My Sunday Song – “Suspended” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #215, we are going to discuss “Suspended” by Matt Nathanson off his 2003 album ‘Beneath the Fireworks’. The album was one of the first I heard by Matt and helped me get on board to become a full-fledged fan. “Suspended” was a single off the album but failed to chart. His first charted single didn’t come until his next album, ‘Some Mad Hope’ in 2007.

The song seems to be about being with someone that that you think is pretending you are the one. You are scared. You are feeling things that you haven’t felt before. You are alive, no longer numb. You feel she might actually be the one, but you are scared that she is. You freak out a little, but you finally suspend disbelief and except her for what this is and it could be beautiful. For me, it is a song about hope in finding your true love. I find it it to be a beautiful and the way he captures the emotions in the lyrics is amazing.

Musically, it is a pop song, plain and simple. Nice beats, good grove, great vocal delivery. There is nothing special about it, no outstanding moment. It perfectly captures the tone of the lyrics and it is catchy, fun and pleasant. Sometimes, the beauty is in the simplicity.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Suspended” by Matt Nathanson”

Friday New Releases – September 25, 2020

It is the last Friday of the month. Fall is upon or at least starting to feel a little like Fall. And the new releases keep on coming and this week there are a bunch. We have Anniversary celebrations, live albums and yes, even a Christmas album (ughh!!). Is there anything I am going to run out and buy? No, I will stream some, but nothing here that is a must have for me. I am sure there is something for you though as there is such a wide variety of releases. Let me know what you want to hear or what I may have missed as if it isn’t on here, at least it will be in the comments so people will know…all 3 of you (ha!). Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

I will probably stream these…

  • 91MbPUjtlUL._SX522_  The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live (Live from Atlantic City, NJ 1989) – (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
  • 91p3no6AjrL._SX522_  Deftones – Ohms – (Reprise Records)
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – September 25, 2020”

The Original vs. The Cover – “Valerie”

For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover we are going to discuss a song that was covered only a year after the original and a little more current.  We are talking about the song “Valerie” written by the band The Zutons in 2006 and then released by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse and a third version was released by Amy Winehouse as a B-Side for her Back to Black album.  The song first appeared on the Zutons second album, ‘Tired of Hanging Around’, in 2006.

The song has been revealed to be about a young lady named Valerie Star who is a celebrity make-up artists.  She is friends with Zutons frontman Dave McCabe and he wrote this to her as a way to show her support when she got in to a little trouble for driving under the influence.  Apparently, the song took 20 minutes to write and he was inspired to write it in a cab ride on his way to his mom’s house.

The song for The Zutons hit #8 in Scotland and #9 in the UK, but never charted in the US.  The cover version with Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse hit #1 in the UK R&B Charts and #2 in the UK Charts so it was a little more successful. Amy’s solo version in 2008 hit only at #37 so it was the least popular, but is it the best version?  We will see.

THE ZUTONS

Tired_Of_Hanging_Around

The Zutons song is a light hearted indie pop sounding song. It is a fun, upbeat track with some great guitar tone to it. There is a little musical break with just a drum beat, hand claps and Dave on vocals that is a nice touch to the song to give it some variety. Dave’s vocals are little squeaky at times, but still very pleasant. It has a calming, sensitive feel to it like he really cares for Valerie and he wants he to come over and he’ll take care of her during her troubling times.

MARK RONSOON (FEATURING AMY WINEHOUSE)

Mark Ronson’s version of the song is more upbeat than The Zutons. The tempo is sped up and the production of the song is from the 1982 song called “Town Called Malice” by The Jam. There is a horn section and it is has a little blues, a lot of pop and a nice beat throughout. Amy’s vocals have the same old Amy sound, but not as jazzy as she can get and a lot more on the pop side. The song even has a little dance vibe to it.

