Saturday, June 24, 2017

MOTOWN: MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS - DANCING IN THE STREET

It's midsummer, let's dance! What would be a better one to dance to but Dancing on the street, a song co-written by Marvin Gaye for Kim Weston in mind but who passed it onto Martha and The Vandellas in 1964, and that became their signature song and US #2? It eventually made it to #4 in the UK - five years later. 
The song's idea came from people in the streets of Detroit cooling off with the water from opened fire hydrants in summer heat. Martha made several changes to it and then it was recorded in two takes. Motown magic again! Some thought the song was a call to riots and political anthem, in time of the black civil right demostrations but Martha and Motown always insisted it's just "a party song!. 
Notable cover versions include The Mamas and the Papas (it's also the very last song they ever performed live together),  Grateful Dead, Black Oak Arkansas, Van Halen, David Bowie & Mick Jagger (UK #1),  Human Nature, Sonny & Cher 

Friday, June 23, 2017

SWEDEN/ITALY: MICHELE IMBERTI RELEASES STOCKHOLM I NATT AKA STOCCOLMA COSI

The most exciting news of the midsummer is Michele Imberti, this blogger's Stockholm based dear friend has released a single! Yes! He has self penned the Italian lyrics for Peter Jöback's masterpiece Stockhom i natt and Dimitri Stassos has produced an uptempo pop number of it. 
It's totally different but equally fabulous!
What's there not to love?

EUROVISION 2017: DVD, BLUERAY AND VINYL BOX RELEASED TODAY

Today's the day! The 2017 Euroviion song contest is available on 3DVD as usua, but this year makrks the return od the Blue-ray and most of all, for the first time on vinyl! Oh yes, the Limited Edition Collertor's Vinyl Box edition is here! it includes 4 vinyls, the official CD, 56 page booklet, download voucher and each box is numbered. So in short buying this you get the vinyl, the cd and the digital versions of the songs plus the Yearbook that wasn't sadly released this year.
Get yours from cdon or the official shop for example. 

MOTOWN: DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES AND THE TEMPTATIONS - I'M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME

Motown loved - besides recording the same hits by various artists - to pair their star acts and one of the most succesful and obvious pairing was that of their best selling female and male groups: The Supremes and The Temptations. The Supremes by now had become Diana Ross & The Supremes underlining Diana's Queen like status in the music business and inside Motown.
I'm gonna make you love me features some most urgent falsetto vocals ever and is so full of passion and need you believe every word. Outstanding in every way! It peaked at #2 (behind another Motown act, Marvin Gaye's Grapewine btw) and #3 in the UK in late 1968. Curiously they never performed it live together..... Diana sung it with Stevie Wonder, The Temps did it alone, 

The song was originally recorded and #88 hit by Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne's sister, Cissy's niece and Whitney's cousin, btw) in 1966. It was also offered to Dusty Springfield who passed it on to her backing singer Madeline Bell who scored a #26 hit with it. Dusty sings backing vocals on it though as you can clearly hear! Cadet Complet had a third recording of it before the Motown dream team. 
Other covers include never released Celine DionPlay, Michael McDonald, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Russ, Mica Paris, Renee Geyer & CDB and many others

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ITALY: NEW RELEASES FROM THEGIORNALISTI, BABY K, TIZIANO FERRO AND RIKI

Thegiornalisti have also released their summer hit Riccione and it's a bit of a melancholy affair in Riccione beach underlining the summer feeling when time stood still and you already knew it won't last. Love it.
Baby K has one of the biggest summer hits ever under her belt (Roma-Bangkok) and tries again with Voglio ballare con te featuring Andrés Dvicio. Good job. 
Supermegastar Tiziano Ferro's offer for the summer is Lento/Veloce. Even if the verses are a bit slow the refrain really gets going.  Slow/Fast indeed. 
Riki won the latest Amici as a singer and his Polaroid is just so catchy and such an earworm. Like it or not, it sticks to your head....

PORTUGAL: SALVADOR SOBRAL JOINS ALEXANDER SEARCH BAND

Forget Salvador the Eurovision winner, he's now Benjamin Cymbra, the singer of Alexander Search band. The whole affair is isnpired by Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), who was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language. He also wrote in and translated from English and French. The band takes a note from the time Pessoa stayed in South Africa and wrote in English.... he was also a great fan of alias, pseudonyms and heteronyms and therefor all members of the band have gotten a new identity, or Sobral become Cymbra. 
Long story short. let's enjoy their first single and video A day of sun...... More of their songs here.


