A Musical A-Z: P

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.
Common People

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.
Sour Times

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…)

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55 thoughts on “A Musical A-Z: P

  1. Everything has already been mentioned!
    I can add Puff Daddy with I`ll be missing you, Pop Tops with Mamy Blue and The Alan Parsons Project.
    Song: Pop Corn by Hot Butter
    Some German Bands: Die Phudys ( from East-Germany, one of the most popular bands there since 1969 )
    Die Prinzen ( also a Band from the East 1990 – 2010 ) and Pur ( I loved them in the 90s – I have ten CD`s of them and I saw them live in 3 concerts ).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete, this was a great list! I definitely 2nd a lot of these, but I’d never heard of Pulp, and what a fantastic video. I’d only known that song because William Shatner did it with Ben Folds, on his album “Has Been,” and I didn’t realize it was a cover until now. I’ll definitely check out Pulp. And I saw someone listed Peter, Paul and Mary, sentimental favorites.
    Plimsouls “A Million Miles Away”. Pearl Jam “Better Man”
    Pixies (yet another excellent band out of Boston, even though that is possibly my least favorite city on the planet).
    Patti Smith (not Patty Smith from Scandal) is poetic, original, and amazing. Listen to anything from “Dream of Life” or “Gung Ho” or her original punk sound.
    The Pretenders! I guess that should be “H” Chrissie Hynde, but incredibly catchy hooks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did have the Pretenders ‘Brass In Pocket’ on my shortlist, Robert. I like Chrissie’s voice a lot. Happy to introduce you to the distinctive sound and style of Pulp, and appreciate the others you listed.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE Pink and the Pet Shop Boys! I’d also have:Pearl Jam, Pentatonix, Peter, Paul and Mary, Paul Simon, Prince, Pete Seeger, Phil Collins, Pharrell Williams, Pink Floyd, The Pointer Sisters, The Police, and Pretenders. For songs:
    Palladio -Escala
    Pale Shelter – Tears For Fears
    Panama -Van Halen
    Pandora’s Box – Aerosmith
    Paninaro – Pet Shop Boys
    Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna
    Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone – Temptations

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost used Papa Don’t Preach, as I love that Madonna song. I expected someone to mention it, and I am pleased that you did. Thanks for your other selections, Kim. I am glad you are feeling better.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I once got that song Puff The Magic Dragon stuck in my head for weeks. It almost drove me insane! I hope it does’t happen again, after typing this…
      Thanks for the addition of that popular folk trio, Susanne.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  4. Songs~ Panic Station~Muse, Party Girl~Elvis Costello, Photograph (of course!) Nickleback, Porno Star~Buckcherry

    Artists (other than Pink & Floyd) ~ Paul Carrack (what a great voice), Pendulum~energy on legs and the ear quirky Paloma Faith- have to share this brilliant live performance of a great song by Diane Warren

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a CD by Paloma Faith. I quite like most of her stuff, and she is unusual to look at too.
      (In a good way) 🙂
      Elvis Costello’s song might well have featured, but I do include quite a bit of his stuff. Julie plays Ed Sheeran so much, I wouldn’t care if I never heard ‘Photograph’ again!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How rarely it is with your musical posts that I’ve heard of all the artists mentioned – in fact, I’d say it’s never. I know and like the Pet Shop Boys and have a couple of albums. I’ve never understood the Prince phenomenon and had to remind myself of Portishead’s work. Never heard of the others and I can only come up with Pink Floyd!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like Prince’s songs more than the man, to be honest. I would sooner listen to him, than watch him.
      I expected Pink Floyd to get a huge following on this post. Even though I never liked them, I don’t mind! x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great list, and great Zeppelin anecdote as well – as for the “P”, Id add Tom Petty – “Don’t Do Me Like That” is a great one to feature – there are many – you could add Ike & Tina Turner for “Proud Mary”, or a more obscure choice, the british band Suede and their fun and upbeat “Positivity” –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. I liked some of Suede’s songs at the time too. My wife is a big Tom Petty fan, but I can take or leave him myself. Tina may well feature, further down the alphabet.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My submission for this morning is a 2-for-1, Pete. The song “Puppy Love” by Paul Anka!! song and artist covered – hey now that we’re almost to the end of your second genre list – I’m finally getting the hang of it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks, Pete. Some of the songs I’m not very familiar with, so thank for the suggestions. I can only think of people already mentioned. Not in a very musical frame of mind, so thanks so much for this. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. In 1973i wasn’t especially into music. I listened to Radio 1 and watched Top Of The Pops, but none of it really struck home; I didn’t hear anything that really spoke to me.

    Then my friend invited me round to listen to a new album he’d just bought. As he played it I say with my mouth open. It was the first time I’d heard a concept album and I knew I had to own it.

    The tracks dealt with themes and subjects I hadn’t really considered previously. It was anti war, anti poverty, anti greed. It dealt with stress, mental illness, the anxiety induced by running as fast as you can just to stay where you are. It was anti religion.

    It was Dark Side Of The Moon, and it was by Pink Floyd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pink Floyd were so huge. I remember working in a record shop in 1970, when they released ‘Atom Heart Mother’. We had pre-ordered 500 copies ( a huge amount for a small shop) and sold them all in under six hours! That was only beat the same year, by the release of Led Zeppelin 3. We sold 1,000 copies of that in 12 hours, opening early to cope with the rush. People were buying 6 at a time…
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  10. The Pet Shop Boys for a double…”Pandemonium” and “Poles Apart” by Pink Floyd……tunes…”Pages” by 3 Doors Down (they are from this region so had to throw them in)…..”Pain Killer” Judas Priest……”Paradise by The Dashboard Lights”…Meatloaf…..”People Are Strange” the Doors…..”Piece of My Heart” by Big Brother and the Holding Company…..I now need coffee….brain drain…LOl have a good day my friend….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More coffee=live longer!
      Thanks for another great selection, chuq. And well done with that double! Janis would have featured with ‘Piece Of My Heart’ but I already used her for another letter.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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