Friday, 19 October 2012

Albums for Life: 110: Maria McKee: Life is Sweet

There's an excellent series over on the fine Cathedrals of Sound blog where blogmeister Davis Ashley is counting down through his favourite 150 albums.
Invariably short on original thought I've decided to do likewise here; trying to choose albums that have inspired and moved me. It'll be a journey and a reminder for me; a search for music that resonates with my enthusiasms and nostalgic baggage but that still features in my everyday life. So; there'll be a few quirks and offcuts then; rather than focussing on the obvious classics that are often cited but probably seldom listened to whilst stuffing a goose, sharpening the bread knife, dusting the moose head, cleaning the pool or disciplining the kitchen staff... ('OK Computer' anyone?)
David's rules are simple and I'll abide by them; only one album per artist, no compilations.
I'm not going to review the albums in depth, just give a little insight into why they initially floated my boat and still do so.
Di is threatening to do the same thing but seems to be looking over my shoulder, nicking my notes. She's been banished to the headphones in her search for something of her own and is currently wailing along solo voce to David Gray's 'White Ladder', gushing about his 'twitchy drummy beaty thing'; it's going to be a long 110 days... I'm not sure if she'll jump in at 100 as a footnote here or over on her own site:

Kicking things off; in at 110 I've gone for Maria McKee's 'Life is Sweet'.
I saw her live with Lone Justice and was smitten. When she went solo I was indifferent to the MOR ballads, but there was something... unhinged... behind those beautiful eyes that compelled me to follow her progress. Butter wouldn't melt but I'm not sure that it was butter in her mouth...
This girl had energy to spare and was patently bonkers but channeled her... erm... spunk perfectly on the album. Sure, there were the ballads that exposed her beautifully but there was drama akimbo too. Did she want to be a female Bowie/Ziggy?
I remember reading that McKee's zestful live dynamic had inspired Deacon Blue's 'Real Gone Kid'. And 'bonkers' is perfectly summed up by this live rendition of an album highlight; the brilliantly titled 'Absolutely Barking Stars'.
I've followed it with a performance of the title track.
There's that look in her eye again...
I'd love to have her a round for tea but I'll definitely be hiding the bread knife...


  1. I'd never noticed her eyes in that way before ... now i cant stop looking

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