most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

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Blair N. Cummings
Posts: 1025
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:14 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

We may all be ignoring the elephant in the room which I suggest is the divide in popular music occasioned by the emergence of rock and roll after the demise of the "American Songbook" generation.
Previously, all generations heard and appreciated the same songs. Beginning in the 1950s, a specifically "youth-oriented" music split one generation of listeners from another. Adults were not expected to like rock and rock was not intended to express adult experience. The gap only widened in the `60s as the new music went mainstream, elbowed out all competitors, and became chemically- and politically- influenced. The singer-songwriter phenomenon saw newcomers like Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro et. al. adhering to familiar structures (as did most rock writers, honoring the AABA trope) but composing strictly autobiographical lyrics, many (`though not all) of which would be simply silly for someone else to cover. In short, universality was traded for personal specificity.
With time, it was simply assumed that a "song" was whatever anyone with a crush, a grievance and a guitar (piano/synth/laptop) spewed out. It was no longer a craft.
Hence, the "genius" of the Beatles, Bob "Dylan", on to the present.
I`m really not a reactionary. I was a huge fan of psychedelia, the Velvet Underground, and lots of bands and solos I won`t waste space listing here. I just think the distinction should be made between (as Lou Reed once wrote) "thought and expression".
And please don`t tell me that this is an "over-simplification." Of course it is. This is a discussion board not a graduate seminar.

Ken Miller
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:37 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by Ken Miller »

I have nothing against the talent of Mariah Carey as a singer. I am sure she is probably one of the best of all time. She started a trend in pop music where the vocalist embellished the melody so much that the melody became lost. Whitney Houston did not do that at first. Her early hits were sung very straight forward. Then Mariah came along and, all of a sudden, there was a race to see who could show off the most. Music became sport. One example is Mariah's remake of "Endless Love." Not my favorite song by a long shot, but if I had to choose one to listen to, it would be the original because Diana and Lionel just sang the song. They didn't try to show off. I don't think that all of the vocal tricks adds to the beauty or expressiveness of the performance. In fact, I think it detracts. The best melodies don't need the vocalist to "make" them beautiful or expressive, they are already. Dionne Warwick sang the song that Bacharach wrote. She always put the focus on the song. Bacharach wrote songs that were very hard to sing and were uncommonly beautiful, allowing her gift to be expressed naturally. Which brings me to my point. I think the reason many pop singers today embellish so much is because the melodies just aren't there. They have to make the song interesting and/or beautiful because of weak material. That doesn't take away from Mariah's talent as a singer. I am speaking musically here. I'll leave the lyrical discussion to others. I haven't heard Coldplay. I will give them a listen. Thanks.
PS. Record sales don't equal quality. McDonald's has sold more hamburgers than anyone else but they still give you heart disease.
PPS. Record companies used to be owned by music lovers. Now they are owned by business people. That may be a factor.

An Enormous BB Fan
Posts: 1192
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:14 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by An Enormous BB Fan »

The Beatles -- or should I more properly say John Lennon and Paul McCartney, writing together, or writing solo (the names Lennon & McCartney went on all the songs they wrong even when they were written by either one of them), wrong one great and catchy song after another -- in my opinion. I wouldn't call them geniuses but I would call them great pop songwriters. Such catchy and wonderful songs, my god, whether it was Yesterday, The Long and Winding Road, Michelle, She's Coming Home, etc. etc. etc. They were brilliant and The Beatles were a major force not just in music but in pop culture.

The great pop songwriter, Lionel Richie, wrote "Endless Love" and I think it's just a brilliant -- I mean BRILLIANT! -- pop song. I would have no problem believing that Burt wished he had written it -- it is that good.

But I do have to agree that 99% of most pop songs these days are just so bad! Most of the time I can't believe what I'm hearing. There's maybe 3, 4 or 5 songs per year that I think are great, but that's about it. I do like "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines." They're both very catchy and very well written. Pharrell Williams is on fire right now, producing and writing.

Blair N. Cummings
Posts: 1025
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:14 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

Okay, I`ll play:
The most haunting melody for me over the course of forty-five years may be the coda Jimmy Webb composed and used twice for Thelma Houston`s Sunshower album.
It appears at 2:18 at the end of Didn`t We and at 2:25 at the end of This Is Your Life.


I`ve been making people sick with this obsession forever.
I wonder what JW thinks of it now if he even recalls it.
Note: It`s kind of buried behind the vocals et. al.

geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

Blair N. Cummings wrote:Okay, I`ll play:
The most haunting melody for me over the course of forty-five years may be the coda Jimmy Webb composed and used twice for Thelma Houston`s Sunshower album.
It appears at 2:18 at the end of Didn`t We and at 2:25 at the end of This Is Your Life.


I`ve been making people sick with this obsession forever.
I wonder what JW thinks of it now if he even recalls it.
Note: It`s kind of buried behind the vocals et. al.

Man do I love Jimmy Webb. Like Bacharach he has a very beautiful mind. Unlike alot of the brill composers he was equally talented with lyrics as he was musical composition. After i heard the magic garden album a few years ago I became obsessed with his witty vivid imagery. The Cadence or Coda as you call it was so beautiful. I heard that song before from Richard Harris and man that is just a beautiful song. I prefer the cadence in Thelmas version tho after just hearing it today for the first time. Fitting that the part of the song you chose has a very strong Bacharachesque element of using a cadence that has a rythm change. Is the coda exactly the same in both songs?

