Occasionally, the Song of the Day idea starts with a Greatest-Hits record that has multiple candidates, and I pick based on which turns up the best live video. Today’s Greatest Hits are those of Julie London, and it was a tough choice, but what a beautiful piece of singing Cry Me a River is.
It was tough because Julie, in my opinion, also owns the best-ever recordings of A Taste of Honey (the Beatles’ version pretty well sucks, while Martin Denny and Herb Alpert are only pretty good) and also of Light My Fire (the Doors’ version doesn’t suck, but Julie brings a hundred times as much sex which in popular music trumps great instrumental breaks. But I digress.)
No problem, because Cry Me a River is right up there, and has better video.
Julie London is among those Song-of-the-Day artists who’ve previously received attention here at ongoing. Last time out, I featured Come On-A My House, which probably deserves to appear in this series at some point. From that, let me reproduce this quote from Ms London: “It’s only a thimbleful of a voice, and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate.” She’s being way overly modest, because her technique with breath and throat and vibrato is miraculous. But yeah, smoky and intimate. Ms London knew exactly what she was doing and was very good at it.
Links · iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, live video in B&W or color (don’t miss either). Searching these up required fighting through a bunch from some dude named Timberlake who has a song of the same name which isn’t bad for industrial pop, but why would a human being invade a great song’s namespace like this?