Guitar Train

Hop aboard the Guitar Train to the final destination of Advanced Musical Knowledge

Archive for the tag “Billy Joel”

Quirky T’s Top Four Fave Steve Winwood Songs

This month’s list of favorite songs of musicians other than Quirky T’s absolute favorite musicians is another artist I has seen in concert – Steve Winwood. I saw him as a solo act in 2010 in a small theater. He was the least personable of all the musicians I have ever seen in concert but maybe that was because he really seemed to be into the music. Unfortunately, he didn’t play all my favorite songs of his. Here they are

 

Gimme Some Lovin’

 

While You See a Chance 

 

Back in the High Life Again 

 

Roll With It

Again, as with the other Guitar Train stops about Billy Joel, Elton John, and Richard Marx, I only listened to the hit songs of Steve Winwood. Most of those hits were from the 80’s so I have decades of songs to listen to if I want to explore more of Steve Winwood’s solo work and in various bands.

 

Guitar Tran passengers, what are your favorite Steve Winwood songs?

Quirky T’s Top 4 Fave Elton John Songs

Elton John Greatest Hits CD

Last month, Quirky T conducted the Guitar Train to stop and list her top 5 fave Billy Joel songs. This month, I’m listing my faves from the other musician I saw in the 1994 Face to Face Tour, Elton John. That concert was perfect for me because it involved two musicians whose music I enjoyed listening to on the radio but was not interested in enough to seek out more than their hit songs. As with Billy Joel, my favorite Elton John songs are from his Greatest Hits CDs.

 

So here are my top four fave Elton John songs:

“Your Song” <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/mBCVEcjScTQ&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

“I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”  <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/h6KYAVn8ons&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

“Sad Songs (Say So Much)” 

“I’m Still Standing” 

 

Maybe it’s time to expand my listening of Elton John beyond just his Greatest Hits CDs.

Elton John Greatest Hits Vol. 3 CD

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite Elton John songs?

Quirky T’s Top Five Fave Billy Joel Songs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lately, Quirky T has been listening to Billy Joel songs from his three Greatest Hits CDs. In 1994, I was lucky enough to see him in concert with Elton John. Just to clarify, Elton John co-headlined the concert with Billy Joel; Elton John did not attend the concert with me as my seatmate. (Although that scenario would have been amazing). Anyway, it was a great concert so I would love to hear more Billy Joel at one of his monthly gigs at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Until that dream comes true, here, in chronological order, are my top five favorite Billy Joel songs.

 

    “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”
    “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”
    “Don’t Ask Me Why”
    “The Longest Time”
    “This Is The Time”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I noticed most of my fave Billy Joel songs are from the 80’s. I guess that is because this was the time when I first started listening to his songs. So they may not be his classics from the 70’s people really admire but 30 years later, I guess they are also considered classics. I really think Billy Joel is a clever songwriter. I love his unusual phrasing and emphasis on certain words, especially in “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”. His songs represent a range of emotions and musical genres. He also creates distinctive characters and interesting stories in his songs.

To tie this Guitar Train stop in with one of my favorite musical groups, I cannot hear “We Didn’t Start the Fire” without listening for the line referencing The Beatles. I know not everyone likes this song but I think Billy Joel was genius in the way he put all those historical references into a song. Plus, he realizes that a list of significant historical events and people must contain The Beatles.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite Billy Joel songs?

My Faves Get Angry

Sometimes life is not all happiness and love songs. Sometimes people, events, and circumstances make you angry. My favorite musicians, whom I often listen to for joy and lightheartedness, have all had their angry moments. These moments turned into angry songs which I like to listen to when I’m angry. It’s nice to know you’re not alone with these aggressive feelings. So here are my favorite musicians at their angriest.

 

  1. The Beatles – “Run For Your Life”
  2. Phil Collins – “I Don’t Care Anymore”,  “Do You Know, do you care?”, and “Who Said I Would”
  3. Gloria Estefan – “Go Away”
  4. Huey Lewis and the News – “Walking on a Thin Line”
  5. Jon Secada – “Whipped”

 

Bonus

Billy Joel – “You May Be Right” 

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your go to songs to listen to when you’re angry?

Quick Station Stop – Life Songs of My Faves

The words “life” and “living” have been used in numerous song titles including songs by my favorite musicians. Here is Quirky T’s list of songs by her favorite musicians with “life” or “living” in the title.

 

The Beatles – “A Day In the Life”, “Got to Get You Into My Life”, “In My Life”, and “Run for Your Life”

Phil Collins – “All of My Life” and “Separate Lives”

Gloria Estefan – “Live for Loving You”

Huey Lewis and the News – “Workin’ for a Livin’”

Jon Secada – “I Live for You”

 

Bonus Songs

Steve Winwood – “Back in the High Life Again”

Elton John – “Simple Life”

Billy Joel – “My Life”

 

Guitar Train passengers, what songs by your favorite musicians with “life” or “living” in the titles can you name?

