Friday, June 30, 2017

AUSTRIA: NATHAN TRENT PRESENTS AIRE - WITH A TWIST

Nathan Trent is treating us this summer. After the Italian version of Running on air, here comes the Spanish one but not only the lyrics have been translated, the whole song got a makeover in arrangements and production to fit the Spanish summer mood. Have a listen...

MOTOWN: MARVIN GAYE & TAMMI TERRELL Vs. DIANA ROSS - AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH

Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson wrote this song in 1966 and they refused to give it to Dusty Springfield who badly wanted it, as they thought it could be their ticket to Motown. (Dusty went on to record similar sounding I'm gonna leave you, mind you....
And indeed Motown wanted it and in 1967 it ended up to Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell. It was duo's first hit (#19) out of 11 singles they released from three albums they di together before Tammi sadly died of a brain tumor....
 
In 1970 Diana Ross had left The Supremes and this became her first solo #1 (out of six) and today it is better known as her song. It has become one of her signature songs she always keeps performing in her live concerts that go on still. This summer she's touring the US again :-)



Thursday, June 29, 2017

MOTOWN: DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES - LOVE CHILD

The biggest girlband was in trouble by 1968. Gordy kicked out Florence Ballard who was replaced by Cindy Birdsong and renamed them as Diana Ross and the Supremes (she would go solo a year later). Curiously enough the Supremes aren't present in the studio and the backing vocals are by Motown session singers The Andantes, like it would be from now on..... sadly. Diana kinda started her solo career a bit early...
Their two singles had "flopped" (reaching #28 and #30) so something had to be done. Gordy had a special meeting to create a hit song for them. Their glamour image was changed to short hair and t-shirts and instead of a sugary love song they came up with a story of a woman who didn't want to sleep with his boyfriend as she didn't want to have a love child she was herself, with a hard sad life that came with it. 
It worked. The song rapdily became their 11th #1 in the US and overal their third biggest selling single (Baby love and Someday we'll be together being the other two). Mission completed. 

 
The song waited quite a while for any significative covers but One to One did one in 1988 and two years later Sweet Sensation brought it back to charts (#13). Broadzilla covered it later, as did LaToya Jackson. Janet samplet it into You want this. Glee and other have covered it since. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

FINLAND: 9 FINNPOP SUMMER SONGS

Here are some selected songs from Finland for your summer mood listening.... In brackets their peak (so far) in the official singles chart. in the past weeks. Some are yet to chart while doing well in either radioplay or streaming/download charts. Enjoy!


PORTUGAL: SALVADOR SOBRAL AND THE FART-GATE IN JUNTOS POR TODOS

Oh dear. He's done it again. Clearly not at ease with his popularity and people loving his Amar pelos dois he blurted something like "you seem to applaude even if I farted". Oh dear again. Someone tell him to shut up if he feels a need to talk and let us just enjoy his singing and the music, ok?
Even if the fart kinda stole the show the main thing was fund raising for the forest fire victims and the sum went up to more than 1,150.000 euros. A total of 25 artists performed

MOTOWN: THE FOUR TOPS - LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER

Among the dozens and dosens of Motown megahits and evergreens this is lesser known. the Four Tops recorded this song co-written Stevie Wonder, who also plays drums on the recording in 1966. It went to #45. Today it is maybe better know by the version by Madonna protegée Nick Kamen who took this to # in Italy and #16 in the UK and charting here and there in Europe.


FINLAND: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KRISTIINA HAUTALA

Kun kello käy or When clock ticks the years go by and Kristiina turns 69 today!
She was born in Stockholm of Finnish parents and only came to Finland in mid 60's. She recorded singles between 1967-70, mainly covers, and represented Finland in 1968 Eurovision and thanks to that managed to release an album. However in 1972 she moved back to Stockholm and studied as psychologist and therapist. In 2003 she made one-off return to singing by releasing an album
Congratulations!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SAN MARINO: LO STREGO NEEDS A SUMMER HIT

Nicolas Burioni from San Marino, aka Lo Strego from the latest Amici edition offers as an ironic take on summer hits and making fun of stereotypes in the video filled with "butts and palm trees" as he puts it and all the other clichés of music videos.
In the lyrics he sings about needing a summer hit, a number one hit that talks about sun, heart, love and the Caribbean because the rent in Via del Corso  is so high and time goes by and as we know, time is money. He nods to Roma-Bangkok - the megahit of summer 2015 - and urges us to use his Mastercard to make him climb the charts. 
Apparently he did it as then in the last lines he wonders if anyone will ever listen to him, remember him, the one summer hit wonder.... A very tongue in cheek and not at least offensive, this could become the summer hit. Maybe. As they say in in his native San Marino. 

