Monday, 25 July 2011

Vale Amy Winehouse

Farewell Amy, I hardly knew thee...

I've never been much of a fan of the neo-Soul divas coming out of the UK lately. I've had a fleeting interest in Duffy, but that's about it.

Amy Winehouse was always someone that I just couldn't come at. I always vowed I wouldn't let the senseless media hype and sensationalism taint my view of the music, nor would I let what the muso looked like have an impact on my opinion of their music. But, I confess, Amy's beehive coiffure, eyelash extensions and grotesque tattoos turn me off. It's shallow, and I have no excuse. I've heard the music was great, however. Granted, the track "Rehab" didn't impress me, but she has other songs in her canon that I should check out.

Billy Bragg had it nailed, in my opinion, when explaining her acceptance into the "27 Club" - Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain - all the members of said club all had well publicised battles with hard drugs. It could also be said they had significant amount of private pain that they were either unaware of or unable to deal with in a safe fashion, so they self medicated with whatever was available. When you are a celebrity and you have heaps of idle cash, usually there are plenty of people hanging around willing to separate you from it...

We need to remember that we shouldn't mythologise any of these people for the hard and fast way they lived. The vicariousness of their lives is great for tabloid reporters, but it is not a smart way to stay alive.

She should be remembered for her contribution to music - her voice and her songs. It's what's in the grooves that counts. Anything else is beside the point.

More tunes soon.


  1. Agree. She always cast such a sad shadow over her music to me. Was 'Valerie' one of hers? I love that. I loved her voice to bits, but the music itself was a lit naff. Man, I hope she has found herself at last. x

  2. Hi Maxabella, "Valerie" was a track by her fellow Brits The Zutons. She covered it on a BBC Radio 1 program called the Live Lounge. It is available on the "Radio 1 Live Lounge Vol. 2" double CD. The original was wonderful, she did a great job of it too.

    Here's the Live Lounge album on Amazon to check out: