Best Ever Alfie Boe Song

All posts tagged Best Ever Alfie Boe Song

Last week I gave you my top Six Sensational Songs from Alfie Boe and asked for your nominations – I was deluged with them!  Thank you to everyone who sent in their six (it is possible to choose just six!) and in no particular order, the first set was chosen by Betty Valentine.  This is what Betty had to say about when and where she was Boed:

I started following Alfie in early 2011 when, like a lot of us on this side of the Atlantic, I saw him in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables on PBS. I was blown away by his voice and stage presence and actually travelled to London that fall to see him live in the West End. Since then I have followed his career, collected his music and have seen him live twice more.

Betty’s six songs are:

In My Daughter’s Eyes, chosen because, as Betty says “the song always makes me think of my deceased parents”. If you are either a daughter or a mother of a daughter then this song can’t fail to move you.

Betty chose Come What May because of the “romantic sentiments of long lasting love” – and I chose this video because I love Laura Wright and because Alfie makes me laugh in it!

In Betty’s words, she picked this song because not only is it beautiful, “the melody and the words… form a beautiful poem of thanksgiving for nature and our world”.  A lot of you agree as Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna made it all the way to the number two position in our very first Best Ever Alfie Boe Song poll in 2014.

Recondita Armonia was chosen to highlight Alfie’s operatic talent and I chose this video as it’s a great excuse to see Matt and Alfie again!

A Living Prayer and Abide With Me were both chosen for their beauty and also, for the “healing and comfort derived from them in difficult times”.

Thank you Betty for sharing your Six Senational Songs with us.

If you would like to share your six favourite songs with us, please send them (and your reasons why) in this form:

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...Wayfaring Stranger in New Jersey:

First heard on the Autumn 2012 US tour, Wayfaring Stranger featured on Alfie’s 2012 album Storyteller and became a set list staple of the eponymous tour.  The song went on to feature in the first two Best Ever Alfie Boe Song polls in 2014 and 2015 and signalled a clear progression towards the style of Alfie’s next album, Trust.  Here is Alfie talking about why the song was chosen:

The joy Alfie talks about here was much more in evidence on the Storyteller tour – this is the song from the Royal Albert Hall (thanks to Linda W):

The strong backing vocals from Seweuse and Lucy are the icing on the cake for me, not to mention Murray, Matt and Nick on guitar and bass and Richard on keyboard.  I defy to stay sitting in your seat and not dance around when listening to this!

Storyteller is available here:

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The song in at number six is this year’s only offering from Alfie’s last album, Serenata; in 2015 My Heart is Yours entered the top ten at number seven.  The music is from the film, Il Postino and it is the only song for which Alfie himself wrote the lyrics.  Can we say it’s great to see an original song make the list?  A semi original song as the film version is instrumental.  The video is from the first night of the Serenata tour, thanks to Linda W for sharing:

Alfie says the inspiration behind the lyrics is his daughter, Grace, and since I heard this, I always think of my son when I hear this song.  Having said that, the lyrics are also incredibly romantic and I’m sure there are a fair few ladies out there who imagine these words being sung to them.  Wouldn’t this be a lovely wedding song?

Serenata is available here:

serenata

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…at Classic FM Live (thanks Marcia for sharing):

As befits a radio station, this performance at the Royal Albert Hall was never broadcast for TV so we only have sound…but what sound!

Addio Sogni Di Gloria was chosen as your favourite Alfie Boe song in 2015 (not even making the top ten this time around) and the second song, Chitarra Romana was also from the album Alfie was promoting at that time, Serenata.

Serenata is available here, if you don’t yet have it:

serenata

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The fourth song of this year’s best ever Alfie Boe song poll is the first of our new entries to the top ten, even though it’s been on the long list since the beginning.  Taken from the 2012 album Storyteller, It’s Over went onto be used as the opening song of the 2013 tour:

Genius to start a set with a song called It’s Over.  The song was originally nominated by our sometime guest reviewer Roberta Kappus, who said

this song was the first song of the Storyteller concert and after travelling from the US to London I arrived at the Royal Albert Hall to hear It’s Over and that’s exactly how I felt – I hadn’t heard Alfie sing live for a while and I just thought, the wait is over

It’s Over was originally performed by Roy Orbison, who also co-wrote it, together with Bill Dees. Released in 1964 as a single (although later appearing on greatest hits albums), the song hit number 1 in the UK chart, surpassing it’s best chart position on the US billboard where it reached a high of number 9.