AMY WINEHOUSE

Amy Winehouse’s solo version is nothing short of pure Amy. It was recorded Live at BBC Radio 1 in 2007. It is jazzier version with keyboards and a more acoustic feel. It has more heart and feeling and Amy’s voice is like no one else’s at that time and it sounds so classic. There is such a maturity to her vocals, she seems so seasoned like she has been through a lot and carries that weight in her vocals. A utter talent.

THE VERDICT

Picking a winner here is easy for me. Amy Winehouse’s solo version is tops for me. Not beating around the bush here. I really dug her vocals and when you put her in the jazz and blues setting she can’t be touched. The other songs are fun and more pop, but don’t have the heart her vocals bring. Now Dave McCabe of The Zutons hates the fact that Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse’s version were so popular because people tend to forget it was really his song. It truly bothers him. I am sure when that check comes, it bothers him a little less.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

“Valerie”

Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water
And I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I make a picture

‘Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie?

Did you have to go to jail, put your house on up for sale, did you get a good lawyer?
I hope you didn’t catch a tan, I hope you find the right man who’ll fix it for you
Are you shopping anywhere, changed the colour of your hair, are you busy?
And did you have to pay the fine you were dodging all the time are you still dizzy?

Yeah

‘Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie.Valerie,Valerie?

Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water
And I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I make a picture’

Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie.Valerie,Valerie?

Yeah valerie

Written by Dave McCabe, Russell Pritchard, Sean Payne, Abi Harding, Paul Molloy and Boyan Chowdhury

My Sunday Song – “Adrenaline” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #214, we are going to discuss the song “Adrenaline” off Matt Nathanson’s album ‘Show Me Your Fangs’ from 2015. The album contained 4 singles and next to “Headphones” this might be my favorite single off the album. It charted as high as #26 on the US Adult Alternative Charts and did as well as “Headphones”.

I picture “Adrenaline” as a song about longing and desire. After a bad breakup and you run in to that person again and you want to be with them so badly you can taste it. All you remember is how great it was and wanting to capture that desire, that passion that emotion one more time and if you could grab hold, you wouldn’t let go this time. Lyrically, the song captures that feeling beautifully as well as full of some imagery of Los Angeles and of that desire that make the song a little on the sexy side.

Musically the songs starts off with an almost angelic vocals full of echo and a haunting delivery. There is a great drum beat throughout that gets you moving and bobbing the head. The highlight for me is how Matt delivers the song vocally. They way he dances with the lyrics and loses himself in the lyrics makes you feel everything that the song is trying to make you feel. A talent on both as a songwriter and a singer and when those too mesh together in the right way, you are treated with something magical and this song is exactly that.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Adrenaline” by Matt Nathanson”

Friday New Releases – September 18, 2020

Ace is back!!! Welcome to Friday’s new releases and there are a handful of releases worth noting and of course, the true Spaceman himself has a new album out. Even if it is a covers album, I have already bought it is on its way! All my choices are highlighted in Blue which is only 2 for sure and maybe I will check out the Derek Sherinian and Flying Colors albums, but it will all depend on time. What is out this week that you want to hear or what did I miss from the list? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 517kMXR55OL  Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol 2 – (Entertainment One): Yes!!! Ace is finally releasing his 2nd covers album which has been talked about since the release of Vol 1 a few years ago. It has some John 5, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick and the one and only, Bruce Kulick!! Yes Kiss Fans…Bruce!!! The two best Kiss guitarist are on a song together. Doesn’t get much better than that!!
  • 61sw2gzbXtL._SX522_  White Lion – All You Need is Rock & Roll: Complete Albums 1985-1991 – (Cherry Red): This album has been bumped time and time again and is finally coming out. It is a box set with the first four studio album plus a live disc which is the one I am wanting. I can’t “WAIT”!!!!
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – September 18, 2020”

1980 – The Greatest Year in Music?

If you are new to the site, I started this series with the year 1987 and then noticed that 1991 and 1983 were also a couple of the greatest years in music.  I got to thinking, was there a pattern that every 4 years we have another great year in music.  Well theory didn’t last long as I don’t think the next two years I researched were “great” years in music.  Those years were 1979 and 1995. If you want to explore all the years I have examined so far, click on the link below…

1971 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1979 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1983 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1987 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1991 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1995 – The Greatest Year in Music?

