Shirley Bassey Debuts First Studio Album in 20 Years at the Ritz!

7631_142419644163_532364163_2614069_796323_nBelow is an excerpt from a press release regarding Shirley Bassey’s new record. I’ve been a fan of hers since my Dad first prohibited us from watching the beginning of every Bond movie because of the naked girls in the opening sequences. She crooned a record three times for Bond films in what are arguably still some of the best Bond Tunes ever produced: Goldfinger, Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever.

Later, I rediscovered her when she sang on Yellow’s album: One Second. I had purchased it for the track “Oh Yeah” featured in ‘The Secret of my Success’ and most notably ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ I was pleasantly surprised when I recognized the Bond Woman’s vocals.

Later on, I would collect some of her earlier work and most recently was caught purchasing “Let’s Get This Party Started:” a recent album of covers from the likes “Hello” from Lionel Richie to the title song originally by Pink.

Now she has a new album coming out produced by, the current Bond Composer: David Arnold with a song written specifically for her by John Barry (who was responsible for 90% of the Bond movie music before Arnold.

Press release follows:

Dame Shirley Bassey, Britain’s most successful female artist ever, is set to release her brand new album ‘The Performance’ on November 9th on Geffen Records.

The 11-track album is Dame Shirley Bassey’s first full studio album in over 20 years. David Arnold, the Grammy Award-winning producer best known for scoring five James Bond films has produced the album. ‘The Performance’ features songs written specifically for Dame Shirley Bassey, by a stellar cast of contemporary artists, including, Take That’s, Gary Barlow, the Manic Street Preachers, Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall and Rufus Wainwright.

The Dame is pictured below with some of the amazing collaborators as she celebrated the launch of ‘The Performance’ at The Ritz Last Monday.

Full tracklisting for ‘The Performance’:

  1. Almost There [Tom Baxter]
  2. Apartment [Rufus Wainwright]
  3. This Time [Gary Barlow]
  4. I Love You Now [Nick Hodgson]
  5. Our Time Is Now [John Barry/Don Black]
  6. As God Is My Witness [David Arnold/David McAlmont]
  7. No Good About Goodbye [David Arnold/Don Black]
  8. The Girl From Tiger Bay [Manic Street Preachers]
  9. Nice Men [KT Tunstall]
  10. After The Rain [Richard Hawley]
  11. The Performance Of My Life [Pet Shop Boys]

What I’m Listening To: This is Music ’92

thisismusic92This album was purchased from Camelot Music’s discount bin in late 1992 early 1993 on a visit to America’s largest symbol of capitalism:  The Dreaded Mall of America.

It was there Matt Sparby and I used to float between Camelot Music store on the first floor and Spectrum Music on the 3rd floor. (Spectrum had the distinction at the time of only carrying laser based media–CDs and Laserdiscs.)

Camelot Music always had a large bin of Canadian imports.  The compilation I listen to as I write, “This is Music ’92” from “Quality Music“,  contains gems from the early 90s.

Many of the tunes are instantly recognizable.  From Jesus Jones’ “Right Here, Right Now” to Amy Grant’s saccharine pop effort: “Baby Baby.” Some of these tunes are more rare since they didn’t receive airplay in the U.S.  Oh, not all of it’s quality! For instance, there is the abhorrent “More Than Words” by the band Extreme.  A love anthem adopted by adolescent, angst-driven boys and girls as a beautiful love ballad when in fact the song was really a satire on all ballads of the period:

“Sayin’, “I Love You…” is not the words I want to hear from you.  It’s not that I want to, not to say–but if you only knew… how easy, it would be to show me how you feel… More than words is all you have to do to make it real.  Then you wouldn’t have to say–that you loved me.  ‘Cuz I’d already know.

In other words, “Just shutup and show me baby.  I don’t want to hear you talk.”

Of course, some are very good.  I’m particularly fond of My Town from Glass Tiger with Rod Stewart, Everybody Get’s a Second Chance by Mike + The Mechanics, Walking in Memphis by Mark Cohn and Joyride by the effervescent pop group of the 80s-90s-and-still-terribly-popular-in-europe-today: Roxette.

If you can, dig this gem up or download some of the tracks from iTunes–they’re a blast.

  1. Joyride (Album Version) – Roxette
  2. My Town – Glass Tiger with Rod Stewart
  3. Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones
  4. Just Like You – Robbie Nevil
  5. Say You’ll Be Mine – West End Girls
  6. Everybody Gets A Second Chance – Mike + The Mechanics
  7. Baby Baby – Amy Grant
  8. More Than Words – Extreme
  9. Unbelievable – EMF
  10. Standing Push And Fall – World On Edge
  11. Street Of Dreams – Nia Peeples
  12. Show me the Way – Styx
  13. Twist My Arm – The Tragically Hip
  14. Walking In Memphis – Marc Cohn