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Interview of the week

Sunflower Bean
  • Amy Heather

14th-20th January



Albums I have listened to this week:




Ray Charles

Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music (1962)

I really liked this one- shame it's not available on Spotify, so I couldn't put my actual favourite song into my playlist! I think everyone should give 'Worried Mind' a listen, it really is a great song and hits the spot for me with backing vocals. Speaking of; he utilises those a lot throughout this album. I look forward to listening to Ray Charles, even when the mood of the track is melancholy, I seem to end up having a better day having listened to him.


BEST SONG: Born To Lose



Booker T. And The M.G.s

Green Onions (1962)

This album is absolutely brilliant. The first song, 'Green Onions' is one I've heard so much, but never known it's name or who it's by! I think it's been used in several adverts... Although the first song was great, it was the second one (a cover) that really got me. The inclusion of several cover versions of famous tracks like 'Twist and Shout' and 'I Got A Woman' was rather refreshing in this style. I didn't know what to expect with a title such as 'Green Onions', but I think this album has been one of the most enjoyable.

BEST SONG: Rinky Dink (cover)



Stan Getz And Charlie Byrd

Jazz Samba (1962)

This was nice, but I was rather irritated at the guitar being panned to the right and the saxophone to the left. I had only one earphone in when I began listening, and thought for the first 30 seconds that it was just acoustic guitar. Obviously, I was wrong. Despite this, listening to this album made my train journeys pass so much quicker and I'm finding that jazz is best to listen to whilst doing something else (no offence). TIP: If you ever make any music, I beg please do not start going crazy with the panning, there is literally no need.

BEST SONG: O Pato



Ray Price

Night Life (1962)

Considering the fact that I am now a classic country fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Every song was super smooth and it was (again) pretty difficult choosing a favourite. I was just trying to remember which exact one I loved the most when I heard the final song and fell in love with that one. I really liked the use of fiddle throughout, it's something that I haven't quite come across yet and it was definitely music to my ears (wow). If you're not into country...well listen anyways because, like me, you may be converted.

BEST SONG: Let Me Talk To You



The Beatles

With The Beatles (1963)

I've never really given much time to The Beatles and at this point I'm not quite sure why. Despite this album being saturated with covers, you can really hear their pop-sound in a sea of classic Blues, Jazz and Country music. I'm looking forward to hearing their evolution as I work my way through this book and who knows? Maybe I'll have my own solo Beatlemania experience... I had already listened to 'All My Loving' many times and so decided to choose one of their covers as my favourite.

BEST SONG: You Really Got A Hold On Me



Bob Dylan

The Freewheeling' Bob Dylan (1963)

Right, so now I'm fully into the part of music history where pop music began arising. It's amazing how influential Bob Dylan was, obviously this album was very acoustic country, but with original lyric themes and no covers of songs whatsoever, this (I think) was the beginning of pop music. Listening to this album right after The Beatles (plus reading a lot) I can see how much they were actually influenced by Dylan. I wasn't in love with the album, but it was a brilliant start and I understand why he was so great.

BEST SONG: Blowin' In The Wind



Phil Spector

A Christmas Gift For You (1963)

While listening to Christmas songs in January felt more like I was in denial than completing a New Years resolution; I can't deny that I enjoyed every second of it. It wasn't hard choosing a favourite, I already knew when I read the track list that it had to be this one. It's my favourite Christmas song ever and I think Darlene Love is AMAZING. You probably won't want to give this a listen right now (unless you're in denial), so maybe I'll remind you December 2019.

BEST SONG: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)



Sam Cooke

Live At The Harlem Square Club (1963)

I was really into this album, there was quite a few songs I added to personal playlists because I either forgot they existed, or fell in love with them immediately. This guy really had so much soul and even though there were several tracks that used the very common blues changes, it sounded so much more like rock. I was never bored, it was just the right length and I've listened to both 'Cupid' and 'Chain Gang' three times already today. The latter might be one of my new favourites, but I chose the former because it's a classic.

