Please play along with your own choices. Any artist, song, album, or group, as long as the name begins with ‘P’.
British pop duo The Pet Shop Boys had a string of big hits over here, after forming in 1981. They crossed many genres, from torch songs to disco, with the distinctive vocals of Neil Tennant always identifying them immediately. They were also know for their collaborations with other performers, and work on film soundtracks. They covered many songs by other artists too, and made skillful use of sampling and remixes. Still together today, and continuing to tour, this gives a flavour of their style.
Left To My Own Devices
In the late 1970s, British Indie band Pulp appeared on the scene. Fronted by the thin and energetic Jarvis Cocker, they soon got a large following, resulting in many chart hits. The band had some political leanings, and this can often be heard in some song lyrics. Cocker later became well-known for his insult to Michael Jackson at an award ceremony, something that overshadowed the band’s music. They broke up in the late 1990s, and later reformed. But they have never repeated that early success.
Python Lee Jackson was an Australian rock band. They are mainly known in Europe for just one record. But what a record. Using Rod Stewart as a session singer, they gave us this wonderful song, in 1972.
In A Broken Dream
Punky American female vocalist Pink has had a great career, in a relatively short time. Making superb use of the pop video, she has gone on to become a huge-selling artist, and part of the modern musical establishment. I always liked her cheeky look, and the fun videos that accompany her songs. But it is easy to forget that she is a very good singer indeed, so I would like to confirm that by including this powerful song.
Just Like A Pill
Portishead appeared in Bristol, UK in 1991. Three years later, they released their first album, ‘Dummy’. This took the charts, and the critics, by storm. It was a new sound; electronic yet mournful, and with the incredibly powerful vocals of Beth Gibbons. They have only ever released three albums, and although they still perform occasionally, they might be better thought of as a ‘music project’, rather than a chart group. Here’s a classic track from that first album.
I have a great fondness for this next track, although it is the only song I like by the band, The Psychedelic Furs. It is used on the soundtrack to the John Hughes film, ‘Pretty In Pink’, and shares the same name. A double ‘P’, and a personal favourite.
Pretty In Pink
My top choice today is another track from the late genius, Prince. It could never have been ‘P’ without Prince now, could it? I like so many of his songs, but this is the one I always return to. I could have had a double ‘P’ with Purple Rain, but I like this one so much more.
When Doves Cry
(I left you room for Pink Floyd, Eddy…)