Friday, February 5, 2016

5 on Friday -- Set 303





Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

Time for my once-a-month project for 2016.

This year I'll be focusing on Songwriters. Check back on the first Friday of each month as I take a look at the work of artists whose creative voices are most often brought to us through the performances of others.





February belongs to Burt Bacharach. 

Along with his longtime lyricist Hal David, Bacharach is responsible for so many of my favorite love songs that I simply had to turn the month for valentines over to him.





Nine years ago, on February 5th, 2007 I posted my very first blog post here at A Piece of My Mind. Crazy to think that next year I'll be celebrating an entire decade of blogging.

And now, it's over to you Burt Bacharach.


1 - The Look of Love -Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 - 1968

This one is simply it for me. The song itself and this version of it. 







2 - Baby, It's You - The Beatles -1963

If you're going to spend the rest of your career writing legendary songs, you might as well cover a songwriting giant like Bacharach on your debut album. This song's lyrics were written by Luther Dixon and Mack David.







3 - Walk on By - Dionne Warwick - 1964

What's a love song set without a little heartache?







4 - What's New, Pussycat? - Tom Jones - 1965

Is it me, or did it just get a little hotter in here?






5 - This Guy's in Love With You - Herb Alpert - 1968

It's probably not very fair to follow Tom Jones' powerful voice with Herb Alpert's, but the unaffected delivery of this song is a huge part of its charm for me. I just adore the fact that this love song compelled a trumpet player to become a singer. That's the power of the Bacharach/David one-two punch. 






If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, January 29, 2016

5 on Friday -- Set 302




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

Supernatural is one of my favorite shows -- if not my very favorite. The first episode airing after the winter break featured Lucifer dancing to Heaven Must be Missing an Angel, which has led to this week's disco throwback set.





Happy Friday!




1 - Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel - Tavares 









2 - You Make Me Feel Mighty Real - Sylvester 










3 - Got to Give it Up, Part 1 - Marvin Gaye









4 - Get Down Tonight - KC and The Sunshine Band

  







5 - I Feel Love - Donna Summer 







If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, January 22, 2016

5 on Friday -- Set 301




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

...and sending out a Big Time Birthday Hug to my musical partner in crime, Mike Golch -- the other remaining 5 on Friday blogger!




Photo by Jean-Luc Ourlin


To mark the passing of David Bowie on January 10th at age 69, A Piece of My Mind salutes a musical giant with this week's set.  


1 - Ziggy Stardust - 1972

I'm going to go out on a limb -- considering his extensive musical catalogue -- but the opening chords of Ziggy Stardust can be considered to be Bowie's musical signature.








2 - Moonage Daydream - 1972

Like many people, I adored the inclusion of Moonage Daydream on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Although I loved the whole soundtrack playlist, I always found myself starting with David Bowie's track and then hitting replay over and over. 









3 - Golden Years - 1975

Once again, this track was used in a film soundtrack in the anachronistic A Knight's Tale, where Heath Ledger and the rest of the medival court danced to the strains of David Bowie in their 15th century costumes. A perfect Bowie-esque touch.








4 - Blue Jean - 1984

David Bowie showcases his considerable vocal range in this track. He was easily able to scale between nearly four octaves -- one octave containing eight notes (remember The Sound of Music and Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do) -- and was in the same pop-music range as Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Muse's Matt Bellamy. Strangely enough, two more of my favorites.   









5 - This is Not America - Pat Metheny featuring David Bowie - 1985


Okay, maybe he does more vocal gymnastics on this track. Considering he's performing alongside jazz fusion heavyweight Pat Metheny -- another favorite of mine! -- I'm sure he welcomed stretching his musical chops.  






If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, January 15, 2016

5 on Friday -- Set 300!




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...


Well, here we are at set 300. Seriously, who'd a thunk it?


I hit my 100th set on December 30, 2011  -- Set 100


I hit my 200th set on December 6, 2013  -- Set 200


Time to celebrate! Once again, I'd like to thank all of you for dropping in on Fridays to have a listen.     


1 - I'm Happy Just to Dance With You - The Beatles








2Dancing in the Street - David Bowie and Mick Jagger


I'll be posting a Bowie set next week to honor the passing of a music giant.








3Just Dance - Lady Gaga








4Dance to the Music - Sly and the Family Stone









5 - You Should Be Dancing - The BeeGees








If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, January 8, 2016

5 on Friday -- Set 299




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

As we head for my 300th set, coming up next week, I'm in a mood to celebrate for two reasons. One is the fact that I'm almost at my milestone set.

The other is my return to work this week after one year and three weeks on medical leave.

