Saturday, February 11, 2017

Like a Rolling Stone

One of my favourite bands doing one of my favourite artist's songs and doing it really well too. Looks like the French Eurovision girl in the background!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Eurovision: France's entry

Great video and this is worth listening to a couple of times. Love this girl. The track needs some drama or a bigger backing to score well enough in the competition, though. Quite similar to Austria's Loin D'ici which was actually quite popular with the public last year.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Eurovision: Finland's entry

Looks like ballads are going to feature strongly in Eurovision this year. A simple but strong entry from Finland with a masterful display of piano work that should serve them well.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Eurovision 2017: The UK Contenders

BBC Radio 2's Ken Bruce played this morning the six contenders for the UK entry this year. Following several years' dismal results we are, once again, hoping that whoever chooses these things will give us both an artist that has some appeal and a really great song for them to perform.

I was never expecting a great deal from a couple of also-rans from The Voice no-one really remembered, Jake + 1 - and have already forgotten the other one's name. 2015 saw us experiment with a jazz couple we'd never heard of. They were competent but didn't recreate the fun or vocal accuracy for that matter that the single release provided, although that didn't even make the Top 100 in our own chart. 2014 was the year of Molly, a young lady who was probably very talented and wrote the entry herself but had decided to go for some tedious Children of The Universe type of lyric which was a bit stuck in the 1970s for most of us. 2013 and 2012 were real low points for us and it was embarrassing to watch the ancient Bonnie Tyler and Engelbert Humperdinck try and represent us forty years after they had been at their own peak! Dreadful times.

Once again, we're being thrown a range of new talent to choose from. When other countries are sending some of their leading acts, chart toppers and proven talent to the competition we seem determined to ignore our own established and genuinely world-beating stock. It is as if we feel it wouldn't be fair to send Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding or Little Mix. Not really playing game. Sod that, it's time we won, or at least made the Top 5.

So what have we been offered this year?

Olivia Garcia is young and pretty and pretty talented. She didn't make the X Factor Live Shows but did reach the Judges' Houses round. One day we'll enter our winning contestant. Indeed the runner-up, Saara Alto may well be representing Finland so that would certainly blow our chances!

The song is good, though, and ought to do reasonably well. It is forgettable, though.

Holly Brewer is quite young and pretty and also pretty talented. Despite lots of good songwriters getting involved in the track it was really not something that I thought stood out at all. It was only a few minutes ago when I heard it but I can now recall absolutely nothing.

Whilst it won't offend anybody I just don't see anyone rushing to vote for it, either here or in Europe 

Lucie Jones with Never Give Up On You.

Here's a strong entry. Another X Factor girl, And another young, another very pretty girl. Is there a theme here? Lucy reached the Live Shows in 2009 and impressed us all but had strong competition with Stacey Solomon, Olly Murs and Joe McElderry that year, not to mention JEdward!

Lucie has a great range and an interesting timbre to her voice which may sound a bit tinny to some and you also wonder whether there is some auto-tune going on on the single release. I think it is just her voice, though. She has had quite a bit of success on the stage since X Factor and I can imagine that she would not be too fazed by the Eurovision lights.

Danyl Johnson Light Up The World is a good old-style 90s number with a classic Ibiza backbeat. Danyl is not another young pretty girl but a guy in his late 30s. He was also on X Factor in 2009! He came fourth after a good run but always seemed to be trying a bit too hard and I remember thinking at the time that he had the most gigantic mouth. 

Now that doesn't mean he can't sing well. Indeed, it might even help him reach the more difficult voters of Azerbaijan or other distant shores like Iceland. However, he is not exactly a pleasure to watch when he's singing at full blast. This will get quite a few votes, I reckon, but, so far I'd bet on Lucie getting some revenge for his lasting a little longer than her on X Factor. She came 6th after a most controversial elimination battle with JEdward who came 5th.

Selena Mastroianni and I Don't Want To Fight

Here's the 'Peace' song this year. Why can't we put our weapons down. Again, a tinny timbre to this girl's voice sounds a bit like autotune but she has a good pedigree of backing people like Robbie Williams and others, so has plenty of experience.

Back on theme again, this is Selena as she was at an X Factor audition in 2012. She didn't get past Boot Camp, however, which doesn't bode that well. There's not a great deal out there about this girl but she can certainly sing. The song, though, is very much 'manufactured' and, whilst it will get quite a good number of votes, I just don't see Selena getting the gig this year.

Nate Simpson sings What Are We Made Of? It sounds like there are several Nates so that would be tricky to recreate live on the Eurovision stage.

Yet another X Factor contestant and yet another one who didn't really get so far. He made the top 28 and so got a trip to a sunny place but did not make the Live Shows. he can sing, for sure, but tends to meander around notes. This is an OK sort of song but it is not at all memorable.

