Monthly Archives: April 2014

Music Monday: Early Beatlemania

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 7/250

The Beatles are one of a very select group of acts on the acclaimed albums list that have more than five items on the list. Not only that but the majority of their entries are in the Top 30 or above which is, let’s be honest, incredibly impressive. I say this as someone who would never really describe myself as a fan of their music (based on hearing four of their albums so far… which is more than I can say for David Bowie, something to be rectified).

HardDayUKTitle: A Hard Day’s Night
Artist: The Beatles
Year: 1964
Position: #223 (Previously: #210)

It is an interesting fact to note that this is the first of the very few soundtracks to be featured. Off the top of my head I can only think of three more (Shaft, Saturday Night Fever and Purple Rain) that I am likely to encounter, but there could be one that I missed.

So prior to this I listened to the first album and I ask the question, what has changed since the last album? The answer to this, and it pleases me to say, is that there are absolutely no covers on A Hard Day’s Night as compared to the 50/50 split on their debut album With The Beatles. This is a boon for The Beatles for this album truly marks their first steps towards true creative emancipation with them now beginning to be able to show off their song-writing skills. The only downside for me is the lack of a George Harrison track, bah (which was my favourite on their debut). Oh well. He at least gets a solo Grammy Award for Best Album while Paul McCartney gets bupkis, so look who gets the solo laugh. Sorry, I just deeply dislike Paul McCartney and now have a candle for George Harrison so this was a comparison that was likely to crop up.

With this purging of cover versions there is a definite move on in style from With The Beatles when they could sometimes sound either sounded dangerously close to The Everly Brothers or very wooden, the latter a reference to Roll Over Beethoven. As an album it definitely serves as a stepping-stone to what they are yet to achieve for thus far it is still not a revolution in music that has been associated with them but they are definitely taking a step in the right direction, which is not in the direction of the lyric “I will love her until the cows come home” from ‘When I Get Home. Speaking of which this track, aside from being by far the weakest on the whole album, is a prime example of how bad Ringo’s drumming is.

Complaints aside I really did enjoy this album, it is an overall improvement on the previous one with only one song acting as filler. This is also the first time where I recognised some of the classic Beatles songs with ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and the sublime ‘I Should Have Known Better’ all appearing with full force. While ‘Don’t Bother Me’ may still have the place, at the moment, of being my favourite Beatles song it is something that may be liable to change as I progress. Also, something that needs to be said, is that ‘I Should Have Known Better’ came very close to taking this mantle. I have loved this version since hearing a cover version by Zooey Deschanel as part of her duo She & Him but hearing it in it’s original incarnation makes it all the more better.

Rubber_SoulTitle: Rubber Soul
Artist: The Beatles
Year: 1965
Position: #29 (Previously: #30)

An interesting thing about reviewing an artist multiple times is that you begin to take on the same role as an auntie. Every now and then you get a glimpse of this artist at irregular intervals, of about a year or so, and every time that you see them you begin to notice the changes that they have gone through.  While I did enjoy With The Beatles there was a sense of playing it safe and a lot of the material was derivative. This changed in A Hard Day’s Night where there really was a profound shift in the music that they were making. I guess that what I am trying to say here is that in developmental terms it appears that The Beatles are similar to a border collie where Rubber Soul is their puberty.

Rubber Soul is the first time that over the course of a whole album you can identify it as purely a Beatles album. This was not made to gain a foothold like With The Beatles as they had gained the world by storm with their previous releases. This wasn’t a purely commercial venture like A Hard Day’s Night as there was no film to accompany. What we have here ladies and gentlemen is the true creative emancipation (I like this phrase) of the Beatles. This is, as I previously coined, puberty for The Beatles as finally they resemble the act that we all know they will turn into but there is still something missing.

Also as I go along the ratio of songs I know to total songs on the album keep increasing. This is always a good thing as in the end for a song to be still doing the founds over forty years later they must have been doing something right. So when this album began with ‘Drive My Carwhich is such an irritable scrap of pop that you really do find yourself drawn into the world of distorted images and ground-breaking music when compared to their contemporaries .

On the whole this is a very good album and it is very well put together. Little treats like the sitars in ‘Norwegian Wood’ and the dark stalker-like song ‘Run For Your Life’ are dotted so liberally that you almost brush over the two lesser tracks of the bundle, ‘Michelle’ and ‘Wait’.

While there are a multitude of people at my age, and younger, who still look down their noses at The Beatles and albums such as Rubber Soul as being old and therefore being of no relevance to their life. You know who I mean, the people that sit in their bedrooms pawing over posters of One Direction or Justin Beiber declaring that they know better. Well, after listening to Rubber Soul the final remnants of my Beatles-related demons have been washed away and I can actually recognise them for what they were. A pioneering act who themselves had to evolve, and take a few wrong turns in songs like ‘Wait’, before they made their magnum opus.

While it is true that in many ways The Beatles had it easier, as nowadays there is such a melee of artists that you do need to make something new, this act never became complacent in their towering popularity and strived so that they never really wore the same guise twice. As such I await their next album, Revolver, with baited breath.

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We Do Need Yes Education!

As I write this I am a few hours away from a job interview and I need a distraction so I can let all the information I have just absorbed about digital advertising settle and coalesce into something more meaningful. So it’s probably a good idea to delve into my bucket list archives, pull out something at random and bastardize a well loved song refrain. (I now know, having inserted an earlier post which showcased my relative illiteracy, that I have a job so yay!)

I know that the whole “we don’t need no education” from ‘Another Brick In The Wall Part 2″ is a cheap shot but bad grammar annoys me…

List Item: Earn a degree
Progress: Bachelor’s in 2010, Postgraduate Qualification in 2012

Right, so I added this onto the bucket list back when I wanted it to be a list that I think everyone should follow. Whilst this list later mutated into something more personal I felt that once an item had been added into the draft list then it shouldn’t be removed.

degreesI am lucky to have had the chance to earn my undergraduate degree when I did. Granted I was one of the first years to have tuition fees but the three grand I had to pay truly pales in comparison to the amount students getting into further education nowadays have to pay. In fact I would have probably gone in for another Bachelors later in life (bragging rights… which is pathetic and cool at the same time admit it) but for the amounts that they expect students to pay? I don’t think so.

My undergraduate degree is in Psychology at the University of York, a place where I make an almost yearly pilgrimage back to because of the huge amount of memories. It’s become a bit of a cliché to look back at university and long for the days since, let’s be honest, large sections of it are stressful and fraught with bad decisions but.. it’s probably best summarized with the song below from the musical Avenue Q.

I mean as much as I would like to think going back to something like that would be along the lines of Community where I would probably be the highly strung Annie-type but not in the funny way more in the ‘get him away from me’ way.

Still, despite the cost of getting a degree it’s worth it in so many ways; especially for the sake of learning how to live away from home.

Around The World in 100 Films – South Korea

100WorldFilms - South KoreaList Item: Watch films from 100 different nations
Progress: 25/100

Right, so at the moment I am going through a bit of an animation watching phase since the film forums I frequent are doing a best animated movies poll and I want to watch as many interesting ones so I can submit a good list. So far this has lead to a number of rewatches (including a lot of Disney and the Ghost In The Shell films) but today I decided to find an animation from a country not yet covered for the bucket list…

Country: South Korea
Title: Aachi & Ssipak
Director: Jo Beom-jin
Year: 2006

South Korea may not be a country as known for their animated features as Japan or the United States but it does house some of the largest animation houses in the world including Rough Draft Korea (who have produced the likes of Adventure Time, Futurama and Samurai Jack). Their own homegrown animated features, however, have never fared well both at home or abroad.

My previous exposure to South Korean cinema is limited to The Vengeance Triology (which includes the acclaimed Oldboy) and the Golden Lion-winning Pietà. This means that I went into this post’s film, Aachi & Ssipak, expecting a lot of blood and a large dollop of bad taste. As you can tell from the picture you I may have made a correct assumption.

Imagine, if you will, a world of the future where we have run out of fuel. Quite a normal idea for a film so far. Now, the main source of alternative fuel is faeces. So the government use addictive blue ice lollies as an incentive to crap. Oh, and some people have mutated because of their addiction to these flourescent foodstuffs, call themselves ‘The Diaper Gang’ and have stuck ID rings up the anus of a blur haired girl to cash in on her bowel movements since they are unable to crap themselves… exactly.

It is an incredibly bizarre film that would be the most scatologically-focused (a phrase I am glad doesn’t exist in auto correct) film that I had ever seen if I had not watched Saló, or the 120 Days of Sodom a few months ago. There is even a scene where the blue-haired girl (exclusively referred to by the name ‘Beautiful’) has the ID chips fitted via the means of a dildo… again a very weird film.

Getting away from the brown for the moment and onto the red as there is a lot of blood in this film. Heads explode, limbs are cleaved off oh and there is a scientist who is happy as long as he has a steady supply of fresh corpses in order to produce his monstrosities. I can’t fault the action sequences though in terms of inventiveness and engagement. When you have a group of perverted smurfs fighting a Frankensteinian creature on a motorbike you sit up and pay attention.

As much as I enjoyed the senseless violence of this film one thing that struck me was the lack of female characters. There is the blue-haired porn actress named Beautiful who is, at a number of points, getting her kit off and wearing a red PVC catsuit. Then there is the child-like major whose emotional dial is always set to psychotic. Whilst films are never going to be completely 50/50 in terms of gender (and I argue never should be completely 50/50) this lack of a female character felt a bit off. Then again women probably have more sense than to be involved in a world of faeces and leave it to the men with their guns whilst they are off actually running the world. Yes, that’s got to be it.

Music Monday: Time With The Pelvis

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 5/250

I did say that I would remain amongst the earlier years of this list when I looked at Frank Sinatra so this week I will be spending time with the King himself; Elvis Presley. The two albums that Elvis have on the most acclaimed list are very different which makes for an interesting listening experiment first we will have his 1956 eponymous debut and then the album which marked his comeback in the late sixties. In a way he made his best work when he really needed to which is remarkable… especially considering he didn’t write a word of them.

ElvispresleydebutalbumTitle: Elvis Presley
Artist: Elvis Presley
Year: 1956
Position: #123 (Previously: #102)

Elvis Presley’s eponymous debut truly hit’s the ground running with the catchy and upbeat ‘Blue Suede Shoesloses a bit of momentum on the next track (don’t get me wrong it’s still good) but just fails to keep up the pace and falls completely flat at the next track along. This pattern does repeat itself very often as the album goes along with the latter half of the album really being more miss than hit. This is a real pity as when it is good it is VERY good with foot-tapping music that you just can not help but bop along to. But this is very quickly extinguished by some of the schmaltz that makes you want to reach for the next track.

While there are exceptions to the rule (such as ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘In The Ghetto’ and, from this album, ‘I’m Counting On You’) Elvis truly does sound at his best when the songs are more upbeat and are better to swing-dance to. Songs like ‘Tutti Frutti’ just conjure up the images of teens in diner’s sharing vanilla malts listening to the new music. Okay maybe I’ve watched Pleasantville one too many times but that’s just an opinion I am venturing

Historically speaking there is no question that this album does belong on a list of albums that you need to listen to, just because of what this album did. Firstly, it launched the career of arguably the most famous singer of all time (I would happily argue more than John Lennon or Michael Jackson) and for that this album is truly impressive. Secondly this has the great distinction of being the first truly successful rock ‘n roll album. So again this album has some historical value.

However, being a purely preferential escapade of mine I am probably unlikely to listen to the whole album again, with the exception of the highlights. Other than that it is a tad disappointing.

ElvisinMemphisTitle: From Elvis In Memphis
Artist: Elvis Presley
Year: 1969
Position: #259 (Previously: #219)

From Elvis In Memphis is an interesting album as in many ways it marks a homecoming for Elvis. Having moved there with his family at the age of 13 and getting his music career started there back in 1953 the city of Memphis, Tennessee is central to Elvis as a person. Thus, for a comeback album (after years in the wilderness of crappy films) it is completely right that he chose to return to his roots.

Between the release of his debut and this album the Memphis sound had truly evolved into something that was not what you would have associated with Elvis. In many ways it was a brave move of Elvis to try and make a comeback with such a different sound. The young man who was the face of rock n roll and rockabilly has been through military service and was now the victim of multiple additions. If he had ever had the talent or inclination to become a song-writer then he could have churned out some amazing things.

Instead here we are at From Elvis In Memphis where the production is lush and the main influences are gospel and soul (something that had always been part of Elvis’s background but  never done as well as it was here). Elvis here sings with tenderness and conviction where you feel that he is living and breathing every word that he says (although the whole “this is why I wrote this song” on ‘Only The Strong Survive’ annoys). He is easily able to inhabit the characters from these songs which speaks to his acting and empathetic abilities.

He could have been a good actor, something he proved in King Creole, but the industry insisted on quick and cheap films that were, almost exclusively, formulaic and terrible. I mean Viva Las Vegas was a fun romp but it was incredibly empty. I can not remember where I was meant to go with this…

Anyway, with the exception of the somewhat melodramatic backing singers in ‘In The Ghetto’ the album as a whole feels earnest and genuine. It smacks of a man clambering for his second chance and who wanted to be loved once more after a series of bad choices. It worked.

Notice of Less Posts + A New List Item

Right, this post today is not me ticking off another item on my bucket list nor is it an update about me getting closer to accomplishing one of the longer list items.

Since I started this blog about a month ago there have been posts every day since there are a number of things that I have already done and I wanted to get myself a bit up to date. However, I am beginning to run low on things that I have already done so instead of leaving this blog a ghost town with a post every fortnight I will start to ration out the updates which allow me to be more timely when I actually accomplish something.

In other news, I would like to thank one of my readers TeeJay for sending in a suggestion for something to be added to the list:

 You’ve never smoked your own Meat/Fish/Cheese and that is definitely something that needs to be added to your bucket list 🙂

So, as of posting this the bucket list now has a new item on it and I will be looking at how much a smoker is.

Let’s Get Literal!

So, it’s has been an eventful day as of writing this. Whilst I already have completed this list item previous to my more recent run of unemployment but I am now able to check this off with a job at a company that I have always wanted to work at so…

List Item: Get a job
Progress: Completed

As you can expect I am feeling on top of the world as I write this post, but this is not what I am focussing on. Instead I am opening up the final two major cultural items on my bucket list (as it currently stands) since I am now a proud owner of a Kindle (thanks again mum!) So let’s start with the one that I am actually quite ashamed about being so low on:

List Item: Read 100 of the greatest works of fiction
Progress: 7/100

Much like with my quest to listen to acclaimed albums I have found a great site called The Greatest Books which collates a lot of best book lists and made a list of what is considered to be the greatest works of fiction. Since I tend to mostly read fantasy or humour books (Douglas Coupland being my favourite author) I have only read seven of the top 100… and only four of these were not books studied at school:

#6 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#32 Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
#44 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
#67 Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
#75 Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
#83 Hamlet by William Shakespeare
#92 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

As you can tell I have a long way to go here… and I am left with some epically long tomes such as War and Peace and the entire Lord of the Rings to read for this list item. Still they are widely regarded for a reason. Which leads me to this one:

List Item: Read the complete works of Shakespeare
Progress: 5/37

As you would expect most of these so far were because of school but I chose to read Titus Andronicus for myself whilst at university for reasons I never really understood.  I am left with a lot of the big plays but you could probably guess two of these as they are common English class choices:

Anthony and Cleopatra – Tragedy
Hamlet – Tragedy
Much Ado About Nothing – Comedy
Romeo and Juliet – Tragedy
Titus Andronicus – Tragedy

I am therefore left with all 10 Histories, 8 Tragedies and 15 Comedies. Any suggestion for which Shakespeare I should tackle next? Please comment 🙂

Here’s To You Mr. Ebert

MrEbertLike many film lovers the world over Roger Ebert was my idol. He was the guy I went to when a film came out to see what he thought about. Okay, we didn’t always agree but I could always respect his opinions since he had seen pretty much every film ever released that was worth seeing so he had much greater means of comparison than I have (or ever will have to be honest).

It’s one of those strange things when the person you idolize dies. You are left feeling with an emptiness inside that no one will ever really fill again. His death coincided with the end period of my making this bucket list… so it seemed obvious to me that he should have a place on it.

List Item: Watch Roger Ebert’s “The Great Movies”
Progress: 168/409

One of the things I loved most about visiting Roger Ebert’s website was reading up on all the essays that he wrote accompanying what he called his “Great Movies”. A list that includes everything from a documentary about a pet cemetary to however you would go about describing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

So, this post marks the opening of another ongoing item where I will be making my way through the films the good man saw fit to call great. This is a large list so it will take me years to see them all (especially since I am going through a bit of an animation binge and there is only one on his list that I have not seen yet). For now though I leave a link to the list in the image below, I’ll get round to watching more of these soon enough.

ebertcounter

 

That Time I Went Kosher For A Month

Now, I am not a religious man. I’m the sort of agnostic that annoys both sides since I do see the merits in both being a theist and being an atheist. The reason I preface this post with that sentence is because I am describing the time when I completed Lent

List Item: Successfully give up something for Lent
Progress: Completed

… for charity.

List Item: Raise money for a charitable cause
Progress: Completed

In some ways I am a glutton for unnecessary punishment and I have successfully completed Lent twice. The first time was during my first year at university where I went through all of Lent avoiding chocolate, biscuits, crisps and cake. As someone who lives to snack the fact that I was able to do this still baffles me. It may be that because of doing this that I found the gentle lover that are a bag of Haribo Tangfastics. Anyway, this is not the story.

So, having failed Lent during my second year of university (it was meant to be biting my nails and I lasted three days before I forgot and then it was too late) I really wanted to redeem myself by doing Lent again and properly. So, I got into a discussion with some  mates from my degree and one thing led to another and suddenly we were going to do Lent together and raise money for the Haiti Hospital Appeal (our page is still up on Just Giving for the sake of posterity)

Ricky (in my opinion) had an easier time of it since he gave up alcohol and gambling. As someone who is tee-total this seems easy as every month is a Dryathalon. For me, I went kosher. Well a non-Jewish kosher which made it easier to eat meat since it didn’t have to conform with the strict dietary guidelines. This basically meant I had to follow 3 simple rules:

  1. No pork
  2. No shellfish
  3. No eating foods where dairy and meat were mixed (I put in an a mandatory 60+ minute gap between the eating of meat and the eating of dairy)

Amazingly, there was only one time during all of Lent where I almost accidentally broke it. I was at a friend’s house watching the Academy Awards ceremony and they had some prawn crackers. I know that most prawn crackers have probably seen the back end of a prawn but I have the distinct memory of my friend Nat slapping one out of my hand as soon as I picked one up.

The problems did keep coming however since I had to scour every packet I had to make sure it was okay to eat. Did this meat product have whey powder in it? What animal does the rennet in those sweets come from? Why is the world so cruel that bacon is the most intoxicating smell ever devised? All serious questions and all I wanted to do was jack it all in and have a bacon cheeseburger.

What stopped me? We had raised quite a bit of money and I really did not want to be dishonest about it. So instead I concocted a plan of how I would end Lent and this warm idea kept me going for weeks.

So, it came to the final day of Lent. I ordered a cheeseburger off of JustEat with the distinct idea that it was going to arrive around midnight. I had some bacon in the fridge. My phone was alarmed for 3 minutes before midnight so I could cook the bacon. Then, the moment the moment the clock on the Sky Planner blinked 0:00 I took a gigantic bite. Boy, a bacon cheeseburger had never tasted so good!

Level One: Cave Story+ and League of Legends

List Item: Play 100 of the greatest computer games
Progress: 54/100

As much as I love our video game blog there is a slight irritation that comes with it. The way we work is that we post every 3-4 days but we have a built in buffer of games from times where we go for weekend gaming binges. What this means is that there are games that I have played from the 100 Greatest Games list that will not be published for months.

Cave-Story-PlusTitle: Cave Story +
Developer: Studio Pixel
Platform: PC
Year: 2011
Position: #73

In our blog review Jeroen pretty much wrote everything. This does seem a bit naughty of me since that blog is a joint venture but… let’s just say that things were getting a bit hectic in my personal life at the time so I did not have the time to write anything. Things really have changed now and when we get to posts that go out in July things get fairer (but now I write this blog daily I am writing on here more).

Since the link covers pretty much all I would say I get to spend more time on a game I really enjoyed.

Title: League of Legends
Developer: Riot Games
Platform: PC
Year: 2009
Position: #22

I have logged plenty of hours on this game and was introduced to it through a friend. It quickly became a minor addiction of mine which I have tried to distance myself from somewhat since (to be honest) as much as I enjoy League of Legends I am really quite crap at it.

Like the other game in this post League of Legends is free-to-play and relies on people spending money in order to unlock new characters more quickly (since if you play enough games you can do that for free), purchase new outfits for your characters or to buy runes which power up whichever character you choose play.

The game itself is simple and is based on Defense of the Ancients. The objective (of most games) is to destroy the enemy team’s base. I say most since there are other modes… but the one most people actually focus on is the base and tower destroying option.

