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January 2018

Songs you cannot get out of your head: from Linda Thompson and Sandy Denny to Dolores O'Riordan, Nic Jones and Kate Rusby

Author: Colin Randall

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Time for another of those lists.

We all have them, songs or tunes we just cannot get out of our heads. A friend who is fairly contemptuous of Ed Sheeran - I am not, incidentally, and like him if selectively - was furious about not being able to shake off one of his hits (I have forgotten which).

Naturally, our personal choices for such lists are liable to change, on a whim or after coming across new or newly remembered sounds. I am restricting my own, current selection to music that is on my mind because I like it ...

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Hard Times/Complainte pour Ste-Catherine: a Kate and Anna McGarrigle feast

Author: Colin Randall

What a find. Bill Taylor, responding to my Cover Story piece on Anna McGarrigle's Heart Like a Wheel and its versions by the McGarrigle sisters, Mary Black and Linda Ronstadt - posted a comment with a link to a quite spellbinding rendition of Hard Times Come Again No More, Stephen Foster's song from the US Civil War.

"Brings me out in goosebumps every time I hear it," wrote Bill, mentioning also the contribution of Rufus Wainwright, the son of Anna's sister Kate.


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Cover Story: (37) Heart Like a Wheel. Mary Black, the McGarrigles or Linda Ronstadt

Author: Colin Randall

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For once, I really have no strong opinion.

I love Mary Black's singing and I love the McGarrigles (Anna and the sadly departed Kate). Linda Ronstadt has a great voice. It's just that I have no special love for the song Heart Like a Wheel; it's pleasant enough but doesn't do for me for what it clearly does for so many others. That's the nature of individual musical tastes.

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Dolores O'Riordan RIP: Limerick schoolgirl French, énergie and complicité

Author: Colin Randall


 


In 2010, after a concert in Nice, I described the Cranberries as a guilty pleasure. I shall quote the odd extract as we go on but you can read one of the articles I wrote then at this link. Now, at the wretchedly early age of 46, the band's lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, is no more. She died in London in circumstances, while not suspicious, that are still under investigation.


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Off to Cuba. Back soon ...

Author: Colin Randall

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If you have not dipped into the Cover Story series, it's time you did.

Have your say on same songs, different versions just as the series attempts to do. Suggest your own contenders - write about them for Salut! Live if you wish.

But for the next week or so, do not expect anything further from me. I am off to Havana.

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Cover Story (36): Rave On. Buddy Holly or Steeleye Span

Author: Colin Randall

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Cover Story - same songs, different versions - has been running for a while now. This is a slightly unusual addition to the series ...


But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step

My paper round days started after Don McLean's. But I suspect I would have felt a little the same had the papers in my bag in the mid-1960s carried front-page news of Buddy Holly's death in an air crash.

Holly's music was difficult to dislike for young lads and lasses growing up during his tragically short career and for a few years afterwards. It was simple but irresistibly catchy; the lyrics expressed everyday emotions - ones we had or aspired to - and the tunes were memorable.

Rave On was among his best songs or rather one of the best songs he recorded since he didn't write it. I find no fault with it but - for the purposes of this, the 36th and latest edition of Cover Story - I do know of a version I like even more.

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