SONG OF THE WEEK A site dedicated to David Foster Sun, 24 May 2015 16:56:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 GET IT UP FOR LOVE Sun, 24 May 2015 16:56:31 +0000 [...]]]>  From SEPARATE OCEANS

Written by Ned Doheny

Edward ‘Ned’ Doheny is a gifted singer/songwriter with an irresistible, blue-eyed soul music vein. In the seventies, Doheny wrote or co-wrote some absolute gems released on a couple of influential albums called Hard Candy and Prone. These pivotal songs included “A Love Of Your Own,” “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me” and “Get It Up For Love.” Both Hard Candy and Prone were produced by the legendary Steve Cropper and his touches to the elegant, catchy material plus the deluxe value of the musicianship were on the same wavelength as Boz Scaggs’ Silk Degrees.

The main difference was that the Scaggs record sold millions while Doheny’s albums became well-kept secrets. Thankfully, time has been kind to Doheny. His brighter gems were eventually covered by major artists including Average White Band, David Cassidy, Tata Vega, George Benson and Melissa Manchester. Those renditions brought Doheny’s elegant pop to a broader audience, but his music recently saw a resurgence in the UK, parts of Europe and Asia. “Get It Up From Love” and “To Prove My Love” were embraced by the most refined deejays and affirmed themselves as two of the most loved rare groove numbers around.

“Get It Up For Love” got a few covers including one by Ben E. King with the Average White Band and a high charged hit disco rendition by Tata Vega. Both covers of the song were released in the late seventies, but, as good as they were, they didn’t match the subtle, elegant level of Doheny’s original. Doheny’s “Get It Up For Love” was a fantastic mix of acoustic pop and smooth soul with a jazzy atmosphere that resulted in a refined cross between Jackson Browne and Bill Withers. David Foster was one of the main collaborators on both of Doheny’s albums. Foster played his infamous keyboards on most of the tracks. His impeccable keyboard playing added an adventurous, jazzy spin to “Get It Up For Love.” Although the spotlight was on Doheny’s personal voice and his acoustic guitar playing, the song also featured the legendary Tower Of Power horns. That jam and so much more can be rediscovered now on a special compilation cd released by UK label Numero Group entitled Separate Oceans. Presenting selected moments from Doheny’s great albums, Separate Oceans has many interesting demos and rare tracks including a demo version of “Get It Up For Love.” It is a welcome opportunity to hear one of the most talented singers/songwriters of the seventies SoCal scene. Please listen and appreciate Doheny’s unique style where pop, soul, country and jazz meet with glorious results.


Lead Vocals & Guitars: Ned Doheny
Bass : Dennis Parker
Keyboards : David Foster
Additional Piano : Jimmy Calire
Drums : Gary Mallaber
Percussion : Victor Feldman
Horns : Tower Of Power Horn Section (Arranged by Greg Adams)
Background vocals : Ned Doheny, Rosemary Butler, Fleming Williams & Brooks Hunnicutt
Horns arranged by Greg Adams

Produced by Steve Cropper


It’s a tricky situation
Hard to say just what the outcome will be
If you saw the riddle you can save your soul
Chase love’s shadows till the river’s running cold

Hey babe, get it up, get it up for love
Get it up, get it up for love, babe
Get it up, get it up for love

There’s a longing in the people
No one knows just when the heartaches will cease
You can free and tell her, you can stay and fight
You can stand in line and scream, “Hey, it’s just my

Hey babe, get it up, get it up for love
Get it up, get it up for love, babe
Get it up, get it up for love

So, a smile, another fallin’ star
So until we find
Just put your hand in mine, oh yeah

It’s a tricky situation
Heaven knows just where the struggle must end
If it takes forever, I’d got the time above
I won’t desert you when the tables have turned

Hey babe, get it up, get it up for love
Get it up, get it up for love, babe
Get it up, get it up for love

Get it up, get it up for love, babe
Get it up, get it up for love
All the way for love, get it up all the way
Get it up all the way

]]> 0
GIRA CON ME QUESTA NOTTE Sun, 17 May 2015 19:13:01 +0000 [...]]]>  From JOSH GROBAN

Written by David Foster, Walter Afanasieff & Lucio Quarantotto

The fall 2001 release of Josh Groban was the introduction of the Los Angeles-born baritone to the music world. David Foster crafted the now-classic release that beautifully showcased Groban’s terrific vocal talent. Yet, Warner Bros., the owner’s of the Reprise label that Josh Groban was on, showed hesitation to sign the future superstar. Warner was unsure that the young Groban’s voice and music style would become winners on the charts and radio.

