Song 20:365 is Nat King Cole’s Mona Lisa. Dating from 1950, this song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and featured in the film Captain Carey, U.S.A. I hope you enjoy my version of this classic.
Song 19:365 is the beautiful ABBA song When All Is Said and Done, first released in the Visitors album in 1981. Although the original version was up-beat, it told of the heartache after a relationship ends, something all the members of ABBA had experienced in that both Agnetha and Björn’s relationship and that of Benny and Annifrid had ended in recent years.
In 2004 Swedish jazz singer Viktoria Tolstoy recorded a slower ballad version with Benny Andersson on the piano. This ballad version was featured in the 2008 film version of the musical Mamma Mia, and it’s the style of my version which I think is more fitting for the lyrics!
If it’s your first time on the site, find out more about the 365 Songs project. If you’re looking for more ABBA songs, have a listen to my Tribute to ABBA album or check out my 2015 collection of ABBA songs from my archives.
Song 18:365 is From a Distance, made popular by Nashville singer Nanci Griffith in the year I claim is the best year in history for music, 1987 – just click on my 1987 songs to see what I mean! It was later covered by Bette Midler and Cliff Richard, but I think Griffith’s version is much better. I hope you like mine!
I’m staying with Andrew Lloyd Webber for song 17:365 which is Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from the musical Phantom of the Opera. If Past the Point of No Return is the musical’s “eleven o’clock number”, the traditional show-stopping performance towards the end of the second act, then I think Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again must be the 10:45pm number!
The song is sung by Christine and is a lament for her father who died seven years previously. I’ve always liked the way this song goes between the minor verse and major chorus, and the extended section after the second chorus is beautiful: “No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years.”
Song 16:365 is the title song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber short one-woman musical Tell Me on a Sunday which tells the story of an English woman who moves to the US in search of love. The original idea for Tell Me on a Sunday came from Tim Rice who intended to develop it as a TV show. However after they began working on it, it became clear that Tim Rice was writing it specifically for Elaine Paige with whom he was having an affair. Lloyd Webber felt this would suggest that he approved of the married father of two’s affair and so he decided to choose a new lyricist, opting instead for Don Black.
As with most of Lloyd Webber’s shows, Tell Me on a Sunday was first performed at the Sydmonton Festival in 1979 featuring Marti Webb. An album was recorded and a performance filmed by the BBC and broadcast in February 1980. The album quickly reached #2 in the charts. In 1982 Tell Me on a Sunday was combined with a ballet choreographed to Lloyd Webber’s Variations, a classical piece based on the Caprice in A Minor No. 24 by Paganini. Together the two-act show was called Song and Dance and debuted in the West End in 1982.
Song 15:365 is a live recording from 2010 when I played Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are with my Apple colleague, saxophonist Joe Moretti, at an Apple event on a boat in the Thames. I actually rerecorded a solo version in 2015 on my birthday as one of my favourite songs, but I hope you enjoy this live recording with Joe on sax.
Song 14:365 is Wind Beneath My Wings, originally recorded Colleen Hewett in 1982, but made popular by Bette Midler for the soundtrack to the film Beaches. The random fact about this song is that in 2002 it was voted the most-played song at British funerals!
We’re returning to 1940 for song 13:365 in my collection, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore with music by Duke Ellington and lyrics by Bob Russell. I think it was Harry Connick Jr’s version in the soundtrack of When Harry Met Sally which got me playing this song – in HCJ’s style, though nowhere near his performance! I hope you enjoy my version of a song I’ve loved playing for about 25 years!
Song 12:365 is my version of Phil Collins’ Against All Odds, recorded for the soundtrack of the 1984 film of the same name. I remember learning to play this as a 12 year old when it was released and it being one of the first songs I played in D flat major, and therefore “lots of black notes”. As a result of the black notes I think it felt a bit ‘oriental’ and that probably explains the slight pentatonic hints in my performance!
This song is also dedicated to drummers everywhere – there are no drums in my performance, but they’re definitely missing after that first chorus!
I actually recorded this song again for 2017 as I felt the original 2010 version wasn’t quite right. Here’s the original if you want to have a listen, but I hope you enjoy the new version.
Song 11:365 is the beautiful song Fields of Gold, originally released by Sting in 1993, although my version is more in the style of Eva Cassidy’s version. It wasn’t until two years after her death in 1996 that Eva Cassidy’s recordings of Fields of Gold and Over the Rainbow were played by Mike Harding and Terry Wogan.
I hope you enjoy my performance. If you’d like to hear more Sting, click here to listen to Englishman in New York, Fragile and my version of the Police song, Every Breath You Take. To find out why I’m posting a tune every day, click here.