7 Things: Favorite Songs by Favorite Performers #3 – Linda Eder

Since I just did my spiel about Linda Eder, I won’t effuse. Suffice it to say, I love the woman’s voice. Especially live.

Seven favorite songs. But first, five toss-aways –

Big Time – A song about making it in the business, with this gem of a lyric: “Imagination plus augmentation, Voila, a brand new me”

Unusual Way – Linda’s version of this song from Nine is sublime

Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote) – Seriously, this rendition, seriously. And there’s this sweet spot toward the end, which I’ve seen her go for full-force only once live :(, is a showstopper

Romancin’ the Blues – This song drips self-pity in the sexiest, bluesiest way

Here Comes the Sun – I won’t lie. I don’t love all of Linda’s pop remakes. Some are a little too voice-perfect and emotionally-stunted. But this Beatles classic, she gets just right.

And onto the seven –

7 – The Last Tango

Some songs are sexy. This song drips with sex. It’s kind of supposed to do that. That’s kind of the story within.

I love singing this song, and my absolute favorite memory of it is singing along to it in my dorm room one day, and doing the sexy hip-dancing this song demands, when my roommate walked over and asked who was singing. So I told her, and she responded, “Well, she’s singing a heathen song.”

Ah, the good old days when I had born-again friends.

6 – Even Now

This song is ethereal. It soars beyond this plane of existence. As well it should. It’s a song of love lost through the ultimate separation of death. But it’s not a song about heartache. It’s an anthem of undying devotion. It believes that love triumphs over death.

And the vocals at the end are the kind where you just stop whatever you’re doing, close your eyes and listen in amazement.

5 – Never Dance

Musically, this song fucking kills. It is a big ole written-to-stop-a-Broadway-musical number and it sounds like it. The production transports you somewhere else entirely, and if the stretch of music where the company would obviously bust into a big dance number doesn’t make you want to shake your maracas, your maracas are done broke.

Side note: Before Frank Wildhorn continued work on Havana (which has been put on pause again),  this song along with a couple of others written for the musical were just sitting out there in Nowhere Land. So, I developed a musical idea around this very song that I still think would be a great stage production. It’s kind of like theater fan fiction. Of course, if Wildhorn wants to lend me the rights to the song…

4 – The Children of Eve

I’m trying to think of a way to describe this song and I’m really struggling here. I knew I loved this song, but, as I sit here trying to express that in words, I realize just how much I love this song and how I’ll never do it justice.

At its core, it’s a “Why can’t the world be a better place?” song, but the analogy between a sleeping nightmare and our waking reality is excruciatingly powerful.

And there’s just something about the confession “I’m scared of the shadows too” that is shiver-inducing.

3 – Across the Water

A little more pop than the majority of the cuts on Linda albums, this song hits home with me in a big way. It’s about the disillusionment of adulthood and the hope that keeps us alive. By far, it is the least vocally-impressive song on the list, but not every song has to floor you. Some just strike the right chord.

2 – Vienna

From the first note of this song, you know you’re going to be swept grandly along to another place, and that’s exactly what happens. It’s not a song about lost love. It’s a song about lost romance. It’s pure nostalgia.

And, vocally, it is unreal.

1 – Something to Believe In

I will never understand why this song was not a massive chart-crossing smash. That is all.

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