This week’s Top 5 is a mix of old and new – classics not necessarily overlooked in their time, but (somewhat) overlooked by the succeeding generations; and new tunes that are, in their way, throwbacks to earlier eras.
1) Melody Gardot – “Preacherman.” Melody ups the bluesy quotient on this, from her forthcoming (out June 2nd) album Currency of Man. She tosses in fierce guitars, a swampy sax and pulsating rhythms and… wow. There’s an actual music video for it, but there’s no need for visuals when a song is this powerful.
2) The Weather Station – “Personal Eclipse.” The few reviews I’ve seen for this Toronto-based folk-rock group’s new album, Loyalty, have referenced early Joni Mitchell, due to the fact that they’re led by a female singer-songwriter, Tamara Lindeman, who apparently writes about personal stuff. I’m actually a bit bummed, as she’s playing Johnny Brenda’s in Philly on July 16th – the same night we’re seeing Neil Young in Camden. I’m almost tempted to try and sell the Neil tix so we can see her, instead.
3) Dusty Springfield – “24 Hours from Tulsa.” This Burt Bacharach-Hal David song was a hit for Gene Pitney in 1963; and covered by Dusty for her solo debut, A Girl Called Dusty, a year later (though in the U.S. it first appeared on the bastardized Stay a While/I Only Want to Be With You). This performance is from 1967.
4) Lulu – “Oh Me, Oh My (I’m a Fool for You).” If you only know Lulu for “To Sir With Love,” well, that’s a shame. She’s recorded some good-to-great songs through the years, and this is one of the greatest. (It was later recorded by Aretha Franklin, who first heard it when Lulu sang it on a variety show that they were both booked on.) I also happen to love this video, which is of Lulu miming the song while walking along a London sidewalk – it’s very much of its time.
5) Linda Ronstadt – “Tracks of My Tears.” There are many reasons I enjoy this version of this song – and I do mean this version, as in the video. It’s live in the studio, not a pantomime, which makes a difference; the band is spot-on; and Linda’s vocals are just phenomenal.