I know he’s regarded as a bit of a legend and his lyrics are good, but there is not even the hint of a tune comes out of that man’s mouth when he sings.
Always sounds like he’s in a drunken strop.
One evening years ago, I was in the Spice Of Life club place (what was it called??) on Cambridge Circus, London for an open mic jazz evening. We chatted and drank as various turns did their bit when..... all STOP!!..
... a powerhouse of a voice filled the place, shook the clichéd rafters, demanded we put down our pints, watch and listen. Cripes, I'll never forgot that moment. It was she. An incredibly strong set of pipes that lady has whether one likes the output or no.
After watching Pilgrimage (BBC 2 series of occasional programs) with Heather Small on it (yes, she is a bit of a Diva), I listened again to some M People songs. There is a tendency for producers (IMHO) to add too much to a song, particularly where there is a great voice. M People seemed like a classic case of this. Here was someone with a really fine Gospel voice, but which was partially hidden by the track.
The best example of stripping back a song was the cover of Tears For Fears, Mad World. When TfF did it, it was a great song, but the cover for the Donny Darko film took away all the unnecessary instrumentals, and let the words and voice shine through. One of the covers that is light years better than an admittedly very good original.
Gary Jules for that one. Although it did, in my head at least, start the irritating trend of stripped back covers being used for Christmas adverts. Sometimes they work, sometimes they're just irritatingly twee.
Cilla Black. Just listened to one of hers on Guy Harvey's show. A good song by Burt Bacharach but she managed to spoil it.