Poll

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With just a few days until Alfie’s first summer concerts, we have finally arrived at the number one position and the song that has been chosen as your favourite Alfie Boe live song 2018!

Before we get to that though, let’s take a look at the top ten so far:

  • Buona Sera
  • Barcelona (with Laura Wright)
  • He Lives In You 
  • O Sole Mio / It’s Now or Never
  • Rank Strangers
  • The Prayer 
  • Love Reign O’er Me
  • Wagon Wheel
  • Don’t Stop Me Now

And so the song at number one is:

Of course, it’s Snow Patrol’s Run, a song that jumped straight in at number one the first time that Alfie sang it and has stayed there ever since.  Here is the original and I have to say that I love it too:

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With less than two weeks until Alfie Boe’s Homecoming concert at Fleetwood, we’re down to the last two songs in our quest to find the fans favourite live song 2018!  Number two is a song that has only been sung live by Alfie, not recorded and it was a total surprise when Alfie appeared on TV on 31 December 2013:

Of course, it’s Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and it’s a real corker, showing why Alfie’s version is making it’s third appearance in the live song poll.  In three years, it’s never been lower than number three.

We know that the music of Queen is important to Alfie and he was recently performing some with the Boston Pops.  Click here to see some tracks on YouTube.

Next week we look back at the top ten and reveal the song you chose as Alfie’s best live song.

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Three weeks until Alfie Boe’s Homecoming concert at Fleetwood (anyone excited yet?) and we’re at number three in the quest to find Alfie’s best live song 2018.  This song is another new entry to the chart and is the first song to feature that Alfie has not yet recorded and appeared in his solo set on the Together Again tour:

It is of course, Wagon Wheel and for me, was a highlight of the show.  Judging by the results of this poll, it was a highlight for many fans – let’s hope it doesn’t join the ranks of songs Alfie never records!

Wagon Wheel is a song from a US country band, The Old Crow Medicine Show and is actually a hybrid of a chorus and melody from Bob Dylan (he really does get around) and verses from Ketch Secor of OId Crow.  Here is the original:

Old Crow Medicine Show have just released a new album and are currently touring the US – they may just feature in a future post on exploring new music!

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From last week’s new entry into the top ten Alfie Boe Live Songs 2018, we now have a song in it’s second year of the chart but one that has made a huge impact on both singer and audience.  Love Reign O’er Me jumped into second place in 2017 after first jumping into our lives at the world premiere of Classic Quadrophenia in 2015:

Since then, the song has rarely been missing from Alfie’s live repertoire and never fails to thrill audiences; his voice is perfected matched to the notes and and the emotional intensity required.  The vast majority of Who fans have been won over by Alfie’s interpretation of Love Reign and it’s always a pleasure to see new fans find and appreciate Alfie.  Here is the original, at Live Aid:

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Halfway through the countdown to find your favourite Alfie Boe Best Live Song 2018 and we arrive at a song that many fans described as their favourite track from Ball and Boe’s Together Again album:

The song was written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, with Alberto Testa and Tony Renis for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot and was originally two solo tracks; English for Celine Dion and Italian for Andrea Bocelli.  The song was then released as a duet by Dion and Bocelli and that is the version that is most well known.

Both Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli have sung this many times with other people and it has also featured in the repertoires of many other singers and festivals.

Composer Foster had said that is is “a song that I just never get tired of playing, I never get tired of hearing it, and I never get tired of people telling me that they enjoy it. And it seems to mean a lot—it means a lot of different things to a lot of people. So it’s a powerful piece of music. I think it came through me, and I think Carole’s lyric is beautiful. And it’s very meaningful to me that when all is said and done, there is a piece of music like that, that will undoubtedly outlive me. It was a moment—that song was a moment for sure.”

The Prayer was was one of my standout songs of Together Again – it’s beautiful and is a treat for those who love to hear Alfie sing in Italian.  Both Alfie and Michael excel here and it seems to be a fitting song for the troubled times we currently live in.

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The countdown to the summer concerts continues and we are now at number six.  So far, so good but this week there’s a difference: two songs tied for sixth!  The first is a song that has featured in all the previous Best Live Song polls and was first seen in 2012 on Alfie’s Bring Him Home tour:

The song 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.

