Michael Ball

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The question today is how well you know what Alfie Boe did in 2018?  A week ago I asked you the questions, now it’s time for the answers – and you’ll see if you won a prize!

  1. What UK album chart position with As Time Goes By did Alfie achieve in 2018?  Number 10 (week of release)
  2. On which bass baritone’s new album did Alfie guest on in 2018? Bryn Terfel – Dreams
  3. How many summer concerts did Alfie do in 2018? 5 (Kelvingrove, Kenwood, Fleetwood, Scarborough and Llangollen)
  4. Which song was voted number one in the latest best ever recorded song poll? Anthem
  5. Which TV show did Alfie host for the second year running in December? Christmas Carols on ITV
  6. What was the name of the daytime TV programme Alfie was featured on in November? Homefront Heroes
  7. Alfie sang at St. George’s Chapel this year – who got married there in 2018? Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
  8. In which countries did Alfie sing live at in 2018? UK, USA, Japan
  9. Which two Classic BRIT awards did Alfie and Michael Ball win? Best Album and Best Group
  10. Which two charities did Alfie become ambassador for in 2018? Rays of Sunshine and Willow Foundation

Who got ten out of ten? I should hope everyone?!

There was a competition attached and the two winners of a signed St. George’s Chapel programme and a Blackpool Illuminations programme are:

Katharine Peace and G Heys

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How much do you know about Alfie Boe and his music?  If you think you know everything there is to know, take the Alfie Boe Quiz 2019 and find out!

  1. What UK album chart position with As Time Goes By did Alfie achieve in 2018?
  2. On which bass baritone’s new album did Alfie guest on in 2018?
  3. How many summer concerts did Alfie do in 2018?
  4. Which song was voted number one in the latest best ever recorded song poll?
  5. Which TV show did Alfie host for the second year running in December?
  6. What was the name of the daytime TV programme Alfie was featured on in November?
  7. Alfie sang at St. George’s Chapel this year – who got married there in 2018?
  8. In which countries did Alfie sing live at in 2018?
  9. Which two Classic BRIT awards did Alfie and Michael Ball win?
  10. Which two charities did Alfie become ambassador for in 2018?

I have some more competition goodies to give away so please send me your answers here.  The winner will be drawn from all correct answers on 16 January 2019*

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*Terms and Conditions: All entrants will be added to mailing list.

Number ten in our first poll of 2019 means only one thing – An Evening with Alfie Boe kicks off in just ten weeks time (next Sunday to be precise).  Anyone excited yet??? I guess that’s all of you, then!

Number ten is a song that has featured in both best live song poll and best recorded song poll of 2018 and is A Thousand Years:

This is Alfie by himself…with a few comments about Mr Ball!

The song was originally performed by Christina Perri for the 2011 film Twilight: Breaking Bad Part One. Written by Perri and David Hodges, the song also featured on the soundtrack of Breaking Bad Part Two, as a duet with Steve Kazee. In addition to Alfie and Michael, the song has been covered by several other artists, many with millions of YouTube views!

In 2018, this song ended up at number six in both live and recorded song polls – and I only just realised now!

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We’ve made it! The top place in the fifth annual Alfie Boe Best Ever Song poll is shortly to be revealed, but before we do that, let’s run down the top ten so far:

10 – A Living Prayer

9 – Rank Strangers

8 – You’re The Voice

7 – Keep Me In Your Heart

6 – A Thousand Years

5 – The Prayer

4 – Love Reign O’er Me

3 – Bring Him Home

2 – First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

And so, the song voted in at number ten is:

Anthem, recorded for Alfie’s 2016 album with Michael Ball, Together, is this year’s top song, the last of four songs from Together and Together Again.  Last year, Anthem was a new entry to the chart, ending up at number six.

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.

Thanks for all your votes – always interesting to see what comes up trumps – and as Alfie has now announced his 2019 tour, it’ll soon be time to vote for our favourite live song again!

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We’ve reached the half way stage of the poll to find the best Alfie Boe recorded song 2018!  The song at number five is a new entry to the chart, having only been released in 2017.  The third song to feature Alfie with Michael Ball and taken from Together Again, the song is The Prayer:

Happily, this song was voted in at number five in this year’s Alfie Boe Best Live Song poll!

The song was written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, with Alberto Testa and Tony Renis for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot and was originally two solo tracks; English for Celine Dion and Italian for Andrea Bocelli. The song was then released as a duet by Dion and Bocelli and that is the version that is most well known.

Composer Foster had said that is is “a song that I just never get tired of playing, I never get tired of hearing it, and I never get tired of people telling me that they enjoy it. And it seems to mean a lot—it means a lot of different things to a lot of people. So it’s a powerful piece of music. I think it came through me, and I think Carole’s lyric is beautiful. And it’s very meaningful to me that when all is said and done, there is a piece of music like that, that will undoubtedly outlive me. It was a moment—that song was a moment for sure.”

The Prayer was was one of my standout songs of Together Again – it’s beautiful and is a treat for those who love to hear Alfie sing in Italian. Both Alfie and Michael excel here and it seems to be a fitting song for the troubled times we currently live in.

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Almost half way through our countdown to find the fans favourite Alfie Boe recorded song and we arrive at our second new entry, A Thousand Years, nominated this year by Karen Blower:

It’s the second song to feature Alfie’s collaboration with Michael but this is from their first album, 2016’s Together.

The song was originally performed by Christina Perri for the 2011 film Twilight: Breaking Bad Part One.  Written by Perri and David Hodges, the song also featured on the soundtrack of Breaking Bad Part Two, as a duet with Steve Kazee.  In addition to Alfie and Michael, the song has been covered by several other artists, many with millions of YouTube views!

Together is available here:

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Three weeks into our countdown to find the fans favourite Alfie Boe song 2019 and we arrive at the first new entry to the top ten:

The first song from 2017’s Together Again, this is the roaring cover of John Farnham’s iconic eighties anthem, You’re The Voice.  This video from the 02 features students from Mountview theatre school and makes the song even more powerful.

Written by Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson as a protest song, it was a massive hit for Farnham in 1986 – I remember this being everywhere at the time.

Together Again is available here:

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Ball and Boe were back together this weekend at Carfest South, first time for Michael but a return for Alfie – he last played this festival for Children in Need in 2013.  Regular reviewer Claire Shorter was there for us, as well as fellow fan Caroline Old:

Do you think they will like us? That is the question Michael asked Chris Evans before they went on stage……fast forward to the end of their set and the rapturous applause and cheers suggests the crowd didn’t just like the boys, they absolutely loved them. This was echoed by the number of backstage guests who flowed to the front of the stage (including Chris Evans).

Michael and Alfie’s set was after Reef and Miles Kane and before Razorlight and although their style is different to those bands, the audience was just about to find out Ball and Boe can turn their hands to any genre they choose and the set list at CarFest showed their diversity, talent, humour and all round awesomeness.

Michael and Alfie came out singing Tonight, they were beaming and appeared so happy to be back on stage together. Then it was For Once in My Life and You’ll Be Back; the way they interact during these songs is nothing but cute and Alfie also came down to the barriers for a singalong with the crowd. Next were great songs to get the audience involved – He Lives in You and You’re the Voice. For the last chorus Alfie got Chris Evans and some others on to the stage to join in and they were loving every minute.

When the Queen medley commenced, we were treated to A Kind of Magic, Radio Gaga, We Will, We Will Rock You and We are the Champions. They put so much energy into this medley and the audience were loving it as much as Ball and Boe were, on stage.  This was a high point for seven year old Dan (Caroline’s son) who said that “I loved We Will Rock You, I was on Daddy’s shoulders.”

We then heard the boys do their brilliant Les Mis medley: Bring Him Home, Empty Chairs, I Dreamed a Dream and One Day More.  We have never heard an audience sing along to Les Mis as much as they did that day and standing in a field it felt like an appropriate place to do it. The whole audience singing One Day More was incredible, a proper goosebumps moment.

Then it was time for the encore, Michael making sure Alfie had left the stage made a start with A Different Corner.  Alfie then appeared on the adjoining stage saying “Oi Bally, get off the stage…”, he then stripped down to his ‘Choose Life’ T-shirt, gave Michael his and then the party time started with a Wham medley including Freedom, I’m Your Man and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.   Chris Evans and a group backstage crew, family and friends returned to the stage having a great sing along and pulling out some cracking dance moves. Alfie was having a high kick contest with a couple of kids. It was great fun to watch them all having a blast.

Although we also love the boys performing solo this is a reminder that we need another combined tour, they are a perfect match and their talent, friendship and humour is a beautiful thing to witness. They love being on stage together and we love seeing them there.

Thanks for a fabulous review Claire, Caroline and Dan, who gets the last word: “It was so funny when Alfie told Michael to get off the stage!”

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Into August and the countdown to the 2018 Blackpool Illumination Switch On is under way – anyone going to see Alfie switch on?

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Janice Stark’s song selection.  Janice first saw Alfie on the Royal Variety Show 2010), bought the 25th Anniversary DVD has bought all his CD’s and DVD’s ever since. Janice says “I think I really prefer his opera renditions but the more modern songs have grown on me so tried to get a mix in my choice of six!”

Danny Boy, from Trust.

Dimming of the Day, Trust.

The Floral Dance at Children In Need Rocks for Sir Terry.

If I Can Dream, Storyteller.

Patiently Smiling, Love Was A Dream.

The Pearl Fishers Duet, with Bryn Terfel – Janice chose this or Nessun Dorma as her sixth song, so I chose this as it hasn’t been chosen before.

Another three new tracks have been added to our list – at this rate, we’ll eventually have every single song from Alfie!

If you would like to see your choices featured, please fill in the form:

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For Once In My Life, with Michael Ball at Scarborough:

Looking at the weather, this was one concert I wasn’t sorry to miss – let’s hope that we don’t get a repeat performance this week!

For Once In My Life is most famous as a hit for Stevie Wonder in 1967 but was actually recorded and released by Barbara McNair, Jean DuShon, Tony Bennett, The Four Tops and the Temptations before this. Let’s take a look at Stevie Wonder:

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