New Additions and a Few Sentiments

I thought I would lend some insight into the process of adding songs. Since last time, I’ve seen two good movies, The Hangover and Kinky Boots, which yielded three songs between them:

Can’t Tell Me Nothing, Kanye West ✭✭
In These Shoes?, Kirsty MacColl ✭✭✭

Whatever Lola Wants, Sarah Vaughan ✭✭

“Whatever Lola Wants” is originally from the musical Damn Yankees. I perused the available versions and my favorite is this one by Sarah Vaughan. Between this and a documentary on Ovation TV, I was then motivated to add a couple more songs by “Sassy” Vaughan, using the Penguin jazz guide to help the process:

Lover Man, Sarah Vaughan ✭✭
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, Sarah Vaughan ✭✭

The other day my wife and I were listening to Barry Manilow murder a few pop classics from the 1970s, which prompted me to pick up the best version of “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)”. I selected a live rendering by Christopher Cross, and added “Sailing” for good measure:

Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do), Christopher Cross
Sailing, Christopher Cross ✭✭

My 1980s music consultant Jon S. also suggested James Morrison’s “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You” as a solid modern song. I reviewed James Morrison’s catalog and added something very different, a faithful Dixieland style reading of the gospel classic “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”, which is very good:

Nothing Ever Hurt Like You, James Morrison ✭✭
Just A Closer Walk With Thee, James Morrison ✭✭✭

In further discussions with Jon S. about the band Soft Cell, I decided to add the original version of “Tainted Love”, rather than the Soft Cell version. I like it better:

Tainted Love, Gloria Jones ✭✭

The departure into dixieland yielded two new songs. I highly recommend “New Orleans” by Bobby Hackett & His Jazz Band (the album is titled ‘Bobby Hackett ’54 & ’55). These songs feature the great Jack Teagarden accompanying Hackett on trombone:

I Want A Big Butter And Egg Man, Bobby Hackett ✭✭
New Orleans, Bobby Hackett ✭✭✭

While following this thread around YouTube, I noticed the gentleman who prepared videos for the previous two songs also liked Billie Holliday’s “What A Little Moonlight Can Do”. Listen to Teddy Wilson (piano) and Benny Goodman (clarinet) introduce the song!

What A Little Moonlight Can Do, Billie Holliday ✭✭

Two Creedence Clearwater songs were added. Eventually I’ll issue a post on Creedence, my favorite band for a few years in adolescence:

Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival Band ✭✭✭✭
(Wish I Could) Hideaway, Creedence Clearwater Revival Band ✭✭

I stumbled upon Midnight Oil, looking for a worthy live version of “Blue Sky Mining”, but picked up three very nice live recordings of different songs from their CD titled “The Real Thing”. Beautifully performed and a considerable range of style is displayed:

In The Valley, Midnight Oil ✭✭
Truganini, Midnight OIl ✭✭
The Dead Heart, Midnight Oil ✭✭

“Little Bitty Pretty One” is taken off the Wish List:

Little Bitty Pretty One, Thurston Harris ✭✭

That leaves a host of various additions.

Don’t You Make Me High, Blue Lu Barker ✭✭
Ridin’ In My Car, NRBQ ✭✭
Sent By Angels, The Arc Angels ✭✭
Rhythm And Booze, Treat Her Right ✭✭
1999, Prince ✭✭
A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Ella Fitzgerald ✭✭
Whole Lot A Shakin’ Goin’ On, Big Maybelle ✭✭✭

I was filled with doubt about playing the role of the arbiter of taste. Am I forever bound to the simple whims of just one opinion? Does that make this a worthless exercise? I asked another good friend to offer some suggestions, and only liked a couple of them, which makes me wonder. He and I can’t seem to agree.

I removed the song “Blue Train” by John Coltrane from the collection. It receives high marks from all reviewers, and features impressive solos by the first rate ensemble. But it’s eleven minutes long, yet another bop jazz epic, a simple, compelling riff, followed by four two minute solos and a return to the riff. I’ve heard it a hundred times, and 20-40 songs of this type are sufficient for the collection. Ten minute songs have to be special in order to stick. I have a short attention span, and there are higher expectations for long songs.

Away for a few days now. To complete the post, here is Midnight Oil performing “Truganini” on Jools Holland in 1993:

2 thoughts on “New Additions and a Few Sentiments

  1. Wyatt July 16, 2009 / 4:02 AM

    John,

    Great stuff as always. As per usual I’ve got something contemporary for your radar screen.

    Otis Taylor
    “Ten Million Slaves”
    Recapturing the Banjo

    • theperfectipodcollection July 30, 2009 / 4:51 PM

      Hi Wyatt,

      “Ten Million Slaves” added. Let’s play golf sometime. Possible invite on the way.

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