Solo piano with voice.
October 25, 2005 3:04 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite recordings (pop, rock, country, folk, blues, jazz, other) with just voice and piano?
posted by Bearman to Science & Nature (62 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

The Wrens - This is Not What You had Planned
posted by ludwig_van at 3:09 PM on October 25, 2005

Mother, by Tori Amos
posted by amro at 3:11 PM on October 25, 2005

Dame Janet Baker singing Ivor Gurney's I will go with My Father A-Ploughing
posted by Substrata at 3:13 PM on October 25, 2005

Cat Power - I Don't Blame You
Zombies - A Rose for Emily
posted by cloeburner at 3:19 PM on October 25, 2005

Several Tori Amos songs. I forget which ones are piano only. Her cover of Time was very good.
Cease, by American Lesion (Greg Graffin's solo project)
Angel by Sarah MacLachlan. The live version from Mirrorball.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2005

Rufus Wainwright - "In a Graveyard"
posted by tepidmonkey at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2005

Tom Waits--The Piano Has Been Drinking.

Hmmm....think I'll pop over to open mic night tonight and do that one.
posted by sourwookie at 3:24 PM on October 25, 2005

Lou Reed, John Cale--"Songs for Drella"
posted by Finder at 3:31 PM on October 25, 2005

A few more...

Red House Painters - Mistress [piano version]
Sunny Day Real Estate - Pheurton Skeurto
Radiohead - Like Spinning Plates [Live version]
posted by cloeburner at 3:31 PM on October 25, 2005

Kate Bush - Something like a song.
posted by fire&wings at 3:33 PM on October 25, 2005

This one, by mefite adrober.
posted by interrobang at 3:34 PM on October 25, 2005

Ben Folds Live. I think the whole thing is just him and a piano.
posted by smackfu at 3:35 PM on October 25, 2005

Much of Rufus Wainwright's early catalog
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's versions of Schubert's Wintereisse and other lieder
Much of Randy Newman's work
posted by statolith at 3:35 PM on October 25, 2005

Ben Folds - Ben Folds Live. Then again, I just like all of his stuff in general...
posted by Moondoggie at 3:36 PM on October 25, 2005

Nina Simone: My Baby Just Cares for Me. Wait, you know, there's a drum on that too. Still damn good.
posted by adamrice at 3:37 PM on October 25, 2005

The utterly haunting version of Peter Gabriel singing Here Comes The Flood on Robert Fripp's Eposure.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:38 PM on October 25, 2005

Exposure, sorry.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:38 PM on October 25, 2005

i'm a huge fan of "blank page" by billy corgan.
posted by fake at 3:40 PM on October 25, 2005

hope there's someone - antony & the johnsons
second the cat power...i was listening to red apples just a minute ago.
hold yr terror close by the go! team has been an obsession of mine since the US release of their album.
this is not what you had planned has a drum in it. then again, hope there's someone has some keys, in addition to the piano.
posted by carsonb at 3:41 PM on October 25, 2005

(why is this in "science & nature"?)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:45 PM on October 25, 2005

Wim Mertens' solo albums (The Epic That Never Was and A Man of No Fortune and With a Name to Come are excellent.) MP3 and MP3
posted by dobbs at 3:49 PM on October 25, 2005

Would brick by The ben folds five count.

Im prety certain that theres some bass and drums on it though.
posted by gergtreble at 3:53 PM on October 25, 2005

If "other" includes "classical," I recommend Schubert's Erlkönig. I'm away from my music collection at the moment and can't remember who does the specific recording I have, though.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:55 PM on October 25, 2005

And if we're talking classical, get yourself some Chopin.
posted by kindall at 3:57 PM on October 25, 2005

Joni Mitchell, Blue
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:03 PM on October 25, 2005

Response by poster: (why is this in "science & nature"?)

