Posted: Jun 15, 2019 9:24 am
by LucidFlight
jamest wrote:I've just been listening to the Chordettes greatest hits on youtube*. That wasn't my plan for tonight, it just somehow happened. I'm glad it did. Lifted my mood. Simple unpretentious music from the 50s, loved it for the most part, I'm not ashamed to say. The first half especially.

So, I thought I'd expose and challenge you all to the pretentiousness of your own musical choices. Muhaha.


There's a serious discussion to be had here somewhere, I'm sure. Perhaps if I mention God...

I thought I'd give the Chordettes a listen. The first song, "Born To Be With You", reminded me of how 50s music generally sounds depressing to me. "Eddie My Love", though, was pretty swell, despite its potentially depressing 50s doo-wop-iness. Perhaps the word I'm looking for is melancholic. Moving along, I didn't really enjoy the marching style of "Lay Down Your Arms". However, I think that this might be a song that would grow on me.

"Lollipop" was a delightfully light counterpoint to the well-trodden (but joyful) march that preceded it. A well-known classic that uniquely captures the era. "Mr. Sandman" is another wonderful classic. The knee-based percussion is something to behold. I should also add that the Sandman as a character is somewhat sinister in my mind, sneaking around with his magic dust and umbrella at night. I'm not sure if this what the song writers had in mind. Is it meant to be innocent but with a sinister veneer?

I think it's difficult to surpass Don Costa's orchestral rendition of "Never On A Sunday", but The Chordettes did a great job with some very suitable backing arrangement.

"A Girl's Work Is Never Done" is a version of "Yakety Yak" for girls, talking about "Mopping and sweeping the floor" and "While I cook, he reads a book." This was in no way sexist and really just a reflection of how women chose to live their lives back then. [cough]

A twangy guitar made an appearance in "No Other Arms, No Other Lips". I felt like I was in a Western, but wanted to move to Hawaii. "Bum bum bum bum...." Speaking of Hawaii, "Soft Sands" was lovely and mellow and I felt quite relaxed and needed a martini. I would definitely listen to a rendition of this at a jazz bar.

"Teenage Goodnight" met me with brushed snare patterns and the dinging of bells. A nice touch against the beautifully coordinated harmonies of The Chordettes. "The Wedding" was too "Doo doo doo"-ish for me. I found the male vocals off-putting and the lyrics claustrophobic. However, a surprise saxophone makes an appearance. Also, the church organ and bells at the end were brilliantly cheesy.

Considering the lack of AKAI S2000s back in the 50s, the use of sounds effects in "Zorro" was impressive. Mexicans and Hispanics will love this song. Now, the production on 'Faraway Star" was a bit rough, I have to say. Not sure if they recorded this through paper bags or something, but it wasn't the best. "Just Between You And Me" seemed to use the same paper bags... "Ba-daa-da-da dum." Did I hear a ukulele?

Overall, my initial fears of depression and melancholy were met with more lilt and buoyancy than expected. It's a great listen for all you gals out there, see.