Late Night Stargazing

After her initial impact with the utter glorious Video Games, which gave auditionees a new song to murder in the early rounds of The X Factor, I’ve been less than bothered about most of Lana Del Rey’s output.

And then in 2017, she released an album which had this, for my money her first truly heart-stoppingly gorgeous moment since that auspicious debut.

This is just beautiful:

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Lana Del Rey – Change

Oh but Lana, a word to the wise: it’s probably best not to call your album Lust for Life, it can only draw unfavourable comparisons….

More soon.

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Late Night Stargazing

I mentioned, I think, that after Llyr died I’d reignited some lovely old acquaintances, one of which had led to a suggestion of a collective camping weekend.

That’s been put on ice for a while, but, somewhat inevitably, led me to think of this, not least because when we worked together, one of the potential camping party, my old mate Mikey G (hello mate!), was often told (unfairly, in my opinion) that he looked like this chap:

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Badly Drawn Boy – Camping Next To Water

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I should have posted this long ago in my Sunday morning Country series, but whilst it’s undoubtedly a Country record, I don’t think it really sits there.

Rather, if ever there was a song that could make me grimace, mull over my mistakes and weep, it’s this one, a simply told tale of love lost, which makes it much more suited for late night introspection:

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Kris Kristofferson – When I Loved Her

Just beautifully sad.

More soon.

 

Late Night Stargazing

They’re not exactly known for their acoustic, sensitive side, are The Jesus & Mary Chain.

No, they’re more renowned for fuzzy guitars, Phil Spector Wall of Sound meets Brian Wilson-esque melodies, all drenched in swathes of glorious squealing feedback. Or growling glam rock-inspired stomps.

But they do have a quieter side – they released a whole album of acousticy songs, the much under-rated Stoned and Dethroned.

This isn’t on that particular album, rather it’s the closing track on 1989’s Automatic album, and it’s one of my favourites, short and sweet:

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The Jesus & Mary Chain – Drop

More soon.

 

Late Night Stargazing

On the bus into work the other day, this came on my iPod (which regular readers will know I have on permanent shuffle, in the hope that inspiration will strike me for something to write about).

It’s a cover version of a song from probably my favourite Beatles album, Revolver, which features on a really great compilation album which you should get a copy of, if at all possible (the cover art gives you an idea of the calibre of artistes on show), called Let It Be: Black America Sings Lennon, McCartney and Harrison.

Poor old Ringo, missing out again. Still, Peace & Love, Peace & Love (but no autographs).

Anyway, this is truly beautiful, by a group I know nothing of at all, other than this :

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Maceo & All the King’s Men – For No One

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

Can’t really let the weekend pass without mentioning this genius who shuffled off this mortal coil this week.

Regular readers will know that, much as I may have kicked against it when I was younger, my parents’ musical taste had a massive effect on the sort of things I listen to frequently now.

There was much country, quite a bit of classical music, more than a fair smattering of jazz, more than the occasional hearing of skiffle.

But there were a few records in their collection which, when played, just made you stop dead in your tracks and listen, so gorgeous, so majestic, so spell-binding were the sounds emanating from the speakers.

Roberta Flack’s First Take was one.

And then, in a whole different world, there was Scott 3.

Someone on Twitter – can’t remember who, not worth listening to their opinion anyway – got all snooty after he passed, claiming that if your touchstone with Scott Walker’s music was either The Walker Brothers or Scott 1-4 then you didn’t really know, or appreciate his music.

Well, sod that for an opinion. Each of those albums – and many most all of his other albums are just wonderful. But it was Scott 3 which my Dad had a copy of, and that was my introduction. It doesn’t matter where you come in, it’s where you end up that counts.

I don’t normally feature multiple songs in one post in this series, but this is Scott Walker, so I’ll make an exception. Because he was exceptional.

Here’s the songs which book-end Scott 3:

Scott 3

Scott Walker – It’s Raining Today

Scott Walker – If You Go Away

And just to wrap things up, a triumphant eulogy to a failed relationship, from his days as part of a pop trio, which I love despite (or perhaps because of) Midge Ure’s attempts to ruin/cover it:

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The Walker Brothers – No Regrets

Man, I wish pop records still sounded like that.

And I haven’t even touched on the …Sings Jacques Brel album.

Rest in peace, Scott.

More soon.