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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #1 

You’ve Got to Learn (Charles Aznavour - 1974)
Writers: Charles Aznavour & Marcel Stellman (English lyrics)
Arranger: Del Newman

Originally recorded in 1962 as ‘Il Faut Savoir’, the French/Armenian singer/songwriter/actor/humanitarian Charles Aznavour was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online at the turn of last century, edging out Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. He has sold 180 million records, written or co-written over 1000 songs for himself or others in a career of more than 70 years and recorded over 1200 songs in nine languages. His discography is mind boggling. His death on October 1st last year was followed with a state funeral in Paris. I recall reading a Bob Dylan interview in 1987 in Rolling Stone. They asked Dylan who his favourite performers were. His reply: I like Charles Aznavour a lot. I saw him in sixty-something, at Carnegie Hall, and he just blew my brains out. I went there with somebody who was French, not knowing what I was getting myself into. Charles was still touring up to the time of his death, aged 94. I recall reading some press reports at the time describing him as ‘France’s Frank Sinatra’. Sorry, guys, but Sinatra never wrote songs like this oft-covered one… 



It Was Almost Like a Song (Ronnie Milsap - 1996)
Writers: Hal David & Archie Jordan
Producers: Rob Galbraith, Ronnie Milsap & Nancy H. Williams

Ronnie Milsap is a blind American singer and pianist. Currently, he has won six Grammys and had thirty-five #1 country hits. He also featured on the Elvis Presley hits ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ and ‘Kentucky Rain’. He has sold over 35 million albums. Ronnie originally recorded and released this song in 1977. It went to #1 on the US Country chart and #16 on Billboard. It has also been covered many times. This is a re-recording Ronnie did in 1996. I personally prefer this version…





The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard (The New Seekers - 1973)
Writer: Dick Holler
Producers: Michael Lloyd, Tommy Oliver & Tony Macaulay

The New Seekers are an English-based pop group, formed by Keith Potger in 1969, following the break-up of the Seekers in 1968 (since re-formed). Fellow Seekers members Athol Guy and Bruce Woodley were not happy with Potger’s choice of name, but as Woodley recently said on Australian Story, “We weren’t about to go suing one of our mates”. As it was, Potger was a member of his new group for only the first few months. They proceeded to have several hits including two UK chart-toppers ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ and ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’. ‘The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard’ was a non-hit. This was a disappointment to its writer, Dick Holler, as communicated to me in 2013 through e-mail correspondence I had with his son, David. According to David, the group performed it on The Mike Douglas Show, and Dick thought it might do well on the charts. It’s also David’s favourite song his father has written, whose catalogue includes ‘Abraham, Martin and John’, a hit for Dion in 1968 (#1 in Canada, #4 in the US). It was recorded the same year by Cher for her Half-Breed album. The lead vocalist on this is Eve Graham…
 


I’ll Bet He’s Nice (The Beach Boys - 1977)
Writer: Brian Wilson
Producer: Brian Wilson

From the album The Beach Boys Love You. It’s a mix of Dennis and Brian sharing lead vocal duties on the verses with Carl on the bridge…
 


Edit: I've had to use a second Ronnie Milsap clip for our friends in Canada.

 
Happy listening. 

As possibly at least three of these songs may be new to voters, I’m hopeful people might take several days listening before casting their votes (and comments)

And please, try not to tie your votes. Four songs – how hard can it be?

I’ll be back with the results next week.


For copying and pasting purposes: 

You’ve Got to Learn (Charles Aznavour)
It Was Almost Like a Song (Ronnie Milsap)
The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard (The New Seekers)
I’ll Bet He’s Nice (The Beach Boys)


Although it is the recordings above that are up for appraisal, here are some live clips of two of them…




 

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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think that I have my votes already but will wait for midweek.  A few more confirming listens. No tie-ups this week.  Reason for ties - serious flip-flopping OR just no way to give one a lower vote.  This week is sortable.  
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Cindy Hood

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Reply with quote  #3 
A couple of very pretty songs this week, Darren.

