I was going to use its birthday as an excuse to show my top 5 favourite Scottish music clips that can be found at YouTube, but as I trawled through the many possibilities one person appeared again and again. Namely one Elizabeth Fraser. So here are my five favourite Liz clips to celebrate Five years of YouTube. I can think of no better way.
This first one is from the peerless Cocteau Twins. One of my most treasured pieces of music is my 12″ of The Spangle Maker which also has versions of Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drop and Pepper Tree and which I’ve played ragged over the years. In the mid-eighties no-one was making noise like Guthrie, Raymonde and Fraser and the fact that they continue to influence so many current musicians has in no way lessened the beauty of their sound. Here they are playing live two of the songs mentioned above:
The rest of the clips here are collaborations. If you believe that people can be judged by the company they keep then this speaks very well for Liz Fraser, how highly her talent is rated and how carefully and tastefully she chooses who to work with. The first is from Massive Attack’s third album Mezzanine on which she sings on three tracks. This is the first single from that album. This is Teardrop:
What a meeting of voices the next song is. It’s a duet between Liz and Jeff Buckley which was never released commercially, and finding this clip on YouTube is exactly what the channel is for. The rough nature of this recording I think adds charm to it. This is the gorgeous All Flowers in Time Bend Toward the Sun:
Next up is Liz’s collaboration with Glaswegian composer Craig Armstrong. The song features on his wonderful 1998 album The Space Between Us, which also features Paul Buchanan. If you don’t own a copy I highly recommend it. This is This Love:
Finally, this is possibly my favourite YouTube clip. From an STV music programme whose name escapes me (there seemed to be a different one every week for a while, if you know it then please tell me). Here is a rare clip of Liz singing with the criminally under-rated The Bathers on their song Angel on Ruskin:
God bless YouTube, and god bless you Elizabeth Fraser…