it sounds good today, even from those old recordings. Her version was “cut” in 1923.

In 1949 jump blues singer James Witherspoon revisited the tune and changed its name to “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, he transformed the song into a more modern blues version, the foundation for most later versions like this one by Otis Spann

Now back to Ardis, Except “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” she wrote all the tracks on “Love Addict” and those creative skills are also very evident on her version of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business”, she turns the blues standart upside down to make it completely her own:

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June part I

10 years ago – June 2008

Expo 2008 officially opened with a concert by Bob Dylan, a performance by Philip Glass closed the Expo.

Katy Perry got her breakthrough with “One of the Boys”

Amos Lee released the brilliant “Last Days at the Lodge”

Australia born soul blues and roots rock singer/songwriter Kara Grainger, released her first solo album “Grand and Green River”.

After playing in some local bands, Australian label Craving Records released her solo EP Secret Soul in 2006. In 2008 she relocated to Los Angeles to release “Grand and Green River”.

 

20 years ago – June 1998

Maureen Paula O’Sullivan dies, famous for playing Jane alongside Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan.

Lounès Matoub Algerian singer, poet, thinker and mandole player was assassinated, sparkling violent riots by Algerian Berber population in the Kabylie region (Tell Atlas mountains).

Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor release their debut album F♯ A♯ ∞(pronounced “F-sharp, A-sharp, Infinity”) in an extended compact disk version, the album was previously only released on a much shorter vinyl version (1997)

Danny Boyle, famous director of Shallow Grave, Trainspotting ect., working on his post-apocalyptic film 28 Days Later, stated:

“I always try to have a soundtrack in my mind. Like when we did Trainspotting, it was Underworld. For me, the soundtrack to 28 Days Later was Godspeed. The whole film was cut with Godspeed in my head.”

F♯ A♯ ∞ with the help of Danny Boyle got a lot of new attentions towards “Godspeed You! Black Emperor”

 

30 years ago – June 1988

Founding guitarist of “Red Hot Chili Peppers” Israeli-American Hillel Slovak dies due to a heroin overdose 25 years old.

Jimmy Page (led Zeppelin) released the only solo album in his own name: Outrider.

After being a choreographer for notable act like George Michael, ZZ Top, Duran Duran and Janet Jackson. American singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer and actress Paula Abdul released her debut album “Forever Your Girl” with tremendous success, at the time most successful debut album ever, scoring four Billboard number-one singles.

Sukiyaki

The original version of ”Ue wo Muite Arukō” was included in the film and on the soundtrack album ”From Up On Poppy Hill” or “Kokuriko-zaka Kara” (2011) an Anime film by Gorō Miyazaki son of world famous Anime film maker Hayao Miyazaki.

 From Up On Poppy Hill” set in 1963 Yokohama

 

Rokusuke Ei wrote the original lyrics for ”Ue wo Muite Arukō” known as ”Sukiyaki”, there is two different versions to explain the lyrics, A: the political and B: the romantic.
A: Rokusuke was walking home from a protest over U.S. military presence in Japan, tears expressing his frustration with the situation.
B: Rokusuke had his heart broken by a Japanese actress by the name of Meiko Nakamura.

The original with translation:

The song was released 1961 in Japan by Kyu Sakamoto, Louis Benjamin of “Pye Records” heard the song in Japan and back in UK, an instrumental version was recorded by Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen making it to 10th at UK charts.

With the success of this recording, HMV released the original version on the British marked in 1963 more or less simultaneously DJ Richard Osborne’s from Pasco, Washington. Knew about the Kenny Ball version and got hold of the original Japanese which he put at frequent rotation in his radio show.

Capitol Records got the rights and released it on the US marked also as ”Sukiyaki” in 1963, notably ”Sukiyaki” is the name of a Japanese dish and the word is not mentioned in the song.

Danish Otto Brandenburg perform “Sukiyaki” with Swedish Lyrics (1963)

The song made it to no.1 on Billboard Hot 100, and with total sales figures at 13 million, it is by far the best selling single ever with lyrics not in English, to put it in perspective it has outsold any single by The Beatles.

