Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday
Janie's comment about how she was enjoying the Soundtrack Sundays as a tool to exploring music inspired me to expand a topic that I've had on the back burner. What was I waiting to write about? The artists that I enjoy that you may not have heard or you've just heard OF them.
Admit it, you've got your favorites that others look at you and ask "Who? Whaaaa?" My husband probably has suffered this phenomenon more than anyone else I've ever met. (When he has loaded and reloaded an 80 gig iPod, you get an idea of how much he listens to.) My list will probably cover a couple of weeks to start, lol.
For me, the culprit in this "Who the heck is that?" circumstance is that I listen to many genres of music. Long before I met Ed, I had been exposed to his favorite genre, progressive rock. I'd even seen his favorite band perform live before he had. They were responsible for me getting a job in a record store. I'd boasted of my music trivia skills to the store manager. He decided to test me by asking "What group performed the song "Kayleigh" in 1985?"
My answer floored him. "That would be Marillion, and it was the second cut on Misplaced Childhood after Psuedo Silk Kimono. They opened for Rush on the Power Windows Tour in Winter, 1986." (Yes, I am a smart ass know it all-I freely admit that!) I was hired on the spot!
I can understand Merv's shock that I knew the song. Marillion falls firmly in the land of Amazing Groups You've Probably Never Heard. They're extremely successful outside of the US, but have a devoted following in the States. Fans are SO devoted that in 1996, they raised the funds for the band to tour the US when their record label would not!
I'm hard pressed to tell you which is my favorite Marillion album. They've produced concept and conventional style albums. They've also been fronted by two incredible and very different lead vocalist, Fish (Derek Dick, nicknamed for his love of showering) and Steve Hogarth (aka "H").
As I can't narrow it down to one album, I'll point you towards You Tube for a sampling of the two vocalists. A good showcase of the two styles is their greatest hits "Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other", which has exactly what the album title implies.
My favorite albums:
Fish Era: Misplaced Childhood
Hogarth Era: Season's End
Concept Album: Brave
Those who know me well, know it's hard for me to choose just one favorite song, so I'll offer up an alternative! I created a You Tube channel, SoundtrackSunday and I'll put my favorites there. All you have to do is search for SoundtrackSunday!
Another band that got a miss because their record label didn't know how to categorize them is October Project. They're not quite prog, not quite rock, not quite alternative. What they are (or were) is a group of extremely talented musicians who got a bum deal. After two critically acclaimed albums that weren't marketed, Sony dropped the band in 1996.
Soon after, they went their separate ways. Lead singer Mary Fahl ventured out on a solo career and now records for Sony Classical. Three of the remaining band members reunited in 2001 and recorded until 2006 with backing vocalist Marina Belica (an amazing vocalist in her own right) becoming lead singer.
The favorite songs you'll find in You Tube do not feature the band, as they'd stopped recording long before we had that web site available. I'd suggest listening without watching the videos!;) Also included is a Mary Fahl song, as I feel that she's not getting promoted by her label.
October Project (or O Project for short) only released two albums, but both of those would be in my desert island 10, which no other artist can claim. If you were to road trip with my family, you'd hear both albums, Falling Farther In and October Project. Ed and I would sing different vocal parts (there are at least two and sometimes four harmony parts) along with the band.
When Gameboy was small, he made up his own words to a few of the songs, singing a different harmony part from the backseat when Mommy sang while driving. His lyric was "Don't take my mommy" to replace "Come, take my body" from "Dark Time."
While I lean towards the prog bands for the complexity of the music, there are other genres that have their hidden gems, too.
If you're not a country fan, then the name Kellie Coffey isn't familiar to you. I first became familiar with her voice because she is the vocalist you hear during IllumiNations fireworks at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Both vocal performances "We Go On" and "Promise" are Kellie singing. She's got a sweet, strong voice and writes her own music. I am hoping that she someday acheives the success of another artist I once thought would be on this list-Alison Krauss.
I'm remiss on the Kellie Coffey front, as I've only purchased a few songs off of iTunes. However, everything I've heard from her has been quite enjoyable, even if the subject matter is tear producing. Actually, the three songs I put on the You Tube page have ALL made me cry. I take that as a sign of a powerful musician. My suggestion is that if you're the emotional sort, have tissues handy to listen to "Dance with My Father" or "I Would Die For That".
You didn't think you'd have a field trip to another web site today, did you? Just look at it as some things to check out throughout the week before more artists come at you next Sunday!