Favourite Singers

These are singers whose voices move, soothe and inspire me. Some of the artists I’ve listed with their band’s name; this is in addition to their solo efforts. The “choice cuts” for each vocalist represent either my favourite songs by these artists, or a track highlighting their incredible style, range or crafting of the song.

And now, on to the list…

Karen Carpenter

Starting with the best… Karen Carpenter, a voice direct from the angels in heaven. When Karen died tragically in 1983, a light went out in the music world. She will never be replaced.

Choice cuts:
Superstar, Goodbye To Love, Rainy Days & Mondays


Tracey Thorn

With her husband Ben Watt, Tracey Thorn was the other half of the group Everything But The Girl. EBTG had great success in the 80s and into the 90s. There’s few people who haven’t heard their haunting, wistful Missing from 1994. Tracey has released a few albums in the 2000s, and continues to make beautiful music. For my post dedicated to Tracey Thorne, check this out.

Choice cuts:
Half-Light (Day Version), Protection, Cross My Heart, Missing


Hannah Reid (London Grammar)

Ah, Miss Hannah… my current absolute favourite vocalist. This woman’s incredible voice makes my hair stand on end and my toes curl. Fronting the group London Grammar, Hannah Reid has one of the most engaging and beautiful voices of any artist performing today. What a haunting contralto… her voice moves me in ways no other singer can.

Choice cuts:
Strong, Interlude, Metal & Dust, Big Picture, Different Breeds


Sarah Cracknell (Saint Etienne)

Singing with Saint Etienne or solo, Sarah Cracknell has a voice like golden honey dripping down a pot. There’s something magical about this woman’s voice and, coupled with Saint Etienne’s musical styling, it exudes pure London.

Choice cuts:
Hobart Paving, Goldie (solo), Like A Motorway, Teenage Winter


Justine Suissa

Justine Suissa is a British singer, currently the vocalist of trance group OceanLab (which includes the members of Above & Beyond). She’s collaborated with many of Trance’s prominent producers, such as Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, Robbie Rivera and Chicane. Justine has a dreamy, ethereal voice.

Choice cuts:
On A Good Day, Lonely Girl, Miracle, Burned With Desire


Iva Davies

What a beautiful voice this man has. Iva was the voice of Icehouse in the 80s, and has gone on to great solo success in the 90s and beyond. To read my post dedicated to Iva Davies, check this out.

Choice cuts:
Heroes, Heaven, No Promises (with Icehouse), Crazy (Midnight Mix)


David Byron (Uriah Heep)

What a set of pipes!

David Byron (real name David Garrick) was a British singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist in Uriah Heep. His was the voice on the 10 Uriah Heep albums released between 1969 and 1976. At the time, few lead singers in Rock could scream and wail like David Byron.

He lived a life of classic rock and roll excess, indulging in lots of drugs and booze. This, inevitably, led to dismissal from Uriah Heep in 1976 for his increasingly erratic behaviour and excessive alcohol consumption. David made several unsuccessful attempts to revive his career following the split, first with a band named Rough Diamond, then with a solo album and a brief career with The Byron Band.

He died from liver damage complicated by epilepsy on February 28, 1985 at the age of 38.

Choice cuts:
The Wizard, Sweet Lorraine, Rainbow Demon, Rain


Simon & Garfunkel

Pure. Vocal. Perfection.

Choice cuts:
For Emily Wherever I May Find Her, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, The Only Living Boy In New York, April Come She Will, All I Know (Art Garfunkel)


Alison Moyet

A Goddess in my world, Alison Moyet has a bluesy, beautiful contralto. From Yazoo in the 70s till now, she’s had many decades of success singing so many styles of music, excelling in them all.

Choice cuts:
Dorothy, Take Of Me, Winter Kills (with Yazoo), Cry Me A River


Corinne Drewery (Swing Out Sister)

I don’t know much about Corinne Drewery, other than I love her voice. Through the 80s and early 90s she was the silky smooth voice of the group Swing Out Sister.

Choice cuts:
Twilight World, Breakout, After Hours


Dusty Springfield

What more could one possibly say about Dusty Springfield that hasn’t already been said?

Choice cuts:
Am I The Same Girl?, Goin’ Back, Nothing Has Been Proved, Wishin’ And Hopin’, What Have I Done To Deserve This? (with Pet Shop Boys)


Dionne Warwick

Where would the 60s (and beyond) have been without Dionne Warwick and the David/Bacharach writing team? Warwick is the master of vocal phrasing (just take a listen to Promises, Promises).

Choice cuts:
Promises, Promises, Heartbreaker, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?, Walk On By


Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet)

Tony is still workin’ it all these post-Spandau years later and the pipes remain in amazing condition. What a powerhouse voice and amazing vocal range.

