Friday, 31 August 2007

J'ai un chagrin de baby doll

Mordi at Blowupdoll (link) has just posted the video to one of the best French pop songs, ever- "Boule de Flipper" by Corynne Charby. I know nothing of her apart from what's on Wikipedia, so, she was a model who went into movies, had a tiny bit of success, then in the mid-80s, released some music. As far as I understand, BdF was her biggest hit, and deservedly so. It's full of great imagery which I'm not going to try and explain, in case I get it totally wrong and someone with native French spots my mistakes. Just trust me, it's amazing.

*I do have the single version, somewhere, but can't find it. If I do, I'll post it, but I like the 12" version more, anyway.

"Boule de Flipper" (12" version) (mp3)

EDIT: I found it- "Boule de Flipper" (single edit) (mp3)

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

I'll show you places you have never been

Freshlyground are a 7-piece "afro-fusion" band based in South Africa, with members from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. They are fronted by the distinctive voice of Zolani Mahola (the girl at the front of the picture), singing in Xhosa and English,. There is a strong pop element in their work, as exemplified by their biggest single, "Doo Be Doo", which at one point was the most-played song on South African radio. Their new album "Ma'Cheri" will be released on September the 3rd in South Africa: given that they took over 2 years to release their last album Nomvula in the UK, I'm not holding my breath for a quick release. Though the band do now have a distribution deal with SonyBMG...

EDIT: apparently the new album will be available on from September the 3rd, according to whoever answers Freshlyground's email.

"Doo Be Doo" (mp3)
"I Am The Man" (mp3)
"Doo Be Doo "(Suli & Stef Remix) (mp3)

Official Freshlyground website (link)

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Chant thy praise I ever will

Capercaillie are one of the most successful Scottish folk bands ever, having sold over 1 million albums. Their 1992 single "Coisich, a Ruin" was the first Gaelic song to reach the UK top 40; Sean Connery described their vocalist, Karen Matheson, as having "a throat surely touched by God".
The songs may be centuries old, but Capercaille mix them with modern, diverse instrumentation (exemplified by "Coisich a Ruin", or the African vocal duo featured on Beautiful Wasteland)
In 1995, they released a compilation of their soundtrack work, for various Scottish TV programmes:The Blood Is Strong. This included original instrumentals as well as traditional songs,including re-recordings of previously released work. Two of the re-recorded songs were previously only available on Capercaillie's (now rare) first album, Cascade, which was released in 1984. "An Gille Ban" is a rather different arrangement from the 1984 version (titled "An t-Iarla Diurach", The Earl Of Jura, on Cascade), replacing the sparse whistle-and-synth backing with layered synths, fiddle and percussion. "Maideanan Na h-Airidh" ("Maighdeanan Na H-Airidh", The Sheiling Lass ) sticks pretty much to the original piano arrangement, but changes key; some of the verses are removed.
It took me a while to get used to the new versions. Cascade is very simply recorded, and Matheson's voice sings higher; however, once I got used to the more complicated production, I realised the newer versions were just as good.

"An Gille Ban" (mp3)
"Maideanan Na h-Airidh" (mp3)

A podcast interview (August 2007) from the West Highland Free Press with Donald Shaw of Capercaillie (link)

Official Capercaillie website (link)

Lyrics with English translations are available at Celtic Lyrics Corner (link)

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