It’s been over a month since I last posted some Songs from the Vault, the last couple being on guitar tunes. This month sees another thematic approach, and for want of a better name, Easy Listening.
First up is Lujon by Henry Mancini. I originally heard this track, or at least a sample of this, on Dimitri from Paris’s 1996 album Sacrebleu. The original dates from 1961 and is named after a percussive instrument on the record. Regardless, it’s one of those tunes like Percy Faith’s Theme from a Summer Place that we all seem to know and love but don’t quite seem to know where we know it from!
Next up is one of my favourite jazz tunes, Who can I Turn To? It was penned in 1964 by Tony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for a musical called The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of the Crowd. I was turned on to it by the legendary pianist Bill Evans, and then Tony Bennett who popularised the tune. I was planning on putting the original Tony Bennett version on here. However, this wasn’t available on YouTube so I’ve included the version from the 1966 album Bill Evans at Town Hall, which is a great album to check out.
Jumping squarely into Easy Listening territory, the next tune is The Impossible Dream as sung by Andy Williams. Like the last song, it originally appeared in a musical (also in 1964) – Man of La Mancha – about, you guessed it, Cervantes’ Don Quixote. I never knew that before researching this post and if you listen to the lyrics, it all makes sense. Avid readers will be aware, however, that I’ve struggled with Don Quixote. If only that could be read in two and a half minutes!
This Guy’s in Love With You is one of the best tunes ever! Penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, as if you needed any help there, it was a tune sitting on the shelf in need of a voice (and trumpet). The voice came in the form of Herb Alpert. Alpert is the ‘A’ in A&M records which was formed in 1962 and housed acts including The Carpenters, The Police, Janet Jackson, Soundgarden and The Human League. A&M had to wait until 1968 for its first US No.1 single: TGILWY. It was worth the wait.
Bacharach and David make another appearance albeit one year later, in 1969, and with B.J. Thomas on vocal duties. Raindrops keep Fallin’ on my Head was written for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and duly won an Academy Award. I can’t recall where it featured in Butch Cassidy but clearly remember it in Spider-Man 2, as the fitting soundtrack to Peter Parker’s return to a normal life. It’s a great scene, and a great song.
That’s it for this edition of SVTF. I hope you enjoyed it – I’ve got plenty more planned!