American rhythm and blues group “A Taste of Honey”, known from their “Boogie Oogie Oogie” hitting in 1978, also had a hit with ”Sukiyaki” in 1981. Janice–Marie Johnson of “A Taste of Honey” made the English version of the lyrics, later used by many others artists.

The song has been used in many film and TV series, notably M*A*S*H uses it even though it was recorded long after the Korean War was over. It has also been recorded by lots of different artists in many languages.

Just under a month ago (13. April 2018) another version was released, as  producer, remixer, composer, and performer G.H. Hat released a ten-track remix album featuring dance remakes of “Sukiyaki”,on this video with vocals by Alina Renae and based on Janice–Marie Johnson’s lyrics.

 

Bold, Bald, Beauty – Sinéad O’Connor – The Lion and the Cobra

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 8 1988

Again one of those vinyl albums I bought, simply because I could not resist the cover.
Sinead_Lion_Cobra_Original

With a look completely unseen at the time, with a voice intense, and full of honest emotion, Sinéad O’Connor evolved what a female singer could do, when she released her debut “The Lion and the Cobra” back in 1988. After disagreements with producer Mick Glossop, O’Connor was allowed to produce the album and writing most of the material herself, it became very much her creation, unusual for a debut at the time.

Rolling Stone wrote: “With The Lion and the Cobra, Sinéad O’Connor joins the ranks of Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson and Jane Siberry — all women who are shattering the boundaries of pop music.”

The album range from very low melancholic songs, to fast speed radio friendly songs, mixed in a straight uncomplicated and rather raw way, especially compared to the hugely commercial successor, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” with the major international hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” , one of the bestselling albums in 1990. While “I do not want…” sold a massiv amount of albums, in retrospective, I think The Lion and the Tiger, is a lot more interesting today, due to its cleaner more unpolished sound.

In 1989 O’Connor was guest vocalist on The The’s “Mind Bomb”, singing the duet “Kingdom of Rain”, again showing just how brilliant a vocalist she is.

Sinéad O’Connor was and is a hugely talented vocalist, and she have got some very clear opinions, but she is also a very controversial person, admittedly fighting with manic depression, something that could explain why she often have been making comments to the press, that she would later have to take back.

 

 

Rin’

Rin’ was a Japanese female trio, created by three graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 2003. They performed a groundbreaking combination of J-pop style songs, with the use of traditional Japanese instruments.

With their music and expression they connect the traditions and aesthetic of the old Japan, with the Modern Japanese pop culture. Rin’ was :
Chie – 新井智恵 (Chie Arai) and Mana – 吉永真奈 (Mana Yoshinaga) koto, sangen, and jushichi-gen, Tomoca – 長須与佳 (Tomoca Nagasu) biwa and shakuhachi.

They have released four singles and several albums.Most notably Inland Sea released in both the U.S. and in Europe 2006. Their songs have been used as themes for anime and movies. According to the band’s website in 2009 Rin’ put an end to their activities and decided to disband.

Words of winter and snow

Last but not least, a couple of female singer song withers, words about winter and snow.

Tori Amos, performing a very emotional live version of her hit from 1992.

Wither is song about daughter father relations. In this case winter seems to represent pleasant memories, a number of different winter metaphors are used throughout the song. Winter was released as a single from her debut solo album Little Earthquakes.

Finaly Kate Bush, literally making up 50 words for snow, on the title track of her latest album, 8.30 minutes ,with probably the most absurd lyrics Kate ever put to record : 43 deep’nhidden, 44 bad for trains, 45 shovelcrusted, 46 anechoic, 47 blown from polar fur.
Narrated by the famous British actor and TV host, Stephen Fry.

The End

Happy New Year ! – playlist. Track 1

When people generally thinks about music for a new year playlist, they think about “dance” music. But the way I look at it, everything is dance music, its just a matter of a little extra imagination, if you can make a ballet from Stavinsky’s “Le Sacre du printemps”, you can dance to anything.
Anyway here is a few tracks from 2013, that I would like to swing my body around, after midnight.

Lets start sweating with a track from the Brooklyn-based “They Might Be Giants”, released 5/3 2013, An alternative band, writing funny and sparkling pop songs, in a very alternative and interesting way. Full of fun, happiness, sun and optimism, just a nice way to start up a new year party.