In the Spotlight with the #1 - Onderweg (Abel)

Discussion in 'Music' started by Willie Oleson, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Whoops ... I wanted to watch the funny/sad Bros documentary before voting and then I didn't round to it. Bros were just so fundamentally unlikable at the time that I never really listened to them properly. With the hindsight, there's something endearingly dumb about both the group and the song. Not that it matters now, but I'd give it a 7.

    Great choice, a total 9. It's up there with 'Shadow Dancing' by Andy Gibb and 'Jessie's Girl' by Rick Springfield as a first class slice of 70s/80s pop rock. You can easily imagine Cathy Geary tossing her mullet about to it at Isadora's.

    Here's a performance clip that doesn't feature our Jimmy. At the risk of sounding like Louis Walsh, Andy Kim reminds me of a black Neil Diamond:

     
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  2. Long Lashes

    Long Lashes Soap Chat Enforcer

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    Thank you for posting this video James. I don't know how I missed it.


    I used to think it was sung by Neil Diamond until I checked the song out. They do sound a lot alike.
     
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  3. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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    I've not heard this song for many years so thank you for re-introducing me to it.

    The comparison with Neil Diamond is spot on. In this song Andy Kim not only sounds like Neil Diamond it also is the kind of song that you would expect Neil Diamond to sing. It's a bit of a cheesy pop song with a catchy, sing-along chorus but it's so well executed that it is much more than that. It's not a 1970s classic like Bohemian Rhapsody or Life On Mars but in its own way it's memorable. It's the kind of song that would get people dancing at a party of people from Generation X and the tune would stick in everyone's mind afterwards. Andy Kim's vocals are great and really fit the song well.

    Overall, I really like it, it's dated but then so am I! Out of 10, I'll give it:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    There are some Andy Kim songs that I really like (Walkin' My La De Da, So Good Together, Shady Hollow Dreamer) but I've never liked Rock Me Gently.
    I don't really hate it, but I think it sounds like a not so great Pop Idols audition.
    The composition has a lot of non-harmonious keys, or keys that seem to fight eachother, and the shout-y chorus tries to mask all that and I'm just not buying it:mo:

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    I've not heard the song (or maybe I have, there's a familiar feel about the chorus) and the name Andy Kim is new to me. I gotta say that I fell in love with it straight away, it takes me back to the wonderful world of Brotherhood of Man and other 70s groups like the Dooleys.

    It's a great addition to the thread.

    8.png
     
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  6. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Did you watch it? I can't decide if you're saying you didn't get round to voting or watching the documentary.

    I wasn't going to watch it, they weren't on my radar enough to care about a documentary and then a friend recommended it. I thought it was one of the best shows on over the Christmas period and would watch a follow up if that ever happened.


    It reminded me so much of a hilarious sketch French & Saunders did as they played Bros for a Star Test.



    [​IMG]
     
  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Yeah, I watched it. It was funny and cringey and kind of sad!
     
  8. Long Lashes

    Long Lashes Soap Chat Enforcer

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    I did have a different song lined up for this thread, but on the same day Willie had totaled up for the Bros song I’d just listened to Rock Me Gently on the radio and for some reason it suddenly hit me how great the song is, so I posted this track on impulse instead.

    I have heard this song before and unusually for me I can’t remember where I've heard it? Right now I’m a little bit addicted and will
    happily play it twice in a row, although, I must confess I haven’t heard of Andy Kim before. I love everything about Rock Me Gently, its catchy feel good music, accompanied by a fine strong vocal performance.

    I’m a tough scorer, so from me it’s a high 8
     
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  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Rock Me Gently scores a 7.2

    the next #1 hit is…??
     
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  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    How about ...?



    Knocked 'Mull of Kintyre' by Wings off the UK Number One spot in early '78 after it had been there for nine weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Good!

    I think the strength of this song is the combination of lovely music and understatement.
    The structure, or actually the lack of a distinctive verse vs. chorus, creates the idea of a song without a beginning or end, and that's why it never gets tiresome.
    It's not as catchy as, say, Pass The Dutchy, a song that really wants to be a reggae hit (not saying that it shouldn't be).

    However, I do wonder if the duo's rather unglamorous appearance has contributed to the curiosity of this song, and therefore it's success.


    upload_2019-2-3_19-45-9.png
     
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  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Funny you should mention that. I just read this:

    The appeal of Althea and Donna is double-edged. Look at the Top Of The Pops performance: two gawky teen girls in their khaki suit an’ ting, trying to groove rather than giggle to the house band parping its way through a Joe Gibbs rhythm track. They are adorable, but in that setting not too far away from Baccara – and that’s the context which probably pushed “Uptown” from a Top 20 hit to a Number One. God bless novelty, when it gives us this!

    On record, though, the girls are significantly blanker, more reserved – cooler than anyone who might be listening. They bite at lines –
    “seh mi in mi halter back / seh mi give yuh heart attack” – and they hit that zone where awkwardness suddenly morphs into supreme confidence, the telepathic forcefield of front that makes girl-gang pop from the Shangris to Shampoo so irresistible. I used to listen to this thinking “no pop no STYLE” was a dismissal – of whatever grown-ups or squares or bores might be listening. My comprehension might be off, and those enemies might be straw men, but it still sounds like the most joyful put-down on record.

    http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2008/07/althea-and-donna-uptown-top-ranking/comment-page-1/#comments
     
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  13. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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    I've not heard Uptown Top Ranking for , many years and it got me thinking about how many Jamaicans have had a UK number one record. There maybe more but I could only think of Ken Boothe, Boris Gardiner, Desmond Dekker and Shaggy. Althea and Donna are therefore a bit of a rarity for the small island that is so well known for its music in that have succeeded where giants of Jamaican music such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff failed, and topped the singles charts here.

