Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Song to Start With?

Welcome to the inaugural post of the "Music For A Lifetime" blog. I decided to launch this blog to share some thoughts on songs that are worth listening to - some you may know, others you may not (B-sides, album tracks, lesser known artists). Hopefully you're here 'cause you love music and, like me, are always looking for ways to broaden your musical horizons. Maybe I'll bring up an artist who you haven't listened to or thought about in awhile. Hopefully you'll share your musical thoughts too.

Although I might discuss artists, albums or news (or perhaps even nonmusical thoughts), the focus will generally be on the songs themselves - how they sound, how they make me feel, why they're important to hear. Where to begin though?

Our first song will be I'd Rather Go Blind by Etta James (1967)

The soul revival is quite popular today, and, being a fan of such music, I’m delighted. With all due respect, however, to Duffy and Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone before that, all pales in comparison to the greatest female soul and blues singer ever, Etta James. For examples of the furious power in her voice, I highly recommend buying her live album “Etta James Rocks the House”. Today’s selection, “I’d Rather Go Blind” on the other hand shows her soulful side, her despair. Though from the title, you might guess not a happy peppy selection, the emotions in Etta’s voice are strong, heartbreaking, beautiful. This song was a B-side of the wonderful top 40 single, “Tell Mama”. As you'll discover, I'm a tremendous fan of cover songs, so I'd like to mention Rod Stewart (way before he started doing anemic covers of pop standards) did an excellent version off his 1972 album "Never A Dull Moment".

Here's a video of the incomparable Ms. James (more mature at this sitting) singing this song:

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