Song: Pale Shelter
Artist: Tears For Fears, England
Album: The Hurting, 1983
Notes: Lost belter by the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, one of the band's first compositions (included in their original demo tape which they used to secure a recording contract in 1981). Originally titled 'You Don't Give Me Love'.
Song: The Only Dream
Artist: Tyrone & Elina, Spokane, WA
Album: Different As Can Be, 2010
Notes: Sweet, melodic lost pearl, an harmonic duet by singer-songwriter Tyrone Wells and his wife, Elina, kissed with lovely strings arrangement. They first met each other in second grade.
Song: Talk Is Cheap
Artist: Eric Hutchinson, Washington, DC
Album: Moving Up, Moving Down, 2012
Notes: Nice bouncy reggae-tinged back-drop, one of several ace cuts on the upcoming album by the 'Rock and Roll' (2008) hitmaker and deft pop/rock singer-songwriter. Formerly signed to Madonna's Maverick label, long-based in Los Angeles.
Song: Hold On
Artist: Ian Gomm, England
Album: Gomm With The Wind, 1979
Notes: Strong vintage roller, bit of a hit in the late '70s but rarely heard on radio today. Gomm was former member of talented UK combo, Brinsley Schwarz with Nick Lowe (for whom Gomm co-wrote Nick's fabulous 'Cruel To Be Kind' single).
Artist: Don Henley, Gilmer, TX
Album: Inside Job, 2000
Notes: Unmistakably beautiful string arrangement by Randy Newman underpinning the unmistakable vocal class of Henley on an exquisite lost diamond written by Don for his daughter, Annabelle who was born in 1995.
Song: Blue Monday
Artist: Nouvelle Vague, France
Album: Bande a Part, 2006
Notes: Groovy bossa-nova-styled treatment of the New Order gem by French collective who specialize in updating top UK New Wave/alt-rock classics. Vague is an ever-changing aggregation of musicians firmly led by Olivier Libaux and Marc Collin.
Song: deja vu
Artist: Caitlin Crosby & Jay Nash, Los Angeles
Notes: Perfectly blending vocals from Caitlin and Jay on a fun-titled EP (song title also hints at CS&N). either Caitlin Crosby nor Jay Nash are remotely related to either David Crosby or Graham Nash. Duo came together after touring on the same bill as solo singer-songwriters and recorded a wonderful four-track EP last year.
Song: My Valentine
Artist: Paul McCartney, England
Album: Kiss On The Bottom, 2012
Notes: Vintage-styled ballad, one of two new compositions by the legend on his new collection of chestnut covers from the American Songbook. Allegedly written for his new wife, Nancy Shevell, features Eric Clapton on acoustic guitar.
Artist: Kyler England, Los Angeles
Album: Electric Hum, 2011
Notes: Electronic-tinged but still nicely organic number by the lead singer of the Rescues. Kyler's latest solo album was financed solely by fan donations via the PledgeMusic campaign (www.pledgemusic.com).
Song: Simple Things
Artist: Amos Lee, Philadelphia
Album: As The Crow Flies, EP, 2012
Notes: Such an authentic and expressive vocal style, a quiet new winner from Amos which is too good to be a hit. His new EP is the follow-up to his best-selling album to date, last year's superb 'Mission Bell'.
Song: Down Too Deep
Artist: Dougie MacLean, Scotland
Album: Butterstone, 1983
Notes: Sad acoustic pearl by sorely underrated Scottish tunesmith who's been releasing one outstanding Celtic-inspired album after another since 1979. James Taylor is a big fan.
Song: Symphony (demo)
Artist: Marvin Gaye, Washington, DC
Notes: Co-written with Smokey Robinson, a smashing ad-libbed demo of a track which was subsequently remixed for his posthumous 1985 LP 'Dream of A Lifetime', now included on the iconic 'What's Going On' deluxe edition CD.
Song: Off We Go
Artist: Trent Dabbs feat. Erin McCarley, Jackson, MS
Album: Transition, 2010
Notes: Fine pop-rock rumbler with thumping drums by two of Nashville's best non-Country musicians - who often perform at the seminal 3rd & Lindsley club in Music City. New music due from the wonderful Erin in the spring.
Song: Tell Me A Tale
Artist: Michael Kiwanuka, England
Album: Tell Me A Tale EP, 2011
Notes: Son of Ugandan parents, first featured by L&F six months ago, though recently hailed as the #1 new act to watch by British broadcaster, the BBC's influential Sound of 2012 Artists list. Great old school soul delivery, already compared to R&B greats of the 1960s. Signed to Mumford's hip Communion label.
Song: Rough Cut
Artist: Amber Rubarth, Tustin, CA
Album: New Green Lines, 2008
Notes: Lovely lost gem from songstress Amber's winsome and winning 2008 CD. She undertook a musical tour in California a couple of years called 'The Vespa Experiment' with Brendan James and Jason Reeves, traveling on Vespa mopeds, camping out in different places along the coast spreading the word about music and the environment.
Song: Still Life
Artist: Horrors, England
Album: Skying, 2011
Notes: Overlooked, sturdy alt-rock nugget with an insistent anthemic chorus from UK combo which has been together for six years. A popular act at the mighty Glastonbury Festival, their first single had the fab title, 'Sheena Is A Parasite'.
Artist: Madison Violet, Canada
Album: No Fool For Trying, 2009
Notes: Top-drawer folk-pop from north of the border, the duo of Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern. Lisa is the sister of top award-winning fiddler, Ashley MacIsaac.
Song: Road To Perdition
Artist: Thomas Newman, Los Angeles
Notes: Divine, poignant instrumental from the best film soundtrack composer of the past 30 years, period. So beautiful, it doesn't need words.
