|This is what you get when you search for Axl Rose on Google. Outstanding.|
This week I was lucky (?) enough to hear a friend do some special renditions of various songs. Not just any renditions, whistling versions. Some were amazing, some not so and the best were stopped suddenly by much laughter. It’s difficult to whistle and laugh. That got me thinking, there’s some great songs that involve whistling. There’s some terrible songs that involve whistling. This week, we look at the special vintage songs that involve the interesting art form of the whistle. You decide which are the good ones and which are the bad, it’s not for me to say which is which. Some people can’t even whistle. Think of those poor suckers before you start judging the whistle! Um, what?
Guns N Roses - Patience, 1989
Axl, for those of us without much patience, at least you get a chunk of the whistling out of the way early in this song. I mean, I know there’s the little bit at about four minutes, but I gave up watching the bandana and swaying to see if there was any more later on. Six minutes is too long for a song called patience. I don’t have that much.
Otis Reading - Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay, 1968
1960’s. Now that’s serious vintage. Otis wrote his probably most famous song and tragically, it was recorded only days before his death in a plane crash. It topped the US charts the following year and although it’s been covered a bazillion (not exact number) times, Otis is the only one who got the whistling at the end just right. Everyone else; no. Stop it.
The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian, 1986
Oh, The Bangles. I think I probably like you, lots. The three sometimes four of you, the ‘80’s clothes, the crap film clips, the guitars and your cute vintage pop. You know, ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’, the karaoke classic ‘Eternal Flame’; such awesome old pop, but only ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ has got that little bit of whistling. That’s magic that is. That and the film clip with the hands in the air and the Egyptian head swaying thing. Genius.
David Bowie - Golden Years, 1976
Yes! Finally an excuse to post David Bowie! It’s not my favourite Bowie song, but it does feature whistling. Recorded when his eye shadow was getting heavier and his cocaine habit becoming larger, the whistling is a bit weird really, but then, so much of Bowie is weird and that’s what made him so fabulous a lot of the time. Whistle on Bowie!
Roxette - Joyride, 1991
Wow! Apparently Roxette had other songs other than ‘Listen To Your Heart’! A few actually, including this little number, which features some lovely whistling throughout. The clip also features some awful special effects, terrible hair and interesting pants. How lovely.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes - Home, 2009
Ok, it’s not vintage, technically, but it wasn’t released this year and I like it. It’s got a whistling start, some whistling in the middle, lots of bounce and the lyrics “Home is wherever I’m with you”. Love.