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.