If you want to see Alfie’s version on DVD, the Storyteller DVD is available here:

storyteller dvd

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Three weeks into our third annual best ever Alfie Boe Song and we come to number eight and a song that is the only one (apart from Bring Him Home of course) to feature in all three polls:

I was initially surprised to find it in the top ten at all, never mind making it all the way to number two so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to find it still there in 2014.  A year on and I’m no longer surprised to see it feature again; taken from Onward, A Living Prayer shows off Alfie’s soaring vocals to perfection and is probably the reason why a song from one of Alfie’s lesser known albums has been eternally popular with fans.

A Living Prayer was written by bluegrass / country singer Alison Krauss and released on the Union Station album Lonely Runs Both Ways in 2004.  The bluegrass roots are evident in this video of Krauss:

Krauss and Alfie are also linked in another way – both have recorded with Robert Plant, in Alfie’s case, on Song to the Siren from Alfie.

Onward is available here:

Alfie onward

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The song voted in at number nine is a song that usually makes female fans go weak at the knees, especially the French lyrics.  Yes, it’s the second song from Trust to feature in the fan’s favourite Alfie Boe song, If You Go Away:

If You Go Away first featured in this poll in 2014 where it was voted in at number 8 although the following year, in a shift towards the more classical side of Alfie’s recordings, it disappeared altogether.  It’s fitting then that this song makes a return in a poll that is heavily skewed to the less classical.

Written in 1959 by Jacques Brel, it has been recorded by many artists, usually using English lyrics written by American songwriter Rod McKuen.  As with Alfie’s version, these lyrics are interspersed with the original French.  There are a huge number of videos to choose from on YouTube but I’ve chosen Celine Dion’s French version:

Trust is available here:

trust

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Counting down the top ten begins here which means that we are officially counting down to the Alfie Boe Michael Ball Together tour which starts in ten weeks! Lots to look forward to in the run up, including the chance for your very own concert review to appear here but first, here is the song you voted in at number ten:

Forever Young, from Alfie’s 2013 album, Trust, appeared in the top ten for the first time in 2015 at number nine and is the first of four songs from that album in the 2016 top ten.  Penned by Bob Dylan for his son in the 1960’s, the opening lines of

May God bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true

reflect perfectly the dreams we have as parents for our children.  To me, these lines also make the song a fitting one for a remembrance concert; Alfie has performed this at National Memorial concerts in both the USA and UK, although with slightly different arrangements.

In last year’s best ever song count down, I included the original version and vowed never again as I really find it hard to listen to Bob Dylan’s voice.  However, this year I found Dylan singing Forever Young with Bruce Springsteen, another Alfie favourite, so here they are:

Obviously there are people out there who prefer the original but compared to Alfie, I mean, come on! No contest, for this blogger at least.

Alfie and Michael go on tour in November, click here for tickets and you can pre-order the signed album here:

together

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Voting has now closed in the third annual poll to find the fan’s favourite Alfie Boe song (recorded) and the top ten is in a handy playlist for you:

There are just four songs that survived from the 2014 poll and of these four, just two have been voted into the top ten in all three polls so far.

In 2015, the top ten looked like this:

  1. Addio Sogni Di Gloria
  2. Keep Me In Your Heart
  3. A Gaelic Blessing
  4. Bring Him Home
  5. A Living Prayer
  6. Nessun Dorma
  7. My Heart is Yours
  8. Rank Strangers
  9. Forever Young
  10. Je Crois Entendre Encore

The first thing that jumps out is that the top two don’t even feature this time which means my favourite song isn’t there…although another favourite, Dimming of the Day has made it for the first time.

The second thing to note is that there is a distinct move away from the more classical side of Alfie’s repertoire, as Trust makes a strong return with four songs featured.   The remaining six songs are one each from Storyteller, Serenata, Onward, Classic Quadrophenia, Bring Him Home and Alfie.  If You Go Away is the only song to return to the top ten, having missed out in 2015 and Bring Him Home stays as the only musical theatre choice.

The top ten will start counting down from next week and will lead us right up to the start of the UK tour – anyone excited yet?

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A dull and wet Friday in London was made a lot better by seeing Alfie, together with Michael Ball, on US TV.  Click on Alfie and Michael to see the video:

Alfie Michael NYC

A short interview but a great intro to any new fans out there…and existing ones too, seeing as it’s been a while since we’ve heard from Alfie.  Fabulous to see them both featured on US TV and apparently, they’ll be back around the time of the album release.

In case you’re not connected to Alfie via Facebook or Twitter, Alfie and Michael are in New York this week as they record the much anticipated Together album – it will be interesting to see the track list and see how many fan suggestions made it.

Have you voted for your favourite Alfie Boe song yet?  Last chance – the voting ends tomorrow morning (UK time).

Lastly, this past week has seen the 39th anniversary of Elvis’s death so let’s look back to one of my favourite Alfie sings Elvis songs (thanks Nikki for sharing):

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