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Twentieth-Century Blues

I have a copy of a CD called "Twentieth Century Blues: the Songs of Noël Coward", a collection of modern interpretations of famous Noël Coward songs.

It's mostly terrible. Noël Coward songs, though timeless, are also very much of their time in the sense that they can't easily be turned into rock songs, folk ballads, or slow jams. While I don't know the exact name of the genre they belong to, they hew very hard to that genre.

A few have been turned into minor editions of the songs that made their (modern) performers famous, such as the Pet Shop Boys' version of Sail Away and Sting's version of I'll Follow my Secret Heart. But the most successful renditions by far are the conservative arrangements performed by Bryan Ferry of I'll See You Again and, very much, Mad About the Boy by Marianne Faithfull.

I'll See You Again is worth listening to - it's only two and half minutes - but I urge you most strongly to listen to Mad About the Boy. And, if you like, imagine Zoë Wanamaker as Lady Cassandra as the singer.