13 February 2008

Anne Murray

Like a lot of successful artists do later in their careers, Anne Murray released a duets CD, Friends and Legends. The duets are Anne's songs over her 40 year career with artists like the Indigo Girls, Nelly Furtado, Olivia Newton-John, and k.d. lang. It's been fun hearing the songs with a duet partner and reworked a little bit. Anne is the kind of singer that is never too showy. She sings her songs as they are meant to be. Technically perfect each time and minus any unneeded frills. The best description of her singing style I've ever read was from that premiere source for music reviews...the YouTube comment section:
  • Says user tyoonz: "Anne has always had such an exquisitely clear, clean voice. She doesn't need to embellish her tunes with all the flamboyant flourishes that so many of today's younger singers regard as de rigeur. She lets the song speak for itself by presenting it with understated eloquence and quiet elegance." Or as zingerz24 less eloquently states, "Anne was Hott in her day..Wonderful Voice Also."

In 1981, the New York Times wrote, "Miss Murray's calm blandness of personality has a way of anchoring what might otherwise seem impossibly frothy - as in the case of Olivia Newton-John -with an affecting emotional weight. And her voice, a consoling contralto, is always a pleasure."

She was most famous for ballads that hit the adult contemporary and country music charts in the late 70's and throughout the 80's. But bored with those ballads, Anne went through a period of doing some uptempo music. It was still the 80's - so uptempo meant some synth pop stylings worked into her albums. It resulted in some cools songs and a few really bad ones. None translated into hits for her. I'm no music marketing exec, but I would imagine it was difficult to find an audience among fans used to more sedate love songs. Plus she wasn't edgy enough for the at-the-time MTV crowd. The first cut off of her 1983 A Little Good News album (which won a Grammy for Country Female Performance) is the best example. The same year my cassette player had in heavy rotation songs like "Sex (Im a...)" from Berlin and "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran, I was also listening to this 80's sound burning up the charts (Well, it peaked at #103 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #47 on the Country Charts):

Another of Anne Murray's greatest aspects, she could rock the shoulder pads. She didn't get the notariety Joan Collins did for shoulder pad wear. That didn't stop her. Anne sported the look on many an album cover and Solid Gold appearance. Always looking femenine - yet never too far away from her time as a PE teacher in Nova Scotia.

Anne Murray Discography
Anne Murray Centre

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