Uke Tunes

Uke-ifying my favourite songs


Leave a comment

UkeTunes – now on Facebook

I’ve finally got around to setting up a Facebook page for this here little site. The primary aim is to have somewhere people can follow and see when there are new posts on this site. I’m not planning to duplicate anything or have any additional content on those pages – it’s just a way to post notifications of updates and links to this site.

So if you’re interested in being updated on any new content on here, then do drop by, say hello, and like the page. There’s not much there at the moment, but it will grow. And I promise not to spam you!

You can find the page here.

Ian


2 Comments

UkeTunes Songbooks – Edition 3

I thought it was probably about time that I updated the songbooks to include all the new songs that I’ve posted on here over the last 18 months or so. And here they are. These songbooks are by far the most downloaded things on this site, and hopefully that means they get used as well. Please feel free to onward share as well as use yourself

As with the last update, I’ve taken the opportunity to include a whole batch of songs that I’d worked on that never made onto this site as individual blog posts. So by my reckoning there are 39 new songs in here since the last edition, making a total of 152 songs in the new book. Eclectic as ever, that includes some synth classics, pop-punk by way of the 60s, a fair smattering of contemporary country-and-folk tinged songs, disco, and even a few contemporary pop hits. But more importantly just good songs (in my opinion, at least!).

These are now compiled into three books:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For reference, here’s the list of all the new songs that are included in the books (those that haven’t previously published on the site are shown with a (*):

 


1 Comment

Glen Campbell – RIP

Late last night came the sad but inevitable news of the death of Glen Campbell. Inevitable, as he has been suffering from Alzheimer’s for the last 6 years or so. Sad because Glen was a man who’s music made the world a better place. Never one of the cool kids, perceived as being on the square side of the block (although his back-story and life might tell you otherwise), Campbell had a way with a song (and a guitar) that was unparalleled. And when paired with songwriter Jimmy Webb, they made a peerless combination.

So here, collected together, are the four Glen Campbell song sheets that I’ve published so far (I get the feeling there might be another one coming!):

And here’s a few other songs to remember him by:


Leave a comment

UkeTunes Songbook – The 60s and 70s

songbook60s70sWhen I published the last update to the UkeTunes songbook, there was a suggestion from Mike DiCamillo for a 1970s songbook to sit alongside the 1980s one. Seemed a good idea, so here it is.

EXCEPT. I decided to extend it to a 60s and 70s songbook – it seemed to feel like a logical thing to do, and I think those songs sit well together.

So here’s a collection of over 40 songs from that period, running the full gamut from crooning to punk, with a bit of reggae, psychedelia, country, soul, pop and rock along the way.

As ever, please feel free to onward share and use as you wish.

<songbook>


Leave a comment

Down In The Subway / What! – Soft Cell

R-490877-1235309593.jpegR-116294-1241539463.jpegBy 1984 Soft Cell were imploding in a cocktail of drugs, sex, fame and general debauchery. It had been a steep, messy and rapid decline from the heights they had achieved with the massive success of Tainted Love 3 years earlier. It was an arc that can be traced through the titles of the three albums they released during that period – Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, The Art Of Falling Apart, and This Last Night In Sodom.

<What!>  <Down In The Subway>

To the mass consciousness, Soft Cell are Tainted Love, Tainted Love is Soft Cell, and that’s all there is too
it. Clearly things were far more complex than that, and at their heart there was always a tension between their pop sensibilities and their more outré tendancies. But throughout their career, one influence that they kept coming back to was Marc Almonds passion for Northern Soul. Northern Soul was a dance movement that emerged in the north of England in the late 1960s, that focused on black American soul music with a heavy, four-to-the-floor beat and fast tempo, strongly influenced by the sound of Tamla Motown. And the more obscure the record the better.

Tainted Love, Soft Cell’s huge breakthrough hit, was a cover of a a 1964 original by Gloria Jones (and was backed with a cover of the Motown hit Where Did Our Love Go, famoulsy segued together on the 12″ version). And they returned to that format a number of times throughout their career. In 1982 their cover of “What”, originally a 1968 recording by Judy Street, climbed to the top 5. And their final single before their dissolution, 1984s Down In The Subway, was a cover of a 1968 original by Jack Hammer.

So two song sheets for the price of one today. Down In The Subway is a pretty straightforward song – three chords, and a lot of attitude. What! is a little more complex – the rhythm is one that needs a little practice and experimentation to get right. I’ve tried to transcribe the sound as close to the Soft Cell version, including the extended outro. I’ve also included some tab to cover some of the riffs, and the solo section in the middle.

Enjoy!

<What!>  <Down In The Subway>


5 Comments

“Heroes” – David Bowie (an update)

I’ve been wondering about putting an actual recording of me doing one of these songs for a while. The real problem is that I really don’t sing well – I know that, and know my limits. But with the recent passing of David Bowie, and with a number of his songs on this site, I thought I’d give it a go.

So here it is – my version of “Heroes” (to join the 27,392 others on YouTube!). This may be the very last time that I do this, so make the most of it!

(click for the “Heroes” article and songsheet)


Leave a comment

2015 most popular songs

As I did last year, I thought it would be fun to have a look back at the website stats and see what were the most popular songs on this site over the past 12 months, based on the number of downloads of songsheets.

The two songbooks that I published back in the summer (Uketunes Volume 1, and the 1980s subset) seemed to go down very well, which is great, But for individual songs, the top 5 looks as follows:

  1. Baker Street, by Gerry Rafferty
  2. Lost Stars, by Adam Levine or Kiera Knightley
  3. Look At Miss Ohio, by Gillian Welch
  4. Rhinestone Cowboy, by Glen Campbell
  5. Sugar Town, by Nancy Sinatra

Baker Street and Rhinestone Cowboy are no surprises, both being at the same places in the top 5 last year. The popularity of Lost Stars surprised me a bit, but may have something to do with it’s nomination for Best Original Song in the 2015 Academy Awards, and being covered in the UK by the winner of The Voice. But both Sugar Town and (particularly) Look At Miss Ohio are surprises to me at being so popular. But just go to show what great taste you guys have!