I am also getting to appreciate Jimmy Webbs versions of his own songs. I suffer from the same disease as he does not having the greatets singing voice but having alot of great ideas but the passion is never missing in his interpretations. In his own live version of Didnt We i love the chopinesque arpeggios that coincide with the vocal crescendo from 3:30-3:40 breathtaking. The cadence in this song is a minute long of epic piano playing that sounds like the greatest compositions from the Romantic age of classical music.

Its a pity Thelma and Jimmys collaboration came to an end after such a good album. She could have easily been his Dionne since he didnt seem to have many female muses other than the girls of Fifth Dimension and The Shivarees didnt really do too much.

geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

Continuing on a previous theme of modern music. Hear is a Mariah song that takes me to heaven everytime I hear. If you want to hear the living reincarnation of Minnie Ripperton you have to hear her song Bliss off her Rainbow album. She exercises alot of vocal restraint as there is very little belting but embellishes the whistle register singing the whole chorus of the song in complete whistle register. This is the first time I ever heard a singer sing actual audible words in the whistle register. I dont think there should be any debate of where she belongs in the pantheon of the goddessess after hearing this. There is also a nice sexy pic of her showing her rainbow album cover .


This song like the last song was not a commercial song but I have always loved Mariahs ethereal songs where she expoits her lush velvetty head voice. I present to u Mariah Careys h.a.t.e. u which stands for having a typical emotional upset.




Here is another dreamy celestial Mariah song called Underneath the stars. I chose the live version of it because back in the 90s Mariah was so epic her concert performances often rivaled the studio recordings. Her voice sounds like summer breeze. I often take a deep breath in anticipation of her singing drifting at 2:28.

geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

How could i have ever forgot this song Alicia Keys send me an angel. This was the song sang at Whitney Houstons funeral song by Ms Keys herself who both share Clive Davis as the champion of their careers. The cadence of the song is breathtaking. This song shows Alicia Keys virtuosic songwriting, piano playing, and abilities as a lyricist as well. In anticipation of those who might say she is screaming please google soul music.

Anyone who doesnt think this is beautiful please provide your full name and address so i can show up at your door to cause you bodily harm.


geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

Ill try to make this my last posting of the day but sometimes i cant help myself im a forum whore. Destinys Child version of the Beegees Emotions rivaled the original in my humble opinion and trust me i love me some disco and can hustle with the best of them. I just thought the rich blend of the three girls brought a very sentimental delivery plus this song was released sep 2011 i was barely 16 just got my drivers license done my first summer job and then had to deal with the death of my beloved aaliyah and sep 2011 all in the span of two weeks so there is alot of EMOTIONS as the song is aplty titled involved for me. Beyonces melismatic delivery will be polarizing for some who yearn for simplicity but i think she does it tastefully and very controlled in this song. How many people can rift in their head voice?




I expect to be completely alone with this one but this forum is about sharing our individualities. This is a song by Chris Brown from his debut album called Aint no way. The main thing i love is the recorder instrument that loops throughout the majority of the song. Here Chris Brown is just 16 years old long before Rihanna and the drama. Ahhh youthful innocence. He is probably the closest sing my generation has to Michael Jackson as entertainer who moves effortlessly while still being able to carry a tune.


geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

This song i have always found chillingly hauntingly. Its rare to write a pop song in a minor key? I think this is Carly Simon at her best with the way it should be.



grooverider
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:13 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by grooverider »

geoff85,
Here's a version of Carly Simon's "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be", a duet by Jack Jones and (his real life lady, at that time) actor Susan George:


nowmedical
Posts: 323
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:51 pm
Location: london

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by nowmedical »

Geoff, thanks for posting that Carly Simon gem. That was my teenage music before I got into soul and disco. How about Janis Ian - At Seventeen - isn't that a minor key?

geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

grooverider wrote:geoff85,
Here's a version of Carly Simon's "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be", a duet by Jack Jones and (his real life lady, at that time) actor Susan George:


I can do without Susan George and her disney broadway inflections. Having said that I like Jack on it for the Frank Sinatra quality to his voice and the rearrangement. Its such a good song that even a botched singer cant botch the song.

geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

Prob the best Fleetwood Mac song of all time and possibly one of the best songs of the 80's



The last song however may only be rivaled by this song

i always loved the Asian influence in this song.

Lindsay Buckinghams under the radar single trouble. The classic fleetwood harmonies in the chorus and guitar playing stirs my heart string.... 3:10 IS VIRTUOSIC.. I often wish he sang lead with FM.


geoff85
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by geoff85 »

Modern music alert. Chillingly haunting song from Paramore named Decode.



it was performed on American Idol and sounded even more haunting. She is one of the finalists in the finale tonight.


blueonblue
Posts: 1416
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:22 am

Re: most beautiful haunting melodies you ever heard?

Post by blueonblue »

Hi Geoff,
Thanks for those great tracks, Lindsey Buckingham is a Genius !
Meanwhile here's Dusty and the Pet Shop Boys.....


"blue"

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