A Musical A-Z: T

Even leaving out ‘The’, there are lots of choices in ‘T’. Please play along; any group, song, album, or singer, as long as the name begins with ‘T’. I have tried to avoid many of the obvious choices this time.

First up today, something of a one-hit wonder, from the American group They Might Be Giants. This quirky band released some very unusual songs, but this was the only one that they had a hit with, at least in the UK. They formed as long ago as 1982, and are still working today. This is from 1990.
Birdhouse In Your Soul

British female duo Banderas had a very short-lived career, with just two hits over here from their 1991 debut album. The girls had some pedigree, previously working in The Communards, with Jimmy Somerville. The album ‘Ripe’ also featured Johnny Marr on guitar, Bernard Sumner from New Order, and Jimmy Somerville, both doing backing vocals. I liked Caroline Buckley’s voice so much, and admired her shaven-headed look too. This track also has some very meaningful lyrics, and is a life lesson to us all.
This Is Your Life

I expect everyone has heard the song, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. You might be surprised to learn that it was written as long ago as 1932, first performed by Ray Noble and his orchestra. The following year, the wonderful Ruth Etting recorded her version, soon followed by Bing Crosby, who had a hit with it.
But in 1966, a slightly revised version of the song was given the definitive Soul treatment, and released by Otis Redding. It doesn’t get much better than this. My favourite Soul song of all time, it makes me somewhat fragile every time I hear it. To say the least.
Try A Little Tenderness

Talking Heads, and the front man David Byrne, are something of a love/hate group. Byrne is undeniably strange, and his songs and sound hard to classify. But they have been hugely influential, and also made great use of the pop video phenomenon to promote their songs. I thought they deserved a mention on ‘T’.
Once In A Lifetime

In 1988, I heard a really powerful song on the radio. It was by someone I had never heard of. When they announced the name of the singer, I went straight to a record shop, and bought the album. Taylor Dayne enjoyed some success with releases from that album, and later went on to some acting roles too. She is still around, acting as well as singing, but I only ever really liked this song.
Tell It To My Heart

I have featured Tears for Fears previously, but they are good enough to deserve another outing. Last time, it was ‘Mad World’, but on this occasion it is something more involved, a song that is brilliantly constructed, and bordering on operatic in scale. That Roland Orzibal sure knows his stuff.
Sowing The Seeds of Love

Back to 1966 in my musical time machine, and a huge Tamla Motown hit from the marvellous Temptations. This takes me back to button-down collars, smart suits, and teenage romance. Wonderful stuff.
Get Ready

Scottish band Texas have been around since 1986. Their 1989 debut album brought them great success, and international acclaim. Much of this is on the back of the lead singer, Charlene Spiteri, with her instantly-recognisable tone, and excellent vocal range. They are still very active, and released a new album this year. Charlene has also had a well-received solo career alongside the band. From their many big hits, I have chosen this song, from the 1997 album, ‘White on Blonde’. Just perfect.
Say What You Want

I said that Amy Winehouse would feature again, and here she is, with today’s top choice. I just love her voice so much, but this is without doubt my favourite of all her songs. Written about a break up with her obnoxious long-time lover, you can feel the pain in every line. Funky, Jazzy, and yet still heartbreaking. One of my favourite songs of all time, from anybody.
Tears Dry On Their Own

60 thoughts on “A Musical A-Z: T

  1. Damn! Take a couple of days off and I am behind…..Double double….”T-Bone Shuffle” by T-Bone Walker…..’Theme from “Thunderball” by Tom Jones……”Tailgunner” by Iron Maiden and “Tales of Brave Ulysses” by Cream…onward..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea, definitely The Temptations! One of my favorite aunts loves James Taylor, and we’ll always need an antidote for insomnia, so have to let that one pass, sorry Aunt Jan! That Scottish band “Texas” is really good, really like the singer’s voice. “T” is just too huge, cannot list of the bands that start with “The…” The Talking Heads were unique and great, and “Stop Making Sense” is great, one of the few concert films that I don’t drive me up the wall. Talk Talk has done some excellent stuff. The Tragically Hip is from Canada, “Ahead by a Century” is a good tune. And you’ll probably find this band’s name annoying, but Toad the Wet Sprocket is (was?) actually an excellent band, “Walk on the Ocean”. Tom Waits is not somebody I’d listen to often, pretty surreal guy, irreproducible, but if you’re ever having a day that’s just too normal, check out his version of “Heigh Ho!” (the dwarves’ song from Disney’s “Snow White”). Tomita, a synthesizer pioneer, “The Snowflakes are Dancing” is essential. Jack Teagarden, “Basin Street Blues” also essential.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a couple of Jack Teagarden albums on vinyl, from my classic Jazz days.
      Lots of unusual suggestions tonight, all most welcome. Tom Waits I can take or leave as a vocalist, but I like him as an actor. Texas are worth investigating further, as is Charlene Spiteri’s short solo career.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d go along with ‘Tangled up in blue’ also what about June Tabor, Richard and Linda Thompson, Turin Brakes (there must have been a track I liked), Travelling Wilburys definitely and Toploader with ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ forever to be associated with dancing on NYE in Africa.
    I might have to work my way back through your lists and see if I can add anything. I have a very eclectic collection with lots of ‘foreign’ albums!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jude. The Toploader song is a great addition. Some of the others might be a tad ‘folky’ for me, but perfect for challenges like these. I would be very happy for you to add your more unusual choices to the others letters in the alphabet.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to try not repeat any of the already excellent choices here.
    Artists: Taylor Swift, Third Eye Blind, Three Dog Night, Tony Bennett, Tori Amos, Toto, Train, Tracy Chapman, The Travelling Wilburys, Trans-Siberiasn Orchestra, and TLC.

