This Year’s Favorites, Pt. 2
I honestly can’t remember where I first ran into April March’s Chick Habit, but it is so perfectly ’60s pop (there’s a reason for that, but it does have better production values) that I loved it right away.
Sammy Davis’s Too Darn Hot* is Rat Pack Brand awesomeness, with the added bonus of mentioning the Kinsey Report prominently in the lyrics (I love dated topicality). I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned this here, but I wake up with a song in my head every single morning. That’s the song I get up and turn on first in an attempt to exorcise it quickly before the day gets started. The song I’ve woken up with in my head more than any other this year is Too Darn Hot; in fact, I’ve done so three times in the last two weeks alone. And I don’t know about where you live, but it is most decidedly not because it’s too darn hot here.
I bought a best of Cole Porter CD and while pretty much everything on it is excellent (I like Louis Armstrong’s High Society Calypso more than I probably should, Porter & Armstrong notwithstanding) for me the standout is Louis Prima & Keely Smith’s version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin. I’ve never heard it done quite so …recklessly? before.
And then of course, in May, the Star Trek movie came out and I became maybe ten years old all over again. (I have the Spock glass from Burger King. I got it the day the movie came out. I bought the soundtrack and two of the action figures.) The soundtrack, stupid track titles aside, is pretty damn fantastic. So here is the 9+ minutes end title music. May it inspire you to go out and spend as much on the merchandise as I did so they create more of it.
I also don’t remember on which blog I found Jr. Walker & the All-Star’s version of the Guess Who’s These Eyes, but it just captured me. And then I realized that I’ve never heard a song of theirs I didn’t love, so I broke down and bought a greatest hits album.
Also don’t remember where I found Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians’ Let’s Have Another Cup of Coffee (1932) but it is certainly the essence of the Depression era, both in sound and lyrics. And of course, it has resonance today.
I got momentarily distracted by a couple of Lotte Lenya songs, Cabaret & Mack the Knife this summer; there’s something very dark and intriguing about her voice. I intend to pay her more attention this year.
This summer, I Netflixed both the Umbrellas of Cherbourg and the Young Girls of Rochefort and now I want my life to look and sound just like France in the ’60s. And I am very glad for all those French classes in high school & college, because I can sing along – mostly – with both the Twin Song and Song of Summer Day (from Rochefort).
And to wrap up the summer, Lyle Lovett’s Summer Wind, which I posted earlier this year; it really is as wonderful as you’d imagine a Lovett version of a Sinatra classic would be.
*That Davy again!