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Be Still My Beating Heart

Scientists would have it that music stimulates pathways in the brain that control our emotions- and that the extent to which music moves you reveals much about your fundamental personality: those more deeply moved by music score highly on scales of neuroticism. Apparently. Who am I to argue?
Well I suspect I might be a bit of a big hitter in the ‘scales of neuroticism’ leagues. Premiership probably. Top 6? In with a shout of the title? It’s a curse; it’s a blessing. Apparently.
Lorraine Ellison- Stay With Me (Baby)
The story goes that Warner Bros had booked a full orchestra and studio time for Frank Sinatra, but Frank cried off at the last minute. I imagine a cigar smokin’ Warner executive screaming at two staff writers who happened to be around… 'Get your asses down that studio and make me a hit rekkud- cause that’s the only way we’re gonna break even!'…or something like that. In desperation they pull out an unfinished song, stab a finger at a random session singer from a list of thousands (I might be exaggerating here) and head to the studio- probably working on the song on the subway train. Meanwhile, Ms Ellison had received the call that would change her life. Unfortunately, she had that morning been very painfully dumped by her boyfriend, so arrived at the studio in a fragile state….but then the magic happened.
Marvin Gaye- If I Should Die Tonight
The lyrics for this song were written by collaborator Ed Townsend, but Marvin Gaye refused to work on it, saying 'I can’t sing that- I never felt about a woman that way in my entire life!' That’s until he met second wife Janis Hunter. He subsequently said 'Get out that song Ed, I can sing that sonofabitch now!'
Leo Sayer- Why Is Everybody Going Home
I know. But I promise- his first album Silverbird is sublime. You just gotta forget all the crap that came later. It has wonderful string arrangements and Russ Ballard on guitar. Sayer was co-produced and mentored by Adam Faith, who borrowed his mate Roger Daltrey’s studio to get the album done. Daltrey turned up while this song was being mixed and said 'That is the most beautiful song I ever heard'.
Jeff Buckley- Everybody Here Wants You
As painful as it is beautiful. Tower Of Power- Willing To Learn No idea how I came across the album Urban Renewal all those years ago. Maybe I just took a punt and got lucky. Good album, but this is its highlight. With the other songs I've listed it’s the vocal performance that really stimulates the neurons, but here it’s the brass that makes the song soar: listen to the crescendo midway through the brass break. Listen to that trumpet blare! If you can get through that lot without being deeply moved you can consider yourself Isthmian league and in danger of relegation.

Be Still My Beating Heart
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