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.
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