Storyteller

All posts tagged Storyteller

Voting has now closed in the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe song poll and the following playlist contains the top ten:

 

In 2016, the top ten looked like this:

1 – Love Reign O’er Me
2 – Dimming of the Day
3 – Trust
4 – Bring Him Home
5 – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
6 – My Heart is Yours
7 – It’s Over
8 – A Living Prayer
9 – If You Go Away
10 – Forever Young

The first thing that strikes me about this year’s list is that there is only one song from Alfie’s most successful commercial album, Together – whether this has anything to do with it not being a solo album, I couldn’t say.

In contrast to previous years, Bring Him Home is now the only song to feature in every top ten, with just two more songs featuring in two top ten countdowns.  In addition to Anthem, there are two more new entries in Wheels of a Dream and In My Daughter’s Eyes.  This means that for the first time, A Living Prayer drops out of the top ten.

Last year we saw a definite move away from Alfie’s classical repertoire towards the rockier albums and 2017 continues in the same vein, albeit this time we are seeing a resurgence in the musical theatre songs.  I can definitely see the influence of Together in these choices – it seems that hearing Alfie sing a lot of musical theatre songs in recent months, as well as his appearance in Carousel has prompted more votes for this genre of music.  Trust remains the strongest album over all the polls so far, with Alfie having two tracks and one each for Bring Him Home, Classic Quadrophenia, Storyteller, Serenata, Together and La Passione.

Stay tuned for next week’s reveal of number 10 – we’ll be counting down until the beginning of the summer tour!

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The Thrill Is Gone at the Birchmere, Alexandria:

Alfie is clearly having the time of his life here but, as far as I’m aware, this is one song that he hasn’t performed in any tour since.  Bring it back Alfie, it’s great!

Written in 1951 by Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell, the version most well known is that by BB King:

As mentioned in On This Day 31 January, Alfie was experimenting with blues at the time and The Thrill is Gone fits right in with that.  Perhaps that sound for Alfie was of it’s time  but I really hope we see it return in the not too distant future – I could listen to Alfie sing Trust and Storyteller all day long.

As mentioned, the original was by Roy Hawkins and this is it – still blues but more measured, at least to me:

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…at the London Boat Show (thanks to Linda W for sharing):

This was the first outing for Elvis’s If I Can Dream which would go on to be a crowd pleasing staple of the forthcoming Storyteller tour in March and April that year.  For me, it was the second time I had seen Alfie sing live, albeit in a place I had never envisaged – perhaps the first of the new places I’ve been to following Alfie!

The song was written for Elvis for the 1968 TV Special that relaunched Elvis’s career and was a considerable departure in style.  Now, it seems that the song is just part of what is sometimes referred to as Vegas Elvis but at the time, the gospel sound was completely new to Elvis. It’s one of my favourite songs from the later part of Elvis’s career and Alfie’s interpretation was even better!

Two fabulous singers with such different voices and approaches to music but the same spine tingling result.

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I Wanna Know What Love Is at the Sunflower Jam:

Thanks as ever to Linda W for sharing (listen at the beginning and you can hear a few shouts of “Go on Alfie” from Linda).

Sunflower Jam was a concert at the Royal Albert Hall to raise money for a charity of the same name, raising funds for and awareness of an integrated approach to cancer treatments.  Featuring an enviable line up including Brian May, Alice Cooper, Kerry Ellis, Ian Paice, Steve Balsamo and Rick Wakeman, the concert also featured a few musicians who went on to tour with Alfie on the Storyteller tour.

On the concert DVD you can see Nick Fyffe, MD for Storyteller, backing singer Seweuse and one other who went onto become MD for the Serenata tour in 2014.  I have one copy of the DVD available to anyone who can tell me the name of this curly haired guitarist – all you have to do is pop the answer in the form below* and a winner will be picked a week today.

Good luck!

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*entrants must be subscribed to this blog – open to UK residents only

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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The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore at Joe’s Pub, NYC:

Now there are many songs I could have chosen from this concert (the whole thing is available on YouTube) but I chose this one as it is the one and only song that my son has on his playlist…and you know he’s had a LOT of exposure to Alfie’s songs!

