Shall We Dance?
In the last post we looked at four examples of artists who had re-interpreted their own material. This post continues that theme with this variant… in each of today’s examples the intent was to make the song more “danceable”. So put on your dancin’ shoes…
Downtown Pet Clark
At first blush, it would seem eminently unnecessary to reinterpret this one. Downtown was a megahit for the British singer (#1 on the Billboard Charts in 1964) and it became the signature tune of her career. So it was interesting, a few years ago, to come across a dance remix of the song. A little investigation led me to discover that the song has been, in fact, remixed and re-released four times (1976, 1988, 1999 and 2003) since its 1964 incarnation.
Here’s the original…
And here’s one of the revisions (the ’99 version)…
Here Comes the Night The Beach Boys
This song first popped up on the band’s Wild Honey album in 1967. Co-written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the song featured Carl Wilson on lead vocals and clocked in at a neat 2 minutes, 41 seconds.
Add a decade or so and about eight minutes of stuff and what do you get? You get The Beach Boys reinventing the song as a disco number. This version is found on their 1979 L.A. (Light Album) and rolls along for almost eleven minutes!
If you think you now lack the stamina for an eleven-minute frenzy (yes, we’re all getting older) you might be able to handle this live performance from the period (which is reduced to a manageable three and a half minutes…)
No More Lonely Nights Paul McCartney
Say it ain’t so, Paul. In our first two examples there was at least a respectable passage of time between a first and second version of the same song. On his Give My Regards to Broadstreet (album and movie!) Paul creates two very distinct interpretations of this song (released in 1984). The first is more of a sentimental ballad (vintage Paul, you might say)…
The second (oft described as the playout version) is definitely more likely to get you out on the dance floor.
It might be worth noting that, while the music (soundtrack) was fairly well received, the film reviews were less than stellar (a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 23% currently).
Wouldn’t It Be Good Nik Kershaw
I must say that I quite liked this one when I first heard it in 1984.
(You might also enjoy this live performance from Live Aid in 1985…)
Of all the revisitations mentioned in this post I think I am least fond of the following version, I think it may be because the dance mix (for me) so jars with the lyrics.
Thankfully I also came across this Nik Kershaw acoustic interpretation of the song from his 2010 No Frills album. which may cleanse the palette after that previous mix. It (I think) does do justice to the lyrical content.