As I’m sure some corner of the interweb has already informed you, Amy Winehouse is dead. I’m not even sure what to say though I think the spectrum of reactions is somewhere between “damn, that’s sad” and “well, it’s not like we didn’t see this coming.”1 There’s also the grim coincidence that she’s the latest to join the 27 Club.

I’ve written a lot about Amy Winehouse over the years. In fact, I think the most commented post I’ve ever had on Soul SIdes was about her first L.A. performance, at The Roxy.2 I also just wrapped up an essay on retro-soul that mentions Winehouse quite a bit, natch. I think the cultural politics around her career have been important and worthwhile but honestly…I just wanted to hear her put out more music, see what her instrument could do following Back to Black. Didn’t happen and obviously, will never happen. So yeah, I’m bummed.

I’ll say this much…if I had to think about my favorite songs of the last five years or so, Amy’s “Valerie” absolutely has to rank in the top 3. I just never tire of it.

Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse: Valerie
From Version (Columbia, 2007)

And here’s the song from Back to Black that always lingered on my mind.

Amy Winehouse: Love Is a Losing Game
From Back to Black (Universal, 2006)

This is a shitty juxtaposition but I still wanted to say: to any readers out in Norway, my heart absolutely goes out to you for the horrific events from yesterday.

  1. As Joan Morgan wrote on FB: “that there was no surprise in it is an even greater tragedy.”
  2. Comments for that thread may or may not exist because of WordPress reformatting but I archived them here.



9 comments to AMY WINEHOUSE, RIP

  • Kip

    I so remember the post as the Daptones played on some great records. Thanks for turning me on to Valarie way back when. Kip

  • First Norway, then Amy. This is a bad news day :o(

  • Shit, used the wrong smiley there, sorry

  • Scott

    The Truth and Soul remix of Love is a Losing game probably accounted for more plays than any of her other songs. A modern soul classic.

  • Tom

    R.I.P. Amy! Rest In Peace. Never be forgotten, your music will live forever.

  • ben

    Very sad, an artist dying is never funny, especially when she was almost the only good thing happening those days. But now that she’s dead, will her music survive the test of time ? I don’t think so.
    She was a great singer, but compared to the legacy of voices that played the same repertoire before her, she wasn’t that great. Since she did nothing really new or original, why should i listen to one of her records instead of putting on a Marva Whitney Lp or listening to Aretha, Vicky Anderson or… (insert your favorite female soul singers here) ??? She was a miracle compared to Lady Gaga or… (insert your most disgusting contemporary singer here), but only a good singer compared to her predecessors.

    RIP AMY, you didn’t have time to really show us if you could push you talent to higher grounds. And that’s why your death is tragic 🙁

  • Downtown Artists

    it’s so sad that drugs took that pure soul. she she could have done more and more…

  • kevin patterson

    How about that track of He Can Only Hold Her with a mash of That Thing from one of her live performances (maybe Roxy) you posted from that earlier time? That was awesome, you might consider posting again.

  • LJ

    Very very sad. No need to compare her unfavorably to predecessors: How can anyone not feel this acoustic version of Valerie recorded for a UK radio show ? Or Love is a Losing Game video version : ? Have had the latter in my head since she died.

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