Culture, Music

Heavy Rotation: McFadden & Whitehead, Shalamar, Edith Piaf, Sigma

My week just gone has been filled with the funk and disco of Shalamar and McFadden & Whitehead, and the classical romance of celebrated French chanteuse, Edith Piaf.

McFadden & Whitehead – McFadden & Whitehead (1979)
Singing and production duo, McFadden & Whitehead, trample feelings of stress at life’s taxing and tedious tasks under their stupendously danceable Philly funk. The well-known ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’ sets the mood for 40 minutes of irresistible, high-rising motivation.

Edith Piaf – 100th Anniversary – Best of 40 Titles (2015)
Probably best known for ‘La Vie en Rose’ and, following its use in the film Inception, ‘Non, Je ne Regrette Rien’, Edith Piaf is a singer who fills your space with the sound of the 40s and 50s with unmatched pomp. I’ve been enjoying Parlophone’s remastered collection of 40 of the French singer’s best songs (though, you can easily find digital collections of 50 or 100 songs for as little as £5 or less). Piaf’s pulsing projections make every syllable sound like a promise of undying affection, backed by the music hall style of big, exaggerated emotion from the arrangements. Time spent in the company of Piaf’s beauty and theatricality is never wasted.

Shalamar – Nights to Remember (Comp, 2002)
BBC Radio 2 presenter Sara Cox recently spoke to Jeffrey Daniel and Howard Hewett about Shalamar’s recent European tour. Well worth a listen to hear about the group’s formation and Hewett’s fashion sense and dance moves may have influenced Michael Jackson.

Sigma – Changing (feat. Paloma Faith) (Single, 2014)
Sigma and Paloma Faith: generating that quitter-defying energy to help you rise up the unclimbable mountain, push those impossible reps and… file those office docs like a 22nd-century-machine.

Image: Philadelphia International Records