Onward

All posts tagged Onward

Fantastic news for Alfie Boe and Michael Ball – on top of chart topping success with Together Again, they have now been nominated for Group of the Year and Album of the Year at the Classic BRITs which take place in June.

Although Group of the Year is decided by a panel, the voting public get to choose who wins album of the year! So, to ensure the best men win, click here to register your votes for Alfie and Michael.

Alfie has of course been nominated for the Classic BRITS before, with Onward – he didn’t win (that was Sting) so wouldn’t it be fabulous if he and Michael won this time?

Happy voting!

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Another edition in our occasional series of Six Sensational Songs and this time it’s the turn of Audrey Buchan,  Yet again, the strength of Alfie’s repertoire is shown as Audrey has chosen three songs that have not been chosen before.  I have to say that Audrey was a little naughty with her choices – she actually chose seven but one is not available as a video so it was easy to miss out!

If I can Dream, from Storyteller – love this video, as it shows Alfie in his element with such talented musicians.

Shine a Light, also from Storyteller.  

Forever Young, from Trust. A magical evening and the one and only time we have heard Alfie sing practically the whole Trust album.  Alfie was “knackered” at this point as he had previously been dancing, and had half the audience up there with him!

A Living Prayer, Onward – one of our most popular choices in this series.  Beautiful.

Santa Lucia, La Pasione.  To be added to the very long list of songs I would love to hear live.

Addio Sogni Di Gloria, Serenata – another glorious evening at the Royal Albert Hall.

Thank you Audrey for sharing your Six Sensational Songs with us – I really enjoy researching this series!

If you would like to share your Six Sensational Songs with us, please fill in the form:

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Welcome to the fourth in the occasional series celebrating Six Sensational Songs from Alfie Boe – each post features six songs chosen by a thoughtsofjustafan reader and this time it’s the turn of Sheila Currie.  Sheila first became an Alfie fan after seeing him in Les Mis on PBS and recently saw him in concert in New York, also having the opportunity to wish him well before the concert!  Sheila says about Alfie:

I could pick many more than six songs, certainly. Alfie Boe is someone who will not pass this way again in my lifetime. His voice goes in my ear directly to my heart.

Here we go with Sheila’s songs:

A Living Prayer, also chosen by Betty Valentine, was chosen by Sheila because “this was on the first CD I bought of Alfie’s after his Les Mis performance on PBS. I loved the video especially. He takes this song of Alison Krause to a hymn like quality.”

If I Loved You, from Carousel – this one might be very popular amongst Alfie fans these days!  Sheila says “I sang this song growing up in school choir and it just pulls at my heartstrings.”

Bridge Over Troubled Water was chosen by Sheila as it ” reminded me of my early married life during Vietnam era. I loved it then just as much”.

Forever Young, chosen  because “Alfie’s reworking of this Dylan song to remind us of those who have sacrificed for us was incredible, especially the PBS Memorial Day concert”.

Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna, also chosen by Betty Valentine, was chosen by Sheila  because “this beautiful song reminds me of my voice teacher and her passion for Italian opera”.

Where’er You Walk.  As Sheila says “An old song but I can still sing it as if it was just yesterday.

Thank you Sheila for sharing your six sensational songs with us.

If you would like to see your favourite songs featured here, complete the form below, telling me your six songs and why they are your favourites.  

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If you celebrate Easter as a religious festival or just enjoy eating chocolate eggs, this time of year is a happy one.  Alfie is of course in London at the moment, appearing in Carousel – making this a very time of year for those of use lucky enough to see his wonderful performance.

As most fans will be aware, Alfie is from a strong Christian background and has often spoken of his faith and what it means to him.  He has also released a CD, Onward, which showcases Alfie singing hymns and spiritual songs.  One such, is A Living Prayer, three times voted into the top ten of Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Song:

This is taken from one of Alfie’s appearances on Songs of Praise, along with Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring:

Onward is available here:

Have a very happy and Blessed Easter

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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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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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Alright, alright, it’s actually International Happiness Day but I got the title idea from my 9yo who looked at the 2015 Happy International Day of Happiness Alfie Boe Fans and said “it’s not really Happy Alfie Boe Day is it”?  We don’t exactly see eye to eye on our musical tastes although he has been known to sing along to Alfie songs before and even uttered the immortal line (on hearing Elvis sing If I Can Dream) “this is Alfie’s song, why is Elvis singing it”.

To celebrate, these are some of my favourite Alfie tracks from each of his albums:

E Lucevan Le Stelle (Classic FM Presents) – video from first series of BBC Maestro

The song recently voted the favourite Alfie Boe recorded song, A Living Prayer (Onward) – from Songs of Praise

Funiculi Funicula (La Passione) – this was a hard choice as I could easily have chosen the whole album!

On The Street Where You Live (Bring Him Home) – from QVC, picked because my son’s choir used to sing this:

In My Daughter’s Eyes (Alfie) – for all parents and children everywhere:

Angie (Storyteller)- loved the original, this is better:

My all time favourite Alfie song (so far) is Keep Me In Your Heart (Trust) – something to do with those buttons…

Addio Sogni di Gloria (Serenata) was my favourite in the Serenata review and it hasn’t changed:

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that Love Was A Dream is missing – as far as I’m aware we don’t have video of Alfie singing my favourite song from that album.  Maybe one day…

What are your songs from all Alfie’s albums?  Let us know below:

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We’ve made it to the top three of the second annual Alfie Boe Best Ever Song poll and if you’ve been following this far, it’s safe to say that the major shock came last week with the news that Alfie’s best known dropped down to number four from top of the heap last year.  Yes, Bring Him Home no longer reigns.  So, which will be the top?

Before we get there, number three is the second offering from Onward, A Gaelic Blessing.  Written by renowned British composer, John Rutter, in 1978 as a commission from an American Methodist church, the piece is often used as part of hatched, matched and despatched ceremonies as well as being sung by choirs all over the world.  The video features Aled Jones before Alfie’s version:

Interestingly, despite composing almost exclusively religious music, John Rutter describes himself as an “agnostic supporter of the Christian church”.

Number two is something completely different, being from Alfie’s 2013 Trust album.  Keep Me In Your Heart is the highest non-classical sounding song in the top ten and is one of my all time favourites (it’s the buttons on your blouse that does it for me) and I’m obviously in good company!

The song was written by US musician and songwriter, Warren Zevon in response to receiving a terminal diagnosis of asbestos related cancer although it was the last song to be recorded for 2003’s The Wind, Zevon’s final album.  Zevon survived the album release by only a few weeks although he did manage to see it achieve a top 20 chart position, his highest position since his critically acclaimed earlier album, Excitable Boy.

Love this song but the original doesn’t do it for me I’m afraid – the buttons on my blouse are quite safe!  Now for Alfie’s version:

Adore this video with lots of my friends in – are you in there?  Let us know!

So we come to the final position, which is you’ve been following avidly, you will know goes to a Serenata song, Addio Sogni Di Gloria.  To my knowledge, he’s only sung this live once and I was one of the lucky ones there at the time.  Classic FM Live was the occasion and we were also lucky enough to grab a few minutes at the stage door that evening.

All I can say is that the recording does not do it justice – absolutely blew us all away.

The song was originally recorded by Italian singer Luciano Virgili and written by Italian Carlo Innocenzi who write 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.

Thank you for accompanying me on this musical journey of discovery and thank you for choosing a song from Serenata as your 2015 Best Ever Alfie Boe Song – it will be interesting to see if Serenata remains on top in 2016!

Onward, Trust and Serenata are all available here:

Alfie onward

serenata

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Last week saw the publication of the top ten in the second annual poll to find the best ever Alfie Boe song and we are now counting down, this week arriving at numbers six to four.  Click here to see numbers ten to seven.

Number six is an old staple of Alfie’s operatic repertoire and one that he began singing again on his 2014 UK Winter tour, much to the surprise and delight of most of the fans.  Yes, I’m talking about Nessun Dorma, one of the most famous tenor arias out there and one which seeped into popular culture like no other aria following the 1990 World Cup (if you have to ask which sport, you’re obviously not from these parts!).  Alfie has named Giuseppe di Stefano as one of his favourite tenors to listen to, so I picked his version to show you:

The popular version is of course by Luciano Pavarotti but everyone who is anyone has performed the song which comes from Puccini’s 1924 opera Turandot.  The aria is sung by Calaf (the unknown prince)  who falls in love with Princess Turandot.  If he wishes to marry her, Calaf must answer three riddles correctly or face execution.  He does so but as Turandot is still not keen on marriage, he gives her a reprieve; guess his name before dawn and she can execute him, fail and she has to marry him.  Turandot then decrees that ‘no one shall sleep’ that night until they discover the name.  Reading this again, is it any wonder that quite a number of people have problems with operatic plots?!  I confess that despite loving Alfie’s version, Nessun Dorma is not my favourite operatic aria but this video will brighten up any day:

Number five in the countdown is the third survivor from the 2014 poll and the first from Onward.  Click here to find out more about A Living Prayer.

Having seen numbers five and six, that brings us to the biggest shock of the 2015 vote…number four is last year’s number one, Bring Him Home!  Be honest, how many of you saw that coming?  Not only is it not number one, it’s not even in the top three!  For me, this is good news as it means that many more fans are getting to know and appreciate the vast depth of Alfie’s recorded repertoire.  As wonderful as Alfie’s Bring Him Home is, and it will always be his signature tune, there are so many more choices available, many of which do a better job of showcasing his voice.  Click here to check them out.   Likewise, as fabulous as it always is to hear Alfie on the radio, show presenters and producers should make the effort to play more than just the obvious.

And so now you’ve got over the big surprise, who will be number one?  The top three are Addio Sogni Di Gloria, Keep Me In Your Heart and A Gaelic Blessing – the correct order will be revealed next week!

Bring Him Home is available here.

 

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The poll has now closed but I can now reveal the top ten in the second annual Alfie Boe Best Ever Song vote! As you can see, the results are very different from last year:

  • You Are My Heart’s Delight
  • Wayfaring Stranger
  • Parlami D’Amore Mariu
  • Bring Him Home
  • A Living Prayer
  • Rosie
  • If You Go Away
  • Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna
  • Rank Strangers
  • Je Crois Entendre Encore

And no, it’s not in the right order!

In 2014, the top ten looked like this:

 

  1. Bring Him Home
  2. A Living Prayer
  3. Rank Strangers
  4. Je Crois Entendre Encore
  5. Wayfaring Stranger
  6. Parlami D’Amore Mariu
  7. Rosie
  8. If You Go Away
  9. Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna
  10. You Are My Heart’s Delight

Of this original top ten, only four songs survive and they happen to be the top four – but will they be the top four this time?  You’ll have to wait and see…we’ll be counting down from Friday.

Looking at the albums represented this year, the make up has significantly changed from 2014; then, all the albums bar one had a song in the top ten but this year, only six of his nine albums have an entry.  Serenata, Trust, Onward and Classic FM Presents all have two top ten entries whilst Bring Him Home and Storyteller have one each.  Trust, named as the most owned Alfie album in an earlier poll, had two songs in 2014 as well but they aren’t the same as this year! Once again, classical and rock Alfie are showing as the most popular genres with Bring Him Home remaining the only musical theatre selection on the list.

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