It was back at Five Songs For Friday # 13 when I phoned up late in the day and decided to offer an evening theme. And so here we are again…this time I’ve gone for an actual “In The Evening” thing by choosing songs that all have the word evening in the title, that are about the evening – and things that happen at night – things that happen “in the evening”. It’s Friday night – so kick back relax and enjoy these five songs. From five favourite artists of mine. Five all-timers. Five of the greatest. And five of their greatests – er, I mean one each from them, so that’s one of their greatest…each…er, oh well, nevermind, you get it…here we go then…
1. Elvis Presley, An Evening Prayer
A wonderful singer, a huge presence – a composer/arranger of songs in the moments while they were happening. He could sometimes appear to be re-writing (and certainly re-energising) them. And for all this rubbish-talk of him having no real talent – beyond looks and a voice. Horseshit. The best of his work is astounding. This is from a gospel album called, lol, He Touched Me. And it kicks off our theme tonight. And it’s a minor thing in the catalogue of a giant. But I like it. And so here it is.
2. Frank Sinatra, Some Enchanted Evening
A wonderful singer, a huge presence – a composer/arranger of songs in the moments while they were happening. He could sometimes appear to be re-writing (and certainly re-energising) them. And for all this rubbish-talk of him having no real talent – beyond looks and a voice. Horseshit. Etc. Actually, I doubt there was much talk of Frank not having talent – he knew people. He’d have you wacked. Done. Finito. Dude could fucking sing eh!
3.Enya, Evening Falls
I filed Enya under “guilty pleasures” for so long – too long! I’m old and irrelevant now. But she’s not. That voice is ageless and people are coming around…well, that’s silly to say, she’s sol millions and millions of albums. She’s a masterful writer and singer, the moods and magic on her albums. Watermark was always a given, because, I guess, of Orinico Flow – but there was more besides. Like this…
4. Stevie Wonder, Easy Goin’ Evening (My Mama’s Call)
Songs In The Key of Life is so epic that it’s easy to forget some of the “lesser” / lesser-known songs…very easy in this case, since Easy Goin’ Evening is the final track on the bonus 45 that is included with the double-album. Yep, Stevie Wonder’s cup floweth SO over that he had to add a bonus EP to an already double-album that arrived just two years after his hot-hot streak of releasing four of the greatest albums anyone has ever released ever in just a two year-period. Here’s the thing – I love those four albums, the one just before that streak and several of the early ones, I like a lot of what followed this too – but nothing beats Songs In The Key of Life for me. It came out the year that I arrive for rotations around the sun. And it’s been part of me and my journey from almost entirely day one. My mum tells a story of rocking me to sleep to this. I love every song on this album. From start to finish. The bonus 45 included.
5. Led Zeppelin, In The Evening
When the great Re-Masters was released and this was the final track it was hard to give air-time or even care-time…because it was so hard to fathom just how fucking great Led Zeppelin had been. I was a teenager – which seems the time when everyone is introduced to Led Zeppelin, retroactively or even if at the time. And it was just brain-blowingly awesome music. Every track on Re-Masters a gem, and then the idea that the final albums weren’t a patch on the majestic first four. But I don’t know – In The Evening might be the standout of In Through The Out Door – but that’s not meant as faint praise. It’s a solid album – from a terrific band.
Bonus Track: Paul Simon’s Late In The Evening – Last year I interviewed Steve Gadd live on air on RNZ and after I got him to sign a few of my records he’d played on including the single of this from Paul Simon’s great, if under-appreciated One Trick Pony album. I have to include this here as I’m sure Late In The Evening is the first song that I can remember referencing ‘Evening’; the first to make a major impact anyway.