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Aah! Post number 50! Well, if you all were wondering why I didn’t update my blog in the past week or so, the reason is quite simple – I wanted to write the post on X-mas (You know, ending the year with a bang). By the way, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very, very happy and prosperous X-mas! May all your wishes come true!

I was in a constant dilemma over which song to review. I finally came up with 26 songs which were eligible for the honor of the 50th post. I beat myself up shortlisting the song and came down to the final three, which were –

1) Elton John – Sacrifice

2) Cliff Richard – Devil Woman

3) Paul McCartney – Yesterday

I finally picked Number 2, and Numbers 3 and 1 (Respectively) will follow soon after. Hope I made the right choice (Fingers crossed!)

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This song’s a given. Whenever you talk of Cliff Richard, you talk about “Devil Woman” or “Wired For Sound“. Personally, I prefer the former. There’s something in this song that activates every nerve in your body. All your attention is directed towards it. The lyrics are mystic, and the vocals are haunting, yet beautiful. Shall we get on with the review, then?

Cliff Richards (Singer)

Cliff Richards (Singer)

History:Devil Woman” is a song written by Terry Britten & Christine Holmes, and performed by Cliff Richards (September 8, 1975). This song originally features in his album titled “I’m Nearly Famous“. Rumors suggest Cliff Richards had originally rejected this song, but producer Bruce Welch finally convinced him to record it (He remained hesitant, though). The rumors were later confirmed by Cliff Richards himself, and no one really knows why he hesitated in recording this song till today. Maybe it was because of the ominous lyrics of the song – Who knows? Back to the song; “Devil Woman” peaked at Number 9 on the U.K. charts in 1976, and Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song is Cliff Richard’s third best selling single (Preceded by “Do You Wanna Dance” and “Summer Holiday“), selling over two million copies worldwide. There is only one version of this song, viz. the  Minute 38 Second Album Version (There are actually two versions – Christine Holmes’ version; in which she sings in the seductress’ point of view, and Cliff Richard’s version; which portrays the story in the man’s point of view).

What it tries to tell us: Okay, now there has been a LOT of speculation on the internet regarding the meaning of the song. According to the composer (Christine Holmes) and the producer (Bruce Welch), the song is simply about a man who is seduced by a woman, who incidentally happens to possess magical powers (A witch, in short) – Hence the title “Devil (Or Evil Witch) Woman”. But according to some people who apparently try to dig deeper into roots (Just to get entangled in them) suggest an alternative story. They think this song is about Divination. I know, I know; I’ll tell you what Divination is. Simply put, it is “The practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.” Now, according to the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10), Divination is abhorrent. My suggestion – Stick to the first meaning, and pretend you never heard about the second one. For all those who’d like to dig deeper and seek the In-depth analysis of the song, click here.

Review: The background music of this song always puzzled me. So I rummaged through the internet to find the instruments which were used to give the song it’s haunting effect, and was surprised to discover that guitars, drums, bass and backing vocals can do the trick easily. The song contains a heavy dose of bass, a Minor D1 key, and slow beats to give the song it’s mystic flavor (The electric guitar is used in the chorus). Cliff Richard adds another layer of mystery by his astounding vocals, coupled with the background vocals (Tony RiversJohn Perry and Ken Gold). The song starts off with small keyboard piece, chunks of bass and slow but heavy beats. The pattern of the drum changes at 00:17, giving way for Cliff to initiate the vocals. All the way till the end, Cliff Richard has kept the tone low and slow, which seems to be the perfect mantra to make a haunting effect. You can distinctly hear the bass throughout the song. The first “pre-chorus” piece starts at 00:34, in which the electric guitar is introduced. The first chorus starts at 00:50 (it may seem that the chorus is looped twice, but it’s not), and the electric guitar is literally made to cry, as a monotonous string is held throughout the chorus. That distinct siren-type sound can be heard at the ending of every chorus. The tempo of the song increases considerably during the chorus, and it is maintained throughout the song. The small stanza after the chorus has been applied with the same tempo, probably to give it some emphasis (He drinks the sleeping potion in this stanza). The chorus follows suit, and initiates again from 01:47 and the “She’s Gonna Get You From Behind” slowly blends with the electric guitar. The rhythm of the song is completely broken off at 02:12, where Cliff Richards whispers “Stay Away, Look Out.” The drums escalate the broken down rhythm, and the song spirals back to the original, slow tune. Till today, the fact that an electric guitar is enough to create a strange, eerie background sound astonishes me. The song’s rhythm converges back to fast mode from 02:37, where the Pre-chorus begins, followed by the chorus (At 02:53). The song fades off while the chorus loops continuously, and ends at 03:38.

