Funky Friday – Roman Holiday

It’s a bank holiday!!! There’s an end of term ambience and spring tingle in the air – so to kick-start this three day weekend, the super chirpy Suzy Pepper from the Roman Empress blog is here, right here – pushing the buttons and choosing the tunes for a Funky Friday May Day special……

Girls and Boys

Men and women go together like soya peas in a pod, like raw tuna in sushi, like onions in gravy. Sure men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but man, the need of a man for a good woman is as old as the hills. A man needs a maid (with a voice that will blast you backwards).

Well, sometimes, these things need highlighting, you know?

And by gum, with this formula in mind, these songs sound as urgent and exciting as anything the recording industry has produced. Imagine sweeping the floor and brewing some builder’s tea of the production studio when these sensational offerings were being smashed out – sure wish I’d been tea lady that day.

To explain, these are all carefully chosen songs to highlight how a woman’s voice can take an already fantastic male-fronted song to a whole new dimension. The singer is male and the backing singer/s is/are female.

Here’s five examples for you, four absolute stompers and one seering, soothing work of genuine beauty.

You have my permission to enjoy.

Watch Your Step (Bobby Parker)
Repeat back, ‘watch your step,’ with these womanly vocals, that’s all this song needs to make it an amazing pearl, even though Bobby Parker does great Tim Buckley-esque faltless falsetto.

Watch Your Step

Money (Barrett Strong)
The best things in life are free, but great backing singing is the order of the day here. The result is well-polished and clipped backing singing creating a new deal for Strong’s voice.


Mama, I got a Brand New Thing (Undisputed Truth)
For the hawk-eared among you, this isn’t strictly a female only backing singer only. She does sing lead too in places, but her inclusion makes this one of the most impressive male/female parings I’ve ever heard. This song is really exciting.

Mama, I got a Brand New Thing

Get Ready For Love (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)
I believe this is the greatest opening track ever recorded and Abbatoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus is in the top 5 of albums ever recorded. This had to be included. Warning – get ready – a bullet is about to go off in your brain and I don’t want to be around to pick up the pieces.

Get Ready For Love

Poor Boy (Nick Drake)
Piquantly perfect, it’s no coincidence the supporting voice in this track makes this the stand-out track in what is already the finest Drake album. This song just floods into itself, maturing as the music progresses.

Poor Boy

So friends, please do reflect – a man just ain’t gonna do right – without a good woman by his side. These songs will join you in court to testify the fact.

This just leaves me to say I hope you all have a fab bank holiday weekend and please stop by either of my sites for a cuppa anytime.

Roman Empress xx


12 Responses to “Funky Friday – Roman Holiday”

  1. Lovely lovely stuff!!!!

    PM doesn’t need to come back really does he……


  2. Cocktails Says:

    I agree! Nice choice there Roman Empress!

    Although I have to admit I just can’t see the appeal of Nick Cave. There are only a handful of songs by him that I can listen to all the way through without screaming. This one’s ok…

  3. Axe Victim Says:

    Hey hey hey Empress. I could soon be worshipping at your alter, if it wasn’t for the Nick Cave track I’d say I am mighty mighty impressed with your record collection. Any hipster that digs the church organ that is Tim Buckley’s voice is my kind of gal. Stop by my place anytime for an ultra warm welcome. Mondo. Is this gal for real or what! Fantastic.

  4. Planet Mondo Says:

    As well as the mighty musical choices I think RE makes a great point about the yin and yang of yodelling when boys are backed by the girls…other tunes that wouldn’t work without girls sprinkling their sparkle on the tracks are..

    Gimme shelter – try it with and without Merrie Clayton’s dynamite backing vox here

    The Human League – ‘Dare’ period.

    Heaven 17 – ‘Temptation’

    and imagine Floyd’s ‘Great Gig In The Sky’ without the uplifting lungbusting.

    PS – If you’re not in to Nick Cave check out dennishopperschoppers the only album I’ve played 6 times on the bounce without offstage shouts of “Turn that off”

  5. Roman Empress Says:

    Hello! I’m a little slow getting up and about today, (well it is bank holiday Friday), and it’s lovely to hear such positive comments upon my first glimpse of the day at the puter. Haven’t even had my first cuppa yet. BRB. xx

  6. Nanker Says:

    Also: Marvin Gaye, “(Baby) Don’t Do It”, The Spinners, “I’ll Be Around”, and who could forget Jackie Wilson’s glorious “Higher and Higher”?

  7. Nice toons! and a blessed relief too… i thought ol Mondo had finally flipped on his 80’s buzz and had done a post of that awful lightweight pop band of the era… remember “don’t try to stop it”?? ahhhh!

  8. Planet Mondo Says:

    P – I always got that lot mixed up with JoBoxers – I think
    ‘Watch Your Step’ has got to be the pick of the bunch – I may have nick that fanfare intro for something

  9. rockmother Says:

    Hurray for the girls! Top tunes Miss RE. You have done Mr Mondo Bongo proud.

  10. Devil Dick Says:

    well played!

    gonna have somethin’ fer ya soon planet m!

  11. Roman Empress Says:

    Thanks everyone, and Rockmother I dig ya Pod tunes big style.

    Hope you’ve all had a great bank holiday y’all and muchos thanks to PM for allowing me to blast ma tunes on a new planet.

  12. Devil Dick Says:

    planet m, there is a “collins” related psot going on over at the devils music you might enjoy…???

    we may even be related somehow, i am of English/ German decent….

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