Elvis Presley “If I Can Dream” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

On October 30th, 2015 something magical happened. Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings released to the world Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra”.Elvis

Priscilla Presley wanted to keep Elvis “relevant”. Music has changed so drastically since Presley’s death that keeping him mainstream is a challenge..Up for this challenge were Executive Producers Priscilla Presley, Don Reedman, and Co-Producer Nick Patrick.

Adding The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra around Elvis Presley’s archived vocal recordings, brought the combination of Presley’s powerful voice, and the new orchestral arrangements to an EXPLOSIVE and CHILLING climax!

My first thought after purchasing the album was “What was the thought process in selecting “Burning Love”, “Fever” and “Steamroller Blues” for this Orchestral project? But it works!

What is chilling to think about as this record plays, is the fact that Elvis himself never heard the music he is now singing to. There is a sadness that overcomes me especially in the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

This album as a whole is an amazing work. As individual tracks, each song got the dignity it deserved. Do not think that this is just another re-issue of the “same old” versions of the songs you have heard a 100 times. I assure you it is NOT. Each song was re-made with care.

Today’s artists were singing with Elvis. Michael Buble’ and Elvis Presley jazz it up in a revamped version of “Fever”. In “It’s Now Or Never” you get that true old Italian feel with Il Volo wafting lightly in the background.

This album is worth every penny! Treat yourself and enjoy the music!

-Brian.

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*Special Thanks to Don Reedman and Mauro Dirago for their factual help in this article.

© Brian Anthony Del Piano / ItalianBrian  and Opinions and Rants, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brian A. Del Piano and Opinions and Rants with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The 2014 Christmas Drone; 1,500 ft. @ 20 mph of Privacy Lost

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Among all of the technological gifts to purchase this year for Christmas, “The Christmas Drone” as I have dubbed it, is the most outrageous. Shown on ShopHQ, World Tech Toys is giving the everyday consumer a chance to spy on their neighbors.

I realize privacy is a thing of the past. iPhones, micro mini cameras and social media capture us in what we do throughout the day and night.

But look out! Now we have an eye in the sky with a standard SD card that can climb to 1,500 feet and move at 20 mph with a camera that can position itself in four different directions!

Don’t worry if your neighbor has a fence, or if that pesky tree is blocking your view. Fly your drone over and film away!

Had I owned a drone in the 1970’s and lived adjacent to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, I believe Elvis himselvis would have been leaning out of one of the windows with his 9 mm Smith and Wesson pistol, treating my drone as skeet!

I pose this question to you… How many ways do we need to be recorded? Is this necessary?

We are recorded in the toilet from someone in the next stall with an iPhone. We are recorded on the telephone for “quality purposes”; we are recorded driving our cars on Highways and some neighborhoods as well. Now for 5 flex pays of $19.99 we can be recorded by air.

I can see the invention of the drone being useful in times of war, or when my daughter goes on her first date,  but enough is enough with this type of privacy invasion.

© Brian Anthony Del Piano / ItalianBrian  and Opinions and Rants, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brian A. Del Piano and Opinions and Rants with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Alison Moyet 2014 “Minutes and Seconds Live” Release

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Alison Moyet’s “Minutes and Seconds Live” album, released November 11, 2011, is a collection of material from Alison’s “The Minutes” live tour. The tracks are taken from various venues.

Having experienced this concert in New York City on November 14, 2013 at the Manhattan Center, I can tell you firsthand that this album, because of time constraints, cannot capture the sheer excitement of Moyet’s audiences.

As with Alison’s 2013 release “The Minutes”, this live album contains the Synth/Pop sounds that were her very roots.

Alison’s band members on tour were John Garden ( Alison Moyet’s musical director) and Sean McGhee, with McGhee providing backing vocals as well. McGhee and Garden produced the final mix on this live project with outstanding results!

This album contains surprises along the way with re-worked versions of Alison’s popular hits “All Cried Out” (ALF 1984), “Is This Love?”, “Ordinary Girl”(Raindancing 1987) and “Only You” (Yaz: “Upstairs At Eric’s” 1982).