I'll go with:

Gold:  Ronnie Milsap, by a mile, for It Was Almost Like A Song.  It's been a long, long time since I've heard any of his music and I've always liked his voice.

Silver:  The New Seekers for The Greatest Song I've Ever Heard.  Very nice.  I generally don't care for the style of the New Seekers, but this one is quite pretty.

Bronze:  The Beach Boys for I'll Bet He's Nice.  Parts of the song are ok, but I really did not care for Love You at all.  Lousy album in my opinion.

Tin:  Charles Aznavour for You’ve Got to Learn.  A really nice melody and music, but I didn't like his voice and the lyrics just didn't flow right.  

Thanks, Darren!

Cindy



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John B

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think I can do this now.

1.  "You've Got to Learn" (Il Faut Savoir) by Charles Aznavour

reminds me a little of the Theme from 'Man of LaMancha'/ 'The Impossible Dream'.  I know, this one came first and is slightly less melodramatic so more powerful.    You can sing a dignified love song, not always in rock n roll, but this song proves it.   I like all of the versions, including the oldest guy one.  Classic.  But was he as good as Edith Piaf?  (and did they ever sing together?). 

2. "I'll Bet He's Nice" by Brian with Dennis and Carl on the bridges.  Seems slightly less in meaning as a stand along song--to take it out of it's place, right after 'The Night Was So Young' and before "Let's Put Our Hearts Together" and "I Wanna Pick You Up".  That being said, still a great song.  every bit as personal as Aznavour's.

3. "It Was Almost Like a Song" by Ronnie Milsap

This one was played in my house by my country music loving parents, while I was getting ready for school or football practice, etc.  Seemed a little mediocre to me at the time, or not as exciting to my teen ears as my punk rock/new wave heroes.  It ages well, though.

4. "The Greatest Song I Every Heard" by the New Seekers

Admittedly, I am the least familiar with this song.  Also, they had kind of a pastoral thing going for them, and when I lived in rural areas as a kid...I suffered more, so maybe it lost points because of one of those reasons.
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #5 
Ready or not:

Gold -- The Beach Boys -- I've always liked this pretty song except for some lyrics. It would be better grammar to say "I remember you and me", not "you and I", unless it was "I remember you and I <doing X>", which it isn't. And "he shows you quite a ball". What?

Silver -- The New Seekers -- Pleasant enough. Of course, they're referring to a different song.

Bronze -- Chuck Aznavour -- He's very French.

Tin -- Ronnie Milsap -- He's not.


More woman trouble (or is it man trouble?):

Junior Wells -- "Little By Little"
youtube.com/watch?v=T5BY61DADyM
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D.A.N

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Reply with quote  #6 
G BBs but especially Carl's bit
S Milsap
B New Seekers
T Aznavour

Can check scores if you're happy to wait until Tuesday, Darren, otherwise best get someone else this week.  Travelling most of Monday.
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Darren.

None of these songs really shake my cage, but here's how it works out.

GOLD by a country mile - The Beach Boys. Actually, this song does shake my cage. Love it. I meant the other ones.

SILVER - Charles Aznavour. The best of the bunch from this very French silver fox. What to say ... big energy, good voice. Borderline funky.

BRONZE - Ronnie Milsap. I don't really do country, except this.



TIN - The New Seekers. I'd prefer new sneakers.

Thanks Darren. 



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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thinking how to set the "talk" on this vote.

GOLD - is completely Ronnie Milsap this week.  Darren kind of set this up in his monologue BUT there is an unnamed force that has to be named - Chips Moman, who was the producer behind so many records and artists, including the comeback of The King and Stax.  One of the top producers ever, who doesn't get name recognition because he didn't need to. 
https://www.elvis.com.au/presley/chips-moman-the-missing-man-of-memphis-music.shtml
Ronnie Milsap was of course connected.  What a story and his voice and piano playing, by today's wacky standards don't completely fit country because he was like Ray Charles, able to do anything - play with Elvis.  He was cross-over to any kind of sound, but it does have the twang because that's where he's from.
http://www.pennspeak.com/events/2019-07-19-ronnie-milsap

By far the Gold Standard this week, although all of the stories are interesting. Hal David a writer on Almost Like a Song - wow!