MOTOWN: STEVIE WONDER - UPTIGHT (EVERYTHING'S ALRIGHT)

Uptight was Stevie Wonder's 12th single and released in 1965 and became a #3 hit in the US. It's from his sixth album and he was only 15. His career was in danger - despite having scored already one #1 with Fingertips - as his voice was changing and his musical direction was considered a bit uncommercial by Gordy. Wonder toured with The Rolling Stones and was inspired by their (I can't get no) Satisfaction and the result is Uptight, even if it does sound very much like Motown as well. 
Sylvia Moy tells: On the day of the recording, I had completed the lyrics, but didn't have them in Braille for Wonder to read, and so I sang the song to him as he was recording it. I sang a line ahead of him, and he simply repeated the lines as he heard them. In 2008, Moy commented that "he never missed a beat" during the recording. That's how Motown magic was done those days. 

Cover version include Human Nature, Glee

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NEW RELEASES FROM EUROVISION STARS: POLI GENOVA, SEVERINA, MILAN STANKOVIC, MICHAL SZPAK AND JALA

Poli Genova has released Oshte. Her smile is as pretty and contagious as ever but the song isn't quite going anywhere. 
Severina abandons her high heals and goes all rap hippy with Jala Brat in Otrove. Catchy summer number, nothing oh so original but fun to listen anyways :-) And her voice is fab as ever. 
Milan Stankovic continues with the same sound and featuring the same Jala and Buba Corelli in Ego. This may have also been heard a milion times before but at summer time this rhythm works. Always! Even if released already this winter but it has twerking in it.....
Michal Szpak offers 3,5 minutes of insignificant 80's inspired nonsense in Tic tac clock that comes with a pretty video shot in Italy and sponsored by Rock Star nail polish....

MOTOWN: THE MIRACLES - YOU REALLY GOT A HOLD ON ME

Smokey Robinson was one of the most important Motown songwriters and producers and his career continues even today. In 1962 he scored with his The Miracles and self penned song a #8 US hit, that has become a real movie favorite, it has been on a dozen movie soundtracks! 
The song has been covered dozens of times by various singers: The Beatles, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Zombies, The Jackson 5, Mickey Gilley, Mike and the Mechanics, Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins and even Smokey himself in Sesame Street

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ITALY: FRANCESCO GABBANI JOINS WORLD PRIDE 2017 MADRID LINE UP

Francesco Gabbani will join a long list of other Eurovision artists in Madrid's Wold Pride celebrations starting this weekend until July 2. 
Eurovision winners Loreen and Conchita are present, so are Slavko from this year's contest, Spanish entrants Ruth Lorenzo, Barei, Soraya, Rosa, Azucar Moreno, Mirela, LeKlein and Baccara, Kate Ryan, Suzy with Ivri Lider, Carlinhos Brown, Aliice, Norwood, Toby Corton, Roser, Ama Torroja, Nito, Jorge Gonzales, Rebeca, Nuria Fergò and Toby Corton. How come they forgot about Saara Aalto? ;-p

AUSTRIA: NATHAN TRENT RELEASES FINO A CHE VOLERÒ

Better late than never. Nathan flirted with the Italian version of Running on air already during Eurovision song contest 2017 in Kyiv but here it is now in all its glory. Enjoy!

FINLAND: LAURA VOUTILAINEN RELEASES MIKS EI AND IT'S ALREADY SOLD GOLD

Laura Voutilainen releases her new album Miks ei, her first in four years but already her 13th following her biggest hits Miks ei (#10) and Mä en kestä since forever. Mä en kestä (#6) has been cerfified platinum and one of last summer's biggest radio hits Miks ei gold. She's propably more popular than ever and totally deserves it!

She's also been part of hugely popular Vain elämää series this spring and belted out covers of other artists songs: Särkynyt enkeli (Olli Lindholm/Yö), Tänä yönä taivaaseen (Petra), Milloin nään sut uudestaan (Robin), Koko kuva (Irina), Ettei nyt vaan sattuis mitään (Nikke Ankara), fantastic Forever yours (Samu Haber/Sunrise Avenue) and her own Päiväkirja with Nikke Ankara and Yö's Särkyvää with Olli Lindholm. 
Nikke Ankara in turn covered her Miks ei, (live) but no one did her Eurovision entries :-(



PORTUGAL: MADONNA FOR EUROVISION 2018?

Portugal is really in at the moment. Not only they won Eurovision, but previous winner Jamala filmed her latest video there and now Madonna has bought a six million euro 18th century Unesco protected Quinta do Relogio Palace to move in in September to support her adopted son's football dreams in Bemfica juniors and become a soccer mom. She stayed in Lisbon two weeks recently house hunting and seems to love it. 
Hello RTP, she's already in town, have her for interval act next year, ok? I guess she'd love to do something Lady Gaga failed....
Couldn't she just go and host the Welcome Party here, too?