Moyet prefers to stay engaged in her songs to present the lyrics with believability.After performing these same tunes for over 30 years, re-working the arrangements breathes a new life into them. This album captures the very newness these familiar songs now have.

* “Horizon Flame”, “When I Was Your Girl”, “Changeling”, “Remind Yourself”, “All Signs Of Life” and “Filigree” are cuts from her 2013 “The Minutes” album.

The Yaz hit “Situation” is the album’s finale which is a perfect energy to this live experience.

As I recall the New York City experience, we were on the seventh floor of the Manhattan Ballroom. When Alison belted out this classic, the crowd went wild and the floor trembled under my feet with such power that I truly believed we would all wind up in the basement!

* “This House” is from Alison’s 1991 “Hoodoo” album.

* The New York concert I attended contained “Love Resurrection” and “Don’t Go”. These two songs are missing from this live album. I would like to share my footage of these two songs with you here. Enjoy! -Brian.

© Brian Anthony Del Piano / ItalianBrian  and Opinions and Rants, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brian A. Del Piano and Opinions and Rants with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

“Ghostlight” The latest release from Betty Buckley

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I wasn’t quite sure how to review Betty Buckley’s latest album.
Should I do it as one entity, or should I just critique the individual tracks?
In the end, I decided to do exactly what the album is.

“Ghostlight” is 12 individual journeys to a very magical place within the person who is listening.

The way Ms. Buckley presents those individual journeys through time is emotionally insightful and intimate.Put your headphones on, and have no distractions. Let yourself be lifted into Betty’s world.

There is a smooth haunting Celtic feel that is constant throughout this album, and especially reigns prevalent in the journey’s “Come To Me, Bend To Me”, and “Comin’ Back To Me”. (*The outstanding and heart grabbing violin seems to dance up and down Buckley’s angelic voice in “Comin’ Back To Me“.) The inflections in Buckley’s vocals make this so personal to her listeners, as if she lived each lyrical experience, and is sharing them with us. Betty takes you to an almost Medieval place. Mystical, and Magical. The journey of “If You Go Away” pulls you into this romantic longing that tugs at the core of your emotions. In the track “Blue Skies” one can imagine a “Ghost” performing a sultry dance on an empty stage. “Throw It Away“ is an amazing and profound concept. Delivered as a pearl of wisdom. The conviction and assurance of experience is steadfast in Buckley‘s performance.

“Lazy Afternoon” is where I had another “Ghost” sighting in my mind. Between Buckley’s seductive humming, and the saxophone notes curling on the air, you will think that you are experiencing time travel. You will feel as if “Bewitched” and “This Nearly Was Mine” is being piped into the old haunted theater. Through these tunes you can hear the faint heartbeat of what lived long ago in that very place. You can waltz across the huge fog filled stage as if you were dancing on a cloud. The song “Body and Soul” has a mellow jazzy cabaret sound, and yet Buckley keeps the “Ghost” theme going for her listeners to stay the course on the trip “Dreamsville” is a get away. A place to unburden and re-group. Betty offers us a relaxing respite, and you can’t help but to fall into that special place with her. In the story of “Take It With Me When I Go” Betty paints that gorgeous painting of renewal and rebirth. You can actually “feel” a peaceful and joyful gratitude in Buckley’s voice.“Where Time Stands Still” is the perfect place for the listener to be in stasis. This wraps up the journey, and ties it altogether, leaving her audience desperately longing for more from Betty Buckley!

T-Bone Burnett Produced “Ghostlight” and I must say, he hit the nail directly on the head with this project! Vocally, I am going to boldly say that this is Buckley’s best work! The experience, richness and timber in her voice is seamless.

If you want to escape for awhile and feel some raw magical emotions,
“Ghostlight” is the place to go.

“GHOSTLIGHT” -“It’s not just an album, it’s a journey” -B.A. Del Piano Freelance Journalist
“Ghostlight” is available on itunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at www.BettyBuckley.com

© Brian Anthony Del Piano / ItalianBrian  and Opinions and Rants, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brian A. Del Piano and Opinions and Rants with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.