SWEDEN/FINLAND: SANNA NIELSEN AND HANNA PAKARINEN HOST ALLSÅNG PÅ SKANSEN

Allsång på Skansen is the popular and already tradiitonal summer show broadcasted live from Skansen in Stockholm. Its popularity has spread over the years to neighbouring countries, too, and in Finland the Swedish speaking YleFem has been broadcasting it for years already. But this summer everything's going to change: it moves to Yle1 and it will be commented live by none other than Hanna Pakarinen.
Hanna herself peformed there ten year ago to thank Swedes for the 12 points she got in Eurovision song contest earlier that spring. Since then she has made a succesful career not only as a singer but a radio speaker, too. She's excited about her summer job and will give background informatio on the artists and so on. The sing-a-long songs will be also subtitled on screen for a real karaoke experience. 
Eight eisodes to come starting tonight. Tonight's artists are Robin Bengtson, Tomas Ledin, Sabina Ddumba and Shi,a Niavarani. In the future episodes we have Panetoz, Wiktoria, Darin, FO&O, Danny Saucedo, Malena Ehrman and Jill Johnson among others. 

SUMMER SOUNDS FROM EVELINA, BAREI, MARKUS RIVA AND MORAT & ALVARO SOLER

Summer is here - well, in Finland in theory at least - and radios are filled with summer tunes. 
Evelina is riding high in the Finnish charts with her Kylmii väreitä. This blogger gets cold shivers the way she rapes the Finnish pnonciation but maybe I'm just old? The song is catchy anyways....
Say yay, Barei is back. I don't need to be you flirts with the sounds of the moment and the video with the old Mylène Farmer ones....
Markus Riva enojys some Южные ветра aka Southern winds in his latest Russian offering while cooling off in the pool...
Alvaro Soler is a certain summer hit provider and this summer's no exception. The Gong gong song in Spanish goes Yo contigo, tù conmigo from The Despicable Me 3. 
(PS. Spain, just send Alvaro to Eurovision, ok?)

MOTOWN: GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS Vs. MARVIN GAYE - I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEWINE

Another Motown classic that charted for different Motown acts. Gladys Knight & The Pips took Barrett Strong penned I heard it through the grapewine to #2 in 1967 becoming first of their seven Top-5 hits. However it was only the third version recorded of the song, the previous ones having been rejected by Gordy. The year after Marvin Gaye scored a #1 hit with it, first of his three and becoming one of his signature songs. This was the second recording of it, also rejected by Gordy at first place. He did make mistakes sometimes. Rarely, but he's only human, too :-)
 
Other covers include The Miracles (maybe the original version vetoed by Gordy to be unreleased and  to find a stronger recording for the single), also the Isley Brothers may have recorded it and been sacked, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers. The Temptations, Bettye Laville and Queen Latifah sampled it to her Paper
It's been also a popular song for advertising campaigns like this one that launched Nick Kamen's career. He also went onto cover Motown in his future career but more about that later. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

MOTOWN: THE SUPREMES - YOU CAN'T HURRY LOVE/YOU KEEP ME HANGING ON


One of the most well known Motown and The Supremes songs is from 1966. It's also their 7th #1 in the US, a step to a more sophisticated and adult sound as it is said. Its lyrics are losely inspired by a 1950's gospel song (You can't hurry God) He's right on time. It was recorded in a same session wit You keep me hanging on, their 8th #1 hit.

