Monday, December 31, 2012


  1. ALICIA KEYS Girl on Fire
  2. R. KELLY Write me Back (Deluxe Edition)
  3. BRUNO MARS Unorthodox Jukebox
  4. SMASH TV Soundtrack
  5. ADELE Greatest Hits
  6. RICKI-LEE Fear & Freedom
  7. ELTON JOHN Vs. PNAU Good Morning to the Night
  8. KYLIE MINOGUE Abbey Road Sessions

The world lost 3 female musical heavyweights in early 2012... 

She lived hard but enjoyed a career that outlasted many of pop's trends, including disco, new wave, the Britsh Invasion, Motown and new jack swing. She could be tender ("At Last") and feisty ("I Just Want to Make Love to You"); Etta was an original, moving from blues to soul with ease.

With her beauty as well as undeniable vocal power, Whitney could take an ordinary song and turn it into a classic. She seemed to appear out of nowhere in the 80s, with her R&B pedigree and, in no time, became one of the dominant voices in the industry, with a string of hits including "The Greatest Love of All", "How Will I Know", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have it All " and "I Will Always Love You". Although Whitney was trying to get her voice and career back on track, her demons never vanished.

She was proclaimed the 'Queen of Disco', but Donna never limited herself to just that genre; even during its halcyon days. Unlike the majority of dance acts in the 70s, she co-wrote many of her hit songs. Her disco songs remain some of dance music's most influential and many have stood the test of time, particularly "Love to Love You Baby", "Hot Stuff", "Lucky", "Our Love" and "I Feel Love". An underrated performer who will finally be inducted in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 2013.

Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me")
Dave Brubeck (jazz)
Dick Clark ('American Bandstand' host)
Don Cornelius ('Soul Train' host)
Donald "Duck" Dunn (Booker T  the MGs; Blues Brothers)
Robin Gibb (Bee Gees)
Marvin Hamlisch (composer- "The Way We Were" among others)   
Davy Jones (Monkees)
Scott McKenzie (singer/ songwriter- "San Francisco" and "Kokomo")
Johnny Otis (white DJ/ performer who helped R&B crossover to a wider pop audience)
Ravi Shankar (Indian instrumentalist)
Joe South (singer / songwriter)
Kitty Wells (country singer)
Andy Williams ("Moon River" & many other hits)
Adam MCA Yauch (Beastie Boys)

Sunday, December 30, 2012


The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 When I Was Your Man BRUNO MARS                                             3

2 Moonshine BRUNO MARS                                    2

3 I Dreamed a Dream [album track] ANNE HATHAWAY                                      NEW

4 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       5

5 Forever Autumn JEFF WAYNE ftg. LIAM NEESON & GARY BARLOW [album track]                                     9

6 Brighter GUENA LG ftg. GRAVITONAS                                           NEW

7 Bom Bom SAM & THE WOMP                                    NEW

8 Best Night JUSTICE CREW                               NEW

9 Antiheroes MICHAEL MIND ftg GRAVITONAS                                      4

10 The Eve of War [album track] JEFF WAYNE ftg LIAM NEESON                         3

Friday, December 28, 2012

With the film version of 'Les Mis' (see review also on this blog) opening this week, I thought we should look back on other well executed movie adaptations of stage musicals...
  • POP- 
"Don't Cry for me, Argentina" - Madonna
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical 'Evita' took years to make the big screen, with actors as diverse as Meryl Streep and even Barbra Streisand rumoured to play Eva Peron. In the end, Madonna played the role and finally showed she could in fact act! Having Antonio Banderas in the film didn't hurt one bit either!

"People" - Barbra Streisand

Streisand's film debut earned her an Oscar for Best Actress portraying Fanny Brice in 'Funny Girl": a remarkable performance.

  • R&B~

 "Ease on Down the Road" - Diana Ross & MIchael Jackson
While working on the film version of 'The Wiz', Quincy Jones met Michael Jackson and their careers were changed ever after. This film was far from great, despite Diana Ross, Richard Pryor and Michael Jackson starring.

