While he is known as the frontman for brooding Finnish rockers HIM, Ville Valo has amassed a considerable body of work outside of his famous band for years, collaborating and recording with everyone from Natalia Avelon to Cradle Of Filth. In other words, Gothic gloom knows no musical bounds, and these twelve tracks prove it. Some stretch Valo’s vocals into new places, even happy ones.
For my recent interview with Ville Valo, click here.
VILLE VALO featuring NATALIA AVELON “Summer Wine” — A cover of a hit made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood in 1967. It was written by Hazelwood and originally recorded by him and Suzi Jane Hokom in 1966. (For the video without subtitles, click here.)
APOCALYPTICA featuring VILLE VALO and LAURI YLONEN “Bittersweet” — The cello group with an affinity for heavy music enlists the singers of HIM and The Rasmus for this somber song. This is a live version, possibly from Finnish TV.
AGENTS and VILLE VALO “Jykevää on rakkaus” — Here’s an unusual team-up from 1999 that further showcases Valo’s diversity as he croons over the Agents’ schlager tune.
DANNY CAVANAGH with VILLE VALO live “Inner Silence” — Anathema guitarist Cavanagh covers his main band with this piano and vocal rendition of one of their tracks.
THE 69 EYES “Beneath The Blue” — Valo provides great background vocals for the choruses of this song from fellow Finnish rockers The 69 Eyes. He’s recorded with them a few times.
MANNA featuring VILLE VALO “Just For Tonight” — Two Finnish singers team up for this moody slice of folksy pop.
VILLE VALO’s solo acoustic rendition of HIM’s “The Funeral Of Hearts” — The limited edition version of the new HIM album features a bonus disc of acoustic renditions of every song on the album, which further proves how the songs translate well from a rock setting. Acoustic versions are a long-running tradition with HIM, and this TV appearance is part of it.
DANIEL LIONEYE “King Of Rock’n Roll” — This side project from HIM members Lily Lazer (guitars/vocals), Mige Amour (bass) and Ville Valo (playing drums!) is little-known in America, although this cut was used as the theme to the rambunctious MTV show “Viva La Bam”. Star/skater Bam Margera is a massive HIM fan.
VILLE VALO’s solo acoustic cover of DANIEL LIONEYE’s “Lonely Road” — The HIM frontman strips down this melancholy, bluesy rock number to its bare essentials.
KARI TAPIO and VILLE VALO “Täällä Pohjantähden Alla” — Valo teamed up with iconic Finnish singer Kari Tapio to cover this popular folk tune from their homeland.
VILLE VALO with guitarist TOMMI VIKSTEN “Kun Minä Kotoani Läksin” — Another somber folk piece. I guess being Scandinavian means being sad?
CRADLE OF FILTH with VILLE VALO “Byronic Man” — The notorious black metal brigade get a boost from Valo’s crooning background vocals, notably near the end of the song. (Note: This is not an official video.)