FEATURE: Leon Fussell – Five Favourites | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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We catch up with musician Leon Fussell who was happy to share his five most stand out vocal harmonies that even to this day makes the hair stand up on the back of his neck.

Alice In Chains: Shame In You
I’m not really sure how well known Shame In You is from Alice in Chain’s eponymous third album. If you know much about the history of AIC, then you will know that this was a hard album to make. The twin vocals of Stayley and Cantrell are truly unique. Although there are many classics, I find the choice in harmony intervals of this song incredibly haunting yet beautiful at the same time. RIP Layne.

First Aid Kit: My Silver Lining
A few years ago at the Banff Film Festival at Whitley Bay Playhouse, a short film called Afterglow was shown using some of the most visually spectacular cinematography I’ve ever seen of some skiers wearing light suits whilst skiing down a mountain in the darkness. The accompanying soundtrack My Silver Lining had me completely blown away with the beautiful vocal arrangement and lyrics. I’d never heard it before and had no idea who performed it. Thankfully I managed to make a note of First Aid Kit from the credits and ordered the album the next day.

Crowded House: Weather With You
There are some who would call this dad music, maybe they are right….but I love this song. I was around 14 years old when this came out and was part of a group taking lunch time acoustic guitar lessons from one of my school’s maths teachers (who had a strange resemblance to Mr Bean in attire and hairstyle). We ended up performing it at the end of year assembly where I also sang the Neil Finn vocal line in perfect vocal harmony with Mr Bean. Crowded House was my first big concert which was at Whitley Bay Ice Rink.

Beach Boys: Surfin USA
What are the chances of several brothers and a cousin forming a band with such a dynamic vocal range spanning from bass right through to a pitch perfect falsetto? I first heard Surfin USA when the movie Teen Wolf came out starring Marty McFly sporting a stick-on furry face surfing on the top of the Wolfmobile. As well as being an awesome movie at the time, it was my first introduction to The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson’s vocal arrangements have stood the test of time. I love singing their songs and picking out different vocal lines to sing along to. I went to see Brian Wilson at Sage Gateshead the other year. I left the gig wanting to wax down my surf board……and yes, I had one.

Billy Joel: The Longest Time
I first started to take singing lessons after my parents heard me singing the songs in the car from An Innocent Man album. It is a belter of an album and I finally got to see Billy play at Old Trafford this year. The 50s style doo-wop almost a cappella track (if it wasn’t for the double bass guitar) The Longest Time is a corker of a track. Catchy, clever and a lot of fun.  I would love to write a song along these lines at some point. Any singers out there up for a bit of Doo-wop?

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