Smash or... Trash? 
"When All is Said and Done" - Peirce Brosnan
The film version of "Mamma Mia!" was great, especially Meryl Streep. But few defended Brosnan's vocals on this take of a later ABBA song in that film.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


'Les Miserables'

Just one item this week and it's one part film review and one part music review. After catching an advance screening of the movie adaptation of 'Les Miserables' this weekend, I couldn't wait to declare my thrill at what director Tom Hooper has done. The director of 'The King's Speech' has re-tweaked the theatrical version and audiences can now enjoy the epic musical on the big screen. The changes serve to keep the storyline fresh and exciting. The art direction, costume design and cinematography are all impressive. 
The big musical numbers sweep you away and, even though you know it's a film, you will want to applaud each song. Hugh Jackman carries the film throughout, portraying Jean Valjean with his obvious experience at both singing and acting. Russell Crowe proves to be perfectly cast as his  nemesis Javert. But it is Anne Hathaway who steals the show and your breath as she sings show-stopper "I Dreamed a Dream". 
The only drawback is Eddie Redmeyne, miscast as Marius. This becomes especially evident when he sings "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", usually the most poignant moment in the show, but that is completely lost due to his flawed vocal and diction. On the other hand, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Cater add much needed comic relief to this interpretation as the Thenardiers, particularly singing "Master of the House".
It is a long film, most of it sung, but it is already one of my favourite movies and one I will want to watch over and over. The singing was performed live while filming, an extraordinary feat with a movie of this scale. 
The soundtrack will be rush released this week and will be a fitting souvenir of a moving and exhilarating movie experience! Best witnessed on the big screen for maximum effect. Enjoy!

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 When I Was Your Man BRUNO MARS                                             3

2 Moonshine BRUNO MARS                                     5

3 The Eve of War [album track] JEFF WAYNE ftg LIAM NEESON                         4

4 Antiheroes MICHAEL MIND ftg GRAVITONAS                                      7

5 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       8

6 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             1

7 I Found You [Moto Bianco Remix] THE WANTED                                      10

8 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE [album track]                                       2

9 Forever Autumn JEFF WAYNE ftg. LIAM NEESON & GARY BARLOW [album track]                                       NEW

10 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     9

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

With Christmas just one week away, here are some seasonal pop music classics to get us in the mood. Happy holidays to all, regardless of which you faith you believe in. 
  • POP- 
"Happy X'mas (War is Over)" - John Lennon
One of the coolest X'mas songs ever! John with Yoko Ono and a plea for peace. Still relevant today with millions affected by war, seeking asylum and victims of violence globally.
"Last Christmas" - Wham!
There are plenty of cheesy Christmas songs, but this one is a fun slice of pop magic from the 80s.
  • R&B~
 "Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Whitney Houston
Witness the power of Whitney singing this holiday classic live.

Smash or... Trash? 
"Mary's Boy Child/ Oh My Lord" - Boney M
Love them or hate them, Boney M scored a string of hits around the world, including this seasonal nugget.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


  Some new singles & albums out now:

Swede Danny Saucedo is looking hot in his great new video clip for latest single "Delirious", check it out here:

In the 70s, Jeff Wayne released a concept album, transforming the H.G. Wells story of 'The War of the Worlds' into a musical with narration from Richard Burton. The cast album then featured David Essex, Julie Covington, Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) and Phil Lynott (Thin LIzzy). A stage version has toured the world and made its way to Australia in recent years. In 2012, Wayne re-recorded his musical adaptation with a new cast. The narrator is now Liam Neeson. The revamped "Eve of War" is great! Gary Barlow (Take That) is also in the new version.

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             1 (2weeks)

2 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE [album track]                                       5

3 When I Was Your Man BRUNO MARS [album track]                                       NEW

4 The Eve of War [album track] JEFF WAYNE featuring LIAM NEESON                                       NEW

5 Moonshine BRUNO MARS [album track]                                       9

6 Good Times I'm In Love [remix] [album track] CERRONE                                      4

7 Antiheroes MICHAEL MIND featuring GRAVITONAS                                      NEW

8 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       10

9 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     2

10 I Found You [Moto Bianco Remix] THE WANTED                                      NEW

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To celebrate Gotye's Grammy nominations this year, this segment will focus on some notable Aussies that have taken home a Grammy award... By the way, despite massive sales, the following Oz acts failed to ever win a Grammy trophy:  Little River Band; Savage Garden and Air Supply!
  • POP-
"I Am Woman" - Helen Reddy
In 1972, Reddy became the first Aussie singer to win a Grammy- (Best Pop Vocal Performance- female).

"Down Under" - Men at Work
In 1982 Men at Work collected the Best New Artist Grammy, beating off Jennifer Holiday, Human League and Stray Cats!

 "I Honestly Love You" - Olivia Newton-John
Olivia has collected 4 Grammy awards, including Record of the Year for "I Honestly Love You" (written by Aussie Peter Allen) in 1974 and a win in the country genre the previous year for "Let me be There"!

"Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
1981 saw expat Springfield pick up the Best Pop Vocal Performance- male Grammy for his global hit song.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


  Some new singles & albums out now:

Steps continue their re-union with a Christmas- themed CD. When I think of Steps, I recall fun pop such as "Last Thing on my Mind", "Tragedy" and "Better Left Forgotten". The UK group have just released a boring new set of songs - all slow paced ballads. A missed opportunity to show the need for the Steps of old.  

Bruno Mars is back with a new CD, 'Unorthodox Jukebox'. He changes gears on this album, but remains true to the retro-flavoured pop/ R&B style which has made him a force in recent years. Highlights include "Gorilla", "Treasure", "Moonshine", "When I Was Your Man" "Money Make Her, Smile" and "If I Knew". An album well worth exploring.

A brand new song from Britney Spears and "Scream and Shout" Fun!

Swedish hunk Eric Saade (came third at Eurovision 2011 for Sweden) has a catchy new song- one of his best. Check out the video below:

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             2

2 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     3

3 That's When I Knew ALICIA KEYS [album track]                                     4

4 Good Times I'm In Love [remix] [album track] CERRONE                                       5

5 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE [album track]                                        6

6 Love Out Loud (album track) ANTHONY DAVID                                       8

7 Blank Page - CHRISTINA AGUILKERA [album track]                           3

8 Something New - GIRLS ALOUD                                   7

9 Moonshine BRUNO MARS [album track]                                       NEW

10 Marching (In the Name of Love) ERIC SAADE                                       NEW

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Let's start with a genuine classic this week...
  • POP-
"Toccata" - Sky
In the 80s, Sky charted well with this version of a classical piece:

"You Should Hear She Talks About You" - Melissa Manchester
Singer songwriter Melissa Manchester scored a pop hit in the 80s with this song. Here, she performs it on TV music show 'Solid Gold' with co-hosts Andy Gibb & Marilyn McCoo:

  • R&B~
 "Evergreen" - Luther Vandross
The late & great singer covers Barbra Streisand's Oscar winning song.

Smash or... Trash? 
"Save Your Love" - Renee & Renato
UK duo scored an italo-flavoured global hit with this in the 1980s:

Caffe` Latte`started on radio station JOY in Melbourne, Australia, back in 1997. While the radio show is no longer on air, this blog continues...
Scroll below for:
* the Top 1001 Most Essential Rock / Pop Songs with # 880 - 871 added today
* new music & the Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks for this week
* some retro to explore 
Plus! The latest addition to the Icons Gallery (a Hall of Fame of performers whose music has meant a lot to the gay & lesbian community) for November 2012...

Sunday, December 2, 2012


  Some new songs to look out for:

DJ Tiesto has remixed U2's classic "Pride (In the Name of Love) in time for World AIDS Day. Proceeds go towards raising funds to combat an ever-present health global issue.

Fun new dance song from Danish singer Medina entitled: "Boring", is anything but boring!

A brand new song drom another Dane, Nabiha. Her latest single is "Mind the Gap: catchy, great song. Let's hope this one takes off!
If you are looking for a soul vocalist still striving for a big breakthrough, investigate Anthony David. New album 'Love Out Loud' features some impressive examples of AD's talent. Along with the title track, highlights on the CD include: "Sweet Pain" and "Can't Look Down". Lovely!

The Caffe` Latte` Top 10 Tracks this week:

1 Brand New Me ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                       2

2 You Give Me Life [Alias Radio Edit] JLS                                             4 

3 Blank Page - CHRISTINA AGUILKERA [album track]                           1

4 That's When I Knew ALICIA KEYS (album track)                                      5

5 Good Times I'm In Love [remix] (album track) CERRONE                                     NEW

6 Misunderstanding [remix] CERRONE (album track)                                       NEW

7 Something New - GIRLS ALOUD                                   6

8 Love Out Loud (album track) ANTHONY DAVID                                       NEW

9 Boring MEDINA                                       NEW

10 Eight Letters - ROBBIE WILLIAMS                                       3