Todays post may be a bit random, I haven’t posted for a while so I just fancied getting back in the saddle as they say. Incidentally do you, like me, ever wonder who ‘they’ are? I should also warn you that this post makes a brief return to the Lily Allen Naked experiment.
So first up is the news from the 55th Ivor Novello awards that the wonderfully talented and entertaining Lily Allen won three awards; Best Song Musically & Lyrically for “The Fear” PRS Most Performed Song also for “The Fear” and Songwriter Of The Year along with Greg Kurstin. You can read all about it here on the BBC website. A few of my other favourite artists also won awards; Paul Weller, Johnny Marr and Bat For Lashes. The Ivor Novello Awards started in 1955 and are awarded largely for songwriting and are named after Welsh performer Ivor Novello (I bet that you never guessed that did you?) Learn more about the award that is nicknamed the Ivor here at Wikipedia
An artist who has previously won an Ivor Lifetime Achievement award is Peter Gabriel, that was back in 2007. Today he is in the news for a slightly different reason. He is back in the UK to support a campaign to stop the development of the Woolley Valley near Bath. The valley is threatened with significant farming developments which it is claimed will ruin its picturesque appearance. So why is Gabriel interested in the Woolley Valley I hear you ask? Well it just so happens that he lived there for quite a while and more importantly, for me anyway, it is overlooked by Solsbury Hill. That hill is the subject of what I feel is far and away Mr Gabriel’s finest song, click here to listen to it and read the Guardian article about the campaign here. There is a well organised campaign to save Woolley Valley. You can show your support by visiting their site and signing the petition or even donating to the cause, click here to show your solidarity! And now that you have done something for the environment, make yourself feel even better by listening to one of the most inspiring songs that I know, “Solsbury Hill”
Or hear it again in the video below, this time with the appropriately named Happy Tree Friends
Looks like an excuse for gratuitous Lily Allen naked photos if you ask me 🙂 I’ve never liked Weller. He is one of those artists who’s every album gets rave reviews and yet is (with the possible exception of Stanley Road) never better than average. His real career highlight, The Jam, was 30 years ago. Your other mentionee Peter Gabriel managed to improve massively on his previous band leader status with Genesis when he went solo. Ohm and you forgot to mention Trevor Horn getting a very well deserved IN award for contribution to music.
Yeah well ok you’ve sussed me out on the Lily front 😉 As for Weller, I think he gets better and better. The last two albums; ’22 dreams’ and ‘Wake Up The Nation’ are, for me, by far his best ever. Gabriel did do much better solo and incidentally I have never liked Phil Collins as a vocalist so in my opinion Genesis really went downhill after Gabriel left. Top marks for Mr Horn too, I don’t like everything he did, but as you know my opinion of the 80s is pretty low. But there are some exceptions, one of them is ABC’s ‘Lexicon Of Love’ produced by Mr Horn and I think one of the best albums of the 80s. It also seems pretty clear that without him the Frankies were pretty mediocre as well
Gabriel did better solo, and so did Genesis without him. Phil Collins (IMHO) was a great singer and front man – but then again i didn’t pick up on the band until …and then there were three (which is still one of my favourite albums by anyone, ever) and have never been that fussed on their gabriel years material. I saw them a few times with PC at the helm, and they were fantastic, but they did go too ‘pop’ towards the end, and the last album I really liked was the “Genesis” (‘Mama’) one (the tour for that – or rather the NEC residency, was incredible). I wish that I’d bothered to catch one of the last bunch of ‘reunion’ shows they did. Hopefully they’ll do some more at some point.
Agree with you about the 80s – but Trevor Horn has done some amazing production work over many years. I saw him with yes in 1980 during his perhaps unwise stint as their singer. The Drama album is a good ‘un, and he went on to create Yes’s fantastic 90125 album which revived their career. It sounds horribly dated now though!
I’m not sure about the UK, but – for awhile, at least – here in the States, “Solsbury Hill’ seemed to be used as the music in every movie trailer I’d see (especially if the movie was of dramatic nature).
It was hardly a bad thing, though, as I totally agree that it’s one of Mr. Gabriel’s finest moments.
I don’t recall the song being used in movie trailers, but I think it was used as incidental music on TV a few times. I have loved the song since I very first heard it, which would have been on it’s release in the mid 70s (1976 I think)