Various Artists – Moulin Rouge (OST (2002)

FrontCover1Moulin Rouge!  is a 2001 Australian–American jukebox musical romantic comedy film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor), who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman). It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France.

At the 74th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, winning two: for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. It was the first musical nominated for Best Picture in 10 years, following Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991). (by wikipedia)

 

The story:

MoviePosterThe year is 1899, and Christian, a young English writer, has come to Paris to follow the Bohemian revolution taking hold of the city’s drug and prostitute infested underworld. And nowhere is the thrill of the underworld more alive than at the Moulin Rouge, a night club where the rich and poor men alike come to be entertained by the dancers, but things take a wicked turn for Christian as he starts a deadly love affair with the star courtesan of the club, Satine. But her affections are also coveted by the club’s patron: the Duke. A dangerous love triangle ensues as Satine and Christian attempt to fight all odds to stay together but a force that not even love can conquer is taking its toll on Satine… (by imdb.com)

Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film is a soundtrack album to Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge!. It was released on May 8, 2001. The album features most of the songs featured in the film. However, some of the songs are alternate versions and there are two or three major songs that are left off. The original film versions and extra songs were featured on the second soundtrack.

The soundtrack consists almost entirely of cover versions—”Come What May”, composed by David Baerwald and Kevin Gilbert, is the only original song on the album. The opening track, “Nature Boy”, is performed by David Bowie, though in the film the song is performed by actor John Leguizamo as the character Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Originally by American singer-songwriter Eden Ahbez, the song is reprised as the last song on the soundtrack with performances by Bowie and Massive Attack, along with a dialogue by Nicole Kidman.

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“Lady Marmalade”, written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, was made famous in the 1970s by the girl group Labelle. The song contains the sexually-suggestive lyric “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?”, which translates to “Do you want to sleep with me tonight?” Labelle’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003. The version for the soundtrack is performed by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, and Pink, with production and additional vocal credits by Missy Elliott. The song was well-received, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and earning a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals[9][10] (see here for additional information about the Moulin Rouge! version, including additional chart positions and awards).

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“Because We Can” is credited to Norman Cook, with performance and production credits given to his stage name Fatboy Slim. The song contains portions of “Zidler’s Rap”, performed in the film by Jim Broadbent as the character Harold Zidler, and has been called the “‘Can Can’ for the next generation”. “Sparkling Diamonds” is performed by Kidman, Broadbent, Caroline O’Connor, Natalie Mendoza and Lara Mulcahy. The song is a medley featuring “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”, written by Jule Styne and Leo Robin and introduced by Carol Channing in the Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), and “Material Girl” by Madonna. “Rhythm of the Night” was a hit single made famous in 1985 by the American R&B group DeBarge. The track reached number one on the Billboard Hot R&B chart and number three on the Billboard Hot 100, and is said to have “jumpstarted” the career of songwriter Diane Warren. The soundtrack version is performed by Valeria, and includes a dialogue by Kidman. (by wikipedia)

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At the very least, director Baz Luhrmann has created something different here. His modern-day musical weaves new cover versions of songs from the past three decades into one story about a brothel in turn of the century Paris. Its an odd combination to begin with, and the soundtrack itself bounces back and forth between very hip, modern tracks from artists at the top of their game and big Broadway-style ballads from the cast of the film. Some of the most well-respected names in music signed on for the project, including Beck, Bono, Timbaland, and David Bowie. Fatboy Slim created a “Can Can” for the next generation with “Because We Can,” and Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Pink, and Mya teamed up for a surefire hit with their naughtier version of Patti Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” In stark contrast to these edgy tracks, the album spends the rest of its time on love songs from Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. They perform big-voiced, orchestra-backed versions of sentimental favorites like Elton John’s “Your Song.” The “Elephant Love Medley” strings together some of pop’s sappiest hits, including “Up Where We Belong,” “One More Night,” and “I Will Always Love You.” Perhaps to many people’s surprise, Kidman and McGregor can really sing, and maybe in a different environment it would be easier to take these songs seriously, but standing here outside the context of the film and next to Beck covering David Bowie, they seem more comic than creative. (by Brad Kohlenstein)
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Tracklist:
01. David Bowie: Nature Boy (Ahbez) 3.25
02. Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk: Lady Marmalade (Crewe/Nolan) 4.25
03. Fatboy Slim: Because We Can (Cook) 3.27
04. Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Lara Mulcahy, Caroline O’Connor and Natalie Mendoza: Sparkling Diamonds (Brown/Rans) 2.52
05. Valeria: Rhythm Of The Night (Warren) 3.49
06. Ewan McGregor and Alessandro Safina:  Your Song (John/Taupin)  3:40
07. Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer:  Children of the Revolution (Bolan) 2.59
08. Nicole Kidman: One Day I’ll Fly Away (Sample/Jennings) 3.18
09. Beck: Diamond Dogs (Bowie) 4.34
10. Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Jamie Allen: Elephant Love Medley (  4:13
11. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor: Come What May (Baerwald) 4.48
12. José Feliciano, Ewan McGregor and Jacek Koman: El Tango de Roxanne (Sting) 4.42
13. Rufus Wainwright: Complainte de la Butte (Pepin/Wainwright) 3.07
14. John Leguizamo, Nicole Kidman, Joe Leguabe and Alka Yagnik: Hindi Sad Diamonds (  3:28
15. David Bowie and Massive Attack: Nature Boy (Ahbez) 4.23
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Various Artists – An Easy Christmas (2001)

