LONELY AT THE TOP
(Randy Newman)Lonely at the Top Sample
Patrick VW: vocals
Sonny Silva: guitar
Duane Padilla: violin
David Chiorini: bass
Mike Couchois: drums
Harry Donahue: piano
Pierre Grill: accordion
Recorded & Mixed By: Pierre Grill
Additional recording by Patrick VW
I've loved this song from the moment I heard it 35 years ago. It's on the album, SAIL AWAY, by the great Randy Newman. His version is like this old style German cabaret piece with his own special vocal and instrumental style. I think I read somewhere that he wrote this about Frank Sinatra.
I finally started playing an acoustic guitar version of it a few years ago and would play it for my mom or at family parties.
When I was going into the studio to record a few jazzy type songs, with the Hot Club Of Hulaville, in Hawaii, I thought Id bring this one along too.
The guys weren't really familiar with it, so they did not try and imitate the Randy Newman version. They played it in their unique Hot Club style and it became a different piece altogether. I was thrilled and quickly adapted to the new style. It now had a French twist to it. We laid the track down and I cut the vocal live with the Sonny on guitar, Duane on violin and David on stand-up bass. We knew right away that it worked.
How lucky was I that the engineer, Pierre Grill, is a Frenchman, amazing musician and also played accordion? So, Pierre added the accordion track and really took us to Paris. I love how he answers Duane's violin lick at the end of the solo.
I brought it back to California and asked Mike Couchois to lay the drum track and he quickly captured the feel and made it sound even better. Soft and night clubby.
I then asked my very dear friend. Harry Donahue, to play piano on it and we set up the recording in his house with him playing his big, beautiful Steinway piano. It was magical and I knew the song was complete. I love the solo he plays.
I still hear new things in this song all the time. I hope you enjoy it too.