Eventually, Groban and Foster put Warner’s doubts to rest by selling over four million copies of Josh Groban in the US alone and releasing adult contemporary classics like To Where You Are and You’re Still You that have blossomed into radio mainstays. Foster’s superior art of the arrangement brought to life instrumental landscapes that let the young singer fly high with one stunning vocal performance after another.

One of the most treasured tracks from Josh Groban was “Gira Con Me Questa Notte.” Co-written and co-produced by Foster with music-maker giant Walter Afanasieff, “Gira Con Me Questa Notte” is an opera-influenced number whose elegant melody falls in a special place where the classical and pop worlds collide. The result is a masterpiece. Groban’s gorgeous, operatic voice was powered by the strength of the music that was fueled by an evocative refrain and commanding orchestral arrangement written by William Ross. A special mention goes to the beautiful lyrics penned by the late Lucio Quarantotto who also co-wrote the Andrea Bocelli classic “Con Te Partirò.” The beauty of “Gira Con Me” is further evidence of the magic that was created by Groban under Foster’s masterful guidance. Their work on Josh Groban gave the future superstar his big break and the start of a fantastic history of success. The music included on the album transcends time and stands as one of the cornerstones of the super-producer’s magnificent career.


Lead Vocals: Josh Groban
Keyboards: Walter Afanasieff
Backing Vocals: Efrat Ben-Zur
Programming: Felipe Elgueta, Greg Bieck & Robert Conley
Orchestral Arrangement by William Ross

Produced & Arranged By David Foster & Walter Afanasieff


Il mondo gira con me questa notte
Piccoli passi che faccio con te
Seguo il tuo cuore e seguo la luna
così nascosta lontana da me

Il mondo gira con noi questa notte
Ah!, esistesse lontano da qui
Un posto dove scoprire il mio cuore
Sapere se lui può amare ti o no

E girerà e girerà
Il cuore mio, assieme a te
E girerà la terra
Girerà la mia vita
E un giorno lui sì, sì capirà

Sei tu che giri con me questa notte
Sei tu che giri lontana da qui
Ma sì io so che tu sei la mia luna
Qualcosa mostri qualcosa no

Ci sono strade azzurre nel cielo
Ci sono occhi e il cielo è già li
Sì questo credo che siano le stelle
Ah se potessi fermarmi così

E girerà e girerà
Il cuore mio, lontan da te
E girerà la terra
Girerà la mia vita
E un giorno lui sì, sì capirà

Cuore, già lontano
Sì tu sei la luna
Potessi scoprirlo nel cielo

E girerà, e girerà
Si girerá, il cuore mio
Girerá la terra
Girerá la mia vita
E un giorno lui sì, sì capirà
Un giorno lui sì, ti capirà

]]> 0
THE SMOKE IS RISING Sun, 10 May 2015 17:20:03 +0000 [...]]]>  From THE SMOKE IS RISING/WHERE IS MY HEART (single)

Written by Danny Peck

Heart And Soul was Danny Peck’s 1977 debut album. Peck, a talented singer/songwriter, wrote ten compositions for the project. The songs showcased Peck’s different sides in the musical arena including his lyrical craft. These songs were put in the capable hands of David Foster who was in the process of making his big transition from sought-after session ace to full-time music producer. Heart And Soul was produced with noted engineer Jay Lewis. Foster gave the album his obvious love for refined, r&b-influenced arrangements delivered with irresistible grooves, clever rhythm changes and superior instrumental performances.

There are echoes of Sons Of Champlin, Steely Dan and Crusaders with a result not far from other elegant singer/songwriters including Ned Doheny, Terence Boylan or Boz Scaggs. The best tracks sporting Foster’s inventive charts include “This Could Be A Very Nice Place” with a structure that was reminiscent of Steely Dan, “Take Your Baby Home,” an acoustic soul gem with fantastic vocals by Peck and Venette Gloud and “I Do,” a smoky, jazzy jam that was earlier reviewed.

Another highlight off Heart And Soul was the powerful, funky number “The Smoke Is Rising.” Based on the solid foundation of drummer Willie Ornelas and bassist Robert “Pops” Powell, “The Smoke Is Rising” was an irresistible mid-tempo tune whose musicality and catchiness rivals the best soul/funk jams of those days. Peck’s vocals are soulful and gritty enough to match the nasty groove of the backing track. Foster added his trademark keyboards to the mix, some in-your-face horns and the bonus of Larry Carlton’s guitar work. “The Smoke Is Rising” was released as a single and was backed-up by “Where Is My Heart,” another very good song with the luxurious sounds of the late Jeff and Mike Porcaro, David Paich, Victor Feldman and Ernie Watts.

At the time of its release, Heart And Soul went criminally unnoticed. The album should be re-evaluated today because it shows the seeds of Foster’s immense talent that will soon blossom on legendary albums by Airplay, Earth, Wind & Fire and Boz Scaggs, among others. For those interested, Peck’s voice can be heard on Foster’s successful projects of the eighties including the soundtrack of The Secret Of My Success and Foster’s orchestral solo album, The Symphony Sessions.


Lead Vocals: Danny Peck
Keyboards: David Foster
Drums: Willie Ornelas
Bass: Robert “Pops” Powell
Electric Guitar: Larry Carlton & Jay Lewis
Horns: Steve Madaio, Bob Findley, Jim Horn & Bruce Paulson

Arranged by David Foster
Produced By David Foster & Jay Lewis


No Lyrics

]]> 0
HOLD ME Sun, 03 May 2015 19:58:52 +0000 [...]]]>  From HOLD BACK MY HEART (Japanese Edition)

Music by David Foster
Lyrics by Takashi Matsumoto English translation by Joe Sperling

During the summer of 2014, the music world had to face the untimely passing of 35 years old, Australian singer/songwriter Michael Johns. Johns, a former 2008 American Idol contestant, was a gifted singer with a warm, bluesy voice. His obvious talent was pretty evident to David Foster.

He immediately took Johns under his wing and Johns subsequently appeared in many of the legendary music-maker’s high profile live events and tours. Those included the very successful “Hitman – David Foster & Friends” fall 2008 DVD. On that occasion, Johns sang a rousing medley of The Tubes’ “She’s A Beauty” and John Parr’s “St. Elmo’s Fire,” two of Foster’s most beloved rock hits of the eighties. In June 2009, Johns went on to release his debut cd Hold Back My Heart.

Helmed by Nashville producer Dave Cobb, Hold Back My Heart was a solid collection of pop/rock material partially co-written by the singer with Cobb. The soulful, bluesy arrangements and the polished backing tracks were on target and suited Johns’ expressive voice. The singer’s performances were top-notch and resulted in one of the best albums ever released by an American Idol alumnus. The Japanese edition of Hold Back My Heart had a bonus track titled “Hold Me.” This song was originally co-written and produced by Foster in the late eighties for Japanese superstar Seiko Matsuda. The power ballad became a favorite among Matsuda’s fans. Its addition as the opening tune on Hold Back My Heart was a smart way to present the singer to those audiences with a familiar tune. It also helped emphasize the Foster connection since the super-producer is hugely popular in Asia.

The strength of Foster’s catchy melody gave “Hold Me” the flavor of classic, elegant power ballads written and sung by AOR legends like Michael Bolton and Richard Marx. Johns’ soul-drenched performance was memorably supported by various keyboards, guitars and a delicious soprano sax solo. “Hold Me” was a classic, but listen to the entire Hold Back My Heart cd. It’s a very musical, genuine endeavor that was the only full release delivered by this ill-fated talent.

Here are the heartfelt words that Foster dedicated to his friend:

“My wife Yolanda and I are shocked and saddened by Michael’s untimely passing. His love of life and music were completely intertwined. Seven years ago, millions of viewers were captivated each week by his soulful performances on American Idol. Soon after, we became great personal friends and it was a distinct honor to share the stage with him on many musical occasions.

The passion and commitment he brought to every show never failed to move everyone in the audience. Another thing that impressed me was his vast knowledge of the music and legendary singers who came before him. He had a true reverence for their artistry and a passion to carry on in their traditions.

With Michael’s expressive voice and a million watt smile that could light up any room, it’s very difficult to imagine that voice is now silenced. Yolanda and I wish to convey our heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences to his closest friends and family.”

He will be missed.


Lead Vocals: Michael Johns
Bass & Guitar: Dave Cobb
Keyboards: Fred Mandel
Drums: Chris Powell

Produced By Dave Cobb


No Lyrics

]]> 0
HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART Sun, 26 Apr 2015 15:10:46 +0000 [...]]]>  From MICHAEL BUBLE’

Written by Barry Gibb & Robin Gibb

“How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” is a globally popular, soft-rock ballad by the Bee Gees. Co-written by Barry Gibb with his younger brother, the late Robin Gibb, this beautiful song was part of the legendary trio’s 1971 album Trafalgar. “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” was the lead single off that classic release. The song would become the first US #1 for the Bee Gees as well as one of their most loved evergreens.

The haunting lyrics and gorgeous melody was demonstrated by a number of high-profile covers sung by esteemed performers including Johnny Mathis, Al Green, Cher and Teddy Pendergrass.

In 2002, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” was picked by David Foster and Michael Bublé for the singer’s self-titled debut cd. Foster crafted a sumptuous arrangement of the song that was impeccably delivered with an emotional performance by the new Canadian singing sensation. Supported by Foster, co-producer Humberto Gatica and their team, Bublé gave life to a total ear-candy affair. The icing on this classy cake was the special appearance of Barry Gibb singing harmony vocals on his own tune. The delicious pairing of Bublé’s confident tone with Gibb’s trademark falsetto melted like hot butter on the refined instrumental back-up track. The instrumentals was performed by Foster on piano and bass synthesizer, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Dean Parks on guitars. “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” was the first US single released from Michael Bublé back in February 2003 and it would hit #22 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Michael Bublé was eventually certified platinum or multi-platinum in several countries worldwide. The song marked the triumphant beginning of Bublé’s fantastic history of success as well as a brilliant new chapter of Foster’s amazing career.

A little-known fact about Foster in the nineties. He produced another cover of a Bee Gees’ classic, “Too Much Heaven,” for female pop singer Jordan Hill. On that occasion, Barry Gibb again added his golden falsetto to the recording.


Lead Vocals: Michael Bublé
Acoustic & Electric Guitar: Dean Parks
Piano & Bass Synthesizer: David Foster
Percussion: Rafael Padilla
Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
Synthesizer Programming: Neil Devor
Background Vocals: Barry Gibb
Arranged by David Foster

Produced By David Foster & Humberto Gatica


I can think of younger days
When living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do
I could never see tomorrow
But I was never told about the sorrow
And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend a this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart
And let me live again
I can still feel the breeze
That rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow
No one said a word about the sorrow
And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart
And let me live again

]]> 0
YOU Sun, 19 Apr 2015 21:18:13 +0000 [...]]]>  From YOU/WORLD OF STONE (single)

Written by George Harrison

The focus of the weekly page is on “You,” a 1975 hit by the late, talented George Harrison. The legendary former Beatle originally wrote and recorded “You” in 1971 for Ronnie Spector, a member of the successful pop vocal trio The Ronettes and wife of visionary producer Phil Spector, a music legend in his own right. Ronnie Spector’s recording of “You” remained unreleased, so Harrison rescued the song in 1975.

Mr. Harrison was working in Los Angeles on his album Extra Texture (Read All About It). A large part of the original backing track for “You” was kept for the new version. It was played by session giants including Leon Russell on piano, Gary Wright on electric piano and Jim Gordon on drums. Harrison recorded a new lead vocal and added some smart overdubs including a second drum part played by Jim Keltner, some great sax breaks by Jim Horn and colorful touches of organ and synthesizer strings courtesy of a young and gifted David Foster. The final version of “You” sported a catchy, up-tempo tune written by the late UK superstar and an irresistible groove that was influenced by the classic Motown sound. Some of Ronnie Spector’s original vocals were kept on the new recording even though she wasn’t properly credited in the liner notes. The enhanced production dramatically raised the radio-friendly appeal of the song and it became a Top 20 hit in the US , a Top 40 hit in the UK and charted in several other countries. It was a joy to listen to Harrison ’s unmistakable voice backed up by all those music luminaries. It was also a treat to witness how talented and skilled Foster was at such an early stage of his career. It’s no wonder that Harrison hired him and Foster went on to became one of the most sought after session guys in LA.

