Thursday, March 24, 2005

Out of the Bin Today: I dropped the boy off at school, came home, did a bit of work, then dipped into the vinyl rack for some early-lunch music. I came out with 1987's drop-dead smooth Meet Danny Wilson. Pop chart watchers will remember that the late 80s featured a stealth climb by Danny Wilson's "Mary's Prayer," a beautiful little gem that ruled MTV for the requisite 15 minutes. The album is often reminiscent of the jazzy touches Steely Dan brought to its 70s pop masterpieces. But here, the nod to soul music is more obvious; while Gary Clark sounds a bit like Donald Fagan in some songs (like "Nothing Ever Goes to Plan"), in others he soars beautifully into a blue-eyed soul ("You Remain and Angel") that at times sounds like Smokey Robinson playing around with Tony Bennett's songbook. ("Ruby's Golden Wedding," musically at least, sounds like it came straight from a jazzy Broadway classic.)

The keyboard sounds on the album need to be forgiven -- it was the 80s, after all, and today's $50 synth run's rings around what they had in the studio. Still, the arrangements are original and the performances are great.

More: A friend tells me that "Mary's Prayer" was on the "There's Something About Mary" soundtrack. I don't remember it from the movie, but it's a great choice.

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