My favourite music

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My favourite music

Postby Mike » 05 Aug 2011, 23:30

I've just started coming back to classical music after many years more or less ignoring it. My passion has always been jazz and as far as the high art/low art debate goes, for my money jazz in the hands of a great practitioner of the art (Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett etc.) is very much in the first category, not that it really matters except in terms of the pretensions people will make for it.

Check out this, for example, one of my favourites:



Still love a really well-crafted pop song, too. Here's a lovely one, from someone from my part of the world 8-) :

Mike
 
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Mike » 28 Mar 2012, 11:09

Looking back at this post of mine, I thought that since this is an international forum and members from outside Australasia might be unfamiliar with the man and his songs, I'd present a little rundown on probably my greatest musical hero (and a personal hero as well) - Neil Finn.

Like all famous New Zealanders he is considered an honorary Australian by my compatriots, but in truth he's a Kiwi to his bootstraps, the product of a small town, a musical family and a Catholic upbringing which has influenced a great many of his songs. For me, he has been just about the only songwriter over the last thirty-odd years who has managed to continue making thoughtful, heartfelt, moving music within the commercial pop idiom, regardless of trends and fads. Some time in the late eighties Paul McCartney described him as the world's best songwriter, so who am I to disagree?

He joined his brother's band Split Enz while still in his teens, and quickly began contributing material. Here's one from when he was still only twenty-one:



...and a beautiful love song, addressed to his wife Sharon, from a few years later:



He went on to commercial success with his own band Crowded House for much of the late eighties and nineties, and some of his best songs come from this period:







The "Crowdies" split in 1996 (although they were later to re-form), and Neil began a solo career, in which his songs became a little darker...including the following, which one could consider the ultimate lapsed Catholic song:



...and another classic love song, one of the best of all time in my opinion:



And he's still going strong. The following comes from only a couple of years ago, a bittersweet ode to Amsterdam in which the Catholic in him comes out very clearly in the lyrics once again:



And why do I say a personal hero as well? Because in the midst of the crazy pop world, he's managed to remain a dedicated family man, bringing up two sons (both musicians also, incidentally), and maintaining a loving marriage despite (as one friend related) "strains that would have killed any other relationship".
Mike
 
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Gavin » 28 Mar 2012, 19:07

Nice to hear "Fall At Your Feet" again. "Don't Dream It's Over" was certainly a big hit - I suppose a lot of people only know Crowded House for that! What did you think of Paul Young's cover? I thought it was respectable enough. What a blast from the past! The chart shows sure don't look like that any more.
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Mike » 05 Apr 2012, 11:01

Gavin wrote:Nice to hear "Fall At Your Feet" again. "Don't Dream It's Over" was certainly a big hit - I suppose a lot of people only know Crowded House for that! What did you think of Paul Young's cover? I thought it was respectable enough. What a blast from the past! The chart shows sure don't look like that any more.


That's a nice cover of it. And a bonus to see Paul Carrack there on keyboards and a snatch of vocals - I've liked him ever since Living Years, which was another great song from that era.

Another good cover of one of Neil's songs is Natalie Imbruglia's version of Pineapple Head, probably his weirdest lyric of all (it was apparently based on things his son was saying in his sleep while delirious with fever).

Mike
 
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Gavin » 05 Apr 2012, 12:26

Yes, "The Living Years" is one I suspect many would not be able to admit to liking, but I'll come out and say I quite like it!

Also Imbruglia... she was quite surprising I think as actually a pretty good pop act. Probably better than Minogue. I liked quite a few of her tracks.



Of course this is only light pop, but at least it involves real instruments and is certainly pretty good by today's dumb porn chart standards. (She had the incidental benefit of being quite easy on the eye too ;) I actually saw her perform by chance at an early chart show live recording I ended up at by coincidence some years ago in London.

In a similar manner "J Lo" surprised me by apparently being quite a good actress in The Cell. I'm not saying she was Oscar winning material but sometimes things are not as bad as one is accustomed to expect.
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Mike » 05 Apr 2012, 21:22

Gavin wrote:Yes, "The Living Years" is one I suspect many would not be able to admit to liking, but I'll come out and say I quite like it!


Ah yes...when I was at school, like my friends I considered it far too corny and cheesy, and after all there were old people in the video clip, dammit!

Of course now I realise it's a genuinely honest and moving pop song...one of the few.

Gavin wrote:Also Imbruglia... she was quite surprising I think as actually a pretty good pop act. probably better than Minogue. I liked quite a few of her tracks.


Definitely. Her first hit here in Oz surprised us all...already showed she was a step above the average ex-soapie star in the singing department:

Mike
 
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Gavin » 05 Apr 2012, 22:02

Yes, Torn received massive airplay here in the UK too.
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Re: My favourite music

Postby Mike » 11 Apr 2012, 02:40

Another lesser-known gem from Mr. Finn:



The simplest and most common chord sequence in pop (I-V-VIminor-IV), but with the gorgeous vocal harmonies and the deceptively simple lyrics (anyone who's shared a late-night, lights-out whispered conversation with a sibling will recognise what it's about) it becomes sublime, in my opinion.

Particularly like this bit:

Talking to each other as we wait for sleep
The angel in the detail soon arrives
Spreading her wings over every memory
Keeping all our hopes alive...
Mike
 
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