Rating: It’s a X-mas special, goddamn it! A 10/10 is to be expected!

Lyrics For “Devil Woman” : http://artists.letssingit.com/strictly-come-dancing-lyrics-cliff-richard-devil-woman-opxxtq9#axzz2G9uYZSe3

Download Link For “Devil Woman” : http://www.brain-magazine.com/mp3/cliff_richard-devil_woman.mp3 (Right Click on link, click “Save Link/Target As”)

"Devil Woman" is a song by Cliff Richard, and it appears in his album titled "I'm Nearly  Famous"

“Devil Woman” is a song by Cliff Richard, and it appears in his album titled “I’m Nearly Famous”

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Probably one of the mushiest song ever, “Right Here Waiting” created a phenomenon worldwide. It won the hearts of millions all over the globe. Richard Marx has used his dreamy voice, coupled with (What I claim is) the best piano rift ever, and teary eyed lyrics and blended everything together to create the ultimate drug for romantics. For those who think it’s a pop song; think again. The genre of the song is actually ‘Soft Rock’ (Falls in the same class of “Jealous Guy” or “Bohemian Rhapsody“). Well, it’s placed at Number 2 on my ‘Top 10 mushiest Love Songs of all time’ list, and I’ll be reviewing this song today. Cheers to all the romantics who longed for this song! Let’s get started!

Richard Marx (Artist)

Richard Marx (Artist)

History: “Right Here Waiting” is actually a ballad composed and sung by Richard Marx, for his second album titled “Repeat Offender” (1989). The song went on, not only to break millions of hearts, but also records all over the world. It peaked at the Number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and at Number 2 on the U.K. charts. For the complete chart performance, click here. For more peak positions, click here. It was certified Gold by Canada, Silver by U.K., and Platinum by U.S. The music video was censored and considered a bit too ‘steamy’ for the public, because it featured a 42 second “softcore” sex scene. There is just one version of the song, viz. The Studio Version; having a duration of 4 Minutes 24 Seconds. [Source: Wikipedia]

What it tries to convey to us: Richard Marx actually dedicated “Right Here Waiting” for his wife, Cynthia Rhodes, when she was acting in South Africa. For us people, it’s about a loving couple who, unfortunately, break up; and the man tells her, “No matter whom you love in the future, remember this – I’ll always be there for you.” True love, isn’t it?

Review: The theme of the song is really soft – the bass, the vocals, even the piano and the acoustic guitar. The song starts off with a synthesizer rift (bass of the song). The Oh-SO-BEAUTIFUL piano rift (Courtesy Vanston) starts at 00:17, and it REALLY is magnificent. I always feel like crying (Out of joy, or sadness – who knows?). Richard Marx starts off with the vocals at 00:45. You can clearly see how beautifully he has modulated his pitch and tone, for accentuating the song. You can actually feel what he is trying to convey (For example – his “Oh can’t you see it Baby, You’ve got me going crazy”). He starts off with the first chorus at 01:17, and after a brief 6 second gap, starts off with the second stanza. The thing that keeps all of us hooked to this song is definitely it’s chorus, because.. Let’s just face it.. It’s stupendous! Richard Marx has cleverly added more number of choruses in the song, to keep the feel ‘alive’. Saying thus, the second chorus begins already at 02:16. The song may seem slow in tune and rhythm, but it’s really fast paced in terms of tempo. The song suddenly shifts all of it’s momentum and starts off with a completely different tune from 02:37, with Marx increasing the pitch by a notch. And then comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for – That epic guitar rift (Courtesy Bruce Gaitsch). Don’t get confused here: It’s not an electric lead, or any type of shredding that I’m talking about here; it’s an acoustic guitar rift. And yet, it’s just so beautiful. The simplicity of the song is the factor which completely won me. The rifts are extremely easy to perform (I learned the guitar 2 years ago, and this was the second rift I could ever play). It’s soft, subtle, and perfectly suits the song mood. Marx takes over again at 03:21, with starts with the chorus at 03:32. He makes sure to maintain the ‘edge’ in his voice till the very end. The vocals end at 03:52, and the song proceeds into ending mode with a dual of the acoustic guitar and the piano rift, and the ends at 04:24.

Rating: A flat out 10/10 for this one! Awesome vocals, soft melody, even better guitar and piano rift – all bundled in one! A must listen to!!

