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One Word Song Titles


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I'm a week late with this one because I was hoping someone else would post something and I wouldn't have to play out of turn. I'm not waiting any longer, so here goes ...

As well as celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the first Beatles single being released, it's also 50 years since the first James Bond movie (Dr. No) was released. With that in mind I thought I'd post the James Bond themes that are only one word long.

The best James Bond themes have a timeless quality. Many are a little over-the-top, but they also stand up well as songs in their own right and not just as themes for a movie. I'll start with one of the best known, and one of my favourites (yes, I know I spelled "favourites" the British way, but we're talking about James Bond, and it didn't seem right spelling it any other way :)).

This one's from the movie that came after 'Goldfinger'. The movie was remade as 'Never Say Never Again' by a rival production company in the '80s.

Dame Shirley Bassey has sung the most Bond themes; this is her third and, to date, last. For those of you trying to remember the other one, it was

, but that's three words! The lyrics were written by the late, great Hal David.

In 1995, Anna Mae Bullock became the latest US singer to perform a Bond theme. The song was written by Bono and The Edge from U2.

I'm going to bring it right up to date now with a theme for a movie that's not even out yet. I heard this for the first time last week, and personally think that it sounds like a return to the great Bond themes of old (after a few wayward steps along the way). We rarely get things earlier on this side of the Atlantic (except when NBC are broadcasting it "live" ;)), but we get 'Skyfall' at the end of October (and similar dates around Europe, while movie-goers in the US and Canada have to wait until November 9th.

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That's a new one to me, Hobie, but that's why I like this thread. Your song title reminded me of this artist. Runaway - Del Shannon  

Rio- Duran Duran Haha, that actually sounds as if it's sung in Elvish (since it is comprised of both welsh and finnish) Hoss.

Same title, very different song.   Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs    

I'm doing three-for-the-price-of-one today. All the songs have the same title, but represent very different genres.

I'll start with some British Prog Rock from 'The Dark Side of the Moon':

My next choice is a little harder: a 1996 electronic dance track with a mad video:

To finish, here's an American R&B track with the help of Grammy-winning dancehall/reggae artist Sean Paul:

"Creepin" Eric Church

When you film your video on the Tennessee Valley Railroad, shouldn't you be singing

? ;)
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I'm using the repeated single word rule today to bring y'all a classic. I'll start with the best-known version from 1963:

The version below was recorded at the same time (same day or same week depending on where you look) and in the same studio as The Kingsmen's version. It initially had more local success, but the rougher recording of The Kingsmen eventually won out.

For those of you who like to rock, a heavier version appeared in the '70s:

Around the same time there was even a version by John Belushi in 'Animal House'. It is now one of the most covered songs of all time. Check out YouTube and you'll find versions by The Clash, The Kinks, Blondie, The Doors, Iggy Pop, The Cult, The Sisters of Mercy, Toots and the Maytals, Joan Jett etc.

At this point (maybe I should've done this earlier) I'll warn y'all that the FBI don't like this song. In the mid-60s they spent two years (yes, that's TWO YEARS) listening to it repeatedly at different speeds because they were convinced it contained obscene lyrics (it doesn't). They even interviewed the song's author and members of The Kingsmen before eventually concluding that the lyrics were “unintelligible at any speed†(did they borrow that line from Ralph Nader? :)).

Speaking of the author, I'll finish up with the original version, which I only heard for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The song was written by Richard Berry and released in 1957. If, like me, you're used to The Kingsmen's version, this may be a bit of a surprise as it's a slightly manic doo-wop number. The biggest difference you'll notice is the pronouciation of "Louie Louie" - pretty much everyone since The Kingsmen has copied their version. Berry allegedly sold the rights to the song in 1959 for $750 because he thought it had run its course.

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Here's another song that's been covered a lot over the years, especially in live sets. Artists that have covered it include: AC/DC; Jimi Hendrix; The Doors; David Bowie; Rick Springfield; Tom Petty; Bruce Springsteen; Bon Jovi. Just like 'Louie Louie', the original version (below) was originally released as a B-side when it first came out in 1964. It was re-released as an A-side in 1965. The vocals are provided by the notoriously grumpy Van Morrison.

The intro provided the main sample for the 1992 single

by Definition of Sound: a song that always reminds me of my days at college :).
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Here's an instrumental tune that's known to millions around the world as the theme from 'Top Gear', although a remixed version has been used in recent years.