BEST SONG: Cupid



Charles Mingus

The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (1963)

This was a nice bit of Jazz. I thought it was going to be the same throughout as the first for 4 minutes were, but then there started to be clear variation from the second track onwards. From fast, complicated melodies/countermelodies to then relaxed and soulful sections (which I favoured), I got quite into this album. The more Jazz I listen to, the more varieties I am able to pick out. Jazz isn't just one huge thing that's all the same (like I seemed to think it was), it's an umbrella term for a selection of beautiful music.

BEST SONG: Track C (Soul Dancers)


James Brown

Live At The Apollo (1963)

Between the screaming girls and applause, this album was really quite brilliant. Apart from the song 'Lost Someone' that went on a bit too long for me, I really enjoyed listening to it. I think another problem here was inconsistent vocal recording, but I actually quite liked the real feel to it. The bass lines were particularly smooth and (again) I honestly wish I could have been there, I would have definitely fit right in with those screaming girls. Especially when he really begun free-styling the vocals. I loved that.

BEST SONG: Try Me



Stan Getz And João Gilberto

Getz/Gilberto (1963)

This looks like a latin-Jazz infusion, right? Wrong. Well...close. I started the music expecting to be greeted by the typical blues/Jazz with latin percussion and instead I heard an extremely unusual voice. I was so confused I had to check that I was listening to the right album! I ended up hearing the first song twice as I played it to my boyfriend and he loved it so we started from the top. By the end, he still loved it, but I was rather uninterested. The voice is incredibly unique, just not to my taste at all.

BEST SONG: The Girl From Ipanema



The Beatles

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

Now that's more like it; an album consisting of 100% original material. I have a feeling that Lennon & McCartney listened a lot to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan because the structures and sometimes 'vibe' of the songs are pretty similar in emulating new pop. Although never having listened to it all the way through, I have heard a lot of these songs before (I mean they are The Beatles'). I liked it a whole lot more than their previous release, but they still haven't mastered that 3min-long-song sweet spot. Might have to just listen to everything twice...

BEST SONG: And I Love Her



Jacques Brel

Olympia 64 (1964)

Another one I did not expect! I hated it, but was definitely surprised! I appreciate the skills of this man, however I just don't think I will ever be a fan of such aggressive French singing. The softer parts were much better, but I actually chose this one as my favourite based on the fact that it emulated the entire album. I tried to keep up with the lyrics, but they were just too fast for me and so I ended up being slightly frustrated and having a bit of a headache by the end. Listen to this track if you think this sounds like your thing...

BEST SONG: Les Toros



Solomon Burke

Rock 'n Soul (1964)

Yes, yes and YES! I loved every second of this album. His voice is stunning and every song is a BANGER! 100% recommend, 100% will be listening again. This honestly made my day, it's brilliant. I had actually never heard of Solomon Burke before (sorry), but was enticed by the idea of listening to both rock and soul... I am so happy I came across this it was so good! It opened with a bang too, his vocals on 'Cry To Me' were basically everything I've ever dreamed of. 'Someone To Love Me' is also beautiful.

BEST SONG: Cry To Me



Dusty Springfield

A Girl Called Dusty (1964)

This album kiiiiind of annoyed me. No disrespect to her voice, but Dusty is covering songs that were originally sung by incredible black individuals such as Ray Charles and The Shirelles. I almost feel as though she is stealing their great works... I know this is done throughout music, but I just don't like it. I just think that with only one track written by Dusty herself on this album- was it really worth releasing this? The songs aren't hers AND aren't even as good as the originals...plus her original song 'Once Upon A Time' is... well bad.

BEST SONG: Summer Is Over



Follow my Spotify playlist to hear my BEST SONG from each album one after the other:


https://open.spotify.com/user/amyheatherrr17/playlist/1HMSes0vQ6Js9UhfH95bdU?si=_qvGi529RsSxR75qhjuZPA

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