30 Years Later Quirky T Revisits “We Are the World”

We are the World Album cover

Thirty years ago on January 28, 1985 a large group of musical superstars came together to record the charity single “We Are the World”. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones. They were following the lead of Bob Geldof who gathered superstar musicians in the United Kingdom in 1984 to record the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” to raise money to help relieve famine in Africa. “We Are the World” raised over $60 million for the charity. It also won four Grammy Awards including Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

Looking back at the artists who participated in “We Are the World”, it was quite an exceptional group. The stars of the 80’s are well represented and joined by legends such as Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder. Maybe because Quincy Jones was producing this there was more diversity than would later perform at Live Aid. The only big stars from 1985 who were missing were Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Prince.

cu We are the World album cover

In researching this Guitar Train stop, I came upon various reasons why Prince did not participate. Regardless of what the real reason is, I am very happy with his replacement – Huey Lewis. Huey alone, without the News, sang the bridge part after Michael Jackson and before Cyndi Lauper and Kim Carnes. Kim Carnes was the only singer I did not recognize when I watched the DVD “The Story Behind the Song: 20th Anniversary Special”. For the music video, the artists lined up in a U-shape in the order they sang their lines. So Huey was positioned between Michael Jackson, in full King of Pop regalia, and Cyndi Lauper, wearing an abundance of jewelry. Had Prince been there instead, it would have been an 80’s overload of hair, jewelry, and brocade. Huey brought it down to earth and sang a line (which I can’t write here because of copyright issues) that I could imagine being in one of his songs. Cyndi then does her vocal thing, Kim Carnes adds her two words, and then Huey rejoins them. I think it’s cool that Huey was part of this momentous gathering. Incidentally, the News joined him later to sing in the chorus which also contained many famous musicians including another favorite of mine, The Pointer Sisters. It was nice to see other regular guys such as Billy Joel (whose line to me seems to be right from a Beatles song) and Bruce Springsteen.

In 2010, another group of musicians remade “We Are the World” to benefit Haiti which had experienced a devastating earthquake. I had heard about the remake at the time but I never bothered to listen to it because the only people I had been told were in it were Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. I had no interest in listening to them along with a bunch of current musicians whom I wouldn’t know. When researching this Guitar Train stop, I decided to listen to the updated version. I was pleasantly surprised by the other big name (and talented) musicians who were involved such as Wyclef Jean, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand, and Tony Bennett. Interesting note – Usher sang Huey Lewis’ line in the remake.

We are the World back cover

Back to 1985, the “We Are the World” single was part of an album of the same name which contains songs by artists from the single as well as Prince and Chicago. Huey Lewis and the News contributed the song “Trouble in Paradise”. The album also contains a group of Canadian artists recording a song called “Tears are Not Enough” under the name Northern Lights.

 

To read more about the epic recording of the song “We Are the World”, check out this great article on the “Rolling Stone” website called “’We Are the World: A Minute-by-Minute Breakdown’ on Its 30th Anniversary”. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/we-are-the-world-a-minute-by-minute-breakdown-30th-anniversary-20150306  Also check out the website http://www.usaforafrica.org for much information about the song and other charities.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what did you think about “We Are the World” at the time and what do you think about it now, looking back 30 years later?

 

The Guitar Train is still in 1985 as the next stop takes us to another epic charity event from that year – Live Aid. So hop back aboard The Guitar Train to see this concert from the skewed point of view of my favorite musicians.

It Really Is His Birthday, Too, Yeah!

The Art of McCartney

Today is Paul McCartney’s birthday so to celebrate Quirky T listened to the two CD tribute to him called “The Art of McCartney”. I was surprised in November 2014 when I saw a side of a building advertisement in New York City for this CD set of cover songs. I had never heard of this project but being a Paul McCartney fan, I had to listen to it. I don’t like cover versions of my favorite musicians but I was pleasantly satisfied by this collection. The songs are a mixture of Beatles’ songs (17), Wings’ songs (14), and solo songs (11). Obviously, I knew all The Beatles’ songs but I wasn’t familiar with 10 of the post Beatles’ songs.  I also wasn’t familiar with all the artists on the CDs which are advertised as “The Songs of Paul McCartney Sung by the World’s Greatest Artists”. I think this is a bit of hyperbole since if they are all that great, I would have known all of them. I didn’t know 13 of the 38 artists/bands. That’s almost one third! The majority of the artists and bands where popular in the 1970’s which makes sense since most of the Paul McCartney songs are from that time.

 

I tended to really like the songs that sounded the most similar to Paul McCartney such as:

  1. “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Live and Let Die” sung by Billy Joel

2.   “Junk” sung by Jeff Lynne

3.    “Jet” sung by Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick

4.     “Eleanor Rigby” sung by Alice Cooper

 

I also liked these versions of Paul McCartney songs:

  1. “Band on the Run” sung by Heart
  2. “Junior’s Farm” sung by Steve Miller
  3. “My Love” sung by Harry Connick, Jr.
  4. “Let Me Roll It” sung by Paul Rodgers
  5. “Helter Skelter” sung by Roger Daltrey
  6. “Helen Wheels” sung by Def Leppard

 

In keeping with the nice, non-bashing tone of The Guitar Train, I won’t write about which artists’ renditions I did not like except to mention that I think their distinctive voices killed the great (Beatles) songs they sang.

 

Interestingly, Paul McCartney’s son, James, appears on this tribute playing piano with the band, The Cure. They did a nice version of one of my favorite Beatles’ songs, “Hello Goodbye”.

I also found it interesting that one of the songs covered, “Come and Get It” while written by Paul is more associated with the band who recorded it, Badfinger. I thought the solo song “So Bad” sounded like a Michael Jackson song which is interesting since it appears on Paul McCartney’s 1983 album “Pipes of Peace” which also includes two duets with Michael Jackson – “Say Say Say” and “The Man”.

 

Overall, I enjoyed these tribute CDs. The songs showed the diversity and range of Paul McCartney’s music from “When I’m 64” to “Venus and Mars/Rock Show”. The fact that a variety of artists from different genres of music were needed to do the covers illustrates the diversity of Paul’s songs. It really made me appreciate the musical genius of Paul McCartney and made me seek out the original versions of the Wings and solo songs that I was not familiar with before. For more information on this CD set, check out the website – http://www.theartofmccartney.com/artists

 

Guitar Train passengers, which Paul McCartney songs would you like to hear covered by which artists?

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: