12 Inch Wonders Of the World/Vol. 18

Crush [David Archuletta]—-The break out single from American Idol superstar Archuletta, this track is a fine example of the magic and power of AOR music that is alive and well in the recording industry today. Powered by magical good looks and a wonderful video, this track helped to make Archuletta”s debut release a million unit seller. This is a simple and magical recipe….allowing for a wonderful vocal to shine through with incredible emotion. A favorite of mine….I don’t care what you all think!

So Hard/Remix [Pet Shop Boys]—-Long one of my favorite songs from The Boys, I snatched this up because I had never really heard this version before. This lacks a bit of the heavier bass sound that I prefer, but allows for some interesting backdrop sounds in the process. this takes a bit to really get going, but all the basic elements are there. The vocal from Tennant is a bit manipulated…giving the song an almost acid house sound…it works incredibly well…sending me into a high orbit from the whole joyful sound of the thing. Love this!!!

Eh Eh Eh/Pet Shop Boys Remix [Lady GaGa]—-This takes this wonderful, underplayed GaGa track and injects it with that magical Boys hum that pervades through the entire song. Never let it be said that synth bands can not create their own sound…the PSB have built a career on their own remarkable and unique sound and it is all over this song. This has enough swirls and emotions to power a generator. This is fabulous!!!

Did You See Me Coming/Remix [Pet Shop Boys]—-This is WONDERFUL….more guitar based but with a nice heavy dose of synth bass, the vocal is the standout for me on this track. Tennant delivers a vocal that finds him sounding 25 years old and energized…infused with the Culture and enjoying the night life. This is reminiscent of the very early and best stuff that the duo created on the first two releases of their career. This is infectious, unforgettable and damn pleasant. When Neil hits those higher notes you are landing right back in 1984….marvelous.

Elizabeth My Dear/Remix  [The Stone Roses]—-Swirling in the psychedelic sounds the band magically recreated, the song has a lot of added piano and sounds even deeper than the original. This is layered with vocals on top of vocals…giving the song an almost ’round’ effect. This is masterful and is not included on any of the remix releases I have from this band…if you search enough, you are bound to find something new and exciting. I love the Internet!

Lowrider/War—-Sampled by countless rap acts through the last 20 years, this is a pure funk classic. The amazing thing to me is that the song still sounds fresh and brilliant today….as it was when it was released. The saxophone on this song is one for the ages…I never get tired of hearing this. When you combine the music…slow and sexy with that deep bass voice, you are in musical heaven. Down and dirty…this will live forever.

The Long & Winding Road [David Archuletta]—-What can I say…I though this version was amazing. Archuletta has a pure and unadulterated vocal that wraps around this song like a warm blanket. It makes me comfortable and allows me that occasional smile.

The Crying Game [Boy George]—-Few people realize the The Pet Shop Boys wrote this song and much of the Soundtrack for this movie. the rendition by Boy has The Boys sound all over it…if you listen you can detect that remarkable sadness and beauty that Lowe masterfully works into his keyboards. This also allowed the public knowledge that George was more than a Tabloid phenom….at least for a bit! This is fan-tab-ulous!

Cry For Help [Rick Astley]—-Rick Astley is considered by many to be a one hit wonder from the decade that produced hundreds of them. Astley managed to record some pretty brilliant stuff after his initial success…this remains my favorite Astley track…this is full of danceable beats and enough emotional quality to send you reaching for you kleenex…that is what music is all about…this is a brilliant track. I love this!!!

****1/2 out of 5


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