music to dream to - rock/pop/independent

recommendations by allaire mikháil

Paul Gross & David Keeley

Paul Gross is the 'Mountie' in the Canadian TV-series 'due South', but together with his childhood friend and fellow actor David Keeley, he has also started to write and publish their own kind of music, according to him a mixture of "country, rock, folk, hip-hop, swing, classical, jazz...". It's most definitely country, but with its own special style. And Paul Gross' singing voice, a tad rough, is unmistakable, and immediately brings to mind the few occasions in the series that his character was allowed to sing. Beautiful to listen to.
"Ride forever" is from the 'due South'-episode 'All the Queen's Horses', but "Voodoo", "Desert and Rain" and "Angels" are also my favorites, and I absolutely adore "Cherry Beach" and "Blame it all on Nashville".

Two Houses
Paul Gross & David Keeley - Two Houses
1. Ride forever 6. Promise us the Night
2. Voodoo 7. Angels
3. Desert and Rain 8. Man on a Bicycle
4. Two Houses 9. Papa's Front Porch
5. Blind Man 10. After the War
by Lenz Entertainment 1997

Give the Dog a Bone
Paul Gross & David Keeley - Give the Dog a Bone
1. Give the Dog a Bone 6. Family Matters 11. Kickin' his Shadow
2. Cherry Beach 7. Other Side of Life 12. Paris
3. No Business 8. Jerusalem 13. Blame it all on Nashville
4. If Heaven had a Back Door 9. Gone with the Wind 14. Clouds
5. Secret in your Eyes 10. Crime of the Mind 15. Holy Love
by Lenz Entertainment 2001


TOFOG (30 Odd Foot of Grunts)

Unfortunately, TOFOG does not exist any longer since its guitarist/lead singer, Russell Crowe (yes, he of 'Gladiator' fame) decided to leave the band to realize a solo project called "My Hand, my Heart" which is already available per download (see for details). TOFOG used to be quite well-known in Down Under, and has given several concerts there. Apart from Crowe, it consisted of Dean Cochran (lead guitar), Garth Adam (bass), Dave Kelly (drums), Steward Kirwan (backing vocals) and Dave Wilkins (backing vocals). Their music is considered Australian folk/rock, but that's not enough to describe its impact. Crowe is more than a passable guitarist, a better singer than some reviews say, and definitely a talented songwriter. Most of TOFOG's songs were written by him, and they deal with real-life experiences and offer an amazingly deep insight into his private thoughts. Passionate, immediate and intriguing. And one thing is certain: Russell Crowe could easily be as successful in music as in acting - if he just finds enough time.

1. Circus 6. She's not impressed 11. Wendy
2. Chocolate 7. David  
3. Oblique is my Love (Live) 8. What you want me to forget
4. What's her Name? (Live) 9. Nowhere
5. The Legend of Barry Kable (Live) 10. Eternity
by Gruntland PTY LTD 1998

Bastard Life or Clarity
Bastard Life or Clarity
1. Things have got to change 6. Somebody Else's Princess
2. Memorial Day 7. Wendy
3. Hold You 8. The Night Davey hit the Train
4. Sail those same Oceans 9. Swept Away Bayou (Facing the Headlights Alone)
5. The Legend of Barry Kable 10. Judas Cart
by Gruntland PTY LTD 2001


Jennifer Rush

Her music is mostly about finding or losing love, about developping relationships or others going bad, about the woman being left behind...
I love her songs. It was easy to find fitting passages for my story "Really sleeping in Light". I wrote almost the whole story with her songs playing in the background.
Her music is soft, gentle, mostly ballads, but often with a strong refrain; some of her early songs could easily be played in a disco. And that woman has the most extraordinary voice!