Choice cuts:
Through the Barricades, Gold, True, Round And Round


Mimi Page

Mimi Page is an underrated singer-songwriter, producer and composer from the U.S. In the studio she blends her ethereal vocals with piano-driven, atmospheric soundscapes, resulting in a haunting and luxuriant sound. In addition to her albums, she has self-produced and released several film and gaming soundtracks.

Choice cuts:
Porcelain, Secunda (Skyrim)


Joni Mitchell

Ah yes, the one and only Joni… enough said.

Choice cuts:
Help Me, Chinese Cafe, Circle Game, A Case Of You


And lastly, Honorable Mentions for Powerhouse Vocals go to:
Ian Gillan (with and without Deep Purple)
Patti LaBelle
and, of course, Freddie.

My “B-List” Songs

I hesitate to call these tracks the “B-list” of my favourite music, as the term is slightly derogatory. These are all special songs to me and remain some of my favourites, but they don’t quite merit a place on my Desert Island Songs list. Like my other lists, this one remains a work in progress.

Here then, is more of my life’s soundtrack:

Moments Of Pleasure – Kate Bush
Only You – Yaz
Boy – Book Of Love
Il Mio Cuore Va – Sarah Brightman
Minuet in G Major – J.S. Bach (comp.)
Suddenly Last Summer – The Motels
I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
Safe And Sound – Capital Cities
Lady Marmalade – Labelle
Nothing But A Heartache – Freemasons (feat. Sylvia Mason-James)
The Sailor Song – Autoheart
Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers (with Coldplay)
Unfinished Business – Boy George
The Last Song – Elton John
The Power Of Love – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
No Promises – Icehouse
Breaking Us In Two – Joe Jackson
Shadow Man – David Bowie
Pavane – Gabriel Fauré (comp.)
It Couldn’t Happen Here – Pet Shop Boys
Man On The Moon – R.E.M.
Crying Out Loud For Love – The Box
Canon In D – J. Pachelbel (comp.)
Life On Mars? – David Bowie
Half-Light (Day Version) – George Fitzgerald feat. Tracey Thorn
Every Bit Of Love – Ken Tobias
Be My Number Two – Joe Jackson
Old Money – Lana Del Rey
Caroline – Concrete Blonde
Oh Yeah – Roxy Music
I Want To Wake Up (Breakdown Mix) – Pet Shop Boys
Girlfriend In A Coma – The Smiths
Driver’s Seat (12″ version) – Sniff ‘n’ The Tears
Love Is Everything – k.d. lang
I Can Hear Your Heartbeat (12″ Club Mix Maxi Version) – Chris Rea
Black Cars – Gino Vannelli

Good Songs Covered By Extremely Inappropriate Artists

Culled from my own music collection, Spotify and Rolling Stone “worst of” lists, here is my compilation of songs that have been covered by a completely inappropriate artist or are simply a bad cover of the song.

Some of these covers are funny, some are marginally bearable, some are nauseating and some are so abjectly, abysmally awful they make you lose your will to live.

What were these people thinking??!!


Life On Mars? – Barbra Streisand
Help! – Diana Ross & The Supremes
I Love Rock ‘n Roll – Britney Spears
Might Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo) – Julie London
Happy Together – Mel Torme
When A Man Loves A Woman – Michael Bolton
A Hard Day’s Night – Peggy Lee
Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – William Shatner
American Pie – Madonna
Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird – Will To Power
Mrs. Robinson – Guy Lombardo
Funky Town – Pseudo Echo
I Am The Walrus – Jim Carrey
All By Myself – Celine Dion
Sugar, Sugar – Kurt Russell
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Tiny Tim
It’s My Life – No Doubt
Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) – Wayne Newton
Stairway to Heaven – Dolly Parton
Ring of Fire – Olivia Newton John
Piece of My Heart – Faith Hill
Big Yellow Taxi – Counting Crows & Vanessa Carlton
Everyday People – Peggy Lee
Live and Let Die – Guns N’ Roses
Cat’s In The Cradle – Ugly Kid Joe
More Than This – 10,000 Maniacs
MacArthur Park – Waylon Jennings

Sadly, this list has a lot of growth potential…

Desert Island Songs

Without music, life would be a mistake.
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

What is a desert island song?

A desert island song is a special song. It makes you feel the sheer joy of living. It brings you to tears of joy or heartache with a minute of the start, sending goosebumps to your arms.

A desert island song infuses you with a feeling of power, energy and well-being. It transports you intensely and succinctly back to a time and place in your life that was moving, important or meaningful.

A desert island song makes you feel totally centred and existing in the moment; it gives you an overwhelming feeling that all is well.

Music has always been my refuge – it’s there when there’s nothing else. Through all the difficult times and crap that life can deal out, music has always been my sanctuary and strength.

