The Very Best of The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody.
In the early 60s one major sound that came across from America, and had an influence on British music, was the slightly Gospel-derived ballads of The Righteous Brothers (I don’t think the term ballad was used at that time). Love or hate this style of music the presence has to be recognised and my purchase of this music was in part a reaction to that situation, but was more driven by my wife’s love of this track from the movie Ghost!
So, here we have probably their best known track, which has been covered by so many musicians it is hard to keep track! This is the perfect example of the love ballad that was so popular in the 60s, but has stood the test of time much better than most music and as such is an absolute classic. However, The righteous Brothers also brought an unusual depth to their singing, which strengthens this type of music and probably explains the popularity. It is worth listening to their other major hit (You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’) to really understand the depth of sound I refer to.
Golden Days – Blue Bayou (not this album).
By a sheer coincidence of alphabetic order, we have two albums that represent a very similar storyline – once again, at the time of him topping the charts, I thought Roy Orbison too “middle of the road” for my taste, but again he is a classic singer of his time.
I love the opening of this track with a muffled bass and drum providing the beat. The track is classic Roy Orbison and really suits his voice with a high pitch to the main verse.
Gold Collection – Yesterday Once More.
When The Carpenters were at their peak, I thought they were too “middle of the road” and I never bought any albums by them. Of course, they have become classic of their style and I have to admit I was wrong and That Karen Carpenter’s voice is one of the best. They produce a lot of different styles of music and were really quite talented, which is well illustrated on this collection. It is interesting how Karen’s drumming skills, something well recognised at the time, has been diluted and lost by the passage of time.
This track is an absolute classic and wonderfully illustrates her voice as well as the musical ability of the duo. The song was often performed in a more rock and roll style, but this more ballad version is the best.
Avalon – More Than This.
I bought this Roxy Music album (CD + MP3) as it was one missing from my collection that I always had planned to buy. I love the title track from this album, but this track is also a very good illustration of the power and quality of Bryan Ferry’s voice in delivery a ballad.
There is some excellent music on this track and the lyrics are superb, but it is Ferry’s style of singing that stands out and always has been the major attraction of Roxy Music’s sound.