Now that my theory is busted, I am now on the hunt for the “Greatest” year in music. I reviewed 1971 first and it was pretty fantastic and I am now on 1980.  I know, I know.  I am not going in any kind of order.  I am going with what I am in the mood to explore and this time 1980 has me jazzed as so many great albums are now 40 years old!!

Will 1980 be another great year or will it be the greatest year.  Let us explore and see and then decide at the end.  But first we have to ask What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?

NEWS:

400px-Original_Sony_Walkman_TPS-L2The Sony Walkman: I wrote about the advent of the Sony Walkman in the 1979 post as that was when it went on sale in Japan.  In the U.S., it went on sale on June 25, 1980 almost a year later.  The way you listen to music was changed forever!! (at least until the CD and then the MP3 and now streaming).  Who didn’t have one of these if you were a kid in the 80’s.  I definitely did.  It helped spur my love for music as it now was more portable and more personal.  It was better than just the radio, I could listen to what I wanted to wherever and whenever I wanted.  I used mine while I mowed the lawn (and every now and again I would snag the cord on the mower and pull my headphones off). I had a boombox, but that wasn’t the same as the Walkman.  There was nothing better (until my iPod). Continue reading “1980 – The Greatest Year in Music?”

My Sunday Song – “Car Crash” by Matt Nathanson

My Sunday Song #213 is the song “Car Crash” by Matt Nathanson.  The song is off his 2007 album ‘Some Mad Hope’ and it was a single and got a relatively fair amount of airplay. Not as much as another song on that album which will be the final post of this 10 song series.

The song is rather dark in subject matter.  It seems to be about someone that has kept things inside for so long that they have become numb to everything around them.  They want to so desperately to feel something.  They want that “car crash” moment to wake them from the darkness and let them feel life again.  They need that dramatic cataclysmic catastrophe to be alive as they are dying on the inside.  It is rather heartbreaking that the person feels so low and depression is so rampant in today’s society which even today is easy to see how the darkness can consume.

Musically, the song fits the lyrics as the chorus explodes and the drum beats and cymbal hits sound like a crashing sound.  While on the verses, the electric guitars fill the image with a rich tone and texture that accompany the vocals to give it a sound that is uplifting despite the darkness. The sounds feel like everything is about explode and all will be right with the world.  It is a perfect blend of the dark lyrics with the light instrumentation.

SMH Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Car Crash” by Matt Nathanson”

Friday New Releases – September 11, 2020

A rather somber day for us in the U.S. as it is the anniversary of 9/11 and I can’t believe it has been 19 years…still feels like yesterday. Even though is is somber, it is still Friday and we still have new releases to celebrate. This week doesn’t see a ton of releases, but there are some very noteworthy ones to list and I have done just that for you. Are there any for me this week? No, not really but like I said a couple very notable groups that a lot of people like. I have no choices highlighted in Blue this week, but I still want to hear from you and what you want to check out and what I may have missed this week as there is always something. Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great weekend! See you next week!!

  • 71X13UqawZL._SS500_  Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos – (Loma Vista Recordings / Concord): Marilyn Manson is back with his 11th Studio album…crazy to think he has that many. It has been three years since his prior release and I am sure the fans are eager to hear more of his industrial, shock rock brand of metal.
  • 81xY01P1Y-L._SX522_  Mastodon – Medium Rarities – (Reprise Records) – Vinyl out 10/16: I love it when a home town band makes it big and these Atlanta boys have done that and then some. This is a cool release and I might dive in to it as it is a compilation of rare tracks from the band. Rare tracks are always fun.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – September 11, 2020”

My Sunday Song – “Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #212, we are going to discuss the song “Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson. The song is off his 2013 album, ‘Last of the Great Pretenders’ and in July of that year he released this song as a video and a single.  It was one of the fun songs on the album that shows he isn’t all heartbreak and sadness and that sometimes he can be a good mood or at least sound like he is.