Jennifer Rush - Credo
1. Credo 6. Piano in the Dark 11. All in Love is fair
2. The Flame 7. Deeper within  
3. Now that I found You 8. More than Words
4. Sweet Thing 9. A Touch of Paradise
5. Healing Power 10. The Places You find Love
by EMI Electrola GmbH 1997

Out of my Hands
Jennifer Rush - Out of my Hands
1. Tears in the Rain 6. Who wants to live forever 11. Nights in white Satin
2. Out of my Hands 7. Untouchable  
3. In the Arms of Love 8. Only Heaven knows
4. Fortress 9. Crazy 'bout You
5. Shocked 10. Cry, Baby...
by EMI Electrola GmbH 1995

Jennifer Rush
Jennifer Rush - Jennifer Rush
1. Vision of You 6. Unwanted Child 11. I can't say no
2. I'm in It for Love 7. Who I am  
3. Everything 8. Waiting for the Heartache
4. Wherever You are 9. Broken Heart
5. Never say never 10. Timeless Love
by EMI Electrola GmbH 1992

The Power of Jennifer Rush
Jennifer Rush - The Power of Jennifer Rush
1. Destiny 6. Higher Ground 11. If You're ever gonna lose my Love
2. Heart over Mind 7. Flames of Paradise (Duet with Elton John) 12. Solitaria Mujer (Keep all the Fires burning bright)
3. Ave Maria (Survivors of a different Kind) 8. 25 Lovers 13. Vida de mi Vida (You're my One and Only)
4. Ring of Ice 9. I come undone  
5. The Power of Love 10. Same Heart (Duet with Michael Bolton)
by Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH 1991

Heart over Mind
Jennifer Rush - Heart over Mind
1. I come undone 6. Love of a Stranger
2. Down to You 7. Heart Wars
3. Heart over Mind 8. Stronghold
4. Search the Sky 9. Sidekick
5. Flames of Paradise (Duet with Elton John) 10. Call my Name
by Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH 1987


Donna Lewis

Donna Lewis' is perhaps best known by her top ten songs "I love you always forever", "Without love" and "I could be the one" (which also happen to be my favorites). I don't know how to properly describe her music. It is soft, ballad-like, gently flowing like water around her extraordinary voice that sounds somehow oddly childlike, but intense. Her songs are mostly about love.

Blue Planet
Donna Lewis - Blue Planet
1. Will Love grow 6. Heaven sent You 11. Take Me Home
2. I could be the One 7. Harvest Moon  
3. Love Him 8. Falling
4. Blue Planet 9. Lay Me down
5. Beauty & Wonder 10. Unforgiven
by Atlantic Recording Corporation 1998

Now in a Minute
Donna Lewis - Now in a Minute
1. Without Love 6. Love & Affection 11. I love You always forever (Philly Remix)
2. Mother 7. Agenais  
3. I love You always forever 8. Fool's Paradise
4. Nothing ever changes 9. Lights of Life
5. Simone 10. Silent World
by Atlantic Recording Corporation 1996


Barclay James Harvest

The trademark of Barclay James Harvest (BJH) - which can be found somewhere on the cover of each CD - is a butterfly. Their balladlike, gentle sound fits this image - if not for the lyrics. John Lees and Les Holroyd founded BJH at about the same time as the Beatles. But whereas their music is clearly influenced by the sound of the 70s and 80s (apart from the synthesizers, that is), their texts are seldom about love, but highly critical towards our society as a whole: the Cold War, Vietnam, the war in Ex-Jugoslavia, the nuclear threat, the increase of violence, our ignorance of people suffering everywhere in the world... And who doesn't know "Hymn"?

Caught in the Light
Barclay James Harvest - Caught in the Light
1. Who do we think we are? 6. Forever Yesterday 11. A Matter of Time
2. Knoydart 7. The great Unknown 12. The Ballad of Denshaw Mill
3. Copii Romania 8. Spud-u-like  
4. Back to Earth 9. Silver Wings
5. Cold War 10. Once more
by Polydor Ltd. (UK) 1993

Ring of Changes
Barclay James Harvest - Ring of Changes
1. Ring of Changes 6. Midnight Drug
2. Fifties' Child 7. Waiting for the right Time
3. Looking from the Outside 8. Just a Day away (Forever tomorrow)
4. Teenage Heart 9. Paraiso dos Cavalos
5. High Wire  
by Polydor Ltd. (UK) 1983

Best of Barclay James Harvest
Barclay James Harvest - Best of Barclay James Harvest
1. Hymn 6. Poor Man's moody Blues 11. Welcome to the Show
2. Loving is easy 7. Mockingbird 12. Sip of Wine
3. Berlin 8. Life is for Living 13. John Lennon's Guitar
4. Child of the Universe 9. Ring of Changes 14. Rock'n'Roll Star
5. Victims of Circumstance 10. Titles 15. Love on the Line
by Polystar (Polygram GmbH, Germany) 1991

Welcome to the Show
Barclay James Harvest - Welcome to the Show
1. The Life You lead 6. Halfway to Freedom 11. If Love is King
2. Lady MacBeth 7. African Nights 12. Shadows on the Sky
3. Cheap the Bullet 8. Psychedelic Child  
4. Welcome to the Show 9. Where do we go
5. John Lennon's Guitar 10. Origin Earth
by Polydor Ltd. (UK) 1990


Fury in the Slaughterhouse

Fury is a German band, but all their songs are in English. You can't fit their lyrics into a category (they call it 'independent') - mostly they criticize society, from the taste of dancefloor music to the behavior of false friends, from homelessness to the last wish of a prisoner in the death cell. Their songs have a strong, sometimes almost dissonant e-guitar background, but nonetheless catchy refrains. It's... somehow raw. I don't know how to describe it better. I really love "Hello and Goodbye", "Ghosttown" and "Spit into the Fire".

The Hearing and the Sense of Balance
Fury in the Slaughterhouse - The Hearing and the Sense of Balance
1. Down there 5. Hello and Goodbye 9. Next to You
2. Kiss the Judas 6. Hang the DJ 10. Spit into the Fire
3. Milk and Honey 7. Dancing in the Sunshine of the Dark 11. Princess of New York
4. Ghosttown 8. Your Love won't take Me anywhere 12. Rainy April Day
by Slaughterhouse Music/BMG Ariola Hamburg GmbH & SPV GmbH oHG 1995

Fury in the Slaughterhouse - Jau!
1. Won't forget these Days 6. On Alarm 11. Don't dig in my Potatoes
2. Drug addicted in the Jailhouse 7. Kill Somebody 12. As Time goes by
3. No Illusions 8. Missing Me 13. Pussycat
4. One good Reason 9. Last Time  
5. Seconds to fall 10. French Funk
by SPV Records 1990


Peter Schilling

Peter Schilling was one of the most well-known representatives for the German musical trend of the eighties, called "Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW)" ('New German Wave'). His song "Major Tom" is still known (and loudly sung along to) by everyone going to a disco and/or party. All the songs on this CD, however, are in English (something I had to get used to in the beginning).
The lyrics criticise our failures in the preservation of environment and nature as well as the dangerous possibility of a nuclear war happening today.
I love these songs. It's been years since I bought this CD, but I still know the texts by heart.

A different Story (World of Lust and Crime)
Peter Schilling - A different Story (World of Lust and Crime)
1. The different Story (World of Lust and Crime) 6. Terra Titanic (Lost to the Sea)
2. Major Tom (Coming Home) 7. Zone 804
3. The Noah Plan 8. The Hurricane (Hammers on the Shore)
4. City of Night (Berlin) 9. (Let's play) U.S.A.
5. Lone Survivor  
by WEA Music (Warner Music Germany) 1989/1992


Dirk Darmstaedter

Dirk Darmstaedter's music is close to the sound of the "Jeremy Days" of which he used to be a member before he started a solo career. It varies from ballads to rock, with critical lyrics. I like most "Hard to be gentle" and "King of Trash", although I can only recommend listening to him live - the sound's far better then. In 1997, his formation was the foregroup to "Fury in the Slaughterhouse", and I absolutely had to buy his CD.

Dirk Darmstaedter - Cassidy
1. Appletown, America 6. What Money can't buy 11. The River
2. She loves Me 7. King of Trash 12. Dancin'
3. Hard to be gentle 8. Pop Gun 13. Pussycat
4. Halleluja, anyway 9. The last Day of Summer  
5. A World without Love 10. Chemicals talking
by Universal Music GmbH 1997


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