Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dami Im - (They Long to Be) Close to You

Dami Im, Australia's Eurovision singer for Stockholm was busy with something completely different when she was asked to do Eurovision. An album with covers by the magic duo The Carpenters.
Above is the wonderful Close To You,   Why do birds... fall out of the sky...

Classic Carpenters is on schedule for an April 22 release (so: Out Now!) and includes classics like Yesterday Once More, We've Only Just Begun, There's A Kind Of Hush and (They Long To Be) Close To You. (Sony Music Australia).
See full tracklist with track by track details below.

Update: The CD has arrived at Eurovers HQ and it has been playing ever since (just a little break for some contests and what have you).
I'm not a very good reviewer, but I'll just have to tell you it is utterly lovely. 
Dami has a beautiful voice which suits the gentleness of the songs very well. All arrangements stay true to the Carpenters spirit and the musicians are amazing. The subdued flugel bits (Danny Laboyrie) send chills down my spine. In a good way.
You just feel that Classic Carpenters is made of love. 
Highly recommended,even if (dare I say it) Sound Of Silence is not your cuppa.
Let the long overdue Carpenters revival start with this wonderful album.

And for you youngster out there: The Carpenters were American brother and sister duo Karen and Richard Carpenter who scored many hits (and hitalbums) in the 70's. 12 top 10 hits in the U.S, many of them classics now. 

Karen Carpenter is no longer with us. Go and do your Wiki's and Youtubes, be amazed and get their music.

One recommended Carpenters track you won't find on many compilations or playlists (nor Dami Im's album) is their majestic hifi cover of Klaatu's Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (1977). 

Dami Im's Eurovision single The Sound Of Silence and other adventures are explored here at The Stockholm Collection, your place for all info on this years Eurovision releases.
Dami Im's Vevo has some more Classic Carpenters videos: Yesterday Once More and There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World).

Oh, and then there's this gem, The Carpenters doing a signature tune from some long forgotten Eurovision act.

Dami Im's Classic Carpenters Track By Track
01. (They Long to Be) Close to You 
- 1970 single from the LP Close To You, a No. 1 hit in the U.S., Australia and Canada. No. 6 in the U.K.
02. There’s a Kind of Hush (All over the World) 
- 1976 single from the LP A Kind Of Hush, originally a 1967 hit for Hermans Hermits
03. Yesterday Once More 
- 1973 single from the LP Now And Then, one of their two No. 2 hits in the U.K.
04. Superstar
- 1971 single from the LP Carpenters
05. Rainy Days and Mondays
- 1971 single from the LP Carpenters
06. This Masquerade
- For the Carpenters it was a b-side to Please Mr. Postman (1974), the original is by Leon Russell but the biggest hit was for George Benson in 1976.
07. A Song for You
- Title track of the 1972 LP A Song For You, also originally by Leon Russell
08. I Won’t Last A Day Without You
- 1974 single from the 1972 LP A Song For You
09. I Need To Be In Love
- 1976 single from the LP A Kind Of Hush
10. Hurting Each Other
- 1972 single from A Song For You
11. We’ve Only Just Begun
- 1970 single from Close To You

The Carpenters weren’t considered cool by everybody (i.e. the serious music press) at the time and 12 of their hits that went to No. 1 on the Cashbox charts only made it to No. 2 or (much) lower on the leading Billboard top 100.

The Stockholm Collection 2016
The Stockholm Collection features everything you need to know about this years songs, releases, versions, chart activity and other what have you's. Here are the links to the participating country's pages.

Semi final 1

Semi final 2

Already in the final

Friday, April 08, 2016

Judith Sings, ABBA Swings: A Jazz Tribute To ABBA

Digital Release Image
ABBA, remember them? I guess you do.
Jazz singer Judith Nijland has just released an album with ABBA hits revamped into some delicious Jazz tunes.
There's shoobie doo wah swingy Jazz (I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do is Fab! ), some Samba and others are more smoky cocktail bar exercises.
I am a complete ignorant when it concerns jazz terminology, so I suggest you just have a listen (see links below).

The album A Jazz Tribute To ABBA features classics like Waterloo, I Have A Dream, Thank You For The Music, etc., twelve classic ABBA songs are there.
Voulez-Vous gets a makeover in French, oui, Waterloo and One Of Us feature tenor saxist Yuri Honing, fan and no stranger to the ABBA cover himself (he recorded Waterloo for his 1996 Startrax album).

ABBA's 42 year old Waterloo single, NL edition.
The Judith Nijland album is out on iTunes, don't know about all territories though.
The CD word is mentioned at the website, but I haven't seen a physical release yet.
I'll keep you posted.

Links and sources
Listen to Waterloo, Summer Night City and Lay All Your Love On Me through Judith Nijlands Tubestation.
Short clips of all songs are here
A Jazz Tribute To ABBA Website (English) and Facebook. (in Dutch)

ABBA posts at Eurocovers
Jazz posts at Eurocovers