A disappointing lot, I'm sad to say. Lucie Jones strikes me as the girl most likely to succeed and if they remind the voters of her modelling career that will bring her some much needed extra votes from the straight males across Eurovision land. Olivia Garcia has a pretty good track too and has a certain charm that could help us along the way.

Emillie DeForest who won for Denmark in 2013 wrote the song for Lucie and that girl has a good style. I do struggle with some of the lyrics, though, but I guess that's life in Eurovision! The two guys and Holly Brewer all seem to need to scamper through the words at one point or another and they don't come across as really meaning what they're singing. Selena does get the 'let's stop fighting' message across well, though, and the two girls, Lucie, in particular, are believable.

at the moment, after a couple of plays each, my vote is still for Lucie first, then Olivia and Selena third. I seriously doubt whether the others could achieve any worthwhile placing in the competition with songs that just don't make the grade for me.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Top 20 Best Selling Artists

Here is the final Top 20 list, broadcast this morning on BBC Radio 2.

1 The Beatles
2 Elvis Presley
3 Michael Jackson
4 Elton John
5 Madonna
6 Led Zeppelin
7 Cliff Richard
8 Rihanna
9 Pink Floyd
10 Mariah carey
11 Celine Dion
12 AC DC
13 Whitney Houston
14 Queen
15 Abba
16 The Rolling Stones
17 Taylor Swift
18 Garth Brooks
19 Eminem
20 The Eagles

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 100 Best Selling Artists

BBC Radio 2 have constructed a Top 100 Best Selling Artists list and have been playing mostly two tracks from each one this week. Fascinating and also nice to hear some album tracks and less well-known editions from the BBC.

I guess they're including international sales which explains George Strait and Linda Ronstadt and I suspect more surprises still to come!

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Queen, Carrie Underwood and maybe some other big Country stars from across the Pond are still to come,  Paul Simon should be there too, maybe with Art Garfunkel. Van Morrison too. Pink Floyd albums ought to get them in the Top 20, as could Duran Duran's 1980 sales and perhaps Frankie Goes To Hollywood but I suspect they might not have made the list with a shorter lifespan. then what do we make of Little Mix, One Direction and Girls Aloud who must have had vast sales recently. Perhaps not enough yet, though? I think it will be some older names - The Hollies? - we see and definitely US-based people. Taylor Swift, of course. Brenda Lee from the old days. Rhianna from recent days. Justin Timberlake. Andy Williams, Garth Brooks. Ariana Grande? Some of those will not be there at all.

Here is the list so far. I shall add the Top 20 when they're known.

21 U2
22 Billy Joel
23 Phil Collins
24 Aerosmith
25 Frank Sinatra
26 Engelbert Humperdinck
27 Barbra Streisand
28 Status Quo
29 Kanye West
30 Bee Gees

31 Bruce Springsteen
32 Lady Gaga
33 Metallica
34 Katy Perry
35 Adele
36 Bruno Mars
37 Justin Bieber
38 Jay-Z
39 Rod Stewart
40 Bon Jovi

41 Lil Wayne
42 Britney Spears
43 Fleetwood Mac
44 Tom Jones
45 George Strait
46 Guns n' Roses
47 Backstreet Boys
48 Neil Diamond
49 Prince
50 Paul McCartney & Wings

51 Kenny Rogers
52 Janet Jackson
53 Julio Iglesias
54 Chicago
55 Carpenters
56 Bob Dylan
57 Dire Straits
58 Bryan Adams
59 Def Leppard
60 Cher

61 Lionel Richie
62 Genesis
63 James Taylor
64 Olivia Newton-John
65 Stevie Wonder
66 Tina Turner
67 Linda Ronstadt
68 Donna Summer
69 The Beach Boys
70 David Bowie

71 The Who
72 Barry White
73 The Supremes
74 Duran Duran
75 Iron Maiden
76 Depeche Mode
77 Deep Purple
78 The Dave Clark Five
79 Bing Crosby
80 Pet Shop Boys

81 Santana
82 Earth, Wind & Fire
83 Wham!
84 Johnny Cash
85 Beyoncé
86 Shania Twain
87 R.E.M.
88 Coldplay
89 Van Halen
90 Spice Girls

91 Foreigner
92 The Doors
93 Reba McEntire
94 Meat Loaf
95 Barry Manilow
96 Kylie Minogue
97 Tom Petty
98 The Black Eyed Peas
99 Enya
100 Robbie Williams

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jacob's Song from Douwe Bob

Here's a nice track from Douwe Bob from The Netherlands. Their Slow Down was 11th in this year's Eurovision.
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