The second song is a new entry and featured on Ball and Boe’s 2016 chart topper, Together (46 seconds in is the best bit of this video):

The song is of course A Thousand Years, one of my favourite songs from both the Together tours and album.  Written for the soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, the song was written by Christina Perri and David Hodges and recorded by Perri.  Released in 2011, the song has charted three times, eventually reaching number 13.

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Song number seven in our countdown to the Alfie Boe’s best live song in 2018 is one from that wonderful summer of 2012 and Alfie’s appearance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations:

I was a new fan to Alfie’s music then and I well remember lots of Twitter users voicing concerns over the sound quality – until Alfie started singing that is!  After that, everyone watching realised that there was nothing wrong with the sound system – and the tweets also highlighted Alfie’s hip swinging antics…most appreciatively, I add.

This is the highest place so far for O Sole Mio / Now or Never, since the song first appeared in this poll in 2016.  O Sole Mio goes a long way back for Alfie and he has performed it many times over the years although only for a period of twelve months or so in conjunction with Now or Never. Now or Never, of course, is a version of O Sole Mio, first recorded by Elvis and went on to be his second best selling single. The song went on to feature (albeit in a completely different arrangement) on Alfie’s Storyteller album – I loved that arrangement but I’m not sure too many other fans did; it’s never been flagged as anyone’s favourite song, for example).

Storyteller is available here:

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The third song in our countdown is the first of the three new entries to this year’s poll.  From Ball and Boe’s second number one album, Together Again, the song in at number eight is He Lives In You:

Taken from the stage version of Disney’s The Lion King, and also opening the sequel, Simba’s Pride, He Lives In You was one of Alfie’s choices for Together Again.  Since his first child was born, Alfie has tended to choose at least one song per album for his children, so I’m wondering if this was the case for He Lives In You – I really should have asked him when I interviewed him last year!

He Lives In You was written by South African composer and musician Lebo M in conjunction with Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin, originally for the album Rhythm of the Pride Lands, music inspired by the original Lion King movie.  The song then went on to appear in the stage version as They Live In You (first act), before returning as He Lives In You in the second act.

Together Again is available here:

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The song to come in at number nine in the Alfie Boe Best Live Song poll 2018 is a very apt choice, since it is a duet with fan favourite Laura Wright and Alfie and Laura were both announced as part of the line up for the By The River Festival last week.

Which song am I talking about?  It is of course, Barcelona, performed at the Freddie for a Day celebrations in September 2013:

Barcelona featured in the very first poll but then disappeared until now.  Perhaps it is because Laura and Alfie’s voices work so well together, as the audience clearly thought so.  Although this is the only footage we have of Alfie and Laura singing this together, Alfie did appear as a guest on Katherine Jenkins’s Home Sweet Home album singing Barcelona and they performed together at the 2014 pre Commonwealth Games concert in Edinburgh:

Barcelona was originally written by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran and recorded by Mercury (one of Alfie’s favourites) and the Spanish soprano, Montserrat Caballe in 1987. Memorably, it featured heavily during coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Home Sweet Home, featuring Barcelona is available here:

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After the nominations and the voting, now we find out which Alfie Boe live song the fans have chosen as their favourite – or rather, we find out in ten weeks!  Coincidentally, by the time we have counted down in reverse order, Alfie’s Fleetwood Homecoming concert will almost be upon us.  Looking forward to it everyone?  I know I’m not the only one with a habit of wishing away their lives in anticipation of the next Alfie concert!  If you’ve not got a ticket yet, click here.

The song in at number ten this year is a song that returns to the top ten after a year long gap, having previously been voted in at numbers three (2014) and seven (2016).  From Serenata, here is Buona Sera:

Written by Peter de Rose and Carl Sigman (Sigman also wrote the lyrics to the English version of Arrivederci Roma), most people will be familiar with the Dean Martin version:

However, the song was first recorded by Louis Prima. Prima was a big band, swing singer of the mid twentieth century and Buona Sera was one of a long line of hits. Incidentally, Prima is the voice of King Louis in Disney’s The Jungle Book.

Serenata is available here:

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