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Old 11-06-2019, 11:31 AM
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Moving songs with just voice and piano


I'm always amazed how some vocalists can move me emotionally with basically just a piano as accompaniment.

Please post your favourites here (preferably with a link to the performance so we can all enjoy it.)

Three of my most emotional experiences:

Adele singing 'Make you feel my love'

Elton John with 'Your Song'

And of course Adele singing 'Someone like you'
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:06 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O4J4DH4tyo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkgkThdzX-8

John Lennon Imagine and Jealous Guy
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:09 PM
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Joe Cocker - You Are So Beautiful
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:42 PM
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Two versions of the same song:

Nick Cave - People Ain't No Good - live version stripped down to just Cave and piano.

This next one may not count, as the band does come in later, but mostly it's just piano; and I'm not so sure that the Camille O' Sullivan cover isn't ever better than the original.

j
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:42 PM
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Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like a Wheel (Live 1976)

None better.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:08 PM
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Like, all of Franz Schubert’s songs? Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Mahler also too.
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Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 11-06-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:15 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOynbxQsMiY

Sorry, that’s an orchestrated version. Hard to find the original. But Gus’s orchestrations are always brilliant.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:16 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOynbxQsMiY

Sorry, that’s an orchestrated version. Hard to find the original. But Gus’s orchestrations are always brilliant.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:26 PM
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Peter Gabriel -- Here Comes The Flood
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:52 PM
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found a nice one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lmjMpRoZ9Q
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:35 PM
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Thank you - that was beautiful.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:41 PM
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And your fine recommendations led me to this awesome version of Paul Simon's 'Bridge over troubled water' by John Legend.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:53 PM
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Leon Russell "A Song For You".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37dw2r45Xzg
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:58 PM
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Billy Joel - She's Got A Way
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:33 PM
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Fitting certain definitions of the word "moving" and featuring some mighty fine piano and vocals:

Memphis Slim, "Churnin' Man Blues"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEHLco4_8qY

Last edited by Dropo; 11-06-2019 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
Nick Cave - People Ain't No Good - live version stripped down to just Cave and piano.
Nick Cave is a good go-to in this thread. I have a great live version of him covering The Pogues' Rainy Night in Soho. Can't find it online. Here's a similar YouTube version but it's too slow and simplifies the riffs.

This song is driven by the piano riffs.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:49 PM
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Neil Young - After The Goldrush

not everybody's cuppa, but I could die for it.

ETA: just remembered, there's also a horn solo, but mostly the song is voice + piano.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:56 PM
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Kina Grannis singing Say Something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_o95IyLL_U
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:11 PM
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Thunder Road from his Broadway show - Bruce Springsteen
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:23 PM
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Nina Simone - Nobody's Fault But Mine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlN1VR4K-Sk
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:46 PM
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I think there's a bit of background music here, but close enough.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa_7cuGMIGg

Elton John, "Empty Garden"
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:23 PM
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Gareth Emery, the highly regarded trance producer, did a series of videos featuring just him playing the piano together with the vocalists who appeared on his top tracks. (They are all available on YouTube.) Here is a really beautiful one:

SAVING LIGHT Unplugged - Gareth Emery and HALIENE

(Here is the original mix of the song.)
  #23  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:07 PM
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Years ago, I saw Randy Newman performing "Just One Smile" on a PBS special. Just him and the piano, and it was heartbreaking. I haven't been able to find it, but the closest is a version by Scott Walker, though that has added strings.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Both of these songs have plenty of other instruments:

Imagine
John Lennon – vocals, piano
Klaus Voormann – bass
Alan White – drums
The Flux Fiddlers – strings

Jealous Guy
John Lennon – vocals, acoustic guitar, whistling
Nicky Hopkins – piano
John Barham – harmonium
Alan White – vibraphone
Klaus Voormann – bass
Jim Keltner – drums
Mike Pinder – tambourine
Joey Molland and Tom Evans – acoustic guitars
The Flux Fiddlers – strings

Last edited by Leaffan; 11-06-2019 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:37 PM
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The times they are a-changin' by Keb' Mo'
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:52 AM
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Antony and the Johnsons Hope There's Someone

Quote:
Hope there's someone
Who'll take care of me
When I die; will I go?
Hope there's someone
Who'll set my heart free. . . .
or as Antony Hegarty

Cripple and the Starfish
  #27  
Old 11-07-2019, 04:43 AM
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Billy Joel - She's Always a Woman

Mostly just piano, but I also hear a flute, or maybe it’s a clarinet. There may be some other instruments.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Like, all of Franz Schubert’s songs? Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Mahler also too.
And Fauré ! Après un Rêve

As always with this composer, I love the little accidentals that are like subtly changing light on water.