frontcover1This is just a sampler, full with 20 old and classic christmas songs, performed by many stars in the easy listening style.
You can hear singers like Don McLean, David Bowie, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Perry Como and Al Green.

“This is my most favourite christmas album ever-I had to order a second copy as the first had a scratch on. I listen to it all the time. Not your average Christmas album!”(by miss r aughton)

“Great to listen to while wrapping presents” (by Zoe Bell)

And I guess, I will play this album (amongst others) on December 24, 2016 … Enjoy this romantic and sentimental sampler.

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Tracklist:
01. Andy Williams: Most Wonderful Time Of Year (2001) (Pola/Wyle) 2.34
02. Nat King Cole: Christmas Song (1963) (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Tormé/Wells) 3.14
03. Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby (1953) (Javits/Springer) 3.26
04. Dean Martin: Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (1965) (Cahn/Styne) 1.58
05. Judy Garland: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944) (Martin/Blane) 2.45
06. Harry Belafonte: Mary’s Boy Child (1957) (Hairston) 2.59
07. Bing Crosby: White Christmas (1954) (Berlin) 3.04
08. Al Green: Silent Night (1963) (Gruber/Mohr) 3.19
09. Crystal Gayle: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer (1996) (Marks) 2.57
10. Anne Murray: Snowbird (1978) (MacLellan) 2.11
11. Don McLean: Winter Wonderland (1991) (Bernard/Smith) 2.54
12. Charles Brown: Please Come Home For Christmas (Christmas Finds Me Oh So Sad) (1961) (Brown/Redd) 3.18
13. Doris Day: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1964) (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.27
14. Andy Williams: Sleigh Ride (live) (2001) (Anderson) 2.22
15. Crystal Gayle: Silver Bells (1996) (Livingston/Evans) 4.09
16. Don McLean: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1991) (Coots/Gillespie) 3.06
17. Perry Como: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1959)(Traditional) 2.56
18. Al Green: What Christmas Means To Me (1963) (Story/Gaye/ Gordy) 3.44
19. Bing Crosby + David Bowie: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1977) (Fraser/Grossman/Alan Kohan/Simeone/Davis/Onorati) 2.38
20. Michael Ball: Happy New Year (1999) (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 4.18

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David Bowie – Let´s Dance (1983)

FrontCover1Let’s Dance is the fifteenth studio album by David Bowie. Co-produced by Chic’s Nile Rodgers, the album contained three of his most successful singles; the title track, “Let’s Dance”, which reached No. 1 in the UK, US and various other countries, as well as “Modern Love” and “China Girl”, which both reached No. 2 in the UK. “China Girl” was a new version of a song which Bowie had co-written with Iggy Pop for the latter’s 1977 album The Idiot. It also contains a re-recorded version of the song “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”, which had been a minor hit for Bowie a year earlier.