MOTOWN: JIMMY RUFFIN - WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED

Keep it in the family (and Motown did that a lot!), Jimmy was the elder brother of David of The Temptations fame. What becomes of the brokenhearted wasn't written for him, but when he heard it he insisted to have it and was right; it became his biggest hit reaching #7 in the US and #4 in the UK. This is one of my all time Motown favorites. 
 
Countless covers have been made of this over the years and it has charted a few times:
Robson & Jerome (UK #1), Air Supply etc
But I think Jimmy's rough and heartfelt version is the best :-)

Monday, June 19, 2017

ITALY: ARISA & LORENZO FRAGOLA PRESENT L'ESERCITO DEL SELFIE WITH TAKAGI & KETRA

Tormentone aka the summer earworm has been served! By Pippo Baudo the Legend himself. Tagaki & Ketra have got Arisa and Lorenzo Fragola in vocals for their L'Esercito del Selfie that flirts with today's selfie mania and lack of rea human touch instead of online one and a good dose of Motown groove. 

PORTUGAL: SALVADOR SOBRAL HELPS THE FOREST FIRE VICTIMS

 
Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral donates all the sales of his album on spot in Centro de Negócios in Ourém to the victims of the Pedrógão Grande forest fire. Mother Nature once again has showed its ferocity but every little things helps so he puts his music to the service of rebuilding, he stated. 
Over 60 people died this weekend in the fires, half of them trapped in their cars. The number is expected to rise. 

MOTOWN: THE ISLEY BROTHERS: THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU)

 
The Isley Brothers have one of the longest and most diverse musical careers ever in the music business globally. They started as a trio (O'Kelly Jr, Rudolp and Ronald) in the late 1950's and they continue still as a duo with Rudolph and Ernie while past members include also Marvin and Vernon plus Chris Jesper. They have had two US #1 albums (in 1975 and 2003) and eight Top-20 singles. 
They recorded two albums with Motown and This old heart of mine (is weak for you), another Holland-Dozie-Holland creation with Sylvia Moy was a #12 hit in the US and #3 in the UK for them. 
 
The most well known cover version is by Rod Stewart who has done it twice (in 1975 solo) and in 1989 with Ronald Isley himself. 
Other cover version include The Supremes, Luv, Randy Crawford, Boyzone
The Impressions Can't satisfy was sued by Motown for plagiation and won. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FINLAND: ALMA IS CHASING HIGHS IN THE UK CHARTS

It's not every day a Finnish artist appears in the UK charts but Alma is there now with Chasing highs and follows Hanoi Rocks (#61), Softengine (#93), Lordi (#25) and Top-10 ones Darude, The Rasmus and Bomfunk MC. That's just about it. Can't remember any others. She's at #45 this week in the official singles charts and going up. 
In Finland she took part in Idols 2013 but was voted out as 5th-7th (along with Zühlke, UMK2017's runner up). In years between she has matured to one of the most interesting voices of the decade and Finns are expecting great things from her....
Last year she was awarded with Emma award (local Grammy) as the Newcomer of the year and also with a special Export Emma. Her previous singles Karma and Dye my hair have also had some international chart action. She's also featured in Felix Jaehn's Bonfire and Sub Focus' Don't you feel it

BULGARIA: KRISTIAN KOSTOV HITS THE FLOOR WITH BEAUTIFUL MESS RMX

A month later comes Beautiful mess Hit the floor rmx with revisited video, too. 
It's pretty good. 

THE WEEKLY SOCIAL MEDIA SUM UP OF EUROVISION STARS - WHO GOT NAKED AND DID WHAT?

Jimmie is in Stockholm's Hard Rock Cafe tonight 6pm. Get our lazy asses there!
Elsewhere in Stockholm some Eurovision royalty met....
... while Emma had a bath...
... Alex got a new haircut....
 ... Isaiah was in Belgium and did some fashion shoot....
.... Joci got back to studio....
... Imri wasn't feeling so good....
... but Douwe enjoyed the summer. with his dog....
... Senhit enjoyed some Britto in New York....
... and Sertab was in the Big Apple as well...
... Slavko got back to theater stage.....
... Nathan teased with the Italian version of Running on air and did Vienna Pride....
... while Timebelle did Zurich Pride....
... and Tamara continued her lazy holidays in Bulgaria....
... and Månz his naked holidays in France (?) with some bros....
... and Lucie gets ready for some Legally Blond action...
... and finally: Coca-Cola comes to Belarus! And Naviband is the face of it. Enjoy!


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