Lyrics link for “Right Here Waiting”http://artists.letssingit.com/richard-marx-lyrics-right-here-waiting-hrnnzh2

Download link for “Right Here Waiting”http://media.kickstatic.com/kickapps/images/67853/audios/601417.mp3

 

Album Art

“Right Here Waiting” is a song from Richard Marx’s album “Repeat Offender”

 

My favorite Oldies Pop band, The Carpenters, have delivered some of the most mind blowing songs I have ever heard of. Be it “Yesterday Once More“, “Every Sha La La”, “Only Yesterday“, “Superstar“, etc. etc. All songs sound so beautiful to the ear. Soothing melodies by Richard Carpenter, beautiful vocals by Karen Carpenter: These were two siblings who created magic. In an era where long hair, Grunge Rock and scream-on-top-of-your-voice was in great demand, The Carpenter’s produced a soft musical style, and made them one of the best selling artists of all time. Funny isn’t it? Anyways, three of their songs which are my personal favorites are “Every Sha La La”, “Only Yesterday” and “Please Mr. Postman” (Which I’ll be reviewing today). So, let’s get to it!

Band

(L-R) Richard & Karen Carpenter

History: “Please Mr. Postman” is actually a cover version by The Carpenters (The original song was produced by The Marvelettes). Ironically, this cover version was MUCH, MUCH better than the original one. It also made more than the original song. “Please Mr. Postman” was released as a single in 1974, and did wonders all over the world. It peaked at Number 1 on The Australian Kent Music Report, Canadian Singles Chart, Oricon International Singles Chart, U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and U.S. Billboard Easy Listening (Pretty awesome, huh?) and Number 2 on the UK Singles Chart (No surprises here). There is only one version (Okay, there are many COVER versions) of the song, viz. the 2 Minutes 48 Seconds Studio Version.

What it tries to convey to us: The song’s concept is damn easy. No complex or dual meanings here. It is simply about two lovers, wherein the boyfriend lives far away from the girlfriend; and the only means of communication between them is by writing letters to each other. The girlfriend always gets nervous when the boyfriend’s letter doesn’t reach her in time. The song describes such an incident. But, being the gentleman he always is, the postman always tries to cheer her up. Simple, but extremely charismatic lyrics.

Review: Previously, I was able to start the review without any hesitation. But this song has got me STONED. I can’t think of any way to start the song, because, well; the song can’t be reviewed or rated. It’s a cut above ‘Extraordinary’. Anyways, here goes.. The drums commence as soon as the song starts, and Karen Carpenter starts her BEAUTIFUL vocals at 00:01. Undoubtedly, she had THE best female voice in the entire music industry. The entire rhythm of the song settles in at 00:08. The background vocals are also very beautiful. An awesome fact about the song (Which I have come to notice) is that the chorus of the song is sung in majority by the background vocalists, and Karen Carpenters chips in sometimes. But that transition is what makes the song so beautiful. It’s between an Opera song and a Pop song. The same condition applies in the pre-verse bridge. The actual first stanza begins at 00:22. All throughout the song, you can’t help but admire Karen Carpenter’s gorgeous voice. The background beats are steady and music is very peppy. You can hear the xylophone chime in in-between the verses. It makes the sound of a bell (Listen carefully from 00:36- 00:41). The second chorus will start at 00:50, just as peppy as the first. The tempo of the song is extremely upbeat, even though the theme of the song is sad and gloomy. It’s one of those things music artists are so good at; using Antithesis in their songs. Anyways, getting back to the song, the bridge starts at 01:05. It consists of the background vocals (Utterly astounding), the drums and trumpet, which is the perfect instrument to play in the bridge, because it is from here that the postman cheers her up. The trumpet adds a shade of cheerfulness to the song. The second stanza starts at 01:20, the chorus starting immediately after it. The “Wait a minute, wait a minute” bridge starts at 01:48, and that too adds a lot of color to the song. The vocals end with “Come on deliver the letter, the sooner the better” and then the instrumentals and the background vocals (“Ooh’s” and “Aah’s”) take over. The ending of the song has a very nice touch to it. Piano, drums, trumpet, all mixed together to weave the perfect ending. The song slowly fades out at 02:33.

Rating: This is a song, rather a band straight from Heaven. Giving it anything below 10 would be a dishonor by my side. Hence, the 10/10! Perfect scores everywhere. Vocals, check. Instrumentals, check! Go and listen to this one, guys!

Lyrics for “Please Mr. Postman” : http://artists.letssingit.com/carpenters-lyrics-please-mr-postman-w5j1wfs

Download link for “Please Mr. Postman” : http://www.yoojaa.com/music/youchaixiansheng.mp3

(Right click on link, click “Save As”)

Album Art

“Please Mr. Postman” is a cover song produced by “The Carpenters”