Let’s Dance was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy Award in 1984 but lost to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It has sold 10.7 million copies worldwide, making it Bowie’s best-selling album. It is Bowie’s eighteenth official album release since his debut in 1967, including two live albums, one covers album (Pin Ups, 1973), and a collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra (1977). At one point Bowie described the album as “a rediscovery of white-English-ex-art-school-student-meets-black-American-funk, a refocusing of Young Americans”. Let’s Dance was also a stepping stone for the career of the Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, who played on it. The album was released as a limited edition picture disc in 1983.

Bowie02The success of the album surprised Bowie, who felt he had to continue to pander to the new pop audience he acquired with the album. This led to Bowie releasing two further solo albums in 1984 and 1987 that, despite their relative commercial success, did not sell as well as Let’s Dance, were poorly received by critics at the time and subsequently dismissed by Bowie himself as his “Phil Collins years”.[8] Bowie would form the hard rock and grunge-predecessor band Tin Machine in 1989 in an effort to rejuvenate himself artistically.

David Bowie had planned to use producer Tony Visconti on the album, as the two had worked together on Bowie’s previous four studio albums. However, he chose Nile Rodgers for the project, a move that came as a surprise to Visconti, who had set time aside to work on Let’s Dance. Visconti called [Bowie’s personal assistant] Coco and she said: “Well, you might as well know – he’s been in the studio for the past two weeks with someone else. It’s working out well and we won’t be needing you. He’s very sorry.” The move damaged the two men’s relationship and Visconti did not work with Bowie again for nearly 20 years (until 2002’s Heathen). Rodgers later recalled that Bowie approached him to produce his album so that Bowie could have hit singles. Rodgers reported that Bowie came into his apartment one day and showed him a photograph of Little Richard in a red suit getting into a bright red Cadillac, saying “Nile, darling, that’s what I want my album to sound like.”

Bowie, having left RCA Records, had just signed with EMI Records for a reported $17.5 million and was working with Rodgers to release a “commercially buoyant” album that was described as “original party-funk cum big bass drum sound greater than the sum of its influences.” The album’s influences were described as Louis Jordan, the Asbury Jukes horn section, Bill Doggett, Earl Bostic and James Brown. Bowie spent three days making demos for the album in New York before cutting the album, a rarity for Bowie who, for the previous few albums, usually showed up with little more than “a few ideas.” Despite this, the album “was recorded, start to finish, including mixing, in 17 days,” according to Rodgers.

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Singles from the album “Let´s Dance”

Stevie Ray Vaughan met Bowie at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. After Vaughan’s performance, Bowie was so impressed with the guitarist he later said “[he] completely floored me. I probably hadn’t been so gung-ho about a guitar player since seeing Jeff Beck with his band the Tridents.” Of Bowie, Vaughan said, “to tell you the truth, I was not very familiar with David’s music when he asked me to play on the sessions. … David and I talked for hours and hours about our music, about funky Texas blues and its roots – I was amazed at how interested he was. At Montreux, he said something about being in touch and then tracked me down in California, months and months later.” In a contemporary interview, Vaughan described the recording sessions for the album:

David Bowie is real easy to work with. He knows what he’s doing in the studio and he doesn’t mess around. He comes right in and goes to work. Most of the time, David did the vocals and then I played my parts. A lot of the time, he just wanted me to cut loose. He’d give his opinion on the stuff he liked and the stuff that needed work. Almost everything was cut in one or two takes. I think there was only one thing that needed three takes.[14]

Unusually, Bowie played no instruments on the album. “I don’t play a damned thing. This was a singer’s album.”

A few years later, Bowie discussed his feelings on the track “Ricochet” (which Musician magazine called an “incendiary ballroom raveup”) from this album:

I thought it was a great song, and the beat wasn’t quite right. It didn’t roll the way it should have, the syncopation was wrong. It had an ungainly gait; it should have flowed. … Nile [Rodgers] did his own thing to it, but it wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind when I wrote the thing.

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Bowie later described the title track the same way: the original demo was “totally different” from the way that Nile arranged it. Bowie played an early demo of the song for Nile Rodgers on a 12-string guitar with only 6 strings strung, and said to Nile, “Nile darling, I think I have a song which feels like it’s a hit.”[10] Nile then took the chords (which he said “felt folksy”) and helped craft them into the version used in the final production of the song.

