Monday, August 23, 2010

Dark Monday - Red Hot + Blue 5

cole porter,red hot and blue,aids,90s

Twenty years ago, the album Red Hot + Blue was released. It featured the music of American musical theater legend Cole Porter and some of the top acts of the day, all to raise money and awareness for AIDS research. The album contained 20 cuts, and I found 17 videos for those cuts, and for the next several weeks, will be running them in this Monday night spot. This is the final installment of those videos. The album was thought of as a fundraising tool, it also allowed the artists involved great freedom with their interpretation of Porter's music, making for a wide variety of styles on the album. We shall go through the album in the order that is on my CD, which I did purchase at the time.

Singer Lisa Stansfield had used her own love of jazz and pop music to create a career with some hits, and also to join in the making of this great album. She sang Porter's Down In The Depths, written in 1936 for the Broadway musical Red, Hot And Blue, originally sung by the legendary Ethel Merman.

After topping the charts with the band Chic, Jody Watley went on to solo stardom with her own blend of Pop and Dance music. But for After You, Who?, she took a more classic approach, with a beautiful result. The song was written for the 1932 musical The Gay Divorcee, and sung by the incomparable Fred Astaire.

Jimmy Somerville topped the charts with the Bronski Beat and the Communards, and had a rather nice solo career as well. The out singer had no problem tackling Porter's From This Moment On. The song was originally heard in the MGM musical Kiss Me Kate, a classic Pop song. But Jimmy gave it a dance beat and made it his own, with his voice scaling the heights as only he could.

The Scottish New Wave band Aztec Camera had relatively little success in the US, that was not the case in the UK. They took part of the album, and ended up singing the final cut, Do I Love You?. The song was originally written for the musical DuBarry Was a Lady, where it was introduced by Ronald Graham and Ethel Merman. Aztec Camera too their own approach, and it became a wonderful closing number.

That is the end of the line for this series. I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. Wow, 20 years ago - really! Gosh, I remember getting this CD, was it really 20 years ago? It's a lovely album (one of the few I've still got!)

  2. OK - this is an amazing bunch here - the ladies - so classic... classic Jimmy and Aztec - isn't that a double blast of cutie Scottis?

    20 years ago seems like yesterday! ROCK ON!

  3. PS : How was your weekend trip to Toronto!



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