I slipped when posting to media & the arts. Is there any way to change it now?
posted by Bearman at 4:07 PM on October 25, 2005

"Androgynous" Replacements
"I Think It's Going To Rain Today" Randy Newman
posted by jonmc at 4:08 PM on October 25, 2005

the tori amos version of famous blue raincoat is one of my favorites...
posted by troybob at 4:10 PM on October 25, 2005

Response by poster: I also meant to say:

Thanks for all the answers so far everyone!
posted by Bearman at 4:11 PM on October 25, 2005

Nellie McKay and Regina Spektor are great and a little off-kilter.
posted by fishfucker at 4:12 PM on October 25, 2005

A solo piano with voice is Inflammatory Writ by Joanna Newsom.
posted by holloway at 4:22 PM on October 25, 2005

I asked a similar question once from which you may find answers.

The songs in my Tunes piano mix that contain mostly piano (and very little of any other instrument) include:

10,000 Maniacs - Verdi Cries (warning: contains occasional strings)
10,000 Maniacs - Jezebel (unplugged, strings again)
Ben Folds - Tiny Dancer (E.J. cover, live)
Ben Folds - In Between Days (Cure cover, contains drums but is AWESOME)
Ben Folds Five - Magic (contains bass line)
Carole King - Smackwater Jack (live)
Counting Crows - Colorblind (though piano dominates, there are other instruments)
Dynamite Hack - Anyway (acoustic version)
Everything But the Girl - The Night I Heard Caruso Sing (there's a horn in there someplace, I think)
Fiona Apple - many songs almost qualify, but she's almost always got some spare accompaniment (she's awesome, though, and worth putting on a piano mix)
Fleetwood Mac - Songbird (mostly piano, some occasional guitar)
Michelle Featherstone - Stay
Natalie Merchant - The Letter (N.M. has other songs that are mostly piano, but usually have some lush background someplace)
Neil Finn - Sweet Secret Peace (some strings)
Peter Cincotti - Fool on the Hill/Nature Boy (a great song you can download from iTunes Music Store -- all piano)
Rufus Wainwright - Hallelujah
Sarah McLachlan - Do What You Have to Do (a bit of violin)
Sarah McLachlan - Angel (some other instruments here and there)
Sarah McLachlan - Last Dance (beautiful and mostly piano, but no vocal)
Sarah McLachlan - Possession (piano version)
Tori Amos - Mr. Zebra (a trumpet or something in there, but oh so good -- lots of Tori features prominent piano but she usually uses additional instrumentation)
U2 - October
Alanis Morissette - Uninvited (acoustic)
Mary-Chapin Carpenter - Only a Dream (may be some strings, but the song is beautiful, and nominally country)

Hope some of these work despite the fact that most aren't strictly piano and voice only.
posted by jdroth at 4:30 PM on October 25, 2005

Joanna Newsom plays piano? I thought she only did harp.
posted by jdroth at 4:30 PM on October 25, 2005

i asked that same question myself, jdroth, so i went and listened to it: yup, she's on piano for that one.
posted by carsonb at 4:34 PM on October 25, 2005

Huh. Sure enough. I'd never noticed. It's a good song, too. Doesn't she have a new album out soon?
posted by jdroth at 4:41 PM on October 25, 2005

Though it was mentioned already, a second for "The Piano has been drinking" by Tom Waits. Great great song.
posted by zpousman at 4:52 PM on October 25, 2005

Daniel Johnson is has an, um, particularly compelling voice, both lyrically and on the piano. I like Monkey in a Zoo and Story of an Artist and The Sun Shines Down On Me

jdroth: I haven't heard, but she's due.
posted by carsonb at 4:55 PM on October 25, 2005

Karla Bonhoff's Lose Again
posted by paulsc at 4:56 PM on October 25, 2005

"My Ever Changing Moods" by the Style Council from the Cafe Bleu album - not the upbeat single released for the charts, but just Paul Weller's voice & piano. Stunning.
posted by essexjan at 6:07 PM on October 25, 2005

Ella Fitzgerald's "Pure Ella" is just her and a pianist...Ellis Larkin I think? My absolute favourite Ella - no scatting, just hauntingly beautiful singing...

