I was Cher Scholar at no charge for two of my friends this week. A high school friend of mine who now works in Las Vegas as a singer and dancer was looking for a karaoke CD with "The Way of Love" on it. I’ve only ever been to karaoke as some sort of birthday obligation. So I wasn’t well steeped in Cher karaoke CDs although I knew there must be a plethora out there. This gave me a good opportunity to peruse the amazon.com market.
This has nine tracks: 2 from the dance era, 4 from the Geffen era, and 2 from 70s narrative period. There’s also "Shoop Shoop" which always sounded like a lame karaoke song to me anyway.
Ooh...enhanced. This one has 10 tracks: "Believe" (twice...one vocal and one karaoke version although I don’t know the difference), 4 from the Geffen era, and 4 from the 70s narrative era.
This one has 16 Tracks: 3 dance era, 8 Geffen era (including "Shoop Shoop"), 3 70s narrative tracks, and the recent "Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered" (although to me that's quintessentially a Barbra Streisand song) and "Bang Bang" (which is either the 60s or Geffen era version).
What does enhanced mean for pete’s sake? This one has 12 tracks: 6 dance era (including "Runaway" and "Believe" twice…listed as mix, guide tracks or performance track...I'm so confused!) and 6 Geffen era tracks.
This one has no song list. Buy at your own peril.
This one has 15 tracks: 5 dance era tracks (including "Song for the Lonely" and "Different Kind of Love Song"), 5 Geffen tracks, 3 70s narrative era, and 2 60s era.
This one spelled Gypsies as Gypsys. I hate that. I really do.
This one has 10 tracks, all from the Geffen era.
Odd combination…but okay. This one has four obscure tracks from the Believe album ("Dove L’Amore" being the only exception) and four obscure tracks from Donna’s album ("This Time I Know It’s For Real" the exception...it also has Summer's version of the operatic "Time to Say Goodbye" except the words are "I Will Go With You.")
This one was sent to me by a Cher yahoo-groups member. It’s the only one with "The Way of Love" and seems the best value with 22 tracks as follows.
- Believe - Cher
- A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done - Cher
- If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher
- We All Sleep Alone - Cher
- The Way Of Love - Cher
- After All -Cher
- Strong Enough - Cher
- You Better Sit Down Kids - Cher
- The Beat Goes On - Cher
- Dark Lady - Cher
- Baby Don't Go - Cher
- Half Breed - Cher
- I Got You Babe - Cher
- Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves - Cher
- Bang Bang - Cher
- I Found Someone - Cher
- Just Like Jesse James - Cher
- The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss) - Cher
- All I Ever Need Is You - Cher
- Take Me Home - Cher
- Little Man - Cher
- All Or Nothing – Cher
This is also the only one with "Cowboys," "The Beat Goes On," "Baby Don’t Go," "I Got You Babe," "All I Ever Need Is You," "Take Me Home" and "Little Man." All but two have the four signature songs: "Believe," "Turn Back Time," "Half Breed" (all but three) and "Gypsies." I didn’t see any CDs dedicated to Sonny & Cher.
I did my primary serach on Amazon but you might Google around for the right CD at the best price.
Last week a friend and I went to see two movies from the 70s at one of Santa Monica’s art house theaters. We saw Diary of a Mad Housewife which was interesting but pointless as the Leonard Maltin book says. I say what a doormat! This was followed by The Last of Sheila, a wonderfully fun who-done-it with a great cast including Dyan Cannon, Raquel Welch, George Mason and written by Anthony Perkins and Steven Sondheim.
Both movies featured Richard Benjamin; it was like a Richard Benjamin festival. Benjamin was great in both of them but I still blame him for Mermaids. After the movie my friend gave me two Cher albums he found at used record stores.
One was Bittersweet White Light. I said I didn’t know what the title meant. We laughed about Cher’s cover photo where she's piled with turquoise and fur as if to say "I’m rich!" On the back cover she looks way too thin and there’s another infernal essay by Sonny about how Cher makes one feel when she sings. I hate those essays. But I honestly love this album. I know some think it’s god-awful but I really don’t understand the particulars on why. These funky standards are way cool IMHO. More creative than her versions on TV.
The other LP was a Canadian Mono print of In Case You’re In Love. Another odd title. In case you’re in love what? Both my friend and boyfriend were flabbergasted over the outfits on the cover. I love the back photographs in Europe (they look so bored) but the middle photo makes me dizzy. I think they’re trying to hypnotize us.
This week I finally received my Sonny & Cher I Got You Babe DVD. This is a German production that looks like a fancy bootleg. I can’t figure out how this thing was ever made and approved. It’s very mysterious consisting mostly of some of their more mundane TV show live performances; these are not clips I would pick. Oddly the first one ("A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done") has the album track over-playing the TV show footage. The rest are live for the most part.
The track listing was not on Amazon:
- A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done - From their early 70s show.
- The Letter - From their early 70s show.
- All I Ever Need Is You - From their early 70s show.
- Bad Moon Rising - From their early 70s show.
- Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show/Mr. Tambourine Man - From their early 70s show.
- Cry Like a Baby - From their early 70s show.
- I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music (with Bobby Vinton, Frankie Valli, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry and I just realized Jerry Lee looks like that jazz pianist I used to date) - From their early 70s show.
- Bad Bad Leroy Brown (the very kewl cartoon) - From their early 70s show.
- Let Me Down Easy - From their early 70s show.
- Love Grows Where My Rosemary Grows – I hadn't seen this one before and it has interesting camera shots from behind left stage (including an great audience shot) and a front tracking shot like they never did. Very disorienting because it's so unusual. I wish they had done these kinds of shots more often.
- Out of Sight/Get Ready - Hadn’t seen this one.
- Sonny & Cher Stomp - Hadn’t seen this one either but it's a great self-deprecating send-up of themselves and their mannerisms complete with dancers.
- Silly Love Songs (with Donnie & Marie) – This one is from their later 70s Show.
- Without Love – Late 70s Show
- You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Late 70s Show
- Little Man – This was an awesome rough video clip from the 60s. Worth the whole DVD.
- I Got You Babe - Old video footage we've seen before.
- What Now My Love – More greatness...seems like old live footage. Loved it!
- Let the Beat Go On – This is a really odd outro to the DVD with quivering still captures from the clips above...all backed by an indecipherable song. Those Germans.
- Biography – This is useless, impossible to read as it scrolls by too fast.
This DVD wouldn’t play on my TV player; it said the new DVD was dirty. It played fine on my computer, however.
I’m headed to St. Louis this weekend for the funeral of my friend’s father. Very sad. Joe Wiskirchen was a recent visitor to Chez Edgar (he even tried to instill discipline in him as did my mother to no avail) and was a move review contributor to Ape Culture. Needless to say he will be missed.