Ô Nuit, rends-moi tes mensonges (Oh Night, give me your lies back)
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Last edited by Les Espaces Du Sommeil; 11-07-2019 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:42 AM
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Tim Minchin - White Wine in the sun

A christmas non-carol good enough to be a national anthem.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:51 AM
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One of my favorite Prince songs of all time, "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?"
  #31  
Old 11-07-2019, 09:45 AM
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Tom Waits singing I Can't Wait To Get Off Work (And See My Baby On Montgomery Avenue)
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:50 AM
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Elton John - Goodbye England's Rose (Candle in the Wind)
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:09 AM
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Kate Bush - Under the Ivy and this version of Man With The Child In His Eyes.

Not entirely piano, but I love Bat For Lashes' Laura

Last edited by MrDibble; 11-07-2019 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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Peter Hammill - Vision (studio album track (1971) or live (1978 & 2018)
And lyrics, if you want.
I've been a fan since the early 70s...

Or there's Mark Eitzel with All My Love. He's often sounds very emotional, but usually with a guitar, or more instrumentation.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:17 AM
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A lot of early Tom Waits is just piano and vocals. I was thinking there were a few songs from "Closing Time" that fit the OP, but it's been a while since I listened to that album and can't think of anything specific.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:45 AM
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John Hiatt, Have a Little Faith was the first I thought of. Saw him last month - great solo show.

And I offer this little romantic ditty from Nighthawks. Sure, the bass and brushes join him, but the piano-backed intro cracks me up every time! "I'm not WEIRD about it or anything - heh-heh-heh."
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:45 AM
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Case Of You, Diana Krall
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:46 AM
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Billy Joel's Piano Man, except for the intro harmonica.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:31 PM
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Lullaby for a Stormy Night - Vienna Teng

I love this song so much. I frequently sing it to my son even when it's not stormy. I knew the artist in high school. She was the choir accompanist, so I knew she was a stellar piano player. I had no idea she had that voice.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:48 PM
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Essra Mohawk - Looking Forward to the Dawn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=oyYjp99uA9M
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:41 PM
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Jack was a good person to get rid of. He was pretty sociable and a smooth liar. Jamal is too much of a pompous ass to win, I think.

Jeff was so excited for Survivor to be socially relevant.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:57 PM
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Lullaby for a Stormy Night - Vienna Teng

I love this song so much. I frequently sing it to my son even when it's not stormy. I knew the artist in high school. She was the choir accompanist, so I knew she was a stellar piano player. I had no idea she had that voice.
Gosh yes--one of the few songs that can make me spontaneously tear up all by itself.

Discovering her (via Pandora about 10 years back) opened up a whole world of lovely female voices to me. Right now loving on Aoife O'Donovan -- guitar, not piano (sorry OP) -- and her cronies such as Sarah Jarosz, et al.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:08 PM
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John Denver's Season of the Heart. Link
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:42 PM
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Well, some of these songs are not just piano & voice, so I'll also suggest Ben Folds Five "The Luckiest". (It has strings, but "Your Song" has strings and drums in it, too, so I assume the OP is casting the net a little wider than literally just voice and piano.)
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:15 PM
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I can't believe no one's mentioned Joni Mitchell. She has so many beautiful songs that are just piano and voice, especially on "Blue". One of my all-time favorite songs is from that album - River.
  #46  
Old 11-07-2019, 10:25 PM
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One of the many versions of Paul Robeson singing Ol' Man River.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:49 PM
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Well, some of these songs are not just piano & voice, so I'll also suggest Ben Folds Five "The Luckiest". (It has strings, but "Your Song" has strings and drums in it, too, so I assume the OP is casting the net a little wider than literally just voice and piano.)
Might as well throw in New York State Of Mind, then.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:55 AM
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Marie Digby covering Chris Isaak's Wicked Game
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:42 AM
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Most of my gal's Hap's quiet, pretty songs are accompanied by keyboards or acoustic guitar, but here's a short, beautiful song with a piano.

"In Hiding"
  #50  
Old 11-08-2019, 03:04 AM
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Angel, by Sarah McLachlan apparently has an upright bass on it in addition to the piano and vocals, but I never noticed it before this moment. I hardly hear it now.

Frankly, I can't believe this one's still on the board after 48 follow-ups.
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