Friday, October 31, 2014

CAFFE` LATTE`TOP 2000 TRACKS {EXPANDED EDITION}

#1653 BORDER SONG (HOLY MOSES) Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin covered the Elton John & Bernie Taupin composition "Border Song" in 1970 and wound up on her 'Young, Gifted and Black' album 2 years later. The original version was on John's 1970 self-titled LP.

#1654 MAMMA MIA Abba
By the time "Mamma Mia" was issued in Australia, other countries had written off the Swedish pop group's prospects of success. Its 10 week reign atop the charts here in 1975 reversed that attitude. The song was written by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson.

The list is a ranking made up of the songs I enjoy the most, ranked in order of preference: the higher we go, the more I cherish them. Some were released as singles, others as album tracks. Some are obscure; others were worldwide hits or have universal appeal. They aren't always the most famous or popular, but simply a personal choice.This expanded section now includes songs from the last few years. I hope you find some new tracks to love, or re-discover some past favourites.
Along with climbing among the Top 200 each day, 2 new songs ranked in positions 1501-2000 will also be added daily.
NEW RELEASE OF THE MONTH
OCTOBER 2014
ARETHA FRANKLINSINGS THE GREAT DIVA CLASSICS
A new album from Aretha Franklin is always interesting. Her voice has long been hailed as 1 of music's greatest. It has excelled in genres spanning gospel, jazz, soul and blues. This latest release sees R&B's greatest female voice take on an array of songs made famous by divas across several decades. 
The album begins with a remake of the Etta James tender love song "At Last". Franklin delivers a breathtaking interpretation and apt opening track. The energy gains momentum on the next cut: a powerful rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". Franklin's version slides into "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" part way through. This is an album highlight.
Next up is a precise reading of "Midnight Train To Georgia". Although this song is best remembered by the hit single from Gladys Knight & The Pips, the original version was in fact recorded by Cissy Houston. Whitney's mother is 1 of the backup vocalists on this (and other) album tracks. Aretha makes a meal of the R&B staple. 
"I Will Survive" is served up next. Gloria Gaynor's iconic disco anthem is infused with a joyous and soulful energy. The 5 female backing singers really shine on this cut. Aretha is in fine voice on this new album and is more than capable to hold her remakes here against most of the originals. The task on this album is no mean feat: almost all are cherished songs with definitive versions permanently etched in our memory. 
"People" took a few listens, but that was more because of it being a signature song for Barbra Streisand. Once I got past that, I was able to enjoy the new version of the song from the musical "Funny Girl".
Aretha's remake of "No One" from Alicia Keys is transformed, sounding more soulful than was thought possible. This is the album's standout track: a music veteran tackling a modern soul hit song.
The delights keep coming; with a breathtaking version of the Chaka Khan 70s hit "I'm Every Woman". Cissy is on backup vocals here too, on a song her daughter covered for 'The Bodyguard'. Franklin's new version includes a masterful reprise of her 60s signature song "Respect". Audiences will relish this medley. 
The next track, "Teach Me Tonight" sees the 'Queen of Soul' pay homage to the 'Queen of the Blues': Dinah Washington. It's a welcome change of pace, sandwiched between 2 upbeat songs. Aretha's treatment joins the list of worthy interpretations of this standard.
It's followed by an exhilarating cover of the Diana Ross & The Supremes 60s #1 "You Keep Me Hangin' On". Penned by the production trio of Holland/ Dozier/ Holland, this update is another highlight among this collection. Aretha had recorded a very different version for Atlantic that remained unreleased until 2007. Both recordings feature her on piano. 
The album closes with a Prince composition that was an international hit for Sinead O'Connor: "Nothing Compares 2 U". On here, the song is given a swing makeover that works well. Therin lie the main strengths of this new collection of songs: a legendary vocalist with an astute and cohesive theme that mixes standards with pop hit singles -old and new- recorded in a thoughtful variety of musical styles.
This album deserves to do well for Aretha. Despite ill health over the last few years, we find her in fine voice. Her tonsils reinforce Franklin's undisputed place among the greatest. Unleashed in time for the upcoming holiday season, this should sell by the truckload. Long live the Queen!
CAFFE` LATTE` TOP 2000 TRACKS

