Bah humbug! Or whatever the Valentine equivalent would be. (Not sure it exists but if it did I'm pretty sure it would involve trilby hats, tommy guns and dirty rats in some way) I've never been an overly big fan of love songs; I often find that much more emotion and creativity goes into a song breaking hearts than melting them. Given that it's Valentine's week though these don't seem appropriate and would probably make me more depressed than Eeyore after someone half-inched his last rolo.
However, for the sake keeping with the theme thrust upon me I've decided to give it a go. If I have to dig deep (way WAY deep) to recollect some flutterbye inducing melodies from my past, then so be it. So although Chris Isaak's Wicked Game is one of my favourite 'love songs' it will not be one of my choices, nor will Bryan Adams 'Everything I Do' or Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' (RIP) be making an appearance, because not only do I want to try and be more original than that but they were both sad displays of self promoted egotism and have less to do with love and more to do with 'how good do I sound singing this shizzle?!' As are many of the more popular love ballads out there. Also I just don't like the songs.
So lets strip away the bravado and concentrate on the jitters you feel with a person as your building up the courage to finally tell them how you really feel (and hopefully not get a court order in the process) You may think I'm lying when I say I'm a hopeless romantic, I really am. Hopeless at the very least. So if these seven song choices I have lined up don't prove it then nothing will. Deep in my heart however I will still remain hopeless (at least)
My first choice of the day is a song that I bet no one will have heard of before. Not only does the song sound as throwback enough to be caught by Winston Churchill, it's also written and performed by a guy with a name more suited to a school caretaker.
Allow me to introduce Peter Skellern; a Lancashire singer songwriter with the look of a punk rock bassist and a voice of crumpled, stuttering, weather beaten satin. Other than Perry Como, this man is far my favourite, easy listening crooner. Yes, I have a favourite easy-listening crooner. For contrast my favourite hard-listening crooner is number 0 from Slipnot; his croons are just so hard to listen to.
What I love about this song is that even though he is technically not a great or powerful singer, he uses every note in his repertoire to convey such feeling and humility that the likes Gary Barlow, Justin Timberlake, Robbie Williams could never do. Why? Because they sing too clean, they're too vocally filtered, they think too much about hitting every part of the song note for note and making the best noise they possibly can. Skellern on the other hand follows the tune but his voice is fuelled by pure emotion and his lyrics so are beautifully simple and down to earth it's as if he's just making them up on the spot. He's a master story teller of the most intimate moments of his life and in my opinion one of the best romantic narrators around. Not only that but the orchestration and backing choir he has following him around seemingly every song he's ever recorded is just incredible. I still get tingles when I hear this song and will hopefully always will. Hell from the opening brass intro I can feel them coming on already.
Believe it or not, this song got to number 3 in the charts in 1972 (not 1872) and Skellern is alive and well today. In that week he beat the likes of T-Rex, Sweet and even King Elvis himself to get there
Considering that piano is housing a 20 piece brass band with percussion and a full choral choir it does seem deceptively small
In this song Peter Skellern rivals Mr T for his awesome use of the word 'fool' and I pity anyone who disagrees with me