Song: The Look
Artist: Metronomy, England
Album: The English Riviera, 2011
Notes: Electro-dance rocker Joseph Mount aka Metronomy with an engaging lost gem. He's also a notable remixer for other artists, and has re-jigged tracks for the likes of Zero Seven, Lady Gaga, Kate Nash and Gorillaz.
Song: Many Shades of Black
Artist: Adele feat. the Raconteurs, England/Detroit
Album: 90210 Soundtrack, 2009
Notes: Strong collaboration by the blue-eyed soul queen and Jack White's band, the Raconteurs (who actually wrote and recorded the original version of this blues number for inclusion on their 'Consolers of the Lonely' CD in 2008).
Artist: Jamie Scott & The Town, England
Album: Park Bench Theories, 2007
Notes: A fine, restrained melodic gem by the now lead voice in the electronica-pop/rock duo, Graffiti6 before he got together with Tommy D. More tracks from this lost album in coming weeks on L&F.
Song: Wild Is The Wind
Artist: David Bowie, England
Album: Station To Station, 1976
Notes: An excellent interpretation by the Thin White Duke of a song originally recorded by crooner Johnny Mathis way back in 1957 for the film of the same name. Also check out Nina Simone's 1959 version (she inspired Bowie to record his update when they met in Los Angeles).
Song: Hold Onto My Heart
Artist: Graham Colton, Oklahoma City, OK
Notes: Simple, melodic, tender ballad from the fourth long-player by singer-songwriter best known for his pop-rock smash, 'Best Days' from 2008.
Song: Stumblin’ In
Artist: Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman, Detroit/England
Album: If You Knew Suzi, 1979
Notes: For all its self-evident cheese, this pop confection remains an incredibly catchy and worthwhile song. Inked by hit-making pop composer/production team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, the chaps behind dozens of British pop hits in the 1970s by the likes of the Sweet, Smokie and Quatro.
Artist: Catcall, Australia
Notes: Infectious Modern Rock/pop pleaser from down under by an entirely undiscovered new artiste who's causing a bit of a buzz in Sydney, and who claims to be influenced by the Go-Go's and the Tom Tom Club.
Artist: Ultravox, England
Album: Vienna, 1980
Notes: Oh the melodrama, a New Romantic classic by the synth-pop band from 1980. Big hit around Europe, but remained unknown in the US. Front man Midge Ure went on to write and co-organize Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas fundraising smash with Bob Geldof in 1984.
Song: Bible Belt
Artist: Dry The River, England
Notes: Remember where you heard them first: a promising nu-folk/rock quintet from the UK emerging from Mumford's shadow led by main singer, Peter Liddle. Fine freshman album due for release in the Spring.
Artist: Jesse Labelle, Canada
Album: Perfect Accident, 2011
Notes: A sweet roller from much under-appreciated new tunesmith from Canada who started out doing covers of Eddie Vedder and Scott Weiland material in local clubs.
Artist: Noah & The Whale, England
Album: Last Night On Earth, 2011
Notes: Strong rock number from Charlie Fink and Co., though a refrain in the chorus is reminiscent of Tom Petty's 'Don't Come Around Here No More'. Fink formerly dated fine UK songstress, Laura Marling.
Song: Sweet Love
Artist: Commodores, Tuskegee, AL
Album: Movin' Out, 1976
Notes: No rules on L&F, just an outstanding soul ballad from the earlier part of the R&B combo's career. Superb composition by Richie with terrific execution by the band, which stands the test of time.
Artist: Emmylou Harris, Birmingham, AL
Album: Wrecking Ball, 1995
Notes: "I can't remember if we said Goodbye? - the Saddest Song of All Time (at least for this week), a brilliant but morose pearl featuring her heartbreaking, crackled vocals, great lyrics, and impeccable, haunting soundscapes by producer, Daniel Lanois.
Artist: John Wesley Harding, England
Notes: Yearning for simpler times, ranting against the rampant commercialism of the modern age, a fun-titled message from erudite UK-born but Philly-based musician (real name, Wesley Stace).
Song: Checking In Checking Out
Artist: High Llamas, England
Album: Gideon Gaye, 1994
Notes: Lovely, fluid, mellifluous sound, breezy, rolling country rock from British combo fronted by Irish tunesmith, Sean O'Hagan. Been recording top mostly overlooked albums since 1990.
Song: How Many Hearts
Artist: Jason Reeves, Nashville
Notes: Yet more lilting class from prolific and ace singer-songwriter and L&F fave Reeves. Still only 27 but with four marvelous full-length CDs to his name.
Song: Mrs. Major Tom
Artist: William Shatner feat. Sheryl Crow, Canada/Kennett, MO
Album: Seeking Major Tom, 2011
Notes: A curious but excellent solo outing from Crow (bizarrely and mercifully not featuring Shatner) on the latter's wacky CD issued last year. An answer record to Bowie's 'Space Oddity'.
Song: Static Waves
Artist: Andrew Belle feat. Katie Herzig, Wheaton, IL
Album: The Ladder, 2010
Notes: Too good for prime time, an outstanding strings-laden lost gem from the now Nashville-based musician - featuring a typically strong turn by the still underrated Herzig. Wonderful, melodic combination.
Song: The Feel Again (Stay)
Artist: Blue October, Houston, TX
Album: Any Man In America, 2011
Notes: Heavy shades of Peter Gabriel (nothing wrong with that) on a sturdy alt-rock nugget, a largely autobiographical work by the group's frontman and leading force, Justin Furstenfeld who formed the combo back in 1995.