well well said the...ha hum... Dean Friedman! I first came across his work in a 7" bargain bin buying McDonald's Girl for 10p way before I actually realised the title referred to an employee of an American Burger Chain. From my small welsh town I had not yet heard of the aforementioned franchises, sadly as the decades have passed and when I visit occasionally I notice they now have three and yet no more Dean Friedman's we've got it wrong people!
His style is right in the mix with Randy Newman, Billy Joel and these days Ben Folds (who coincidentally was to be my pick next week I may now have to change). I don't know what genre these people fall into but they are beguiling. I guess 50 years before they would have made their way to popular theatre. Wonderfully smart writers not to mention top musicians. Of course he had a big hit with lucky stars.
For your choices Ariel - Billy Joel meets a Frankie Valli chorus, Lydia ...nailed on where Ben Folds lifted his ballad style and it is superb. Deli Song again sweet, the song was shorter than I remember but the video seemed to make it much longer.
he still gigs around ...in fact at the poppy and pint in Nottingham in Jun... I also notice he is doing song writing master classes in France this august...now that is tempting
OK, here is my review of the four Dan Friedman songs, Platypus.
1. "Ariel" - The first things that strikes me is captivating lyrics and good vocalist. Other than that, decent and fitting music. The character he sings about sounds like someone he should bring to church, rather than trying to be alone with. ha ha.
2. "Lydia" - Like the arrangement and the expressive vocals. Similar sentiment on the lyrics as above. ha ha
3. "'Well well' Said the Rocking Chair" - Music box intro brings you into the nice shimmering jangly world of the easygoing song, dentist office music as it is.
4. "The Deli Song (Corned Beef on Wry)" - Sound like one of them there novelty type of songs. "Don't You Want Me" meets Vegas lounge act.
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars Prime Cuts: "'Well well' Said the Rocking Chair", "The Deli Song (Corned Beef on Wry)" Bottom Line: Good artist, though can't really relate to the personality.
Thanks for sharing it Platypus, and introducing me and most of the rest of us it sounds like, to a new artist, that has some good talent and songs to offer.
Is there a best of compilation you would recommend or one particular album that really stands out, for you? What is his magnum opus, would you say? Definitely would be interested to hear more of his stuff.
I will mark you down for the next open spot, probably will be in a couple months or so!
Dean Friedman seemed to be everywhere for a couple of years in the late 70's, with good reason because he really has a knack for a catchy tune with interesting lyrics. For me, as I said the other day, his voice is only just this side of twee so four songs or so as has been served up here is just about perfect. Haven't seen much of him since, maybe he's concentrating more on the US market? Quite looking forward to re-acquainting myself with him.
Ariel - Happy little love song, paints a great picture of a date out in the city. I'm also a fool for a lively song with saxophone involved, it's catchy and uplifting and I've always liked it.
Lydia - I'd forgotten this had strings which make it even more atmospheric. Brings Billy Joel to mind, he probably had that sort of comparison a lot due to them both being popular at the same time. Nothing wrong with that though, plenty of room for classy songs like this in the world.
Well Well Said the Rocking Chair - Hate the keyboard opening, that sound is a pet hate of mine. But that's soon over and the song skips along nicely with some nifty guitar work and more fab saxophone. The lyrics have had a bit of thought put into them too, I ended up liking this song best out of all of them.
The Deli Song (Corned Beef on Wry) - I've never heard this before although I know it's one of his signature tunes. I like the way the music matches the bustling backdrop of the deli and the mini-play of the surprise date and love at first sight. It's something a bit different,which goes for a lot of Dean's work I think.
It was a bit of a treat to hear these songs, quite nostalgic but not sounding dated which is probably the sign of a proper talent. As a group I'd give them 8 out of 10, thanks for sharing Platypus
It's all good entertainment, it doesn't cost a penny
Is there a best of compilation you would recommend or one particular album that really stands out, for you? What is his magnum opus, would you say?
I only have "Rocking Chair" myself, and that album seems to define him, at least in my mind. I wasn't aware of him prior to Lucky Stars getting huge airplay, and I didn't follow any more of his subsequent career.
Incidentally, he seems to have been something of a pioneer or early adopter of the crowdfunding model. I find a claim that the first crowdfunded recording was Marillion's Anoraknophobia, released in 2001, but Friedman's 2002 album The Treehouse Journals was financed by fans through his website, so he wasn't far behind.
Post by queenofthehours on Jan 27, 2016 19:09:10 GMT
Dean Friedman – I recognise the name and I think I must know a song or two of his. Maybe I saw him on an old Top Of The Pops if he’s had chart success.
Ariel – I like this immediately. It’s got that lovely pop-rock sound that only a certain few people managed to create in the 70s, in fact it’s typically 70s. The best music of the 70s sounds like this. The more I listen to this the more familiar it is to me. Whether it’s familiar because I already knew it or because it’s just one of those tracks that you fall in love with so easily you think you’ve heard it forever. I don’t know. The sax is dangerous but at least the great bass part makes up for it.
Lydia – Another nice, typically 70s pop song. I’m thinking Dean is a kind of Jeff Lynne who instead of branching into infectious pop-disco anthems, turned to traditional 70s AOR after Roy left ELO. This has at least slight tones of ‘Telephone Line’ and could easily be Jeffed-up for inclusion in a late 70s ELO album. Unbeatable strings here.
Rocking Chair – Another great one, sounds just like a lower-energy Discovery track in the vein of the upbeat tracks like 'Shine'.
The Deli Song – Yet another great track. If all Deans’s songs are as good as these few tracks he’s very talented indeed. Perhaps we haven’t heard much of him as he is not a genius but that’s no disparagement to his talent. You need a lot of magic to sound good as it's too easy to sound bad.
This is where I knew Dean from! I knew it was somewhere . He's a good egg, here he is with the band themselves onstage.
I also remember his work for the TV show Boon (incidental music and the closing theme here). 'Lucky Stars' is also very familiar. Maybe this is where I saw him on old Top of the Pops.
If you like Jeff Lynne then it's unthinkable that you could dislike Dean! He makes catchy pop songs that are non-taxing and genuinely likable. He is no genius (unlike Jeff!) but if he were then it would make the songs TOO enjoyable, if you know how I mean. Enjoying music too much tires you out, Dean's music is just the right shade of mellow.
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