Lulu, Singer and Songwriter – Shout

Posted on May 20, 2012

If you are going to write an article about Lulu and provide a featured video, then you really can’t ignore her iconic record from the 60’s – Shout. It is the sound that saw Lulu burst onto the music scene back in the swinging 60’s. 1965 to be exact and four years before she secured a top place in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969 with another big hit – Boom Bang A Bang.

In 1975 Lulu had one of the highest accolades a singer could achieve at that time when she performed the title song for a James Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun. Any singer that got the title song to a bond movie was really considered to be at the top of their game and that hasn’t really changed in recent times. Many a recording artist has seen their career take off as a result of an association with a top rated movie. Shirley Bassey would probably back me up on that one, she got to do three title songs and it didn’t do her any harm whatsoever.  Other top rankers include Tom Jones, Madonna, Paul McCartney with Wings, Duran Duran and quite a few more.

It was only Duran Duran that got a number one hit in the States with their title song for ‘A View to a Kill’. Paul McCartney and Carly Simon got number 2 hits with their title songs and Lulu’s ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ got labelled as a little bit smutty and never really did very much in the charts at all, despite Lulu’s best efforts.

She had better luck with her liaison with Take that, and ‘Relight my Fire’ went to number one in the UK charts, this was about the same time as she released her 90’s album Independence and got involved with the UK TV show ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ demonstrating that she doesn’t mind taking the mickey out of herself and is definitely game for a laugh. Lest face it she has been around at the top of TV and music for 50 years now, and no one does that unless they have got something special to offer. I actually think she looks better now than she did back in the 70’s and 80’s, but then both those decades represent a bit of a fashion disaster for most people, especially in the UK.

Given Lulu’s career spans 5 decades then you probably wouldn’t be surprised that it is Lulu’s Greatest Hits that represent the best way to get a taste of her best music, all available for download as MP3 tracks so you can select the ones you like the best, or you could just buy the whole album, it would certainly be a nostalgic trip when you sit and listen to it.

Lulu’s Greatest Hits

1. Shout Lulu And The Luvvers 2:55
2. Independence Lulu 4:13
3. Relight My Fire Take That Featuring Lulu 4:08
4. Teardrops Lulu 4:45 $0.99
5. I Don’t Wanna Fight Lulu 4:45
6. We’ve Got Tonight Lulu 3:37
7. The Man Who Sold The World Lulu 3:51
8. Where The Poor Boys Dance Lulu 3:51
9. Hurt Me So Bad Lulu 3:54
10. To Sir With Love Lulu 2:43
11. Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby) Lulu 2:40
12. I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do) Lulu 3:08
13. Sail On Sailor Lulu 3:24
14. I’m Back For More Lulu 4:07
15. The Man With The Golden Gun Lulu 2:34
16. The Boat That I Row Lulu 2:43
17. Boom Bang-A-Bang Lulu 2:20
18. First Of May Lulu 3:07

The UK’s Favourite ABBA Song – The Winner Takes it All

Posted on May 12, 2012

There was a time when your average heterosexual male would never admit to being a big ABBA fan, although they probably wouldn’t have minded admitting that Agnetha and Anni-Frid were two very attractive ladies, despite the rather strange apparel that they used to wear all those years ago in the seventies. In fact I think from memory Agnetha was voted rear of the year, or whatever the equivalent was back then, for having a very nice bottom. And rightly so. They actually won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, the year I left school and were instantly acclaimed as Sweden’s most successful band.

The band broke up in 1982 after 10 years of huge success and millions of records sold world wide. But it was through film that interest in the band was resurrected, the 2 most memorable were Muriel’s Wedding and of course the film that really brought them back to world stardom Mamma Mia! . It was Meryl Streep singing ‘The Winner Takes it All’ as she headed to the church for her daughters wedding that reminded me just how great a song this was. Reaffirmed just recently when it was voted as Britain’s favourite ABBA record of all time on UK TV. Hence the reason it is the featured video.

I actually think Meryl Streep’s version was a very credible cover and was surprised to find out that she is actually a very talented singer. Really can’t say the same about Pierce Brosnan who in truth probably did the song a favour by not participating in the vocals. Although Meryl Streep swears that she fed off his acting acumen during the performance to give the song her best shot. Well if she says so, who am I to question it?

I have to admit however that yes we do have a copy of the film Mamma Mia tucked away for those days when you need a bit of a feel good movie to lift the spirits, which it never fails to do incidentally, but we have also been the proud owners of two of ABBA’s greatest hits albums ABBA – Gold: Greatest Hits and of course More ABBA Gold for many years now. My personal favourite is the first one, not sure why but that is the one that gets the most airings in our house. Although if you take a look at the track listing you can sort of see why it would be.

Anyway there it is, I have said it now recorded in the annals of music blogs for all to see. I am an ABBA fan and some 40 years later I still love them and their reincarnation via the Mamma Mia stage musical and film. So there!

ABBA – Gold

1. Dancing Queen
2. Knowing Me, Knowing You
3. Take A Chance On Me
4. Mamma Mia
5. Lay All Your Love On Me
6. Super Trouper
7. I Have A Dream
8. The Winner Takes It All
9. Money, Money, Money
10. S.O.S.
11. Chiquitita
12. Fernando
13. Voulez Vous
14. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
15. Does Your Mother Know
16. One Of Us
17. The Name Of The Game
18. Thank You For The Music
19. Waterloo