Saint Etienne presents Songs for the Carnegie Deli is the full title for a new compilation album that yet again showcases and highlights the impeccable taste and knowledge of St Etienne's Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs.
Stanley's sleevenotes are fantastic, setting the scene, the mood, the atmosphere and location - a diner in New York City - that inspired him to compile an incredible selection of songs.
Stanley has previous - Songs from Mario's Cafe and The Trip are two of my all-time favourite compilation albums, turning me on to songs like All Our Dreams Are Coming True - an instrumental that my wife walked down the aisle to when we got married, Shooting Star by The Mama's and The Papa's shoots for the stars and succeeds in reaching them, the glorious My Love Is Your Love by the Isley Brothers, the heart on the sleeve It Must Be Love Coming Down by Major Lance, the magnificent Music Box by Ruth Copeland and the stunning I Love You For All Seasons by The Fuzz.....and many more.
5 standouts for me;
Night Hawk by The Valli Boys opens the album, a slow instrumental groove (after a short spoken word intro) builds and just draws you in. Funky brilliance.
Summer's Comin' In by Little Anthony and the Imperials sounds exotic - the little instrumental at the start, the slightly raspy vocal and the dreamy and uplifting lyrics are a delight, the melodies are
playful and seductive.
Love (It's Getting Better) by The Groove bursts into life full of love and soul, heartfelt words are sung with real emotion and gusto, the music and production has a lovely uplifting feel to it.
Lover's Melody by Dawn does everything it says on the tin. A beautiful sunshine melody and vocal as pure as you will find.
I'm Fallin' Down (version 2) by Lesley Gore is the kind of song that you know Bob Stanley will adore - it is a particular standout, the surge and flow into the euphoric double chorus is incredible.
The album is released via ACE Records, so help them release more by buying it DIRECT