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Archive for the ‘What Gerry’s groovin’ to’ Category

Gerry’s Top Sixty Albums of the Decade Part One

December 14th 2009

Here it comes day by day …. Gerry’s countdown of the grooves he was listening to over the decade. First things first, this is my chart so the criterion is made up by me. It is mostly new things which came out over the ten years, but also includes some compilations and reissues. Second, looking back on it is interesting to see what is missing. So no ‘latest things’ such as Panda Bear or Fleet Foxes (bought and stuck on amazon within days of purchasing), and no Franz Ferdinand or Arctic Monkeys, who are fun but derivative.

More importantly, as anyone who knows me will know there are some of my major influences conspicuous by their absence. Thus, no Frank, Fred Astaire, Tony Bennett, Miles or Ellington, and that is for the reason that not one album of theirs stood out in the decade that I listened to a lot. Feels wrong to have a best of without Frank, so with apologies to David Torrance, here goes. Each day this week I will be publishing a chart leading to the No. 1 on Friday!

It is also fun to note that the only other time I have ever attempted to do my best of a decade was years ago as a spotty teenager when I had a regular pop column reviewing albums and singles each issue in the community paper ‘Ardler News’ and at the end of the 1970s I attempted an overview of a decade I had no real understanding of.

Well many years later it does not feel as if a decade has passed since George W. ‘stole’ the 2000 US elections and then Tony Blair decided to become his best pal. A decade without a name (the noughties), has felt musically less like a decade than the 80s or 90s. And then we have the influence of Simon Cowell, returning music to the era of the pre-Beatles pop svengali. Anyway on with the countdown …. Read the rest of this entry »

A selection of the things I have been groovin’ to. I was touched by the person who said they had looked at my music lists for inspiration for a gift for their partner and bought one of the albums on my recommendation!

Prefab Sprout: Let’s Change The World With Music

Finally released and little known to most of us – the intended follow-up to ‘Jordan the Comeback’ was meant to see the light of day in 1992 and rejected by Sony. This is after a couple of listens an inspirational album, full of Paddy McAloon’s gorgeous melodies, hooks and lyrics. The theme takes off from ‘Jordan’ and is about god, religion and music, and explores territory familiar to Paddy and Randy Newman fans. Joyous in its celebration of the love of music; the opening three tracks form a particular powerful opening: a sort of Stephen Sondheim to a dance beat; Paddy’s hero: ‘The unnerving, unswerving Irving Berlin’. Read the rest of this entry »

Here are some of the things keeping my feet dancin’ at the mo ….

CeU

Beautiful Brazilian debut from a couple of years, by this young female singer-songwriter. CeU is pronounced ‘sew’ and translated from Portuguese means ‘sky’ and ‘heaven’. This starts slowly and sweetly and a little mainstream, but hidden in it are all sorts of depths and quirky tunes, beats and melodies drawing on soul, jazz, trip hop and Brazilian grooves.

Polyphonic Voices of Georgia: Anchiskhati Choir

A fascinating release and departure for the stunning Soul Jazz Records with a Sacred Music series. Georgia (the Transcaucasian republic) is a very special place and a historic crossroads between several cultures and societies, and one of the most wonderful places I have ever visited. The Anchiskhati Choir record an album of some of the most beautiful and moving music in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Lotte Lenya sings Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Berlin Theatre Songs

This is a brilliant reissue and remastering of some of Lotte Lenya’s finest recordings recorded in 1955 and 1957 in Berlin. This is late or mature period Lenya covering Weill’s material with a rich, deep voice filled with the insights and nuances of a life of experience. She has a similarity to Billie Holiday’s voice changed utterly in the same period or Frank Sinatra in his twilight years had a hollowed out voice which carried with it magnificence. Read the rest of this entry »

This week musically …. its my usual varied bag of eccentricity mixed with if one is being honest by repeated listens of some things too often, and even some things so beyond cheesy as to be beyond redemption.

The Lovin’ Spoonful, Greatest Hits:

Am a particular fan of some of their great, supposedly lesser hits, Coconut Grove, Darling Be Home Soon, Younger Generation …..

Nino Katamadse, White:

An evocative electro-pop diva from Georgia (the nation, not the REM place) who has shades of Goldfrapp, Pet Shop Boys and Liza Minnelli. Finally available in the UK and US from a Russian record label …. Read the rest of this entry »

The People’s Flag and the Union Jack: An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party
Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and thinker about Scotland, the UK, politics and ideas. more >
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