Still not halfway through, and up to ‘L’. Don’t forget to add your own favourites. Any song, album, band, or singer, as long as the name begins with the letter ‘L’.
Starting today with a great rocking tune from Boz Scaggs, released in 1976. I first heard of Boz as part of The Steve Miller Band, and research shows me that Scaggs and Miller both went to Wisconsin University in Madison, another weird connection to the place that I had the strange dream about. His successful album ‘Silk Degrees’ included all the musicians who later became the popular band, Toto, and this was one of many hit singles from that. He still performs and writes songs today, aged 73.
British born singer Eric Burdon is best known these days as a solo artist who lives in America. But back in the 1960s, he started out as the front man for the popular group, The Animals, who had a string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1970, he teamed up with the American funk band, War, and released two incredible albums that defy placement in a genre. I could use most of the tracks from those in this series, as I like them so much. However, here is a track by the band without Burdon, released in 1975. It’s a good one to use for ‘L’, and it is unashamedly funky too.
Al Green was such an important figure on the soul scene over the years, with his distinctive voice, and the mournful love songs he was know for. I deliberately left him off of ‘G’, so that I could feature not one, but two of his classic songs beginning with the letter ‘L’.
And who cannot relate to the timeless heartbreak of this one?
Let’s Stay Together
I couldn’t resist a double ‘L’, with this party favourite from Labelle. Despite numerous cover versions, some of them very good indeed, this raunchy cover of the Eleventh Hour original has endured over the years, and is still just as popular as it was in 1974. It has become the definitive version, produced by the talented Allen Toussaint.
Stevie Wonder hasn’t featured so far, but here he is, at long last. His long and influential career has produced so many wonderful songs, but my own preference is to hear him sing a ballad, and to showcase the incredible range of his voice. Happily, the letter ‘L’ provides the perfect example, with this flawless song from a real genius.
British singer/songwriter Sam Smith has only released one album. But what an album. It made him an overnight international star, and rightly so. He has a magical tone, a massive vocal range, and his songs speak to everyone at many different levels. His second record is eagerly awaited, but every track on the first one is worth listening to. This one starts with ‘L’, fortunately.
Lay Me Down
This is my top pick for today. It takes me back to a time, a place, and a sound. A time of change in my life, but a good time, nonetheless.
Baby D was a British House Music act formed by Phil Fearon, and fronted by his wife, Dee Galdes-Fearon.
They had some huge hits from their 1996 debut album ‘Deliverance’, including this 1992 song, which has become an anthem. I was over 40 years old when I first heard it, and I thought it was simply wonderful.
I still love it just as much, 25 years later. Makes an old man’s feet move…
Let Me Be Your Fantasy
Believe me, I have only scratched the surface of ‘L’. There are at least 50 other songs I could have added, so plenty of scope for you to add your own choices.