Best Ever Song

All posts tagged Best Ever Song

We have arrived at the half way stage of the fourth annual Alfie Boe best ever song poll and number five is a song that, having reached the top of this poll in 2015, missed the top ten altogether last year.  I’m of course talking about Addio Sogni Di Gloria:

From the 2015 album, Serenata, this song showcases Alfie’s glorious voice to perfection – one day I hope to hear him sing it again.

The song was originally recorded by Italian singer Luciano Virgili and written by Italian Carlo Innocenzi who wrote music for many Italian films from the 1940’s onward.  Translated, the title means Goodbye, Dreams of Glory and the poignancy of the song sits effortlessly against the glorious soaring melody.  The version I’ve chosen is by Giuseppe Di Stefano, whom Alfie has referenced as being a favourite of his in several interviews.  Not having listened to Di Stefano before I heard Alfie talk about him, I’ve now listened to a fair amount of his work and I have to agree with Alfie – Di Stefano has a wonderful voice:

Serenata is available here:

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Number six of the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe Song is the only song from Alfie’s 2016 collaboration with Michael Ball, Together:

Anthem did not feature on the set list for the live shows but obviously made an impression on fans – I know that many fans have wanted Alfie to record the song for a long time.

Anthem is one of the most famous songs (although for me, I have more of an affection for the Elaine Paige / Barbara Dickson song I Know Him So Well) from the Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus musical, Chess, which opened in London in 1986 before closing three years later.  A subsequent Broadway production was much less successful.  Prior to either show, a concept album was released, from which Paige and Dickson’s recording derives as Dickson was unable to open in the London production.  The other leads, Paige, Tommy Korberg and Murray Head all appeared; Anthem is sung by Korberg’s character.

The song has become a musical theatre standard and has been recorded by many artists, usually male, but here it is with a female voice, Kerry Ellis, who recorded Come What May with Alfie a few years ago:

I’m thinking that Alfie would love this rockier version with Brian May on guitar!

Next week we’ll be half way to the top!

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This week sees the first of our two entries from Trust and is the third appearance in the Best Alfie Boe song top ten for Forever Young:

This was of course Alfie’s appearance at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in 2013 – introduced by presenter Huw Edwards as a “great friend of the festival”, Alfie has appeared numerous times, including last year with Michael Ball.

Forever Young first appeared in the top ten in 2015 at number nine, slipped back to number ten last year and now records it’s highest position – perhaps it will be even higher next year?

Alfie loves the writer of this song, Bob Dylan, but regular readers will know that he does absolutely nothing for me – I’m a lost cause I think!  It’s not the song, it’s the voice, so here is a version I liked more:

Yet another song I have had the pleasure of discovering thanks to Alfie – my musical education has gone in some unexpected directions in the last five years!

Trust is available here:

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Last week we saw the first of our two new entrants to the top ten in the 2017 Best Alfie Boe Song poll and this week sees our second new entrant; funnily enough, both newbie songs are from the same album, Alfie:

Despite Wheels of a Dream being one of Alfie’s most performed songs, dating back to the Bring Him Home tour, it’s one of his most popular, as attested to here by the sharp intake of breath on this video when we hear the first few notes.  Fans also like the lyrics of this song, seeing as Alfie lives in America and has a wife named Sarah!

The song is taken from the 1996 musical, Ragtime which opened on Broadway in 1998 and in the West End in 2003, netting an Olivier Award for Maria Friedman in the process – Maria featured in 2016’s Ball and Boe TV show.  Here are the original Ragtime stars, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald:

Stay tuned for number 7 next week!

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Last week saw a song from the earlier part of Alfie’s career that he thankfully resurrected for live performances in 2015 – Parlami D’Amore Mariu.  This week, we’re looking at the song that came in at number nine in the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe Song poll and is from his second Decca album, Alfie:

In My Daughter’s Eyes is a new entry to the top ten this year – it’s been on the long list since the first poll in 2014 but has never before garnered enough votes to feature in the top ten.  Written by James T Slater for Martina McBride’s 2003 Martina album, the song became an essential part of Alfie’s set list between 2011 and 2013.  In some of the many interviews Alfie gave around the release of Alfie in 2011, he said that he chose the song for his daughter, Grace, as he had already chosen Song to the Siren for his son, also Alfie and for whom the album is named (Alfred Robert was born on New Year’s Day the following year).   Besides being a beautiful song, I think it holds a special resonance to anyone who is or has a daughter – always makes me think of my dad and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.  Here is Martina McBride:

Alfie is available here:

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The first song in the 2017 countdown takes us back to the earlier part of Alfie’s career, with the only representative from La Passione to make the list, Parlami D’amore Mariu:

This song featured in the first Best Ever Alfie Boe Song poll and came in there at number six – since then it hasn’t featured at all, possibly as we have seen a distinct move away from Alfie’s classical repertoire in the three poll since then.

Written for a film soundtrack, Gli Uomini Che MascalzoniParlami D’amore Mariu was written in 1932 by Cesare Andrea Bixio and Ennio Neri for the voice of Vittorio De Sica and translated, means “Tell Me That You Love Me”.  The original sounds like a film soundtrack but the most well know version is of course in the neapolitan style here sung by Giuseppe Di Stefano:

There are many other artists I could have chosen, including recently, Jonas Kauffman, but I chose this one as Alfie has previously mentioned Di Stefano as a favourite artist to listen to.

If you don’t yet have La Passione in your collection, it’s available here:

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Voting has now closed in the 2017 Best Ever Alfie Boe song poll and the following playlist contains the top ten:

 

In 2016, the top ten looked like this:

1 – Love Reign O’er Me
2 – Dimming of the Day
3 – Trust
4 – Bring Him Home
5 – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
6 – My Heart is Yours
7 – It’s Over
8 – A Living Prayer
9 – If You Go Away
10 – Forever Young

The first thing that strikes me about this year’s list is that there is only one song from Alfie’s most successful commercial album, Together – whether this has anything to do with it not being a solo album, I couldn’t say.

In contrast to previous years, Bring Him Home is now the only song to feature in every top ten, with just two more songs featuring in two top ten countdowns.  In addition to Anthem, there are two more new entries in Wheels of a Dream and In My Daughter’s Eyes.  This means that for the first time, A Living Prayer drops out of the top ten.

Last year we saw a definite move away from Alfie’s classical repertoire towards the rockier albums and 2017 continues in the same vein, albeit this time we are seeing a resurgence in the musical theatre songs.  I can definitely see the influence of Together in these choices – it seems that hearing Alfie sing a lot of musical theatre songs in recent months, as well as his appearance in Carousel has prompted more votes for this genre of music.  Trust remains the strongest album over all the polls so far, with Alfie having two tracks and one each for Bring Him Home, Classic Quadrophenia, Storyteller, Serenata, Together and La Passione.

Stay tuned for next week’s reveal of number 10 – we’ll be counting down until the beginning of the summer tour!

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Voting is now open to find the 2017 best ever Alfie Boe song!  You should be able to vote for more than one song too:

Thank you to those who sent in their nominations – only two songs had not been nominated before:

Goodbye (from the deluxe version of Trust) – nominated by Sally Sadler

Anthem (from Together) – nominated by Dawn Phelan

The nomination of Goodbye makes Trust our most popular Alfie album – it now has ten songs in the long list (now containing 46 songs and coming in at just shy of three hours) so put your feet up and click here to listen.

Interestingly, despite the album being Christmas number one, just one song from Together was nominated; Alfie’s previous album, Serenata, had eight nominations for best song upon release and one, Addio Sogni Di Gloria, was the winner in 2015.

Voting will close on 2 April 2017 and the top ten will be revealed next Monday – get voting!

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Alfie’s been busy over the last couple of weeks, appearing on various radio programmes with Katherine Jenkins, of course promoting Carousel, which is only a few weeks away now:

Danny Pike, BBC Surrey – click here – 2hr 9m

Dominic King, BBC Kent – click here – 13m

Nick Coffer, BBC Three Counties – click here – 1hr 34m

Bernie Keith, BBC Northampton – click here – 2hr 45m

Midweek, BBC Radio 4 – click here

Steve Wright, BBC Radio 2 – click here

And here is Alfie and Michael on Lorraine this morning:

This week saw Dame Vera Lynn celebrate her 100th birthday and of course Alfie has a guest spot on her latest album – you’ll remember that I have one copy to give away to someone picked at random.  The lucky winner who correctly said that Alfie sang A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square at the Queen’s 90th birthday concert in 2016 was:

Jane Mann

Congratulations – please click here to send me your address!

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their favourite Alfie songs for the fourth annual best ever Alfie Boe song – if your favourite isn’t listed in the longlist, you only have a couple of days left to tell me!

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Welcome to the fourth annual Best Ever Alfie Boe Song poll!  In each of the previous three polls, a different song has come out on top:

Bring Him Home

Addio Sogni Di Gloria

Love Reign O’er Me

This year, we have a new album of songs to be considered and so I’m now asking for your nominations.  The current longlist of songs can be found on Spotify here – if your favourite isn’t there, nominate it on the form below:

Nominations will close at the end of the week and the poll will open next week.

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