I have multiple chemical sensitivities and chronic pain/fibromyalgia among a few other things, which had reached critical-mass levels by late 2013. I somehow managed to crawl my way through 2014, but renovations at my day job ultimately led to my pre-emptive medical leave.

Throughout 2014 and 2015, I received treatment at what used to be called the Environmental Clinic, but what has been renamed the Integrated Chronic Care Service. I'm still receiving sauna detox treatment there, which has been a significant factor in my recovery.

I'm now the happiest employee ever. Nothing makes you happy to walk into your office like being away for a year. So let's celebrate!   


1 - Get Back - The Beatles featuring Billy Preston







2 - Up - Shania Twain







3 - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson







4 - Shake it Off - Taylor Swift







5 - I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash






If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, January 1, 2016

5 on Friday -- Set 298




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

Happy New Year, Everyone! Hope you had a wonderful New Year's celebration last night. The photo above is a still from my favorite Russian New Year's movie Ironiya sudby, or The Irony of Fate. I fell in love with that film about seven years ago and I now watch it every year. In fact my husband and I will be doing just that, later this weekend.

As we head for my 300th set, coming up in two weeks, it's already time to launch my brand new once-a-month project for 2016.

This year I'll be focusing on Songwriters. Check back on the first Friday of each month as I take a look at the work of artists whose creative voices are most often brought to us through the performances of others.





One of the reasons I embark upon challenges like these is because of my own insatiable curiosity.

Over the years doing 5 on Friday, I've noticed my increasing tendency to seek out music by songwriter rather than by artist. I've come to really enjoy a well-done cover song, when a singer takes a tune associated with another artist and really puts his or her own stamp upon it. So this year's project has taken root over several years of putting sets together.

January launches with Paul Williams. Among his varied accomplishments, he has acted, scored films and television series, and is also an author.

This month's look at Paul Williams' work shows the breadth of his composer's voice, from quirky scores (like one of my husband's favorite's, The Phantom of the Paradise) to universal hits.    


1 - Faust - Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack - William Finley - 1974







2 - Talk it Over in the Morning - Anne Murray -1971







3 - An Old Fashioned Love Song - Three Dog Night - 1971







4 - We've Only Just Begun - The Carpenters - 1970






5 - The Rainbow Connection - Willie Nelson - 2001






If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, December 25, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 297



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I've been taking a once-a-month look at specific instruments and showcasing five songs or tunes which place that instrument front and center.

This year's feature has been Spotlight On...

...and for our twelfth and final installment for 2015's year-long project, let's swing with woodwinds. I'm concentrating for this set mainly on flute, but there are a few recorders in these tracks. Flutes bring us full circle back to the ancient world.    

We began the year listening to the primal body instruments of hand-clappingwhistling and vocal harmonies.

Moving on, we explored percussion with April's look at drums, May's look at the vibraphone or vibes, June's look at piano, and wrapping things up with cowbell in July.

In August I trained the spotlight on a favorite of mine, the bass guitar. In September we gave the stage over to that diva of instruments -- the lead guitar.

In October, I moved from stringed guitars to orchestral strings.

For November, I focused on horn arrangements.

December wraps up this year's musical project with the mellow tones of the flute and recorder. Flutes have been played on battlefields, they've been played by shepherds on hillsides, they've been part of an orchestra or played by peasants. They generally evoke a feeling of the Everyman, as well as reaching back through time to our earliest ancestors. Flutes and recorders give a dual sense of being rooted, as well as the floating sensation suggested by the wind descriptor of woodwind.

For all of you who have enjoyed this year's Spotlight On feature, I invite you to check back next week on New Year's Day for a brand new year-long project.

I've had such fun with the three I've done so far. I love taking up creative challenges like Blogging From A to Z in April, or the NaNoWriMo writing marathon in November. Deciding on a musical challenge for my 5 on Friday feature is a way to broaden my own musical horizons.

I embarked on my first 5 on Friday challenge in 2013 with the Birthday Boys/Birthday Girls project. I alternated male and female singers each month, beginning with January Birthday Boys, to see what sort of music they bring us.

In 2014, I ran The Hit Makers feature, where I looked at different styles of music each month, five of my favorite artists in that style and what songs launched their careers. That was an amazing project, beginning with the British Invasion set.

Where will 2016's musical journey take us? Drop by on January 1st to find out.

Let's finish up 2015 with a Spotlight On flute.    



1 - Coming Home Baby - Herbie Mann - 1961







2 - The Hustle - Van McCoy -1975







3 - Fernando - ABBA - 1976







4 - Colour My World - Chicago - 1971






5 - Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin - 1972




If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.