The show started back in 1977, and survived 11 years and 19 series before Jeremy Clarkson joined the team. The show got a complete makeover in 2002 to become the program we know today (a templete used for the US version and others around the world). When I was finding this on YouTube I discovered that the original closing theme for the show was Elton John's 'Out of the Blue'. It's a hard track to find (partly because he did a similarly titled track for the animated movie 'The Road to El Dorado' in 2000). I did eventually find a clip of the closing credits from 1991. I knew the tune instantly, but never knew it was by Elton John:

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Soon after my last post I heard the sad news that British actor Clive Dunn had passed away at the age of 92. He usually played characters older than himself, and in 1970 released the single below:

To save y'all the math, he was only 50 at the time.

He was best known for playing the part of Lance-Corporal Jack Jones, the town butcher, in the long-running British sitcom 'Dad's Army', where his catchphrases were "don't panic" and "they don't like it up 'em". You can see a short clip

.

RIP. Clive Robert Benjamin Dunn OBE (9 January 1920 – 7 November 2012)

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I know MaryAnne has posted a couple of Boz Scaggs tracks here, but this one was new to me when I heard it yesterday.

This was another track that appeared in the 'Cover to Cover' feature on a radio show I listen to. This is the cover version, and it was pitted against

. Two of the versions of 'Louie Louie' that I posted recently also featured on the same show. For a few more original/cover comparisons, check out the Tower of Song thread.
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Here's another song that uses the repeated single word rule. There aren't many songs that can say their lyrics are up to 3000 years old!

In 1959, Pete Seeger added music and a few words to Ecclesiastes 3:1-15. Six years later it became an international hit for The Byrds.

Yah, here comes MaryAnne and her freakin' old music again. LOL Going back to the 30s for this one...

Skyliner - Charlie Barnet

Thanks MaryAnne, I really enjoyed that. It reminded me that Bryan Ferry has just released an unusual new album, and I was going to post 'Avalon' (it's the only one word title on the album), but it hasn't made it to YouTube yet. The album, 'The Jazz Age', is a 40-year retrospective of his solo and Roxy Music songs rerecorded as 1920s style jazz instrumentals. To give you an idea of how they turned out, why not try Slave To Love.

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I thought I'd start 2013 with a song from a Dutch jazz singer:

It's a catchy tune with a fun video set in the world of '50s magazine adverts. Her album, 'Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor', was quite successful when it came out in 2010 in Europe. An independent US release was planned for late 2012, so check your record stores.

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While we're talking jazz, I thought I'd include this classic smooth jazz instrumental from 1978:

Some of you may recognize from the title that this is the theme from the '70s/'80s comedy 'Taxi'. I have vague memories of watching the original airing of the show, but hadn't seen an episode since. That was until last week when one of the UK satellite channels starting showing it from the beginning. Just hearing the opening few notes of the theme and seeing the yellow cab crossing New York's Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge made me feel 30 years younger :). The bridge itself was immortalized in song 12 years earlier when Simon & Garfunkel recorded

.
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I need an antidote to all this NKOTB - how about some Italian-American post-disco performed by a pop-dance act created by a French-Italian businessman? :):

Performing lead vocals for Change proved to be the long-desired career breakthrough for soul legend Luther Vandross.

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I have a couple of Americans to thank for letting me squeeze this song into the 'One Word Song Titles' thread. In 1985, Prefab Sprout released an album called 'Steve McQueen' that contained a track called 'Faron Young'. In the USA, this album was called 'Two Wheels Good,' after an objection from Steve McQueen's daughter, and the track 'Faron Young' was renamed 'Faron' for similiar reasons. Luckily, I bought an imported copy of the US album because it came with three bonus tracks.

I found this quote by lead singer Paddy McAloon from 1992:

“This shows you how stupid I am - it’s a song wondering why people like country & western music when they live in the industrial north [of England]. I thought, ‘Why do they listen to all these things about cowboys and farmers and grain?’ and then 20 years later, I suddenly think, ‘It’s because C&W deals with real emotions.’ Take that!â€

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Two versions of this song were the subject of a comparison on the radio today. It was written by Bacharach and David as a tie-in with the Michael Caine movie of the same name, although it doesn't appear in the movie. Bacharach and David suggested Dionne Warwick to sing it, but the promoters wanted a British singer because of the movie's setting. After Sandie Shaw turned it down, an offer was made to Cilla Black. She was nervous to accept, and said she'd do it if Burt Bacharach did the musical arrangement and came to London for the recording. He agreed, and the rest is history. At the time, Cilla (who's from Liverpool) was managed by Brian Epstein, the song was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, and produced by George Martin (sound familiar to anyone?).

The US release of the movie was accompanied by a version by Cher, which made it onto the soundtrack (despite objections from the movie's director). Her version was produced by Sonny Bono.

The song didn't become a hit in the US until a year later when Dionne Warwick (the composers' original choice) decided to cover it.

The second song in today's radio comparison was a more recent version by Dutch singer Trijntje Oosterhuis. This is one of several collaborations she's had with Burt Bacharach.

Alfie - Trijntje Oosterhuis

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