Elvis

All posts tagged Elvis

As Alfie and Michael head off to Australia for their whirlwind tour of five cities, it’s time to look at the second song in our 2017 poll to find Alfie Boe’s Best Live Song.  Number nine is a new entry to the top ten although it’s been on the long list since the first poll was run in 2014.  Here is Always On My Mind:

In a previous post, I said that this Elvis song was written by Willie Nelson but…it wasn’t! It was written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher and Mark James as a country song and first recorded by Brenda Lee:

Carson gave an interview to Jake Brown for his book, Nashville Songwriter and talk about the songwriting process

I wrote those two verses of Always On My Mind living in Springfield, Missouri, and I usually write from the melody. I’ll think of the melody or the chord structure or something … If the melody is singable, the words are not far away. It’s only a story, you know.  In this case, Always On My Mind happens to be one of those things that, universally, everybody on the planet has been there, you know. And it struck all at one time. Everybody touched base with that one. It was just magic that it was so simple and so right on the button.

I purposely didn’t write a bridge to Always On My Mind because I didn’t think it needed one. We decided to cut that dude one night in Memphis, back when I was recording for United, I guess it was—or whatever label I was recording for at that time; and so, Tips Smallman, my producer and dear, lifelong friend, said, ‘Wayne, I think this thing needs a bridge.’ And so I said, ‘Well, how do you want me to do it?’ He said, ‘Why don’t you take it upstairs to my office; I’ve got a little piano up there, or a guitar—whatever you want to use.’ I said, ‘Well, actually, I used a piano so I’ll go up there and see what I come up with.  In the meantime, Johnny Christopher comes wandering in and he said, ‘Do you need some help?’ And I said, ‘Well, it looks like I’m going to because I haven’t come up with anything as far as a bridge.’ And I said, ‘Johnny, I never thought it needed a bridge, so I never did give it a second thought.’ And we sat there and sat there and nothing happened. Then pretty soon here comes Mark James just picking up his mail at the publishing company, which was right next door to the studio. He said, ‘What are you doing?’ and I said, ‘Tips wants a bridge for this song.’ Now Mark had never heard the song at that point. And we had a version of it cut already, without the bridge. That’s why there had been some talk that Mark had wrote the song and cut me in on it at one time. So we got that dispelled real quick. Anyway, the three of us sat there and finally wrote those two lines—you know, the bridge. ‘Tell him that your sweet loving …’—that part. Hell, a hit’s a hit.

Famously, Elvis recorded the song after splitting with Priscilla and has remained, even with all his other tracks, one of his most popular songs.  Alfie sang this song on the US tour of 2012 and not to my knowledge since then.  Another song to add to my extensive ‘songs I want to hear Alfie sing live’ list!

thanks for reading – please share using the share icons below

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus four exclusive photos to download

xx

With ten weeks to go until the start of Alfie Boe and Michael Ball’s Together Again tour, it’s time to count down Alfie’s ten best live songs, as voted for by you in 2017.  There are a few new entrants to the top ten and one or two surprises but the first in our countdown is O Sole Mio / It’s Now or Never from the Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012:

For many years, O Sole Mio would have been a song extremely well known to Alfie and he was still performing it well into 2012, albeit with a bit of Elvis thrown in.  Here’s the master himself:

A different arrangement of It’s Now or Never featured on the Storyteller album but was never performed live.  This song has long been a favourite with fans and cemented this with an appearance at number nine in the 2016 Best Live Song poll.  It has also been chosen twice in our semi regular Six Sensational Songs series.

O Sole Mio was written in 1898 and has been recorded and performed by huge numbers of people, making it one of the most famous Neapolitan songs around.  Alfie himself sang it on his 2007 album La Passione although that hasn’t stopped him having to explain that it’s not about ice cream to UK audiences – for those of you outside our sunny shores, the tune of O Sole Mio was the theme of Cornetto ice cream TV adverts for a ten year period in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Sorry – I just couldn’t resist putting it in!

