Tuesday 9 February 2021

Love-Song Count-Down to Valentine’s Day

I once live-blogged a meal in a restaurant; but I have never blogged on a daily basis leading up to an event. My Spanish friend, Ana, decided to update each day with one love-song from the decades leading up to the present, 1950s onwards. So, I decided to join in. Come back each day to see what love-song I have chosen for the next decade...

Monday 8th February 2021

Following my friend’s example, Ana, I am going to post a daily love-song from each consecutive decade in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day.

When Rick Astley recorded the song in the 1980s, I purchased lots of copies and, instead of Christmas-cards that year, I sent my friends a copy of the single. 

My choice to represent the 1950s is Nat King Cole’s “When I Fall In Love” from 1957. Enjoy! 

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Well, it’s Tuesday and that means the 1960s for my next decade in the love-song count-down to Valentine’s Day.

Whilst this track was a #1 hit in the UK in 1964 (my Y.O.B. - don’t tell!), I am linking to a video of this star’s come-back in the 1990s and is I think from his all-star concert in 1992 (?) (spot the famous contributors!). Apart from my birth-year, the other connection to me is that I am named (and very much honoured to be so) after this great musician, the inimitable voice and talent of Roy Orbison.

I give you #RoyOrbison and his painful love-song, “It’s Over”...

Wednesday 10th February 2021

The track I have chosen to represent the 1970s in the love-song count-down to Valentine’s Day was a global #1 hit in 1972, including in US (four weeks) and UK (five weeks). Until a couple of years ago, I had no idea what this singer-songwriter even looked like. His image was deliberately withheld, except rare and blurry album photos. He was born with a congenital heart problem and died of heart-failure in 1994 only aged fifty-two. He was the first artist to make a re-mix album and the first artist to do a mash-up. He was the winner of two Grammy-awards, in 1970 and 1973. He wrote &/or performed songs for several films, including “Midnight Cowboy”(1969), “Goodfellas”(1990), and “The Fisher King”(1991). He is so famous, and yet also nowadays perhaps all but forgotten.

He did not actually write the song which I am linking, but for his staggering vocal performance he won the latter Grammy. The recording itself was re-issued in 1976 and reached #22 in UK. This is when I bought the 7”. It was re-re-issued in 1994 and reached #47 in the UK singles-chart. This track reminds me of one of the first wimmin with whom I fell in love. And she broke my heart... Awwwh! But I survived. Ha ha ha...

Herewith I present Harry Nilsson, often simply known as Nilsson, and his classic “Without You”...

Thursday 11th February 2021

It was a tight race for my 1980s spot in the love-song count-down to Valentine’s Day 2021. My runner-up, at 5 mins 27 secs, is Soft Cell and their torch-song “Say Hello Wave Goodbye”. There are a couple of connections between this latter and the actual song I have chosen: they were both long tracks and criticised by radio-DJs for that at the time and both songs were unconventional if not experimental.

My top eighties love-song is even longer, coming in at 5 mins 47 secs. Many folk may never have even heard it let alone seen the video, despite them being recorded by one of the seventies biggest groups. This is my fave track by the artists. My second favourite of theirs is also in excess of five minutes and is entitled “Eagle”. My choice is titled “The Day Before You Came” and was released in 1982, but was considered less than successful at the time, only reaching #32 in the UK charts. A cover by Blancmange two years later got to #22. Nonetheless, by 2010, fans voted this their third most favourite track of the band ABBA.

Friday 12th February 2021

I have to come clean and aver that the 1990s is my fave decade for music. I went to so many music-concerts, including Annie Lennox, Moby, Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red. There were several love-songs from the decade which held personal resonance for me: R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming”(sic); Isha-D’s “Stay”; Olive’s “You’re Not Alone”; etc. However, my decision was made due to one person’s songs which kept cropping up as contenders.

The love-song I have chosen to represent the 1990s in the count-down to Valentine’s Day also has  memories attached to it. It was released in 1991 from an album that resulted in five UK singles and won that year’s Brit Award for best album. In this instance I recall a failed affinity with a man who could not quite make that final step out of the closet. For me, this track is bitter-sweet as it gets to the nub of why our relationship ultimately could not work.

Ladies and Gentlemen (pun intended), I give you “Heal Your Pain” by the very-much-missed Mister George Michael…

Saturday 13th February 2021

Today is the twentieth anniversary of meeting a man who was to become my partner for just over eleven years, but after we split he became my best friend.

I knew instantly which track I wanted to represent the love-song for the noughties (2000-2009). For me this song has a strong spiritual feel, in the sense it could be about the love of the divine for those of us in the physical-realm. However, it can equally be seen as a declaration of love from a parent, a sibling, a friend or a lover.

As an extra blessing, whilst the artist is very much a singer-songwriter, this track was penned by my chum’s fave female Swedish artist, Robyn.

My artist recorded this in Stockholm in 2004 and it was released in 2005, when it reached #16 in the UK singles-chart. The original video appears to have been all but eradicated, but I managed to track it down. Forgive the less than pristine quality.

I give you someone who is considered one of Britain’s greatest soul-singers, Beverley Knight and “Keep This Fire Burning”…


Sunday 14th February 2021

So then, which artist and what song did I opt for to represent 2010+ in the love-song count-down to Valentine’s Day?

In this instance the artist is probably unknown to you, unless you are an avid reader of my facebook feed over the years &/or my blog. However, since discovering this wonderful, gay singer-songwriter, I have played his music far more than anybody else’s. Matt Alber (check the lexicon below for other blog-posts) is a total Mensch and knows how to pen and craft a good ballad.

In this instance, I have not selected one of his more famous tracks. Indeed, there is no video for this particular piece. So, one can only listen. Even prior to seeing Matt play live for the first time, this was already my fave of his works (before and since!). I am not going to describe what it is about, so that the listener can create their own narrative if they so choose.

Happy Valentine’s Day, happy PALentine’s Day to one & all! My love ūüíēūüíēūüíē

Meine Herren und Damen; mesdames et messieurs; ladies and gentlemen - Matt Alber and his melancholic love-song “Wallingford”…

I hope you have enjoyed my selections for 2021.

Overview of my Valentine’s Day 2021 love-song choices:

1950s - Nat King Cole - “When I Fall In Love” - 1957

1960s - Roy Orbison - “It’s Over” - 1964

1970s - Harry Nilsson - “Without You” - 1972

1980s - ABBA - “The Day Before You Came” - 1982

1990s - George Michael - “Heal The Pain” - 1991

2000s - Beverley Knight - “Keep The Fire Burning” - 2005

2010s - Matt Alber - “Wallingford” - 2011

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