dirty martini

old music for new people

soul power couples: the classics October 23, 2007

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duets don’t always work. i think simon cowell is about to find this out to his detriment – ‘same difference’ the icky brother and sister act on this year’s x factor are not going to resonate with a nation that just finds these things a bit, well…creepy.  what was that simon? you think they’ll capture the ‘high school musical’ market? make that ‘flowers in the attic’.

not as creepy as ‘two to go’ though, from x factor 2004. i haven’t got over that yet. psychopathic nursing home worker tries to carve career from exploitation of blind gareth gates-alike brother. ewwww.

if you bring together two equally talented, non-related singers however, the results can be spectacular. witness.

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bill medley and jennifer warnes – the time of my life

dirty dancing, like grease before it, will outlive us all. the soundtrack, and this song in particular, made the film the success it was. and made enough cash to get jennifer grey that ill-advised nose job…hope that ‘friends’ cameo paid well.

carla thomas and otis redding – tramp

much sampled classic – many female singers in the 60s paled in comparison to the commerical power of the supremes and undeniable talent of aretha. and otis is just otis and he died too young.

cherrelle and alexander o’neal – never knew love like this

whitney’s partner-in-crack cherrelle was once a respectable soul singer albeit only really famous for her collaborations with alex. who is slightly ‘eccentric’ himself as i recall from his bizarre participation in ‘just the two of us’ in which he duetted with a dumpy newsreader for the entertainment of the british public. someone really needs to stop the bbc making musical reality shows.

diana ross and lionel richie – endless love

i never got the whole diana ross thing. she is not a great singer. that dreamgirls storyline must have hit her where it hurts. i always wanted to see this film based on the song though.

janet jackson and luther vandross – best things in life are free

i may have forgotten the plot of the film ‘mo money’ to which this was the lead soundtrack, but i can remember this being played on a loop in the summer of 1992 at a very out of control house party.

judy clay and william bell – private number

another 60s duo who found themselves overshadowed. these two were on stax, not motown. which was way cooler.

mary j blige and kci hailey – i don’t want to do anything

mary’s problems didn’t start with her relationship with kci, but they did seem to begin to resolve themselves once she extricated herself. as ever, trying times can equal good music. people who say they wish mary would get messed up again so she can produce better music are wrong though.

roberta flack and donny hathaway – the closer i get to you

a whole album to choose from but the simplicity of this song is what makes it so special. that and donny hathaway, who could sing the bus timetable and stop me being pissed off that there’s only a bus ‘every 15-19 minutes’.

sheena easton and prince – u got the look

prince clearly saw a niche for scottish reality tv stars. especially those shorter than him – he doesn’t collaborate with just anyone. oh wait, he sort of does. carmen electra anyone?

the sos band and alexander o’neal – the finest

not sure how this came about? an early bootleg? i don’t remember him being on the original. he probably doesn’t either…cough…is he still wandering up and down kilburn high road looking confused?

syreeta and billy preston – with you i’m born again

this song is one of my earliest memories. it has that classic late 70s combination of plaintive harmonies,  and smooth vocals.

tammi terrell and marvin gaye – you’re all i need to get by

marvin and tammi were a much better match talentwise than marvin and insipid diana ross.

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reality the sequel: uk vs the us August 31, 2007

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well, in my original post i didn’t have room to feature so many of the other acts we have booed, loved and voted for across seven years of reality music shows.

in the uk, we have seen some quality acts get pushed aside by the likes of michelle mcmanus, chico, G4 and the cheeky girls. hopefully some of the lesser known acts here will take the experience and parlay it into something better than the occasional stint at butlins.

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4tune – babygirl

well, this lot had two shots at the x factor and bombed both times. they sound surprisingly good on this track though and have recorded an answer song to don’t cha by the pussycat dolls. they can’t possibly return a third time though – they need to give that one up.

roxanne cooper – all i want for christmas

everyone was shocked when roxanne was eliminated from pop idol, having been a favourite and easily the best singer that year. surprisingly, despite rumours of record deals and coronation street guest spots, nothing has materialised and to date this mariah carey cover is her only release that i know of.

zoe birkett – treat me like a lady

another likeable curly headed girl, zoe was in the unenviable position of vying with will young, gareth gates and er, housewives favourite darius danesh on the first pop idol in 2001. after being dropped from her record label, she married and divorced fellow pop idol contestant mark rhodes and is now dating bb6 winner anthony hutton. and she’s only just 22.

girls aloud – the show

love them or hate them, its impossible to ignore the fact that the girls are the biggest success story of uk reality shows. watching them triumph over one true voice and the pathetically out of touch pete waterman was a great moment. i still really want to slap the ginger one though. imagine how different javine’s life could be if she had made the band…

rowetta – step on by the happy mondays

ok i’m cheating here but i’ve heard rowetta’s single and its not great. what people are far more interested in is her time as backing singer for the happy mondays back in the late 80s and early 90s. how cool is that? i hate indie music but i love the ravey madchester stuff like this track and how can you not love bez?

jordin sparks – tattoo

how can someone so young be so confident and level headed? especially in the face of ridiculous accusations that she is dangerously overweight at a size 16. what? she’s not thin…but fat? she’s six feet tall for god’s sake! of course she needs to wear a 16. i hope she stays as she is, and stick two fingers up at US weight nazis…

kelly clarkson – the trouble with love is

…unlike the first idol winner, who seemed to crash diet the minute she accepted her prize. i can’t say i’m too fond of her work generally and there’s something really annoying about her. she does this open mouth, eyes wide open, ‘i’m so not listening to you, whatever’ thing.

vonzell solomon – dance tonight

baby v got the soul vote in a season of dull country and rock acts. she doesn’t have the most amazing voice but has that likeability thing going on. not sure we’ll hear from her again though.

paris bennett – i’m so hot

chose the wrong songs week after week and was probably just too young for the whole thing. her album seems to be doing ok and is fairly decent if not groundbreaking.

anwar robinson – maybe after all

lovely bob marley-alike anwar is yet to release a major label album. just too nice for words and the lack of competitive spirit maybe saw him eliminated before his time. of course i got accused of fancying him for calling him ‘nice’. um no, that would have been travis tucker that year… : )