O Sole Mio is available on La Passione:

thanks for reading – please share via the buttons below

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

there are three signed Classic Quad programmes up for grabs – click here

and you get 4 Alfie photos to download

xx

Welcome to Six Sensational Songs, a new occasional series of blog posts featuring fans talking about their favourite Alfie Boe songs and why they are our favourites.  As the title suggests, each post will feature just six songs – it might seem a herculean task to choose just six but you can do it!  Details of how to send in your six favourites will be given later so keep reading!

As today marks the first anniversary of thoughtsofjustafan becoming the Official Alfie Boe Fan Blog, I’ll start us off.

Keep Me In Your Heart:

None of you will be surprised that this is my first choice but this particular video is from the last date of the 2016 Together tour and was a really special night, so glad I was able to be there.  I’m always asked what it is about this song that I love – and yes, at lot of the appeal comes down to one line “like the buttons on your blouse”.  What can I say – I love this song and it helps that it’s from my favourite Alfie album, Trust.

You Are My Heart’s Delight:

This was the first song I ever heard Alfie sing live and I was lucky enough to be in the company of the fabulous Linda Wellington (whose birthday it is today!) on a blisteringly hot day in September.  Alfie’s autobiography had been released the previous week (I first met Linda at the book signing) and knowing that this song was so personal to Alfie made it even more special. This is just one of Alfie’s appearances at Proms in the Park and, we hope, there will be many more to come.

Love Reign O’Er Me:

Never having been a Who fan or a fan of rock opera, I was dubious about Alfie singing Classic Quadrophenia – or I was until I heard this song.  Spine tingling doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about Alfie singing this or any part of Classic Quad.  The world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in July 2015 was one of the best evenings of my life and I know that anyone who was there feels the same.

Suspicious Minds:

Alfie singing Elvis is frequently one of my most popular subjects and the day that we heard Suspicious Minds at Carfest South in 2013 still ranks in top five Alfie concerts.  The 45 minute set was absolutely perfect for the setting and Alfie had the crowd, not to mention Chris Evans, completely in the palm of his hand.

Angel:

Jimi Hendrix’s Angel was a song I had never heard before Alfie’s Storyteller tour but as with nearly everything else that Alfie sings (there are exceptions, but not many), I fell in love with the song.  We haven’t heard this since Storyteller and maybe that’s right as it fitted in perfectly with that tour – but I do miss it.  If you’re reading this Alfie, please bring it back, just once!

Brindisi:

It was a struggle to choose just six songs and you might have noticed that there are actually eight songs in the videos as some videos contain two songs (not cheating, I promise!).  I’ve chosen Alfie’s duet on Brindisi with Lesley Garrett as the chemistry between them makes the song.  And Alfie nearly missing his first note due to laughing is worth another look every time.  Not everyone likes opera Alfie but I would dearly love to hear him singing this live.  It’s not unthinkable – he’s given us Nessun Dorma, Recondita Armonia and La Donna e Mobile in recent years after all.

Now, I’m sure that you’ll all have your own choices so if you want to share them with us, please fill in the form below.  You’ll need to choose six songs, they can be live or recorded but if you want a particular video to accompany your choices, please mention it.  Please also tell us why you have chosen them.

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

 

O Sole Mio / Now or Never in Swindon on the Bring Him Home tour:

Seems a long time ago now doesn’t it?  Of course it is now five years since we saw Alfie do so many solo tour dates.  It’s been a while since I’ve sat and watched this combination of O Sole Mio and Now or Never and I’d forgotten how effective it was.  Lots of you haven’t though as it featured in the top ten of last year’s Best Alfie Boe Live Song.

O Sole Mio was written in 1898 and has been recorded and performed by huge numbers of people, making it one of the most famous Neapolitan songs around.  Alfie himself sang it on his 2007 album La Passione although that hasn’t stopped him having to explain that it’s not about ice cream to UK audiences.  For those of you outside our sunny shores, the tune of O Sole Mio was the theme of Cornetto ice cream TV adverts for a ten year period in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  It’s certainly where I remember it from originally.

