Wednesday, September 09, 2009


(Blogger won't allow me to upload a picture so we are pictureless today)

There are some singers you can listen to at length and other just good for a song or two. Rufus Wainwright would be an example of the second for me. His style is so unique, so unvarying that I tire of his voice very quickly. And yet I like it for a song or two.
Joni Mitchell wears well. As do the Beatles, Jo Stafford, Madeleine Peyroux.
What singer can you listen to all day? Who do you get tired of quickly?


Kieran said...

Chris Isaak. Alton Ellis. JJ Grey. Otis Redding. Sinatra, but only if I'm lying around with the papers and brunching with friends.

Deb said...

I could listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing all day long--especially the Gershwin song book. I also like to listen to Sade and Rickie Lee Jones--oddly enough, when I'm ironing. As for Joni Mitchell--I can just put on "For the Roses," "Blue," or "Court and Spark" and suddenly I'm a teenager again!

R/T said...

Jane Oliver's and Randy Newman's LPs were constant companions certain points in my life. (How is that for widely different styles!) Tiny Tim ("Tiptoe Through the Tulips") and Richard Harris ("McArthur Park") were worth hearing once (for the simple-minded novelty) after which any sensible person would never listen to either "recording artist" ever again. (Again, how is that for digging really deeply for a couple of really annoying examples!)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wouldn't equate Rufus with singers like Tiny Tim for me. He has a good voice and does great songs. But his style is too unvarying for me, too specific a voice.
Ella is amazing. I am not familiar with Jane Oliver, have to look into her.
I have a ton of Otis on my MP3 and I love every one of them.

Charles Gramlich said...

I like Stevie Nicks. But for me even a great singer can't save a bad song.

R/T said...

I think the name should be Jane Olivor (rather than Oliver). And, I would add another to the "limited listening" category but for different reasons: Joe Cocker. While I "enjoyed" listening to Cocker, the experience served to make me incredibly anxious and edgy, so I could "take it" only in small doses. Finally, I would add another artist's LPs that I wore out when we all used turntables and giant speakers: Luciano Pavarotti. (I confess. My musical preferences were wildly eclectic.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, I put way too much Cocker on my MP3. Have to take a few off.
And the opposite, Charles.

Ed Gorman said...

Billie Holiday
Jo Stafford
Dakota Staton
Helen Merrill
Nina Simone
Aimee Mann
Dusty Springfield
Susanne McCorkle
Lorraine Feather
Nellie Mckay
Regina Spektor
Sinatra (when I don't think of what a jerk he was)
early Billy Eckstine
Nat King Cole
early Johnny Mathis
Hank Williams Sr. (not the mutant son)
Pauk Carrack
Boz Scaggs
Curtis Mayfield
middle period Tony Bennett
Matt Monro (yes-give him a serious listen doing standards)

to name a few

Scott D. Parker said...

-Chicago - all the singers over the years.
-Diana Krall
-David Bowie
-Cousteau (band from England with a singer who is every bit the crooner that Sinatra used to be)

Dave Zeltserman said...

Dusty Springfield
Leonard Cohen
Natalie Merchant
Bob Segar
David Byrne/Taling Heads
Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits
Annie Lennox

to name a few

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, I love that I am getting some new names. Lorraine Feather. Interesting how most of these are ballad-type singers. They do wear well over time. Nine Simone-I heard Mississippi Mud the other day. Fantastic.
I nearly put Sinatra on my list but I am too aware of him. Does that make sense. I never sink into the music but instead picture him singing it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I can listen to Leonard Cohen all day and also to others singing his songs. I also have a ton of Blondie songs on the MP3. I am old enough to remember her on the cover of the NYT Book Review and suddenly she disappears. Why? Dusty was the best. I even like the recent CD with what's her name singing her songs.
I have all of Feist. She soothes the beast.

Jerry House said...

Gordon Bok, Ian Tyson, Dave Mallett, Tommy Makem. There are many others, but I keep coming back to these.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jerry-I don't know a one of them. Have to check them all out.

Corey Wilde said...

All day long...

Emmylou Harris
Eddie Hinton
Frank Sinatra

MP said...

Even though I'm more of a rocker than a standards guy, it's Sinatra for me. Nobody ever did it better. Moving into the rock era I can listen to Neil Young and Van Morrison almost endlessly. I know a lot of people think Neil Young is awful. These people are wrong.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, Emmy Lou. I have a terrific CD with her and Linda Ronstadt called Western Wall, I think. Frank does it better than anyone, I guess. He seems to cross generations.I have been made to submit to Neil Young and now find him restful.

George said...

I can listen to Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye all day. But one of Western Civilization's greatest inventions is the SHUFFLE feature. We all crave novelty and a random mix of songs is my preferred listening mode.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hey, I liked SUICIDE. I couldn't understand the lyrics but what he did with limited instrumentation but a versatile voice was pretty impressive.

Yeah, the days of listening to an entire album (CD) are over.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

David Bowie
David Byrne
Chuck Prophet
Chrissie Hynde
Lou Reed
Nick Cave
Bryan Ferry
Bob Marley
Hank Williams Sr.
Johnny Cash
These are some I can listen to all day long
Others like Tom Waits(who I really love) and Joni Mitchell I can only listen to for short periods of time.
Scott Parker-good choice on Cousteau, but bad choice on Chicago(yuch).

Graham Powell said...

Wow, the first singer listed in the first post is my favorite (Chris Isaak). He once did a tour with also-great singer Natalie Merchant. I couldn't go and kicked myself twice a day for weeks.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Another good topic, Graham. What concert did you forgo and regret?

David Cranmer said...

So far U2 has stayed with me the longest. I've been listening to Bono and the lads from Ireland for twenty-five years.

Paul D Brazill said...

Roy Orbison/ Sinatra/ Bobby Womack ..forever.

Costello(Good writer, though he is) 3 songs max.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I completely agree about Elvis Costello. Great example. Voices that are too unusual grow tiresome quickly for me.

Todd Mason said...

Well, your patience with Rufus Wainwright's scratchy whine is much greater than mine. Definitely not up to his parents or the rest of the family. Melanie, at very least "Brand New Key," is similarly annoying.

As to whom I can listen to, wow, the list is pretty darned long, and includes most of the folks cited so far. Harmony bands/choruses, from the Weavers to the Beach Boys to the Roches to the Miracles to performers of the work of Palestrina to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross to Blue Rose to even a sort of love/hate of the Swingle Singers and Brasil 66 (depending heavily on the individual recording) have always had a special place in my affection...folk rock lured me into seriously paying attention to rock, particularly the Byrds and Fairport Convention (and that obscure Liverpudlian band, when they worked in the mode).

(Yes, Gerry and the Pacemakers, of course. Well, "Ferry Across the Mersey" has an excellent introduction.)

wv: dobedent

Martin Edwards said...

Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick are among those I can listen to forever. Someone I always strive to avoid is Jim Reeves.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Both had so many great songs. Not familiar with Jim Reeves. Will look him up.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Kind of Tennessee Ernie Fordish.