The community and the scope for team creation is gigantic.  With 118 different characters to choose from (ranging from the typical bulkly tank to the frail healer and pretty much everything in between) and an average of 27 million people playing this game every day you never get the same experience twice. Of course I have had some bad experiences with players on my team being rather abusive but Team Riot have dealt with that by installing reports and a ‘Tribunal’ feature.

As a game the variety is the original thing that draws you in since there are so many things to have a go at. It keeps you on the hook through quick progression and the fact that once you find people you enjoy playing with you will go back for more and more. The only quibble I have with this is that the tutorial is far from exhaustive and new players feel incredibly daunted having been dumped into the game after basic controls instruction. Then again, that is where the games huge fanbase and online presence comes in with wikis and even a section on QuizUp to satisfy your curiosity.

If you are reading this and are a League of Legends player and are keen to play with someone who favours support characters like Sona and Karma when give me a buzz. Always happy to find new people to play with that don’t being trailed and healed.

Music Monday: A Night With Ol’ Blue Eyes

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 4/250

So far in my quest to listen to the 250 most acclaimed albums I have listened to artists that I love. First there was Arcade Fire and their baroque pop sensibilities, then last week I looked at the ever-changing work of PJ Harvey. Therefore this week I will be looking at two of the oldest albums on this list by one of the most famous singers of all time; Frank Sinatra.

intheweesmallhoursTitle: In The Wee Small Hours
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Year: 1955
Position: #275 (Previously: #247)

I’ll be honest that before this all I knew of Frank Sinatra was his connections to the mob, the fact that he has won an Oscar and could only name two of his songs off the top of my head. No prizes for guessing that I am referring to New York, New York and My Way. However, I am trying to keep my mind open here and seeing how I find these albums.

Needless to say that I was caught completely off guard. I was expecting some crooning that was only a slight improvement on crappy X-Factor contestants, if you haven’t heard of him then I am incredibly jealous, and I’ll put my hands up and admit that I was wrong. I will also admit that I was fending off tears for the majority of the time that I first listened to the album all the way through with some creeping out just as the opening track In ‘The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning’ began to play.

What we have here is an album composed entirely of ballads. Something that you wouldn’t be able to get away with nowadays unless your voice is powerful just like Mariah Carey or Leona Lewis, and even then the critics would still paw merciless at you demanding for something a bit more upbeat (unless it is deemed moody and artistic like White Chalk by PJ Harvey when all bets are apparently off).

With only one type of song present on this album it is a credit to Sinatra that this doesn’t feel at all dull. The saving grace of the album being the sheer emotionality of his voice, there is some warm velvet-like quality that is o-so disarming. When he sings of loneliness and heartache an instant connection appears to form. One that isn’t that disrupted by the annoying adverts that are weaved in by Spotify… not cool. In a way it’s almost like listening to a fluffy pair of slippers if they ever had recourse to sing, warm and cosy. Also, you have just got to love the fifties production style with the heavy strings and the occasional twinkle in the background. There is no doubt as to when this was recorded in that respects.

SongsforswinginloversTitle: Songs For Swingin’ Lovers
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Year: 1956
Position: #291 (Previously: #246)

The first thing that strikes me about Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! is what a difference a year really makes. I mean it was only a year ago, or in this case about a week ago, where Sinatra brought out In The Wee Small Hours a collection of maudlin ballads that greatly reflected his split with actress Ava Gardner.

So here he is with the album that truly established him as the king of swing and boy does he come out swinging *cringe* with the seminal version of You Make Me Feel So Young. This is followed by a steady stream of brilliantly arranged tunes that just warrant multiple listens. Which makes it a little wonder why so many of the tracks off this album have been ingrained into the public consciousness. None more worthy of this accolade is I’ve Got You Under My Skin which is one of those songs that everyone has heard in random films but probably most have probably never actually listened to it.

The fact is that most would be forgiven thinking most of these songs as being written specifically for Sinatra with the way that these are widely regarded as the seminal versions whereas in fact many of these songs were actually over 10 years old. Does this matter? Not one iota. Just thought it’s an interesting thing.

Upon hearing this for the third time I really wonder why acts like Westlife and Robbie Williams even try. Frank Sinatra is the truly undisputed king of swing and the quicker we can accept it the quicker we can move on to doing something original. Why have second-rate imitations when we have the master.

Next Week: I feel like I want to remain in the early parts of the album format for next week. Which albums I will be doing are yet to be determined.