The Hitman sent a note about his experience with George Harrison:

“I was sitting in my apartment and the phone rang. A very familiar voice said, ‘Me and some of the lads are down here making some music. My friend Jim Keltner says you’re pretty good on the keys. Why don’t you come down and join us for a bit?’ It was, of course, George and I remember it like it was yesterday. I still remember where I was sitting in the apartment when I got the call. I went to the studio that same day and I guess I impressed him enough for us to do two albums together. George was super musical, super calm, super spiritual, fun-loving, not egotistical at all and humble. Having the lucky chance to work with him remains one of the most exciting times of my life.”


Lead, backing Vocals & Electric Guitars: George Harrison

Vocals: Ronnie Spector
Piano: Leon Russell
Electric Piano: Gary Wright
Drums: Jim Keltner
Drums & Tambourine: Jim Gordon
Organ & String Synthesizer: David Foster
Bass: Carl Radle
Saxophone: Jim Horn

Produced By George Harrison


One, two,
One, two, three, four

I, I love, love
And I, and I love you
Oh, you, you, yeah, you

And you, you, love, love
And you, yes, you, you love me
Yeah, you, you, yeah, you

And when I’m holding you
What a feeling
Seems so good to be true
That I’m telling you all
That I must be dreaming

And I, and I, I love you
Oh, you, oh, you, yeah, you

And when I’m holding you
What a feeling
Seems so good to be true
I’m telling you all
That I must be dreaming

Now I, oh, I love, love
And I, yeah, I, I love you, I love you
Oh, you, you, oh, you

Oh, you know that I love you, oh, oh, oh
Oh, you know that I love you, love you

]]> 0
SHAKING YOU Sun, 12 Apr 2015 20:53:30 +0000 [...]]]>  From TWO OF A KIND

Written by David Foster, Tom Keane & Paul Gordon

David Foster always had a superior knack for composing evocative instrumentals. He put a pin to “Our Romance,” a tender piece of music co-written with Tom Keane for Foster’s 1983 debut solo album The Best Of Me. Conceived for the Japanese market, The Best Of Me presented a series of great instrumentals that evolved into some of Foster’s most beloved pop hits including the title-track, “Mornin’,” “Through The Fire” and “Look What You’ve Done To Me.” Evidenced by its sheer beauty, “Our Romance” had an interesting artistic journey.

The song ended up on the successful soundtrack of the 1983 movie Two Of A Kind and was sung by the legendary Olivia Newton-John under the title of “Shaking You.” The platinum-certified Two Of A Kind soundtrack reached the Top 40 in the US , Canada , Australia and Japan. The soundtrack included more music sung by Newton-John and produced by Foster including the Top 5 hit “Twist Of Fate.”
“Shaking You” was a bittersweet love song that matches an achingly beautiful Foster melody with some tear-jerking lyrics courtesy of noted songwriter Paul Gordon. From the intimate, almost whispered intro to the powerful strength of the climax, “Shaking You” was a showcase for Newton-John’s pure and stunning pop voice. The legendary singer/actress sang the heart-wrenching lyrics beautifully and gave an emotionally charged performance accompanied by Foster’s gorgeous acoustic piano. The production was top-notch, as always, with an accurate eye to the lush orchestral sounds.

In 1985, “Shaking You” was covered by UK singer Elaine Paige on her Love Hurts album. Read our past article of this rendition here.


Lead vocal: Olivia Newton-John
Piano & Keyboards: David Foster
Drums: John Keane

Produced & Arranged by David Foster


Why do I have to care for you?
When I should have known to stay away
Why was I there for you?

I don’t know how I lost my touch
I never believed that I could ever want
Somebody’s love so much

Time can shake me loose from the blues
But who would know I’d be this slow shaking you

I don’t know what I’m looking for
I just let the arrows go and hope I find what I am shooting for

So don’t say that you’ll be there for me
If you don’t care for me, I’ll be gone
‘Cause I don’t have the strength to be this strong
Who knew that I’d take so long shaking you

Now I’m waiting to hit the ground
I’m painting my love for you in corners I know how to get around

Time can shake me loose from the blues
But who would know I’d be this slow shaking you

I don’t know what I’m looking for
I just let the arrows go and hope I find what I am shooting for

]]> 0