Silver to Brian and the Boys for the wacky Love You album.  My question is - who was playing the synths and writing the parts in this?  It was ahead of it's time.  Brian can get music out of conch shells on a desert island if he had to.  It's a cute song and has that hook.  It is interesting also with the three Wilson brothers here on vocals.  So my clear silver vote.

Now it gets tougher and to split some hairs - I go:

Bronze - The New Seekers (versus the old).  I just like it more than...


Tin - Charles, although I love the piano line.  Artist of the last century?  I'll have to hear more.  Maybe Dylan got some influence but I'll take Elvis influencing the Beatles and so many others. 

So The King and the pianist and all of the players are so tasteful on the Eddie Rabbitt tune.  Ronnie has some nice parts but the thunder that he plays (Elvis' suggestion) is sooooo good.

youtube.com/watch?v=l0NnsVrQOTE

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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks a lot to the voters so far - Cindy, John B, Larry, DAN, bonnie and Al. 

Cindy, I was not surprised by your Gold for Ronnie Milsap. Did you know he's a native North Carolinian?

John B, I always enjoy reading your votes and comments. 

Yes, Charles Aznavour was a protege of Edith Piaf. She introduced him to the USA. 

I invite you and everyone else to check out this article from a few years back...

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jun/19/charles-aznavour-i-wanted-to-break-every-taboo

He kept his word. He performed until he died. 

Larry, yes, poor grammar bugs me too. Let's hope Brian knew better and was just using poetic licence.

Aznavour was born in Paris to parents who had fled Armenia. He was the Armenian ambassador to Switzerland. 

bonnie, ha, if I heard that in a bar, I'd be looking for another bar. Sounds to me like Dorothy Moore's 'Misty Blue' on Valium. 

Al, thanks for obviously really listening to these. My money would have been on RM for your Gold, too. The fact that he sang and played on Elvis records shows how much E admired him. 

And here is a quick summary of Aznavour's life and career. The 10 songs named are a good start to checking out his incredible catalogue. 




Looking forward to the remaining votes and comments.  


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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #10 
Just for the hell of it.

Starting with Elliott Smith's "Waterloo Sunset" and continuing thereafter:

youtube.com/watch?v=ACt4e-eI0tk&list=PLnzY8RQcl4WA6gtfr1Q3tKpZ5XVfkewhY&index=32

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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #11 
Darren,

The worst thing that one could be labeled in the 70's was MOR - middle of the road (also called easy listening)  Ronnie gets close to this label but at his heart was still country. Maybe this would be the Elvis influence to not become completely labeled.  Your Aussies fitting MOR here would be the likes of Air Supply and Helen Reddy. The Carpenters and Captain and Tennille would be fitting of the label.  I do raise my hand to being a Carpenters fan though.  With Ronnie, I'm sure that I had an album or two. 

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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #12 
Al, MOR is just used as a derogatory term by people who are trying to come across as cool. 

No problem for those of us who are already cool. 

Talent is talent. 
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David W

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Reply with quote  #13 
My votes . Have gone for the Charles Aznavour song ....She doesn't really do covers but I could imagine Adele singing this song 1

Gold - You’ve Got to Learn (Charles Aznavour)

Silver - I’ll Bet He’s Nice (The Beach Boys)


Bronze- The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard (The New Seekers)

Tin - It Was Almost Like a Song (Ronnie Milsap)
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Darren J. Ray

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks a lot, David. 

Who says Adele doesn't do covers?....



And His Bobness does covers, too....



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stkilda4ever

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Reply with quote  #15 
Gold: The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard (The New Seekers)
...I've ever heard?   I've never heard it,. I have now and I like it!
Silver: You’ve Got to Learn (Charles Aznavour) Sorry to the composer, Monsieur A.  But I prefer the Aussie version by Kamahl.

Bronze: It Was Almost Like a Song (Ronnie Milsap) 
Tin: I’ll Bet He’s Nice (The Beach Boys) I am nice ... so I won't comment


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