Monday, May 28, 2012

SIXTEEN (1970) The Album

Listening to Sixteen: "...Vilma’s first album was pure fun and still very relevant today. Consist of twelve songs six on each side. The vinyl record on side A starts with its carrying single, Sixteen. Composed by Dannie Subido, Sixteen talks about "making out" in the park. This might alarm some of the religious zealots in the 70s but Ate Vi’s wholesome sweet voice makes the song wholesome and child like. The hidden sex - "making out" - kissing and hugging in public place - message of the song would probably the reason why "Sixteen" became the favorites of teenagers. The song catapulted Vilma’s signature song. A feat that even her closest rival, Nora Aunor can’t replicated (Nora Aunor despite successful singing career lacked a signature song). Remember this is the hippie era and the start of the feminist movement. A clear reason why "Sixteen" was a major hit with the free love care free young generation of this era. The next songs, Dry your Eyes and Bring Back Your Love both arranged by Dannie Subido are love songs that boils down to frustration of a girl in love. Followed by a turned around in terms of mood with Vi’s version of a Bacharach composition, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, a funny but out of place song. One of the two final songs on side A, came as a surprise. "When The Clock Strikes One" was an original composition of Robert Medina and like “Sixteen” was about “making out” – kissing and hugging but this time its more fun because of its unusual up-tempo mood that’s actually more like a hip-hop song.

Side B of Sixteen was pure fun too. Three songs that stands out were the original compositions of Dannie Subido, "Sometimes," "It is Wonderful to be In Love" and "Then Along Came You Edgar." The lyrics of these songs are simple and obviously catered to the massive followers of the Edgar – Vilma love team. Before Britney Spears came up with her hit song, “Sometimes,” Vilma has her own song titled “Sometimes.” Both Britney and Vilma’s songs are about teenage love confusion. It’s a Wonderful To Be in Love is self-explanatory, yes Ate Vi is in love and she expressed it nicely in this song. The up-tempo and simple lyrics of this song makes it more like a children rhyme song except that it’s about almost "adult-kind" of love. The puppy love theme of the album continued with an uplifting song, well at least for the Vi and Bot fans with "Then Along Came You, Edgar." This song confirmed Vi's puppy love to the dark and handsome but not so tall cutie-pie, Edgar Mortiz. Once again, Dannie Subido’s arrangement and lyrics are simple but playful, a perfect fit to Ate Vi’s sweet range.

The success of Sixteen can be attributed to the playfulness and simplicity of the song selections. It suited the sweetness and purity of Vilma’s almost child like voice. The album earned Vilma her first golden record award and a remarkable signature song, “Sixteen.” The album established her as a successful recording artist. If I will compare her to today’s list of contemporary artists, I will compare Vilma to the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, and Madonna. Jennifer, Britney, and Madonna has thin but sweet voices just like Vilma. Like Vilma, these pop superstars have to work hard to achieve almost perfect products that their fans loved. Like Vilma, the three pop stars are great dancers which they all used to the max in their choreograph production numbers. The reluctant singer came out on top. Vilma Santos’s debut album made history. Sixteen made Vilma Santos a remarkable singer..." - RV (READ MORE)

SIXTEEN (1970)

Arranged and directed by Danny Subido with the Barons
Side A
  1. Sixteen (Danny Subido)
  2. Dry your Eyes (Danny Subido)
  3. Bring Back Your Love (Danny Subido)
  4. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
  5. When The Clock Strikes One (Robert Medina)
  6. So With me (Freddie Stalton)

Side B
  1. Sometimes (Danny Subido)
  2. It's Wonderful To be In Love (Danny Subido)
  3. Baby Baby Baby (Danny Subido)
  4. Sealed With a kiss (Udell Gold)
  5. Then Along Came You Edgar (Freddie Stalton)
  6. Love Love (Danny Subido)


ONE: Filipinos are particularly and inherently keen in music. We have that very sharp ear for music. We know if one is a singer or not. Vilma Santos is a singer.

TWO: That's why when her debut single "SIXTEEN" (this album's title song), "IT"s wonderful to be in Love" on the flipside hit the record barsm, she became an instant discolandia celebrity, a national discolandia star, because Vilma Santos is a singer.

THREE: Stop comparing now. Her voice is not similar to the voice of this and that singer. Furthermore, she has her own style. Her very own. Inimitatable. Incomparable.

FOUR: Her voice is angelic, her voice is silky, her voice is versatile, her voice is beyond description.

FIVE: But let me describe it. Let me try. Her voice is fragile.

SIX: Fragile. But in this her first album, in all her songs, not a note is broken. Fragile, yet strong, vigorous, forceful.

SEVEN: But most of all, her voice has soul. A young soul. Very young.

EIGHT: Her "Sixteen" is lifting. Bithe. Sparkling. So are "It's Wonderful to be in love," “Bring back your love" and "Raindrops keepfalling on my head."

NINE: Listen to "Dry your eyes" Dreamy. Almost like a lullaby. Gliding. Listen to "Baby baby baby" and "Sealed with a kiss." Floating. Breezy. Very cool. Tender. Caressing.

TEN: Suddenly her voice become frisky, bouncy in "Love love," "Sometimes," "When the clock strike one," "Then along came you Edgar, " et al. Full of verve. Enough to turn you on.

ELEVEN: Consider the talents pooled together in the album. Consider Bacharach, David, Udell, Geld, Stelton, Medina, The Barons and Danny Subido. Consider Vilma Santos. This is the album for the young. For the young at heart.

TWELVE: This is your album, This is our album. This is my album.

THIRTEEN: This collection is more than half-hour of listening delight.

FOURTEEN: But I bet, the youthful artist will entice you to listen to this album for hour and hours and hours. I bet. I win.

FIFTEEN: Because the songs are irresistble, as irresistible as the voice and its owner itself.

SIXTEEN: Vilma Santos. Yes. Vilma Santos. Singer.


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