“Careless Whisper” is a 1984 single by George Michael (credited to Wham! featuring George Michael in the US). The song was George Michael’s first solo single although he was still performing in Wham! at the time (the song is included on Wham!’s album Make It Big). The song features a prominent saxophone riff, and has been covered by a number of artists since its first release. It was released as a single and became a huge commercial success on both sides of the Atlantic. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about six million copies worldwide.

George Michael (born Georgios Kyriacos Panagiotou; 25 June 1963) is a British musician, singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham! with his school friend, Andrew Ridgeley. As one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Michael has sold over 100 million records worldwide as of 2010. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and made several records and achievements in the United States. Michael has garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Michael the 40th most successful artist on the “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists”. Michael has won numerous music awards throughout his 30 year career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations.

On October 26, 2011, Michael had to cancel a performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall due to viral infection. On November 21, Michael was admitted to hospital in Vienna after complaining of chest pains at a hotel two hours prior to him performing at a venue there for his Symphonica Tour. Michael was later confirmed to have suffered from pneumonia and until December 1 was in an intensive-care unit. While Michael appeared to be “in good spirits” and was responding well to treatment following his admittance, hospital officials said on November 25, that Michael’s condition had “worsened overnight”. This development led to Michael’s remaining 2011 dates, most of them in the United Kingdom, to be cancelled and postponed. Michael’s friend, celebrity hairstylist Fadi Fawaz, told press that Michael’s health was improving “by the hour”. On December 1, doctors in the hospital Michael is staying in, announced that the singer was “steadily improving” and had moved out of the intensive care unit.

Source: Wikipedia

SOULSPY Nu-Disco Edit of George Michael`s “Careless Whisper”. Release date: Dec 3, 2011.

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“Midwinter Graces” isn’t your typical holiday album and its deep beauty reveals itself upon repeated listenings, which includes Tori Amos’s version of the old classic “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” This song was introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Frank Sinatra later recorded a version with modified lyrics, which has become more common than the original.

Tori Amos’ love of this genre is more than evident. If some songs in the album don’t immediately grab you (this is a Tori Amos album after all), it’s just that this isn’t a “Christmas” specific album and there is nary a Santa or “White Christmas” in sight.  Instead a very angelic-looking Tori (floating in heavenly clouds) is featured on the album’s cover.

Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos; August 22, 1963) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer. She was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument. Some of her charting singles include “Crucify”, “Silent All These Years”, “God”, “Cornflake Girl”, “Caught a Lite Sneeze”, “Professional Widow”, “Spark”, “1000 Oceans”, and “A Sorta Fairytale”, her most commercially successful single in the U.S. to date. As of 2005, Amos had sold 12 million albums worldwide. She has been nominated for 8 Grammy Awards. Amos was also named one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 1996.

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Sources: Wikipedia 1,2 | Slug Magazine | Official Website

Silence Is Easy is the second studio album by indie rock group Starsailor, released in September 2003 and recorded in Los Angeles, and the song “Some of Us” was featured in an episode of the hit TV series “Bones.” It was also played in the closing credits of the Belgian film “The Memory of a Killer” (a.k.a. The Alzheimer Case). In the UK, the album was certified gold in 2003.

Starsailor is an English post-britpop band, formed in Leigh, Warrington and Greater Manchester. They are composed of singer and songwriter James Walsh, Bassist James Stelfox, drummer Ben Byrne, and Barry Westhead on the keyboard. The band signed with EMI, the label that a relative of one band member worked for, in 2000. In 2008, in a re-organisation, Starsailor were moved to Virgin Records, a division of EMI.

For a band often lambasted as shrinking violets, Starsailor have kept some pretty loose and unexpected company since they announced their arrival in 2001 with the majestic ‘Love Is Here.’ Then, as 19 year olds straight out of music college in Wigan, they found themselves hurled into the world of Heavenly Recordings – a label notorious for The Social, the good times and being friends with Primal Scream, Happy Mondays and The Charlatans. It was the legendary DJ Andrew Weatherall that provided their first remix. The band might have been signed by EMI, but it was Heavenly’s founder, the mercurial Jeff Barrett, that A+R’ed them through their first two wildly successful albums. Indeed, the second of those – 2004’s ‘Silence Is Easy’ – saw them become the last band to record with production genius and careless gun user Phil Spector. Not the kind of company you suspect that their supposed peers – Snow Patrol, Keane et al – would ever keep.

By 2009, they had four charting albums and ten Top 40 singles in the UK since 2001. On November 13, 2009 it was officially announced by Lancashire Evening Post that Starsailor was on hold and that James Walsh was concentrating on his solo career. In an interview with VirtualFestivals.com he stated that at this moment he was working on his first solo album and that he was writing the lyrics with American songwriter and singer Suzanne Vega.

Sources: Wikipedia 1,2 | Official Website

Remember that sultry dance number of Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez? Oh, man! Of course, I’m talking about the movie “Shall We Dance?” a romantic comedy where a bored, overworked Estate Lawyer, upon first sight of a beautiful instructor, signs up for ballroom dancing lessons. I love how Lopez describes to Gere about dancing the rumba:

Paulin (Lopez): “The rumba is the vertical expression of a horizontal wish. You have to hold her, like the skin on her thigh is your reason for living. Let her go, like your heart’s being ripped from your chest. Throw her back, like you’re going to have your way with her right here on the dance floor. And then finish, like she’s ruined you for life.”

This song “Santa Maria (del Buen Ayre)” was performed by the Paris-based music group Gotan Project composed of a French, an Argentine and a Swiss. The song comes from the La Revancha del Tango album was featured as the music for the main dance sequence in the 2004 movie. The name of the trio is a play on the name of a famous tango compilation album, the Tango Project, that featured several American classical musicians who came together to record a tango album. Hence, the word “Tango” became “Gotan.”

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Sources: Wikipedia | IMDB

In the heydays of good, quality love songs, I remember this tune from the albums of my Dad. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the vinyl long-playing record anymore. Still, it brings back memories of the (really) good ol’ days.

Captain & Tennille are American pop music recording artists who achieved chart success from 1975 to 1980. The duo consists of husband “Captain” Daryl Dragon and wife Cathryn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille. Daryl was a one-time keyboard musician for The Beach Boys who was instrumental in also bringing Toni into the band, the one and only “Beach Girl.”

Their first hit single was “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which went to number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 nine weeks after its debut in 1975, and it went on to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Tennille and Dragon eventually married on November 11, 1975. They reached number-one with their first single “Do That to Me One More Time” in January 1980.

Dragon & Tennille spent most of the 1990s and 2000s in the Lake Tahoe area in Nevada, where they had lived for more than a dozen years, and where, during that time, Tennille served as Ambassador for the Arts for the state. In the mid-2000s, they temporarily took year-round residence at their second home, located in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, until 2008, when they built a house and settled down in Prescott, Arizona, where Tennille participates in the annual Prescott Jazz Summit.

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Source: Wikipedia

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