Best Ever Song

All posts tagged Best Ever Song

We’ve done it, we’ve counted down to the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe song so let’s take a look at the top ten so far:

10 – Parlami D’amore Mariu

9 – In My Daughter’s Eyes

8 – Wheels of a Dream

7 – Forever Young

6 – Anthem

5 – Addio Sogni Di Gloria

4 – Keep Me In Your Heart

3 – Love Reign O’er Me

2 – Rank Strangers

And so that leaves only one song at the top and it’s no surprise that after two years at number four, Bring Him Home returns to the top:

This was the first time I heard Alfie sing Bring Him Home live.

Bring Him Home, is without question Alfie’s most popular and famous song.  The vast majority of fans who have come to know Alfie since 2010 (myself included) have done so through Les Miserables, Jean Val Jean and Bring Him Home – Alfie’s star really was born at the 25th anniversary concert.  Everything that has come since started on that day and ensures that Alfie will continue to sing Bring Him Home for as long as the demand is there…forever!  Of course the problem with this is I find it really difficult to write anything at all about Bring Him Home.   So, instead of my thoughts, let’s go back to what Alfie said about it in his autobiography:

It is such a spiritual song, it’s so special.  When Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil wrote it they must have been so excited…It is a prayer, it’s actually called The Prayer, it’s not officially called Bring Him Home and I treat it as such every time I sing it.  I pray.  That’s what makes it work.

Interestingly, when I interviewed Alfie for the Club 24601 series in 2015, although he mentioned Bring Him Home as being a great song, he actually picked the Soliloquy as the song with the greatest emotional and vocal range.

Thank you for sending in your suggestions and voting – I love seeing the different songs that make it into the top ten each year.  Enjoy the summer concerts – click here if you haven’t yet got a ticket.

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

Just two songs left on this year’s Best Ever Alfie Boe Song countdown which means that there’s less than two weeks until Alfie starts his Summer Together tour with Michael Ball.  If you haven’t got tickets yet, click here.  I’m once again looking for guest reviewers so make sure you read to the end!

Song number two is a song that has featured twice before, in 2014 and 2015 and is this year’s only representative from Storyteller.  Rank Strangers is an American folk song from the early twentieth century which Alfie first sang on his Bring Him Home tour of 2012 and then recorded for Storyteller that same year.  Here is Alfie’s acoustic version from the Storyteller tour:

Rank Strangers was written by Albert Brumley, a musician and singer born in Oklahoma in 1905.  After studying at the Hartford Musical Institute, Arkansas,  Brumley toured with the Hartford Quartet and went on to write / copyright an astonishing 800 songs.  The most famous of these is I’ll Fly Away from 1932.  In 1970 he was inducted into the Country Song Writer’s Hall of Fame and his songs have been covered by amongst others, Bob Dylan, who I’m sure introduced Alfie to the song:

Alfie, I hope you know that this is true dedication on my part, to feature, yet again, Bob Dylan’s vocals on this blog!

Stay tuned next week for the reveal of the fans’ Favourite Song 2017!

With the summer tour so close, I’m looking for guest reviewers again – I need reviewers for all the shows except Greenwich so if you want to have a go, send a sample of a short review of either a concert or album via this form:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

Song number three is last year’s number one, Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quadrophenia (CQ):

This song, perhaps more than any other from Classic Quadrophenia, shows off Alfie’s vocal strength and versatility.  The high notes are just majestic, there’s no other word for it, whilst the quieter moments have such warmth and restraint.  Anyone who has been lucky enough to see Alfie sing this live will attest to the power of his voice.  Hearing it at the premiere of Classic Quad at the Royal Albert Hall was one of the best musical experiences of my life.  Quite simply took my breath away.

The song was originally performed by Roger Daltrey but here is Pete Townshend at Symfunny 2 last month:

Anyone who gets the chance to hear Alfie sing CQ in its entirety should grab it with both hands – he is absolutely sublime in the role.  As and when those chances become available, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Classic Quadrophenia is available here:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

With just over a week since Alfie Boe ended his acclaimed run in Carousel, fans could be forgiven for being  a bit lost; however, the arrival of number four in our Best Ever Alfie Boe song poll means that we’re only a few short weeks away from seeing Alfie performing in the summer Together tour. Of course, if you’re a US based fan and can get to New York City tomorrow evening you could see Alfie (and Michael Ball) very soon – click here to buy tickets – you know you want to!

Song number four in our countdown is one that occupies a very special place in my heart – and many of yours too it seems – and means that I will forever be associated with buttons on blouses!  Dipping out of the top ten last year, Keep Me In Your Heart made it’s debut at number two in the 2015  poll.

This is of course Alfie’s version of Warren Zevon’s 2003 song and you can find out more about the original here, as well as seeing the fan video that Alfie made.  Alfie has performed Keep Me In Your Heart at many concerts since it was released and usually incorporates an audience singalong; rarely, aside from the Huawei Winter concert in December 2014, does he perform the song ‘straight’.  An exception was the last night of the Together tour:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos and more goodies!

We have arrived at the half way stage of the fourth annual Alfie Boe best ever song poll and number five is a song that, having reached the top of this poll in 2015, missed the top ten altogether last year.  I’m of course talking about Addio Sogni Di Gloria:

From the 2015 album, Serenata, this song showcases Alfie’s glorious voice to perfection – one day I hope to hear him sing it again.