The most famous cover is Phil Collins' UK #1 version. He told his aim was to do a remake, to recreate the Motown sound even if with the new sophisticated recording facilities it was very hard. 
Other notable covers include Dixie Chicks, The Stray Cats, Ché Chesterman
You keep me hanging on was a #2 Uk and #1 US , Australia and Canada hit for Kim Wilde

FINLAND: TODAY'S BIRTHDAY MUMMY IS AMEN

Even the monsters age. Today's birthday monster is Jussi Sydänmaa aka Amen, he turns 45! Espoo born Lordi's guitarist and one of the founding members. The mask is inspired by a dream he had of Amon-Ra from ancient Egypt so in short: he's a mummy that woke up to play in Lordi. 
Congratulations!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

PORTUGAL: JUNTOS POR TODOS IN MEO ARENA ON JUNE 27

The charity concert for the forest fire victims in Pedrógão Grande and bordering areas is becoming a huge and heartfelt affair in Portugal. The broadcast from MEO Arena in Lisbon will be live on television as well - in all channels! Yes, RTP, SIC and TVI have all got on same boat for the good cause, and all the Portuguese radio stations will join in as well. The income obtained will be delivered to the Union of Portuguese Misericórdias to help the victims and rebuilding the area.
Participating artists are AGIR, Amor Electro, Ana Moura, Aurea, Camané, Carlos do Carmo, Carminho, D.A.M.A, David Fonseca, Diogo Piçarra, Gisela João, Hélder Moutinho, João Gil, Jorge Palma, Luísa Sobral, Luís Represas, Matias Damásio, Miguel Araújo, Paulo Gonzo, Pedro Abrunhosa, Raquel Tavares, Rita Redshoes, Rui Veloso, Salvador Sobral and Sérgio Godinho - a mix of Portuguese music legends and newer artists. 

MOTOWN: CHARLENE - I'VE NEVER BEEN TO ME

We have all seen Priscilla the Queen of desert and it's fantastic opening act, right? Guess what? It's a Motown song! By one hit wonder Charlene, even a white woman. How random is that? 
The song's story is one of the weirdest in the music history: originally released in 1977 it ddn't go anywehere really. #97. The song was also recorded and releaed by Randy Crawford (the first pubished version really), Nancy Wilson and Walter Jackson. Mary McGregor tried her luck the year after. Nothing. Marti Cane. Nothing. Even Eurovision veteran Mary Roos had a take on it in German. 
In 1982 a Tampa radiodj started playing it on radio and all of sudden time was right. Motown signed and re-released it after tracking her down from London where she had gone to marry and become a hosuewife as she was convinced her career didn't go anywhere. The rest is history.
#1 in Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK #3 in US, #5 New Zealand, Norway, #7 Belgium, the Netherlands.... Sadly she never scored another hit but she recorded it also in Spanish, Nunca he ido a mi
 
The song's been covered by The Temptations, Howard Keel, Patricia Paay for said Priscilla, Tracy Huang Ying Ying (this version is the best known in Asia), Vivian Chow, Keiko Aso (for Japan), Karel Gott, Leonard, Gerry Hakker, Seija Simola, Kikki Danielsson.... it proved a popular song to do other language covers! Even Dustin the Turkey! So a lot of Eurovision connections here. 
Besides Priscilla the song has been either performed, played or quoted in Will & Grace, The Simpsons, Absolutely Fabulous, Desperate Housewives, Shrek the Third etc
Finally, a CNN poll listed it as the #4 worst song of all time..... Oh dear. I think it's a fantastic song!
What Charlene is up to today? Have a look here

Saturday, June 24, 2017

WEEKLY DOSE OF EUROVISION STARS SOCIAL MEDIA AFFAIRS, vol.3

Francesco did Milan.....
Vaclav did a video shoot....
Maraaya did Warsaw...
Dami did Nashville....
Donny did Dundalk (that's Ireland btw)...
 Mørland did beach...
Poli did Prag...
Sin+ did JazzAscona...
Cascada did Budapest (shopping)...
Vaidas did India...
Gigliola will do Tokyo...
Michal did... errr....
Helena and Tamta did a duet...
Francesco did get good news...
(one day she will share with us hopefully)
Musiqq did celebrate 8 years together...
Gigliola did Toto's make up for a photo shoot...
Demy did a video....
Eric did have standars...
Loic did a video shoot, too...
Senhit did wear fake fur and sat on a fake leather. 
Just to be clear!


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