Paul’s personal playlist…

Wallis Family by Saskia White

A Selection from my Personal Playlist (Vevo wherever possible) – Enjoy!

For me this is one of those once heard never forgotten songs. It just has the ooze.

Fela Kuti’s original given wonderful gravitas by Hugh Masakela and his band

Music is never just music. In Pansa Pansa play Fela Kuti’s “underground spiritual game!” as he performs with Africa 70, playing, celebrating, prophesying and calling out love and courage in Berlin 1978

Hats off to Craig David. He really pushed the envelope in Soul / RnB and changed the rules. For a UK artist to change the direction of an American genre is an incredible achievement. Beautiful mood in Rendezvous. And a great soul – from just down the road from me in Southampton! So I feel like a stakeholder in his outstanding success. Bravo Craig!

A double whammy (pardon the pun) of George Michael – just to remind us what it was that made him sooo goood!! Soul, physical swagger, sheer musicality and a love for his audience – George exuded it all so easily. An amazing talent. A musical great. Vale George XX.

Many have covered this iconic Sam Cooke classic – Al Green, Tina Turner, and many besides. Given Sam Cooke’s unique and arresting vocal you might ask why any artist would even attempt the song! It takes a great artist to master another artist’s song, and not only ace it but bring their own sensitivity to it without in any way detracting from the integrity of the song. This is exactly what Seal does here. This is Seal’s “A Change is Gonna Come!” Bravo brother 🙂

I can so hear MJ singing this. But when Robin Thicke offered it to Michael he didn’t take it, preferring another Robin Thicke song for his next album. This turned out to be good for Robin’s own profile because he totally aces this one himself!

I love Mary J Blige and George Michael’s cover of this. But Stevie’s original has the preach and frames the meaning of the song beautifully. And you can’t top Stevie Wonder. A great spirit.

Can you hear Michael Jackson singing this? Yes, it was written for him but am so glad these two icons took the song and did this with it.

Mick Jagger at 73 years old, still the best frontman in the world – performing with the boys to an audience of 700,000. And they don’t coast it. They give it their all. Awe inspiring!

Two awesome talents with legendary voices – Jennifer Hudson and Tom Jones. BTW in this spontaneous moment Tom Jones is 79 years old! I love the love and respect among the artists as these two greats sing together. Watch and let your jaw drop!

As for a lot of people Windows 10 connected me with the amazing Habib Koite. Wonderful sound. Arresting presence – and in translation – great songs!

If you missed the opportunity to witness one of Fela Kuti’s prophetic performances then don’t miss Seun Kuti. The apple has not fallen far from the tree. Great skill. Great spirit! Seun and his father’s band knock his dad’s song out of the park!

I remember the first time I heard this song at the age of 14. Was completely arrested by it. I didn’t know much about love at that age. But I knew this was a love song.  Billy Preston and Syreeta’s beautiful vocals imbue this song with such sweetness and sincerity it still touches me deeply when I hear it.

Love the mood and how the dance captures it

I was late to the game with George Michael. This live MTV unplugged performance got my attention.

A great Aussie performer, just having fun! My kids’ favourite!

Yes they’re white – which caught me by surprise first time I saw them. But they’re certainly not average. 

This was one of those pull over and stop the car songs. Great talent. Simultaneously raw, abandoned and precise.

We were all scared of Grace – here’s why!

Timeless and sweet!

A wonderful, timeless and feel-good celebration of boogie. Love the spirit of Maurice White, a found of many uplifting hits – this one included!

Great artist. Great song. Timeless.

How many layers can a song have? There’s too much going on here to name. I find this arrangement and performance completely arresting.

Always a man with a message –  the immortal Prince

This is the song that Cliff released under a pseudonym – Black Knight. It charted and reached #10 in the UK before radio stations worked out who it was. Other than BBC Radio 2, mainstream radio stations with contemporary pop music mixes had a policy of not playing Cliff Richard “because nobody wants to listen to him.” Black Knight proved them wrong and there was some eating of humble pie. Cliff did this to call out ageism in popular radio. You’ll see from my list, I’m not an ageist. In fact I love longevity and am inspired by it – hence Cliff’s inclusion on my list!

Tony Joe White wrote several songs carried by Tina. This song, close to her blues roots was one of Tina’s favourites.

Many a true word spoken in song

The Godfather of Soul at the top of his game in 1974 in Kinshasa

Keep slaying it long enough and a whole new generation will realise how good you are. And you can’t help but feel the message of one love that underlies all of this great man’s work. Bravo Santana!

I can honestly say that this song by Pink Floyd – along with the entire Dark Side of the Moon album – changed my life! And it is astounding how closely the band recreated the sound of album four decades later and live at Earls Court. Vale!