Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Music of the Oscars 2013

Barbra Streisand, Adele and Dame Shirley Bassey photo Barbra_Adele_Shirley_zps94428fdc.jpg
Left to right: Barbra Streisand; Adele Adkins; and Dame Shirley Bassey.

When I saw the picture above on Facebook (thanks, Casey Stratton!), I knew I wanted to do a post. But then there was the tricky issue of finding a YouTube link that wasn't either crappy or would stay up long enough. So I went to Daily Motion, and found what I needed. But first, I have a confession. I did not watch the Oscar telecast. I was watching hockey for a while, and then tuned in to watch 'The Walking Dead' on AMC. And then 'Talking Dead', with The Nerdist, aka Chris Hardwick. I did follow on Twitter, which told me who won, what worked, and what didn't. But I figured I could find the musical performances that interested me later. But as I documented earlier, it wasn't as easy as I thought. With all the build-up and the Twitter twaddlings, there were three performances that I craved to see, and that pictures said it all for me. The women whose music I love, and all three have been on this blog before. It is Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Barbra Streisand. In those three ladies, there is such a wealth of talent, it is scarey. I shall begin with the newest of the three, the exquisite Adele, who came on to sing the theme song of the latest Bond movie, 'Skyfall'. It is a wonderful song, and she sings it beautifully. After listening to the video, I was slightly disappointed, but not really by Adele, but but the sound mixer for the show. Adele was on the the entire song, but the chorus was mostly lost, overpowered by the band. But still, I will take a badly mixed Adele over so many other artists, so here is Adele singing "Skyfall".

And the second singer from the United Kingdom to make me happy would be the always brilliant Dame Shirley Bassey. I am old enough to remember the original recording of her Bond themes on the radio, and knowing they were something special. And certainly aware that she was special as well. What I didn't realize until this week was that Dame Shirley was the only person in the Bond series to sing theme songs to three different movies. There is no doubt I remember the themes to 1971's Bond film 'Diamonds Are Forever, as well as the 1979 effort, 'Moonraker'. And while I was a bit young to remember the original release of the 1964 theme, I certainly heard it for years to come, as it was something amazing. And forty-nine years after the original release, Dame Shirley returned to sings the theme to 'Goldfinger', and made it special once again, at the age of seventy-six. Enjoy listening to, and watching, as Dame Shirley Bassey sings "Goldfinger".

And last but not least, there is the magnificent Barbra Streisand, a singer I have adored for as long as I can remember. Indeed, I remember being a teenager and buying her albums, including the early ones with some spectacular music from the Great American Songbook. I wasn't sure what she was going to sing, but if I gave it any thought, it was a no-brainer that she would be offering a tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch. Once the 'In Memoriam' video rolled, Streisand came out singing one of the many amazing songs written by Hamlisch, sung by Streisand as the theme of the movie 'The Way We Were', starring Streisand and the stunning Robert Redford. The song was released in 1973, making this the 40th anniversary. Like Dame Shirley, Barbra was looking and sounding great. Please enjoy the clip of Barbra Streisand singing "The Way We Were", just a few months shy of her seventy-first birthday.

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