    Songs: Taboo – Santana
    Take A Chance On Me – ABBA
    Take It All – Adele
    Take It Easy – Eagles
    Take Me To Church -Hozier
    Take the A Train – Duke Ellington
    Take the Long Way Home – Supertramp
    Twist and Shout – Beatles
    Two Hearts Beat As One – U2
    Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Meat Loaf
    Trust Me – Janis Joplin
    Truth to Power – OneRepublic
    Tuesday Afternoon – Moody Blues

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Are lists are similar today, Pete. I’d also add anything by Pete Townsend, Traffic, “Take it to the Limit”, “Take it Easy” “Take Me Home Tonight” “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand, “Take on Me” by Aha, “Tall Cool One” by Robert Plant, and all songs about Today, Tonight, and Tomorrow! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nice to see the Franz Ferdinand song included. I wondered when that would pop up.
      I expected you to go with ‘Take It Easy’, and you did. “Standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…”
      Thanks as always for playing along.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Songs~ Two Tribes~Frankie Goes to Hollywood,Turn Me On Again~Nerina Pallot, Transylvanian Concubine~Rasputina, Sign your name~Terence Trent Derby
    Artists~ Thunder, Tina Turner,Thin Lizzy, Theory of a Dead Man.
    Albums~Takin’ it to the streets & Tough it Out~FM, Time Bomb~Buckcherry, This is Somewhere~Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pete, Texas never broke out here in the US, but I discovered them on trips to London and have several albums – great music. I am seeing Tears For Fears in concert in two weeks, so let me add the first track on the “Seeds Of Love” album called “Woman In Chains” – a great album indeed. Someone will mention T. Rex at some point so I won’t, instead will add a Phil Collins song with Genesis, “Tonight Tonight” and James Taylor with his breakup song “Her Town Too”…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Artist wise I really love Tina Turner. With songs, there are so many;
    The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack
    Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand
    Twist and Shout by The Beatles
    Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
    And there are plenty more that I love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Byrds version of that Bob Dylan song was indeed very good, Sarah. Strictly speaking, it’s an ‘M’ (Mister Tambourine Man), or perhaps even an ‘H’. (Hey, Mr Tambourine Man). But far from me to be picky, and seeing as it’s you… 🙂 x


  9. I also vote for Tanita Tikaram, I was introduced to her music by my first boyfriend, back in the late 1980s. I particularly like Twist in my Sobriety too, also World Outside My Window and Good Tradition.
    You’ve got another good selection here, Pete, I especially like Tears for Fears.
    Three more that spring to mind are This Is The Life by Scottish singer songwriter Amy MacDonald, Temptation by Heaven 17 … and, just because it was so catchy, Take on Me by Aha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tanita was indeed talented, and her brother is a very good actor too. I featured ‘Temptation’ in ‘H’ for Heaven 17, but it’s well worth another mention! Thanks for playing along.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Back in the mid 80s my then wife and I separated and divorced. Around that time I was idly flicking through some LPs in a record shop in Shepherds Bush in West London when my fingers tripped over an LP cover.

    The LP was Blood On The Tracks by Bob Dylan. Although I was a teenager through most of the 70s, Bob Dylan had never really come across my radar and I’d never consciously listened to any of his music.

    Anyway, I picked it up, paid for it, and took it home to put on my turntable.

    The first track up was Tangled Up In Blue. It changed my life in many ways. It’s a song filled with angst and what ifs. The album covers the whole gamut of emotional lyrical songwriting, from love found, love lost, love regained, and love lost again.

    So that’s my only song choice for T. A bit of a personal one for me.

    As for artists; the ones which are personal to me are; T-Rex, Tangerine Dream, and lately Richard Thompson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Ian. Bob Dylan is a great songwriter, and I was a fan of his early work at the time too. I lost my way with him around the same time as he lost his muse, and I never went back.
      T-Rex were of a time and place, that’s for sure.
      Best wishes, Pete.


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