La Passione is available here:

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

The Together tour is in full swing and last night it was the turn of Brighton and our guest reviewers, Heather and Sam.  Sam had never seen Alfie live and was unsure what to expect but needn’t have worried, from start to end it was magic and she didn’t want it to end.  Here are her and Heather’s thoughts:

When you hear that two giants of the music world are collaborating in an album and nation wide tour it tends to set the heart a flutter.  The Together Tour landed at The Brighton Centre on Tuesday 15 November and it was clear from the first note that it was going to be an amazing evening. A simple set, a small but well balanced orchestra and three backing singers set the scene.

There could never be any doubt that we were in for a real treat of an evening but as the show unfolded, we were blessed with not only wonderful music but fun and laughter. There was reference to the album and many of the songs performed are from Together. They also mentioned the memorabilia that is available for fans to purchase – from coasters and mugs to t-shirts and fleeces (all of which is, in my opinion rather expensive).  The entertainment was, as expected, first class.  The choice of musical numbers was inspired – songs from
Blood Brothers (Tell Me It’s Not True), Phantom and The Godfather were off set with wonderfully unexpected items such as What a Wonderful World and Over the Rainbow combined into one song – cleverly arranged and beautifully sung. In between the songs, the banter between Michael and Alfie had us laughing, at times almost to the point of tears. Mr Boe is something of a giggler – after singing Speak Softly Love, he struggled to tell us, through his giggles, that he nearly counted out loud before starting to sing at one point during the song. He had us in fits of laughter as he pretended to have trouble getting onto a stool, thus requiring assistance from a certain Mr Ball.  At various stages
throughout the evening it was evident that Alfie was trying to stifle a giggling fit. It was great to see both Michael and Alfie obviously enjoying themselves whilst entertaining a packed venue.
There were, for me, a couple of unexpected moments during the show – firstly, Alfie Boe does Elvis!! To hear a classically trained singer do rock and roll was a real treat. Secondly, I was amazed by Michael Ball’s passion. He sang a song from Jesus Christ Superstar which I have never heard performed outside that show and left me moved almost to tears.  It brought home to me just how good he is.  Each of our entertainers did a solo spot which enabled them to showcase their individual style. Audience participation was encouraged and we got stuck in with great enthusiasm.  Alfie had us almost singing harmonies while Michael, having said we couldn’t join in with Love Changes Everything, then invited us to do so.

I could comment on every song that was performed, but it’s easier to just say that the entire evening was pure magic. A simple set, with different graphics projected onto the back wall depending on the theme of the music, an excellent group of musicians and singers provided the perfect accompaniment to the awesome voices of Messrs Ball and Boe. The evening concluded with a compilation of songs from Les Miserables – a show where Alfie doesn’t sing Bring Him Home would be like the Royal Variety Show without the National Anthem! The encore was more of a sing along – the audience on their feet joining in with You’ll Never Walk Alone – a wonderful way to end a perfect evening.

Thanks to Sam and Heather for giving us their thoughts on Brighton – our next guest review will be from Liverpool.

Together is available here:

together-album-cover

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

Hot on the heels of my review of Saturday Night at the London Palladium is my first guest reviewer, Cecelia’s post about Sunday night which she has dubbed Stairway to Paradise!