This is from Storyteller and here is Alfie to tell us about the story behind the song:

Storyteller is available here:

storytellercd

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…Jimi Hendrix’s Angel at Carfest North (thanks to Jayne for sharing):

This was one of my favourite songs from the Storyteller tour earlier that year, even though I had never come across it before.  Yet another example of Alfie introducing me to new genres of music.  Angel was written and recorded by Hendrix in the mid sixties but not recorded with a view to release until The Cry of Love was released posthumously in 1971.

For those of us who attended those Carfest gigs, it was fabulous and so refreshing to see Alfie in his rocking out element, holding the festival audience in the palm of his hand.  Hoping we get to see that side of Alfie again in the future.

Angel is available as a bonus track on the US version of Storyteller:

Storyteller US version

Just as awesome as the original, available here on The Cry of Love:

Jimi Hendrix cry of love

Fabulous additions to your Summer Playlist!

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… one of my favourite songs, Angie, at Dartford:

I fell in love with Alfie’s interpretation of the Rolling Stones’ song the first time I heard it and was thrilled to find it on his Storyteller album.  I was less thrilled to find it was no longer part of the Storyteller repertoire by the time the tour came to its last week – but I can’t grumble, that tour was amazing from start to finish.

I’ve written before about how Alfie has introduced me to other music and Angie is another example of this.  Although I’d been listening to the Stones for years, courtesy of my elder sister, Angie had somehow passed me by and I looked it up after hearing Alfie’s version.  So glad I did, (Wild Horses knocks spots off it though:

Storyteller is available on both album and DVD:

storytellercd

storyteller dvd

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We have reached numbers three and four in our search to find the fans favourite Alfie Boe Live Song 2016 and number four is a song first heard back in 2012 and recorded for the Storyteller album of that year.  The version chosen here though is from the encore of the Storyteller tour of 2013, Rank Strangers (thanks Nikki for sharing):

The song, which was voted in at number eight last year’s Best Recorded Song poll, is an American folk song from the early twentieth century 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.  Click here to see the version by The Stanley Brothers from the 1950’s.   I have to confess though, to a liking for a different version, featuring the much loved Al Vosper, Toby Chapman and co (thanks Linda for sharing) from a meltingly hot (in more ways than one) Buxton Opera House:

Completely different to number four is a new entry to the Best Live Song top ten, Addio Sogni Di Gloria from Classic FM Live (thanks Marcia for sharing):

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.  This wonderful song is from Serenata and was the one that unseated Bring Him Home from the top spot in the Alfie Boe 2015 best ever song poll.

Next week brings us to the top two spots in this year’s countdown.

Storyteller and Serenata are available here:

storytellercd

storyteller dvd

serenata

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In the countdown to Scarborough, we’ve been voting to find out  fans Favourite Alfie Boe Live Song and this seems an even more perfect time to be doing this now we know about the Together Tour. This is the second time we’ve run this poll and I’m sure there’ll be a third time – we’ll hopefully have some duets with Michael Ball in the running next year.

The top five last time around was:

Don’t Stop Me Now

Rank Strangers

You Are My Hearts Delight

Buona Sera

Jacobs Ladder / Barcelona

Will they all feature in the same order this time?  Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing all, starting now with numbers 9 and 10.

In at number 10, we have a new entry, the James Bond Medley from Strictly in 2011.

Alfie also sang this on his Bring Him Home Tour that year and appears on the Alfie: Live DVD in which he quips “it’s not the same without the dancers, is it?”  I think Alfie’s voice is tailor made for the traditional Bond themes although perhaps it’s sacrilege to think of anyone other than Dame Shirley Bassey singing Diamonds are Forever or Goldfinger.

Number 9 is also a new entry to the top ten but like the Bond Medley, is not a new song.  Indeed, both are songs that haven’t been part of Alfie’s repertoire for a while now so it’s good to see fans have long memories.  O Sole Mio / Now or Never, however, may be popular not just to the song but the memory of that wonderful summer four years ago when everyone was looking at London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics:

O Sole Mio is a song that 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.

Numbers 7 and 8 in the countdown will be revealed next Monday!

Alfie: Live DVD and Storyteller album are available here:

storytellercdAlfie BHH DBD

Alfie Boe and Michael Ball: Together Tour information can be found here.

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