#124 HEAVEN'S WHAT I FEEL Gloria Estefan
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1957, Gloria Estefan helped spearhead the Latino pop genre that saw artists such as Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera follow in her wake. Her birth name was Gloria Fajardo. In 1975, she joined the Miami Latin Boys which included her future spouse Emilio Estefan. The group's name was changed to Miami Sound Machine. Fajardo became Gloria Estefan when she wed her bandmate. The group crossed over to a wider mainstream English-speaking audience following the release of the single "Doctor Beat" in 1984. "Conga" attracted more attention. Other hits during the 1980s included "Words Get in the Way", "Rhythm is Gonna Get You" and the US #1s "Anything For You" and "Don't Wanna Lose You". By now, she was recording in her own right. In 1990, a bus crash resulted in a broken vertebrae which put her career on hold. Estefan re-emerged in 1991 and scored a 3rd American chart topping single with "Coming Out of the Dark". 1994 saw the issue of hit cover versions of "Turn The Beat Around" and "Everlasting Love". The 'Gloria!' album, unleashed 4 years later, featured the upbeat "Heaven's What I Feel".
The dance song is reminiscent of the 70s music of Donna Summer. Husband Emilio Estefan co-produced with Tony Moran. "Heaven's..." was written by Kike Santander. In 1998, the single charted in various territories, including the USA, Japan, Europe, Australia and the UK. 
Estefan continues to record to this day. 'Little Miss Havana', her 2011 album release, was produced by Pharrell Williams. Estefan released 'The Standards' with new versions of American classic songs 2 years later. This collection was produced by her husband and included standards such as "Good Morning Heartache", "The Way You Look Tonight" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me".
 
This is a list made up of the songs I enjoy the most, ranked in order of preference: the higher we go, the more I cherish them. Some were released as singles, others as album tracks. Some are obscure; others were worldwide hits or have universal appeal. They aren't always the most famous or popular, but simply a personal choice. I have excluded songs from the last few years in order to get a better idea of a song's lasting impression. I hope you find some new tracks to love, or re-discover some past favourites.
A new song from the Top 200 is added each day, while another 2 are also included from positions 1501-2000 daily. Check back here every 12 hours for an update of the 2000.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's great to see that my blog gets visits from a wide variety of different countries and continents. I welcome feedback so that I can know what you would like more of and what it is that you found most interesting. Your comments will help make this site more entertaining and relevant.
So, please- say hi, tell me about you; what you agree or disagree with and any suggestions for the future.
CAFFE` LATTE`TOP 2000 TRACKS {EXPANDED EDITION}

#1651 SATELLITE OF LOVE Lou Reed
Lou Reed's place among rock's most creative figures was assured once he unleashed the 'Transformer' album in 1973. The quirky "Satellite Of Love" was 1 of its standouts. Reed wrote it. David Bowie and Mick Ronson co-produced.

#1652 SOMETHING SO RIGHT Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand delivered a delicate reading of the Paul Simon composition "Something So Right" in 1974. Her remake was featured on the album 'Barbra Streisand featuring The Way We Were and All In Love Is Fair', but referred to simply as 'The Way We Were'.

The list is a ranking made up of the songs I enjoy the most, ranked in order of preference: the higher we go, the more I cherish them. Some were released as singles, others as album tracks. Some are obscure; others were worldwide hits or have universal appeal. They aren't always the most famous or popular, but simply a personal choice.This expanded section now includes songs from the last few years. I hope you find some new tracks to love, or re-discover some past favourites.
Along with climbing among the Top 200 each day, 2 new songs ranked in positions 1501-2000 will also be added daily.
Caffe` Latte` presents a new update: continuing to #100...
Updated twice weekly, here is a ranking of the 200 most essential disco songs, taking into consideration: influence, popularity, chart performance and enduring quality:
The 200 MOST ESSENTIAL 
DISCO ERA SONGS
    
101 BLACK IS BLACK La Belle Epoque 1977
 102 CHIC CHEER Chic 1978
103 THAT'S WHERE THE HAPPY PEOPLE GO Trammps 1976
104 WHODUNIT Tavares 1977
105 SPACER Shiela B. Devotoin 1979
106 BOOGIE NIGHTS Heatwave 1977
107 VERTIGO / RELIGHT MY FIRE Dan Hartman 1979
108 IN THE NAVY Village People 1979
109 MY FORBIDDEN LOVER Chic 1979
110 BOOGIE SHOES K.C. & The Sunshine Band 1976 (/ A-side in: 1978)

 
 111 I LOVE MUSIC The O'Jays 1975
 112 COULD IT BE MAGIC Donna Summer 1976
113 IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE Tavares1975
114 WHO LOVES YOU The Four Seasons featuring Frankie Valli 1975
115 LOVELY ONE The Jacksons 1980
116 LADY BUMP Penny McLean 1975
117 RIGHT BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED FROM Maxine Nightingale 1975
118 YES SIR, I CAN BOOGIE Baccara 1977
119 MACHO MAN Village People 1978
120 FOLLOW ME Amanda Lear 1979