What a weekend it has been, starting with the arrival of our favourite roving New Yorker Roberta on Friday, ending up by chance in the same row as our favourite blogger at the Palladium on Saturday, and then returning last night for another slice of Malfie magic.  Trust me, from Michael’s opening notes offstage in Somewhere to those last combined, oh-so-stirring notes of You’ll Never Walk Alone, you’re under the spell of two consummate performers.  So often, seeing performers live can be a disappointment as the vocals fail to equal the recording.  With Alfie and Michael. it’s the other way around.  These two were meant to be on stage.
I thought Saturday night was fabulous and half the fun was meeting up with so many friends from far and wide.  But do you know what?  Last night was even better.  The boys seemed somehow more relaxed and playful, maybe because they hadn’t had a mad motorcycle ride across town.  Michael is sublime and Alfie is, for me, the voice that reaches the part that other singers don’t even begin to reach.  Together, these two really are a divine double act.
Highlights: Definitely Alfie’s Love Reign O’er Me.  It gave me chills when I first heard it sung on the Serenata tour and I get a tingle every time those opening chords are played.  The pianist was superb and I adored the fact that Murray was there to accompny Alfie with those masterful guitar riffs.  Having spoken to Murray the night of Classic Quadrophenia’s premiere, I know he was blown away by the music and Alfie’s performance so I’m so glad he got to be a part of this tour.  Another highlight was the power of Michael’s Gethsemane.  I wasn’t expecting that and found it extraordinarily powerful and moving.   Yet another highlight was Alfie forgetting the words to For Once In My Life early on because he was buy waving to people and he lost it completely when Michael helped him mount his stool for the beautiful What A Wonderful World / Over the Rainbow blend – it’s been such a while since I’ve heard that childlike Alfie giggle ring out.  It brought back find memories.  Of course, he got it under control and more than did justice to the songs…eventually!  And yes, there was even one mad Alfie dash when he leapt from the stage and ran around the stalls.
I’ve got to say I’m a sucker for Alfie the rock star, which I missed a bit on this tour so That’s Alright Mama was an absolute joy.  The Bond medley too was extraordinary and I thought that whoever worked out the staging did a great job.  The cleverness of the back projection throughout was stunning and the lighting shooting out over the stage on the beat as the Bond medley began perfectly captured the mood and set the scene for those oh so powerful songs.  The real surprise for me was how much I adored the swing section, which allowed the personalities of these two great buddies to shine.  Alfie and Michael perfectly captured the spirit of a bygone age, and they had such fun doing so. I didn’t want Me and My Shadow to end. Loved the choreography. So I guess I’m a sucker for a bit of soft shoe, too.  And then there was the Les Mis medley.  No words.
I feel privileged to have been able to have shared such a magical night, to have climbed that Stairway to Paradise and been swept away by the Music of the Night.  If you’ve caught the tour already, you know what I’m talking about.  If you are yet to go, I have a feeling these shows will only get better.  And if you can’t attend, you’ve got a TV special to look forward to in December.  Having thoroughly mixed my metaphors, I can’t help wondering where the Alfie train will be taking us next.  All I can say is, wherever it stops I’ll look for you at the station – because I haven’t been disappointed since I got on board.
Fantastically evocative review Cecelia – thank you so much for being my first guest reviewer!
Together is available here:
together-album-cover
thanks for reading and sharing
if you like what you seem why not subscribe?
all your Alfie news straight to your inbox
plus 4 exclusive photos
xx

…and a few of my closest Alfie friends of course!  So many friends were there last night which made the evening all the more special – thanks as well to everyone who came to say hello.  This was the first time I’ve brought a non Alfie friend to a concert and needless to say I got home to a text from Lucy saying she is his newest fan (Alfie and Michael sang her childrens’ favourite song)!  Mission accomplished – we may well be seeing her at more Alfie events in the future!

The title of this review is Heaven is a Saturday Night at the Palladium and the show really was a slice of heaven from beginning to end and, coming together with the perfection of Bournemouth, served as a welcome reminder just why thoughtsofjustafan came to,  and continues to, exist.  In other words, I fell in love all over again. This isn’t just because of the inclusion of my favourite song of all time, Keep Me In Your Heart (all together now, my favourite line is……..) but the overall balance of the show to accentuate the best qualities of both singers.  Michael’s cute and cuddly charming persona is well and truly on show but this encourages rather than hinders Alfie’s quieter stage presence; both are in their element and a week on from the start of the tour, are becoming more relaxed with each other, the set list, the short dance moments and the audience.

The stand out songs were once again Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quadrophenia, Love Changes Everything and the Les Mis Medley but this time around, I was in a much better position to appreciate the vocal delights of Music of the Night and the Bond segment.  Alfie’s last note on Thunderball was exceptional and how I failed to mention that last week is a mystery!  The duet on Skyfall was also a goosebump moment and I’d like to hear a full length version some time.

Loved the Elvis segment although Alfie’s guitar was missed (bring it back for Leeds Alfie), especially the barn storming Suspicious Minds which evoked sweet memories of Carfest South three years ago.  With events across the pond this week Tell Me It’s Not True took on a whole new meaning and Alfie and Michael lost no time in exploiting it to the full.  Of the other album tracks we heard, A Thousand Years was again wonderful but on this occasion, I think Speak Softly from The Godfather was my favourite.  Perhaps this is one of those tours where I’ll have a new favourite song at each concert…I’ve got three more opportunities to find out.

Another highlight was the surprise appearance of Rick Astley who of course is also a guest on Alfie and Michael’s ITV special – no rehearsal but you would never have guessed (thanks for sharing Linda W):

In case you missed the fabulous news this Friday, Alfie and Michael Together entered the album charts at number two – awesome result (unless you’re Robbie’s dad from last night’s audience)!

Also, don’t forget Alfie and Michael are appearing on BBC Breakfast tomorrow (Monday 14th) and it’s a day of double delights with Children In Need Rocks for Terry televised at 8.30pm that evening.

Together is available here:

together-album-cover

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

 

...It’s Only Love at the Royal Albert Hall on the Storyteller tour.

I love Alfie Boe singing Elvis (and I know that lots of you feel the same) and I couldn’t help dancing around the kitchen whilst I was supposed to be writing this.  Come on, I dare you not to feel like getting up and dancing when you hear this too!

I eventually stopped dancing for long enough to write this and as I watched once or twice, or maybe even more (!) I spotted some great friends in the audience including my lovely friend, Costa Linda who I am shortly seeing for lunch.  It’s lovely Linda’s birthday on 11th April so Happy Birthday lovely!

I was privileged to attend this concert and even more privileged to meet some wonderful people who have become firm friends since I’ve been a fan of Alfie.  Here are some of them at a very cold stage door (Linda W’s, aka jellytots Linda, photo, although she’s in it so think it was Pauline’s husband Paul who actually took it!).

RAH SD

The Two Linda’s are just two of the fabulous friends I’ve made in the last few years – click here to read their Alfie stories.  It’s worth it just to find out how they got their nicknames! If you would like to feature in an Alfie’s Fan Family story, leave a comment!

Storyteller is available on DVD:

storyteller dvd

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

It’s Only Love on the Storyteller tour at the Royal Albert Hall:

Filmed on the second of the two nights for release on DVD and to show on PBS in the USA, the atmosphere was absolutely electric and this song had us all up and dancing.  A favourite from Alfie Boe Singing Elvis, I love it and judging by the people asking Alfie to “sing Elvis” over the summer, lots of you love it too!

It’s Only Love isn’t one of Elvis’s best known songs and upon release in 1971 barely bothered the US charts (it reached number 51) although it fared somewhat better in the UK; following it’s 1980 release it reached number 3.

Storyteller on DVD is available here:

storyteller dvd

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

 

…a Christmas medley with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

This is the second of our Twelve Days of Christmas posts to feature this series of Christmas concerts from 2012 and this newly released video from MoTab themselves has been edited from the longer Home for the Holidays video that shows the whole medley, not just Alfie’s songs.

Home for the Holidays was written in 1954 and initially released by Perry Como, who again recorded the song for release in 1959.  Since then, it has been recorded by amongst other, Cyndi Lauper and Norah Jones but the version here shows off the evergreen voice of Karen Carpenter:

The Carpenters also recorded I’ll Be Home for Christmas, along with practically everyone else who’s done a Christmas album but the video below features an Alfie favourite, Elvis, who recorded it in 1957:

Bing Crosby recorded the original in 1943 and it has of course been a standard Christmas song ever since.

The MoTab album, Home for the Holidays is available here (click here for the DVD):

home for the holidays

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