BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge

For my first non-photography post in a long time, I’m going to write about another one of my passions – music.

Radio here in the UK is interesting.  There are local stations that are just like your average radio station back home, and then there are a handful of national stations run by the BBC.  National stations was initially a confusing concept, until I realized that England is the size of Alabama, so really its just a state-wide station.  The BBC stations are funded by tax dollars, and therefore advertisement free, a refreshing change from the local channels.  BBC Radio 1 is the pop music and younger arm of the BBC channels, and is the one I listen to most often.

I have a love/hate relationship with Radio 1.  For example, they are basically a top 40 station that seems contractually obligated to play certain songs a specific number of times per day which gets a bit repetitive.  And I’ll take a pass on some of the DJs (I don’t miss Chris Moyles, but I do miss the Golden Hour game).  On the plus side, they do play way more electronic music than any stations back home did, and aren’t afraid to play emerging artists.  But my favorite part about Radio 1?  It might be the Live Lounge.

The Live Lounge is a segment where a popular artist comes to the studio at Radio 1 and plays one of their own songs as usually a cover of another artist in an acoustic format.  What I like the most about this format is that it really separates the talented artists from the rest of the pack.  I especially like the covers when the artist totally switches genre and makes the song their own.  And the best part is the BBC puts out the best of the Live Lounge as an album every year or so.

My friends and I like to play the live lounge game, where we will put the album on and try and guess the performing artist and the original artist.  I have taken two tracks from the most recent album for you to try the game yourselves.

This first song I is one of those that I recognized the guy singing but couldn’t remember the name of the song.  Try your luck.

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75029060&show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff7700 Live Lounge game song #1 by njbrideau

Any guesses?  It’s the Arctic Monkeys performing a song called “On a Mission” originally by an artist called Katy B.  She does a lot of dance music here in the UK, I’m not sure if she made it to the States.

With this second track, I bet you can guess the original song but not the artist singing it.

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75029293&show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff7700 Live Lounge game song #2 by njbrideau

Yes, this is “Call me maybe” originally by Carly Rae Jepson but this time performed by a guy named Ben Howard.  Ben Howard is one of those UK artists heavily promoted on Radio 1.  His most popular song is called “only love”, which should have charted in the USA.  I really like his version of this song, but that might be a reflection of how much I like the electric guitar.

Take a look at this list of covers done over the years.  If you are interested, many can be found on youtube, or I can share my albums if you ask nicely.

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3 thoughts on “BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge”

  1. We have a local radio station here in Ann Arbor that plays cover songs on Sunday mornings.(No live artists, unfortunately)Sometimes it is very hard to recognize the original song when the artist changes it up too much, but it is always fun to try and figure it out. Every once in a while they play one that you wonder who ever thought that would sound good, but hey, that’s part of the fun!

  2. Hey! You are like a box of chocolates – full of surprises! 😉 And I liked this one… Can you please share with me Live Lounge albuns? I really like what I listened here. And by the way congrats on your blog. :p

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