And lots of Tom Waits' early stuff...I think San Diego Serenade is just him and piano. Ol '55 might be too. Some of the early stuff is either him and piano OR him and guitar, I can't always recall which is which!
posted by Richat at 6:22 PM on October 25, 2005

And I totally agree with essexjan...That is an amazing vocal on Paul's part!
posted by Richat at 6:22 PM on October 25, 2005

John Hiatt - Have a Little Faith In Me (Benny and Joon soundtrack, I think)
Billy Joel - And So It Goes
posted by Happydaz at 6:24 PM on October 25, 2005

Ian Bostridge singing Schubert with Leif Ove Andsnes.
Anne Sofie von Otter singing Grieg with Bengt Forsberg.
posted by cbrody at 6:25 PM on October 25, 2005

For something completely different, WAY more "outside," I strongly recommend Veryan Weston and Phil Minton's long-term collaborations, free improvisation.

The recordings I've heard & enjoyed are "Ways" and "Ways Past", but I'm eager to someday hear "Ways out east, ways out west."
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:39 PM on October 25, 2005

I second (third?) the whole Ben Folds Live album, even if you don't normally like live albums. Brilliant stuff.

Rufus Wainwright is generally good, too.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:43 PM on October 25, 2005

Joanna Newsome hurts me on the inside.
posted by trinarian at 6:49 PM on October 25, 2005

What's that they say about Joanna Newsom... that she has the voice of a muppet? Something like that.

Pleasing interlude #2 - Electric Six
posted by holloway at 7:05 PM on October 25, 2005

nick drake - saturday sun (on five leaves left)
posted by forallmankind at 7:27 PM on October 25, 2005

Alicia Keys: Fallin and If I can't Have You and several Leonard Cohen tracks spring to mind, particularly the oft-covered Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley version.
posted by fshgrl at 7:42 PM on October 25, 2005

Martha My Dear by The Beatles (McCartney). Wonderful tune. And I second Style Council, Newsom, and Joni Mitchell (several songs from the album Blue).
posted by crapples at 8:00 PM on October 25, 2005

Whoops - Just listened to Martha My Dear and remembered that a bunch of other instruments come in a few seconds into it. So I guess it's disqualified. Wonderful piano in the beginning, though.
posted by crapples at 8:03 PM on October 25, 2005

Nick Cave -- Sorrow's Child; not sure if any of the songs on the album Boatman's Call are piano/voice only but many of them are stripped way back

Sisters of Mercy -- 1959
posted by sennoma at 8:06 PM on October 25, 2005

Seventh Son - Mose Allison
posted by phhht at 8:18 PM on October 25, 2005

"Chumming the Ocean" from the album All The Nation's Airports by Archers Of Loaf is one of my favoritos.
posted by woj at 8:28 PM on October 25, 2005

Fifties jazz singer pianist Jeri Southerland comes to mind,
she is(lightly) backed up by a trio though,but Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye can break your heart. Charlie Hayden uses her version on Quartet West.
posted by hortense at 8:39 PM on October 25, 2005

Fourthing the entire Ben Folds Live album
posted by easternblot at 8:57 PM on October 25, 2005

Sinatra's version of "One for My Baby"...
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:08 PM on October 25, 2005

nina simone. nina simone nina simone. she's got a lot in her catalog frankly, but definitely give a listen to "Wild is the Wind."

and Tom Waits "just an invitation to the blues."

i may be wrong about whether these have other instruments in them. my collection is remote from me at the moment. apologies if they don't fit.
posted by shmegegge at 9:17 PM on October 25, 2005

laura nyro - new york tendaberry ... some of it's got extra instruments, but much of it is just her and a piano ... her next album, christmas and the beads of sweat also had some piano and voice segments, too ... and there are a couple of live albums where it's just her and piano
posted by pyramid termite at 9:37 PM on October 25, 2005

"Catalyst: A Decade of Steely Dan." It's a semi-unauthorized two disc set of what can loosely be called Steely Dan demo tracks. Most of them are just Donald Fagen playing piano and singing.

I imagine you'll probably feel about them just the way you do about Steely Dan. I think they're awesome.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:00 PM on October 25, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks again, everybody!
posted by Bearman at 8:55 AM on October 26, 2005

Rachels - Last Things Last

Also should've added that one to the saddest songs thread.
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:57 AM on October 26, 2005

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