1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “A Man Like Me”

A Man Like Me – James Stewart

A Man Like Me - James Stewart

A Man Like Me – James Stewart

One time member of The Usual, James Stewart makes beautifully crafted pop songs. And ‘A Man Like You’ is no exception. On this sentimental song, his emotional-without-being-X-Factor-warblingly-irritating voice floats over the gentle instrumentation. The song seems to glide along on a shiny surface of polished production and plush sounds.

The words tell the familiar tale of a man feeling lucky with the woman who has fallen in love with them. Men are often criticised for not showing their true feelings, but when James sings here about ‘feeling like a stranger in this world’ and how he does not really feel deserving of love, then he will ‘thank my lucky stars each night Because they’re the only reason I can see Why a beautiful woman like you could ever love a man like me’.

‘A Man Like Me’ topped the SA Rockdigest charts back in 2002 and spent 2 weeks there and it was no surpise. The album that produced this chart topper along with 2 other songs that topped those charts (‘Shine’ and ‘Gravity’) has a list of personnel involved that is packed with names from the who’s who of SA music. Bright Blue’s ‘Dan Heymann and Tom Fox help out in the instrumentation department along with Paul Tizzard, Yoyo Buys and Voelvry-er Jannie van Tonder. On the production side, it’s only McCully Workshop’s Richard Black behind the desk with James Stewart and Joe Arthur pops in to help master the final affair. With talent like Stewart’s and friends like his, it’s not surprising we got a song as good as this from a man like him.

Where to find it:
A Man Like Me – James Stewart (2004), Street Level, CDSLS(CLF)135

Hear here:
https://jamesstewart.bandcamp.com/album/a-man-like-me

Video:

The Meaning Of Goodbye – James Stewart

A Man Like Me - James Stewart

A Man Like Me – James Stewart

Men At Work (you know the Aussie band that sang ‘Down Under’) released an album called ‘Business As Usual’. Well, at one point James Stewart would have thought of ‘Usual as Business’ as he was the lead singer of local band The Usual. But there is a sting in this tale and that sting is a certain Gordon Sumner whom James sounds somewhat like.

‘The Meaning Of Goodbye’ is a laid-back rock ballad that features James doing a breathy Sting impersonation, especially when he stretches his vocal chords. Working with Richard Black of McCully Workshop fame, he produced ‘A Man Like Me’, his debut solo album and this song was featured on it. Apart from the vocal comparisons mentioned above, one can also hear similarities in style to fellow Cape Townian Robin Auld.

‘The Meaning Of Goodbye’ with its lyics, as the title suggests, about break ups, made it to number 2 on the South African Rock Digest’s charts in 2003 and was used in the Canadian animated TV show ‘Clone High’. In 2012, The Usual got back together for some gigs, so despite singing ‘now I know the meaning of goddbye’, he didn’t really.

Where to find it:
A Man Like Me – James Stewart (2004), Street Level

Video:

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