The following songs are part of my life’s soundtrack. If I were given advance notice I were to be marooned on a desert island, this is the music I would bring with me:

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

The Ghost In You – Psychedelic Furs

Golden Brown – The Stranglers

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again – The Fortunes

True To Life – Roxy Music

Whistle Down The Wind – Nick Heyward

Reasons For Waiting – Jethro Tull

I Want To Wake Up (Breakdown Mix) – Pet Shop Boys

Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston

Lovers In A Dangerous Time – Bruce Cockburn (I’ll accept the Barenaked Ladies version in a pinch)

This Time I Know It’s For Real – Donna Summer

Never Can Say Goodbye – Jimmy Somerville

I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro) – Donna Summer

Nightswimming – R.E.M.

Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto

Adagio For Strings – Samuel Barber (comp.)

Only You – Virgin

Getting Away With It – Electronic

Under The Milky Way – The Church

Only The Lonely – The Motels

Cry For Help – Rick Astley

When Love Takes Over – David Guetta (feat. Kelly Rowland)

Strong – London Grammar

King’s Cross – Pet Shop Boys

Born This Way – Lady Gaga

Rescue Me – Fontella Bass

Downtown – Petula Clark

Heroes – Icehouse/Iva Davies

Crazy (Midnight Mix) – Icehouse

Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit (Motiv 8 Extended Vocal Mix) – Gina G

My Favourite Quotes

These are quotes I enjoy. They originate from songs, movies, TV, and various other pop culture sources. Some quotes are profound, some silly, some hilarious, some fun, and some are near and dear to my heart. Several of these quotes have permanently worked their way into the daily lexicon at our house over the years.

This post is a work in progress and I’ll be adding more quotes here as time goes on.


Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight / Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.

Bruce Cockburn
Lovers In A Dangerous Time


Do it now! Do it Edna, or forever wish you had!!

Wilbur Turnblad
Hairspray (1988)


Ain’t that a kick in the rubber parts?

Arnold Beckoff (Harvey Fierstein)
Torch Song Trilogy


They say travel broadens the mind / So I went over the falls in a barrel / I found the North Pole / In a field of ice / And in the land of dreams / I found you

Thomas Dolby
I Live In A Suitcase


Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Star Wars, Episode IV – A New Hope


Oh for goodness sake. Look at yourself Mitz.  How many times have I told you? Green is not your color!

Felicia Jollygoodfellow
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert


Every old sock meets an old shoe

Kate Bush
Moments Of Pleasure


I never dreamt that I would get to be / the creature that I always meant to be

Pet Shop Boys
Being Boring


I like that Wookiee

Maz Kanata
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens


I think my biggest problem is being young and beautiful. It’s my biggest problem because I’ve never been young and beautiful. Oh, I’ve been beautiful, and God knows I’ve been young, but never the twain have met.

Arnold Beckoff (Harvey Fierstein)
Torch Song Trilogy


I need that wedding. I need some beauty and some music and some placecards before I die. It’s like heroin.

Bernice Brackett (Debbie Reynolds)
In & Out


What we need is a few good taters.
What’s taters, precious?
PO-TAY-TOES! Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in a stew…

Samwise Gamgee & Gollum
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


Oh yes!! Yes Mr. Cobb!! Call me your cheap slut sex poodle!!!!

Terry Hoskins (Victoria Tennant) to Roger Cobb (Steve Martin)
All Of Me


Wait! Wait for Sugar!!

Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe)
Some Like It Hot


Well… La-di-da, la-di-da, la la

Annie Hall (Diane Keaton)
Annie Hall


…could we have everything louder than everything else?…

Ian Gillan of Deep Purple
Made In Japan


Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone

Joni Mitchell
Big Yellow Taxi


I’m Free!

Mr. Humphries (John Inman)
Are You Being Served?


The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize

– Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis), Steel Magnolias


I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special

Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie (Julia Roberts)
Steel Magnolias


Her life has been an experiment in terror… I have to tell you, when it comes to suffering, she’s right up there with Elizabeth Taylor

Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton)
Steel Magnolias


Speaking for myself, and I am unanimous in this…

Mrs. Slocombe (Molly Sugden)
Are You Being Served?


There is freedom within, there is freedom without / Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup

Crowded House
Don’t Dream It’s Over


Oh, listen to yourselves. You sound like two fat slags at a pie bake-off

Bernadette Bassenger (Terence Stamp)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert


…I want total sensory deprivation and backup drugs. All right?

Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders)
Absolutely Fabulous


Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde


Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow / Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead / Walk beside me… just be my friend.

Albert Camus


A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.

Elbert Hubbard


Honey, I’m more man than you’ll ever be and more woman than you’ll ever get.

Lindy (Antonio Fargas)
Car Wash


I wanna pair of pink high heels that catch the lights up on the Ferris wheel, but what I really want I just can’t buy.

Deborah Harry
I Want That Man