The song was actually inspired by an actual girl that was wearing a Kinks Shirt.  You know The Kinks, who doesn’t love The Kinks?  No one, that is who.  While recording the album, Matt and his producer and band mates would visit this diner quite frequently, I mean like every day for lunch.  There was a girl that worked there with tattoos and piercings and nothing like someone that Matt would normally be attracted to maybe, but someone he was obsessed with.  Not in a crazy stalker way, but more fantasizing way.  He was so mesmerized by her that she inspired this song.

The song is an uptempo pop song, plain and simple.  It is so catchy, fun and you can’t help but get caught up in the beat and dance around a little.  Lyrically, Matt paints a vivid picture of this girl wearing The Kinks shirt and you can picture every little detail about her and how she makes him feel.  Who hasn’t had a girl at one time you were mentally in love with, but never approached her to see what could’ve been.

91M85+8kGIL._SY355_ Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Kinks Shirt” by Matt Nathanson”

Gen X – “Dancing With Myself” 12″ Single – Bonus Edition (The Billy Idol Series)

In my crate digging back in June, I found this beauty.  It is a Gen X 12″ single of the song “Dancing with Myself”.  This was off the band’s third album called “Kiss Me Deadly” and was a little before the song became famous by the Gen X singer, Billy Idol, on his first solo outing. Since I have all the band’s stuff (with minor exceptions), I look for the Singles and oddball items now and this fit the bill nicely.

For me it is both a Single and an oddball, because what is the deal with the frightening little girl on the cover.  She’s scary, right?  The album is still wrapped in the original plastic wrap which has seen better days, but this has kept the album in pretty dang good shape.

IMG_2203

“Dancing with Myself” failed to chart upon its release and didn’t really do much.  It wasn’t until Billy released it as one of his solo songs, but that is for another discussion.  The song was inspired by what the band saw while on tour in Tokyo.  They noticed that at the dance clubs, the people were dancing more with their own reflections in the mirrored walls than they were with other people.  That somehow inspired the song.

The song has has always been one of my favorite songs by the band and Billy’s solo work.  The song is pure New Wave dance music with a slight punk edge…classic Billy Idol solo.  It is so melodic, catchy and so much energy you can’t help but move.  The guitars are a little louder on this version and the bass toned down ever so slightly, but other than that it is the song you know.  Being the 12″ Single, it is extended out to just over 4 minutes which is about 20 seconds longer than the album version and 20 more seconds to be on the dance floor.

IMG_2204

The prize on this is not just “Dancing With Myself” as I have several versions on other releases, but it is the B-Sides.  Okay, I have the other two songs as well,  but only digitally, not physically.  Now that has changed.  The two tracks are called “Loopy Dub” and “Ugly Dub” and honestly, they aren’t that great.  So the prize really is “Dancing With Myself”.

“Loopy Dub” doesn’t really go fast enough for a dance track.  It is kinda slow and drags on with no real purpose.  I would’ve liked something more upbeat that you could dance too because this just depresses me.  “Ugly Dub” isn’t any better.  There is a strong case to be made why these didn’t end up on the album.  Honestly, not sure there was ever any reason to release them period.

IMG_2205

And there you have it.  Another nugget in the world of Billy Idol.  The collection is coming along nicely and I love adding new stuff especially when it comes to the Gen X era of his career.

Now, if you want to check out the full reviews and the entire Billy Idol Series, click on any and all of the links below…

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Gen X – “Dancing With Myself” 12″ Single (Bonus Edition)
  5. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’ (Bootleg)
  6. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  7. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  8. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  9. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  10. Billy Idol – To Be A Lover – Single Review
  11. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  12. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  13. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  14. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  15. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  16. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  17. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  18. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  19. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  20. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  21. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  22. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  23. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  24. Generation X – Generation X Deluxe Edition
  25. Billy Idol – Rebel Waltz: Live (Bootleg)
  26. Billy Idol – Rebel Calling: Live (Bootleg)
  27. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First