- Sunday 13th October 2019, 11:07pm [Edited]
- United Kingdom
- 7,529 posts
A selection of the best Sedaka tracks. I will do the defence of knee jerk critics now, Yes, Neil is the campest heterosexual who ever walked the planet, So what? He turned 80 in March. He was my first live "rock" gig actually as I was taken to the Fairfield Hall, Croydon at 12 by family to see him. We were behind the stage so as to be almost on the stage where to be fair I had been a year before (but that's another story). And after that, so sorry but I have masses of Sedaka story stuff.
How he was trained at Julliard as a classical pianist. How he was there or thereabouts with Carole King early on. How he disappeared for well over 12 years for being unfashionable and ended up playing UK holiday camps as a virtual penniless unknown. There's a good story in that one. I could almost see a film because he is so west end, almost Liberace glam, in demeanour and yet he was doing Pontins. Then you get the fact that once really back in the fold, he was supported by none other than the 10CC at Strawberry Studios. They were constantly looking to the future and this was a figure of the 1950s so really you would have expected a big no from Godley and Crème etc. But they saw the worth in him, risked him in Stockport and Surrey, and even Elton John got on board. To be frank, anyone with sense and a lack of musical or any presentational prejudice should know that Sedaka is one of the greats from several great eras. Mind you, selection is all.
Genius....like him hugely!
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Slow Version) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33NNuwqDDTI:)
That's When The Music Takes Me - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX1LtD6j3rg
Honestly, I could write that film. I know all of the obscurities between the early and late 1960s where he tried to copy all kinds of other folk and failed. Nothing came anywhere near to charting. Some of it was alright. Much wasn't. But anyhow he's going from working man's club in the north to working man's club in the north and he is totally lost as an American. Hasn't really got a clue what he is involved in although the reception is positive. And I guess you have to ask where and how it changed when it seemed like there was nowhere back, especially not to the biggest point in your career like a rising of the phoenix. Opinions will differ but I will always choose this as while not very well known you just know that he's found it again. There's an atmospherically certain way about it and I'm in no doubt that it influenced Joel and even Springsteen although in truth you can hear Webb's Macarthur Park in it. But hey why not let three greats segue so brilliantly/randomly:
Cardboard California - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJWktLzAXgM
And me absolute favourite cos I have to get out me tissues whatever it means and it has meant so many different things over the years. I think for all of its schmaltz it has a sophistication which works on several deepish levels - and that at the end of the day sums up Neil. He will outlive me but we shall not see their likes again, however conventionally unusual:
The Hungry Years - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xzsLpaVfXA
(I think it worked both ways actually - my assessment is that Bruce's "Sandy" had an influence on this - they got strong off each other unknowingly in their frankly different ways - you've got the fairground colour in each : one young; one old)