Kinda had this post or something like it in my head for awhile. Might do this every now and again- feature some of my favorite reiterations of classic tunes.
So crank it up.
People Get Ready– First released by the Impressions in 1965, this gospel-influenced tune reached number 3 on the R&B charts, thanks to the vocal stylings of Curtis Mayfield. The song again gained critical attention when Eva Cassidy loaned her rich vocals to the track on her c.d. ‘Songbird’, which became popular after Ice-skating World Champion Michelle Kwan featured Cassidy’s cover of Sting’s heartfelt ballad ‘Field’s of Gold’ in her skating number. ‘Songbird’s popularity arrived post-humously, as Eva Cassidy died of cancer at the age of 33.
Take On Me- The original release of this song by Ah-Ha is so incredibly 80’s, it could be a stand alone sample of the whole era. But we all secretly liked it, didn’t we? It’s catchy! I was in elementary school in the 80’s, and jamming around the house in a ripped sweatshirt and leggings with sparkly bubble-gum lip-gloss- ah… the good ol’ days. Sarah Bareilles interpretation is completely de-eightied. But it’s also quite good.
Eeek! Video removed. Well, you can hear Sarah Bareille’s version Right Here.
Africa – The story behind the song is kinda funny. It’s a Toto song, of course. It’s like the quintessential Toto song now, after hitting #1 on the Billboard top 100 and hanging out there, even with the excessively goofy ass video it was hooked to. The song almost didn’t make it onto the album though, according to wikipedia, cus the band was so sick of this track by the time they were ready to release, it nearly got the guillotine. They also didn’t think it sounded enough like Toto. And while the 80-ishness of the hit is a little distracting, the lyrics are pretty cool. I never noticed that, though, until I heard the pared down and emotionally gritty version by Howie Day, featured below.
Don’t Dream it’s Over– I love Neil Finn. I love the Crowded House version of ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’, with him on vocals. When Sixpence None the Richer did a version of the song, I felt they had nothing on the original. But then along comes Sarah Blasko, who did a recording session at Neil’s studio in New Zealand. While I won’t say her version is better than the original, it is an interesting angle on the song.
Twist and Shout- The Top Notes originally released this hit in 1961, but it was quickly followed up by the Isley Brothers in 1962, and it is that interpretation of the Phil Medley/Bert Russell tune that really hit it big. Shortly thereafter, the song was picked up by a small, obscure band of English guys. Can’t quite recall their names at the moment. I don’t think they ended up amounting to much, really.
Oh. I guess they were a bit popular for awhile.