The song was originally recorded by Italian singer Luciano Virgili and written by Italian Carlo Innocenzi who wrote music for many Italian films from the 1940’s onward.  Translated, the title means Goodbye, Dreams of Glory and the poignancy of the song sits effortlessly against the glorious soaring melody.  The version I’ve chosen is by Giuseppe Di Stefano, whom Alfie has referenced as being a favourite of his in several interviews.  Not having listened to Di Stefano before I heard Alfie talk about him, I’ve now listened to a fair amount of his work and I have to agree with Alfie – Di Stefano has a wonderful voice:

Serenata is available here:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

Number six of the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe Song is the only song from Alfie’s 2016 collaboration with Michael Ball, Together:

Anthem did not feature on the set list for the live shows but obviously made an impression on fans – I know that many fans have wanted Alfie to record the song for a long time.

Anthem is one of the most famous songs (although for me, I have more of an affection for the Elaine Paige / Barbara Dickson song I Know Him So Well) from the Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus musical, Chess, which opened in London in 1986 before closing three years later.  A subsequent Broadway production was much less successful.  Prior to either show, a concept album was released, from which Paige and Dickson’s recording derives as Dickson was unable to open in the London production.  The other leads, Paige, Tommy Korberg and Murray Head all appeared; Anthem is sung by Korberg’s character.

The song has become a musical theatre standard and has been recorded by many artists, usually male, but here it is with a female voice, Kerry Ellis, who recorded Come What May with Alfie a few years ago:

I’m thinking that Alfie would love this rockier version with Brian May on guitar!

Next week we’ll be half way to the top!

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not susbcribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

This week sees the first of our two entries from Trust and is the third appearance in the Best Alfie Boe song top ten for Forever Young:

This was of course Alfie’s appearance at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in 2013 – introduced by presenter Huw Edwards as a “great friend of the festival”, Alfie has appeared numerous times, including last year with Michael Ball.

Forever Young first appeared in the top ten in 2015 at number nine, slipped back to number ten last year and now records it’s highest position – perhaps it will be even higher next year?

Alfie loves the writer of this song, Bob Dylan, but regular readers will know that he does absolutely nothing for me – I’m a lost cause I think!  It’s not the song, it’s the voice, so here is a version I liked more:

Yet another song I have had the pleasure of discovering thanks to Alfie – my musical education has gone in some unexpected directions in the last five years!

Trust is available here:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

Last week we saw the first of our two new entrants to the top ten in the 2017 Best Alfie Boe Song poll and this week sees our second new entrant; funnily enough, both newbie songs are from the same album, Alfie:

Despite Wheels of a Dream being one of Alfie’s most performed songs, dating back to the Bring Him Home tour, it’s one of his most popular, as attested to here by the sharp intake of breath on this video when we hear the first few notes.  Fans also like the lyrics of this song, seeing as Alfie lives in America and has a wife named Sarah!

The song is taken from the 1996 musical, Ragtime which opened on Broadway in 1998 and in the West End in 2003, netting an Olivier Award for Maria Friedman in the process – Maria featured in 2016’s Ball and Boe TV show.  Here are the original Ragtime stars, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald:

Stay tuned for number 7 next week!

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

Last week saw a song from the earlier part of Alfie’s career that he thankfully resurrected for live performances in 2015 – Parlami D’Amore Mariu.  This week, we’re looking at the song that came in at number nine in the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe Song poll and is from his second Decca album, Alfie:

In My Daughter’s Eyes is a new entry to the top ten this year – it’s been on the long list since the first poll in 2014 but has never before garnered enough votes to feature in the top ten.  Written by James T Slater for Martina McBride’s 2003 Martina album, the song became an essential part of Alfie’s set list between 2011 and 2013.  In some of the many interviews Alfie gave around the release of Alfie in 2011, he said that he chose the song for his daughter, Grace, as he had already chosen Song to the Siren for his son, also Alfie and for whom the album is named (Alfred Robert was born on New Year’s Day the following year).   Besides being a beautiful song, I think it holds a special resonance to anyone who is or has a daughter – always makes me think of my dad and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.  Here is Martina McBride:

Alfie is available here:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

The first song in the 2017 countdown takes us back to the earlier part of Alfie’s career, with the only representative from La Passione to make the list, Parlami D’amore Mariu:

This song featured in the first Best Ever Alfie Boe Song poll and came in there at number six – since then it hasn’t featured at all, possibly as we have seen a distinct move away from Alfie’s classical repertoire in the three poll since then.

Written for a film soundtrack, Gli Uomini Che MascalzoniParlami D’amore Mariu was written in 1932 by Cesare Andrea Bixio and Ennio Neri for the voice of Vittorio De Sica and translated, means “Tell Me That You Love Me”.  The original sounds like a film soundtrack but the most well know version is of course in the neapolitan style here sung by Giuseppe Di Stefano:

There are many other artists I could have chosen, including recently, Jonas Kauffman, but I chose this one as Alfie has previously mentioned Di Stefano as a favourite artist to listen to.

If you don’t yet have La Passione in your collection, it’s available here:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx