Monday, July 25, 2011

The Life and Music of Amy Winehouse

On Saturday July 23, 2011, the music community lost a major talent, Amy Winehouse.  Troubled by substance abuse in recent years, the news of her death, at just 27 years old, did not come as a surprise. 

I first learned of Amy Winehouse from her music video "Rehab"and was instantly captivated by her deep, soulful voice, and the retro-soul feel of the song that even featured a baritone saxophone. 

Eager to learn more, I bought the Grammy-award winning album, Back in Black (mostly produced by the extraordinary DJ/producer Mark Ronson), and loved it.  Ever since, I have liberally programmed Amy Winehouse into the mix at parties and even some wedding cocktail hours.  

Listed below are my favorite Amy Winehouse tracks:

1) You Know I'm No Good (I actually prefer the non-rap version) - the horn section is wonderful... how telling were Amy's lyrics "I cheated myself, like I knew I would."  
2) Rehab (Jay-Z rap version)  - Jay's rap verse is brilliant and takes the song to a new level
3) Me and Mrs. Jones (love the opening line.... 'What kind of fuckery is this?... you made me miss... the Slick Rick gig)
4) Valerie - this is a nice song for cocktail hours or for early in a party
5) Just Friends - reggae vibe with brass section
6) Love is a Losing Game - sad but beautiful song.  
7) Monkey Man - From Back to Black - B Sides
8) Back to Black 
9) It's My Party (featuring Amy Winehouse) - Quincy Jones

Winehouse's final recording project was with Tony Bennett earlier this year.  Bennett and Winehouse sang the Johnny Greene standard "Body and Soul" which will be featured on Bennett's "Duets II" scheduled for release this September.

We'll miss you Amy.  I'll keep spinning your records, but wish that you could have stayed with us longer.  You were just getting started.

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