There are a bunch of Valentine‘s stuffs floating around today but we thought we’d commission our homeboy Doc’trin to give the scoop on his Valentines playlist. Actually we’ll take all of these any day of the year! Check it out!
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – I Miss You (1972)
A good friend of mine found this 7” a few years back and immediately called me to celebrate the fact, share the tune and boast about finding the sample to Big Boiʼs Shine Blockas (which had just surfaced). I must have listened to it on repeat 8-10 times that day. I just love a song with a spoken story-telling breakdown (a la Lenny Williamsʼ Cause I Love You) that can also be so unapologetic about apologizing.
Harry Nilsson – Donʼt Leave Me (1971)
Ever randomly lurk someones songs on Facebook? Sure ya do, Lurky. I came across this amazing tune I intend on keeping till I die from a friend I barely talk to or hang out with (which is a shame because heʼs a nice guy and has an incredible taste and knowledge of music). I didnʼt even thank him yet! Better get on that. Anyway, this is pure genius.
The Zombies – The Way I Feel Inside (1965)
I have no shame in telling you I found this gem through a Wes Anderson film (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to be exact). O.K thereʼs a bit of shame, but thereʼs also a good excuse. Would you believe “strict upbringing with a 17-year-long ʻno secular music whatsoeverʼ rule”? The lyrics struck a personal chord, appealing to my hopelessly romantic cowardice at the time (a characteristic I tried tirelessly to defeat with the repeatedly dreadful idea of memorizing and singing this song to cute girls thinking it would make them do anything but run away scared). Oops, my bad.
If youʼre not familiar with The Zombies, do yourself a favor and get acquainted because they are solid! Anyone else out there favor them over The Beatles? I made a special road trip when I heard they were playing the Ottawa Blues Fest a few years ago and let me tell you, they still sounded great almost 50 years after they started.
￼Steve Martin & Bernadette Peters – Tonight You Belong To Me (1979)
Here is another song I learned about from a movie (The Jerk), memorized and tried to seduce woman with. Itʼs been around since about 1926 and has been covered by many, however this is the only version Iʼm really familiar with as Iʼve skimmed through a few others and didnʼt find anything as exciting. You wouldnʼt expect it, but these two actors do a bang up job with this song (and yes, it really is Steve and Bernadette singing). Hmmm, I seem to remember hearing that Steve spent 2 weeks learning the song on the “uke” but Wikipedia says otherwise. Who do you trust: me or Wiki?
It might also interest you to know that Steve Martin recorded an LP titled The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo which won a Grammy for “Best Bluegrass Album” in 2010! The cover is pretty awesome!
Harpo Marx: Alone (1935)
Almost anyone who knows me well enough can tell you that The Marx Brothers are my heroes. Vaudeville was an era that demanded strong original multi-talented artists who were consistently subject to cut-throat audiences and critics with child-like attention spans. These four guys put out indestructible plays (and eventually films) that rose above the rest, combining slapstick humor, witty wordplay, romantic themes, dance numbers and all out showcases of instrumentation. Not only were they considered the kings of comedy in their day, but brothers Chico (piano) and Harpo (harp) were regarded as talented musicians in their own right.
Alone is an instrumental revisit of the duet by Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle arriving at the after math of an insane piano jam in A Night at the Opera, which provides a sobering break from the plot line and all the zany hijinx. On a more personal level, every time Harpo touches the strings the result is nothing short of hypnotizing, especially here. The proof is in the melancholic pudding: