WARMER MIXTAPES #1029 | by Kelly Sylvia
1. Prince And The Revolution | I Would Die 4 U (Purple Rain Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Whenever I get asked the question Prince or Michael Jackson?, my answer is always Prince, hands down. I Love MJ, but for me, Prince was always a Musical Visionary and his songs are consistently great. Purple Rain was one of the first albums I owned so maybe I'm partial to the 80s Prince, but that's the Prince I Love the most. I Love that he has always blurred the boundaries of Genre - Funk, Rock, Soul, R&B - and still his Music is so Emotionally Powerful. I Would Die 4 U is one of those songs that brings out different Emotions at different times for me: Nostalgia, Happiness, Melancholy, Excitement... It's a track I can listen to no matter my mood and it will always resonate with me.
2. Stevie Nicks | Wild Heart (Demo Version, Live At Rolling Stone Photo Shoot)
Stevie Nicks is a Living Goddess and one of the Most Talented Singer-Songwriters of the Last 40 Years in my opinion. This version of Wild Heart is actually an early Recording done behind the scenes at a Rolling Stones Photo Shoot circa 1981 - I don't think she was aware she was being recorded. In the Video, she sings only the Hook on Repeat with her Sister Harmonising, then she does these amazing Freestyle Ad Libs that are just incredible. Even through a Low Quality Recording, Stevie's Voice is Flawless and the Melody - although just a few lines - is so Powerful and Moving. The released version ended up being way different and pales in comparison to this Impromptu Recording. So it's not an Official Release, but this version has become one of My Favourite Things To Listen To Ever. The Video is mesmerising to watch. You can only find it on YouTube here. One of the commenters put it best by saying I could listen to this every day for the rest of my life. - that sums it up for me.
3. Neneh Cherry | Buffalo Stance
This track has consistently remained on my Top 5 for as long as I remember. Before there was M.I.A., Beyoncé, Azealia Banks, Rihanna... There was Neneh. As far as I'm concerned, she trail blazed for all of these Female Artists, oozing Raw Talent and Style in Mainstream Hip Hop. This song remains as Fresh today as it did back then - Timeless. It's also so many things rolled into one, this track is Rap tune, a Dance tune, it's Mainstream POP and it has so much Attitude. And there's so much Musicality in it - that Infectious, Memorable Bassline, the Breakdown, the Rap, the Horns... It's just a journey in Dance and Rhythm. It also puts across a strong message of Female Power and Sensuality - it's Sexy but Serious. It will never get old for me.
4. The Sugarcubes | Hit
I was first introduced to the Sugarcubes by my Brother who was a Serviceman stationed in Iceland around the time they blew up. He bought me the CD and I was hooked on their Vibe immediately. I was a bit of a Pixie myself growing up, so I remembered how the Fun Spirit in this song really *Hit* me (Mind The Pun). It's Fun and Uplifting and Lyrically it's Thoughtful yet Simply Stated. Björk's Vocal and Melodies were Unique and Unlike Anything I'd Heard. Emotive and Melancholy, but Fun and almost Tribal, her voice really resonated with me and she has been one of my Biggest Influences Until Today.
5. Yvonne Elliman | If I Can't Have You (Bee Gees Cover) (Saturday Night Fever Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
My Mum owned this on 7" and played it over and over for years. I remember it very well even though I was so little. I'm a massive fan of the Bee Gees' Songwriting and to me - this track is a crash course on great Songwriting. The Arrangement, the Off Rhythm and the changes, the Bridge. It's not just a Disco song, it's a Proper Song with Meaning, great Emotion and Vocals. It lifts me every time I hear it.
6. Björk | Sweet Intuition
Björk is Otherworldly not just in her Image but in the way she Hears and Uses Sound and this track is a perfect example of that. It's Magical and it's not as obvious as most of her other tracks which is why I Love it. Sonically it's so Simple and yet so profoundly Compelling - it Touches me Viscerally. It's Subtle and therefore makes me listen intently and takes me to a place that you just can't get to with thoughts - it's all about Knowing Yourself, Knowing The Feeling In Your Stomach and Trusting It. That Slow Pulsing Bass Line with Oscillating Synth Sounds, it is almost what it might Sound like if you're in Swimming through a Human Bloodstream. She has somehow managed to Sonically Illustrate a Feeling We Can't Describe and the Words are just a Bonus: Fuck Logic, Bravo to Instinct and Sweet Intuition... Bravo to Björk.
7. Marvin Gaye | What's Going On
Probably for all the obvious reasons I Love this song. It's an Absolute Classic and has so much Meaning and Emotion in it. Who would have known then how Poignant it would be after his death... It also has such a Positive Meaning and in a Bittersweet way. The fact that we can ask the same questions in the World We Live In Today shows How Meaningful and Significant its Message Remains. It's a Beautiful Song.
8. Jane's Addiction | Jane Says
I will never forget the first time I heard this song. It actually woke me up out of a Sound Sleep with Goosebumps. I remember just thinking - what is this beautiful thing I am hearing?!... It was so Different for its Time - little did I know how Pivotal and Symbolic it would be of the changing tides of Music in the 90s. And songs like this paved the way for a lot of Indie Bands to follow that were less about Aggressive Guitars and Screaming and more about Real Melodies, Rhythm, Movement and even Dance. It's so Simple and the Beautiful Happy Melody and the Steel Pans really make it. The Dialogue Style Lyrics are so Simple and Inviting and even though it's Message is so Tragic, the Music and Melody really uplift you.
9. Kate Bush | Running Up That Hill
I have always Loved Kate Bush and this is an Epic song. There's so much Drama and Emotion in it - incredible pounding Drums, soaring Pads and Kate's Storytelling is so Unique and Powerful - listening to this track stimulates all of my senses - I can visualise what she's singing and almost smell the smells and feel the wind blowing... Like I'm literally *there* on the hills and the goosebumps it gives me are about the size of those hills. I cannot listen this song and not stop what I am doing, it cripples me. It's one of the Most Beautiful Compositions of Music I've Heard in Recent Years.
10. Armand Van Helden | Flowerz (feat. Roland Clark)
It's usually hard for a Modern Dance track to make its way into my top 10, especially when competing with the other Classics on this list. This is one of the first House tracks that inspired me to do Music and it's still a strong point of Reference. Most Dance Music is made to be Fun, but for me personally it's so important that it has Meaning and is also a Proper Song with a Verse, Chorus and Bridge and this is one of those few Classic House Music tracks that is well rounded in this way. It's so Simple and the Lyrics are heartfelt. Every chance I get I thank God for Roses, they're the closest thing to Perfect next to you... Beautiful.