    Growing up in a Jamaican household, when I was young it was quite exciting when this song made number 1 because we often listened to Jamaican artists but they rarely featured in the charts let alone making it to number 1. I recall being a bit disappointed when I saw Althea and Donna on Top of The Pops because they looked so uncool, more like trainee secretaries than reggae singers. However, they created a very different, interesting and fun record that isn't really a reggae song but more of a rap said in Jamaican patois. The line that I always remember is "See mi in mi Benz and ting, driving through Constant Spring" because I knew someone whose family were from there and I had never before heard it mentioned in the media or popular culture.

    The song a classic of the era but a memorable song that makes you want to smile. I really like it and it brought back some fond memories. It also gets an extra point for knocking that dirge Mull of Kintyre off the top spot. I give Althea and Donna's Uptown Top Ranking a ranking of...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    SKA music (also from Jamaica) was quite popular in the 70s and early 80s, I believe. But those hits were not always performed by Jamaican artists.
     
  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    When BBC4 started repeating Top of the Pops from the mid-70s a few years back, I was struck at how all the female performers looked like secretaries who'd just popped into the studio in their lunch hour, while most of the male performers wore dad jumpers and looked like they should be on Question of Sport. The two exceptions were Mick Jagger and Dave Bartram of Showaddywaddy, both of whom looked like Liv Tyler's twin sister.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I love 'Uptown Top Ranking' too. It's one of the few songs, like 'Spacer' by Sheila B. Devotion, that never fails to sound as good as the first time I heard it. So it's a

    [​IMG]

    from me.

    The rhythm of the track is recognisable on the 60s song 'I’m Still In Love With You' by Alton Ellis.



    In the 70s, Joe Gibbs re-cut the rhythm and turned it into 'Three Piece Suit' by Trinity, which is almost as brill as 'Uptown'.



    Gibbs also produced 'Uptown Top Ranking' which, apparently, was an "answer record" to 'Three Piece Suit'.
     
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  16. Long Lashes

    Long Lashes Soap Chat Enforcer

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    This song was a refreshing change to the sounds I am usually drawn to. I found the song to have an easy listening style, a song which I could relax to. It also has a happy vibe, I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it made me feel chilled and carefree.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    hmhmhmhm tadadee tadada
    [​IMG]

    Uptown Top Ranking scores an 8

    Which is the highest score so far, but the feeling is not unanimous yet. Does such a #1 hit even exist?


    Next:


    Dutch people like to re-discover things and then turn it into something really big, like, America, for example.
    Conquest Of Paradise became the #1 hit of May 6, 1995 - stealing the crown from Celine Dion's "Think Twice" - and maintained that position for 9 (!) weeks.

    But how do we feel about this conquest of the #1 hit position?
     
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  18. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    It definitely sounds like it belongs to something, like a film or an Old Spice commercial, but not having any attachment to the thing it's attached to, it just sort of slides off the side of my brain. It feels a bit grandeur-by-numbers on first listen -- the ascending chords, the swelling choir -- but maybe it's a grower. Nine weeks? Blimey. It was your Bryan Adams or Wet Wet Wet then. I'll give it

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    This is the kind of song that I would appreciate in a soapchat movies theme top 10, but as a top 40 hit I'm not sure if it deserves to be so big.
    On the other hand, I support diversity and I like the idea that something like this could become a #1 hit too.
    Eventually we grow tired of everything, and 9 weeks is a long time, but from a negative point of view (Conquest is not a great song) it's almost a blessing in disguise because you could decide to hear it or not - as you said, slides off the side of my brain.
    If you disliked "I Will Always Love You" then you had a serious problem because it was impossible not to hear it, there was no escape whatsoever.
    Still, that's not a reason to really love Conquest Of Paradise.

    So, considering these pros and cons, the other contestants (Scatman and Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman) and then the next #1 (I Wanna Be A Hippy by Technohead) I'll give it a

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing World Cup of Soaps Moderator

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    I've not heard this song before but I really like it. It has an epic quality and the choir conveys an image of a group of people working together on an adventure to achieve something monumental. It sounds like a film theme so I looked it up and it was written for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise which told the story of Christopher Columbus and his travels. So my initial impression of the music described earlier fits very well with the content of the film for which it was written. So as a theme tune which reflects what happens in the film it really works but the song is more than that, it's a great piece of music in it own right.

    Apparently, this song was a hit in many countries, not just The Netherlands and staying at number one for 9 weeks is all the more remarkable considering the film it was written for was a relative flop. The orchestration is stunning and the choir rousing creating a piece of music that is so good I think it will have a life beyond a flop film and be recycled as a theme to a TV show, be used on TV commercials or played before football matches to accompany the teams when they first walk out on the pitch. The highest praise I can give it is that I like it so much I'm going to download it to listen to when I go running.

    It's a great song but not as good as many others so I'm going to award it a...
    [​IMG]
     

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