Long-time collaborator Carlos Alomar, who had worked with Bowie since the mid-1970s and would continue to work with Bowie into the mid-’90s, has claimed was offered an “embarrassing” fee to play on the album and refused to do so. He also said (when working on Bowie’s follow-up album, Tonight) that he didn’t play on Let’s Dance because Bowie only gave him two weeks’ notice and he was already booked with other work; however, Alomar did play on the accompanying tour.

The album was seen as commercial and professional by critics, though opinions varied on the artistic content; while one reviewer called it “Bowie at his best”, another felt it “perfunctory” and “pointless”. In a piece on Bowie for Time in July 1983, Jay Cocks described the album as “unabashedly commercial, melodically alliterative and lyrically smart at the same time”. Robert Christgau felt that it had a “perfunctory professional surface”, and that other than “Modern Love”, which was “interesting”, the album was “pleasantly pointless”. Ken Tucker, in a review for Rolling Stone, felt the album sounded great, with an intelligent simplicity and a “surface beauty”, but that the album as a whole was “thin and niggling”, other than “Modern Love,” “Without You” and “Shake It”, which offered “some of the most daring songwriting of Bowie’s career”.

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In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine felt that the album’s three hit singles were catchy yet distinctive pop songs, while the rest of the album was “unremarkable plastic soul” indicative of Bowie “entering a songwriting slump”. Alexis Petridis of The Guardian considered that Let’s Dance “had its moments”, unlike its successor, Tonight. Ed Power of the Irish Examiner wrote that Bowie “pleaded shamelessly for the love of the mass market” with the album. He continued “…the title track was a decent chunk of funk-rock and Bowie did not embarrass himself on the single ‘China Girl’. Otherwise, the record had a great deal in common with Wham! and Phil Collins. “The BBC’s David Quantick praised the “perfect” combination of Bowie and Rodgers on the title track, the “sweet, romantic” rendition of “China Girl” and highlighted “Criminal World” as “one of the best songs”. He stated “Let’s Dance may have had a ground-breaking sound and a popularity that Bowie clearly ached for, but it’s often a mundane album, as songs like ‘Ricochet’ and ‘Shake It’ mark time”. He said the album was “literally the template for 80s Bowie – blonde, suited and smiling”.

In 2013, NME ranked Let’s Dance at number 296 in its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The success of the album surprised Bowie. In 1997, he said “at the time, Let’s Dance was not mainstream. It was virtually a new kind of hybrid, using blues-rock guitar against a dance format. There wasn’t anything else that really quite sounded like that at the time. So it only seems commercial in hindsight because it sold so many [copies]. It was great in its way, but it put me in a real corner in that it fucked with my integrity.” Bowie recalled, “[It] was a good record, but it was only meant as a one-off project. I had every intention of continuing to do some unusual material after that. But the success of that record really forced me, in a way, to continue the beast. It was my own doing, of course, but I felt, after a few years, that I had gotten stuck.”

Bowie would later state that the success of the album caused him to hit a creative low point in his career which lasted the next few years. “I remember looking out over these waves of people [who were coming to hear this record played live] and thinking, ‘I wonder how many Velvet Underground albums these people have in their record collections?’ I suddenly felt very apart from my audience. And it was depressing, because I didn’t know what they wanted.” After his follow-up albums Tonight (1984) and Never Let Me Down (1987) were critically dismissed, Bowie formed the grunge-precursor band Tin Machine in an effort to regain his artistic vision. (by wikipedia)

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David Bowie with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Nile Rodgers

Personnel:
Robert Aaron (saxophone)
David Bowie vocals)
Steve Elson (saxophone, flute)
Sammy Figueroa (percussion)
Mac Gollehon (trumpet)
Omar Hakim (drums)
Stan Harrison (saxophone, flute)
Nile Rodgers (guitar)
Carmine Rojas (bass)
Rob Sabino (keyboards)
Tony Thompson (drums)
Stevie Ray Vaughan (guitar)
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Background vocals:
Frank Simms – George Simms – David Spinner
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Bernard Edwards (bass on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Modern Love (Bowie) 4.46
02. China Girl (Bowie/Pop) 5.32
03. Let’s Dance (Bowie) 7.37
04. Without You (Bowie)  3.08
05. Ricochet (Bowie) 5.14
06. Criminal World (Godwin/Browne/Lyons) 4.25
07. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (Bowie/Moroder 5.09
08. Shake It (Bowie) 3.49

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David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known as David Bowie