Unexpected #8…The Final?

For some time I’ve been looking at examples in which the same song has been interpreted in varied ways by different (or even the same) artists.  At some point (because it could go on interminably) one has to say “enough”.  That day is today (maybe).  I’m going to conclude with two further “unexpected” examples.

Example One   Same Artist/Same Song/Different Arrangement

Neil Sedaka has enjoyed a long career in a fickle popular music industry.  He burst onto the scene in the late ’50’s as a songwriter and performer.  The pinnacle of his popularity during this early period is exemplified in his (he was 23 at the time) 1962 #1 hit- Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

The “British Invasion” of the early 1960’s changed the musical landscape and Sedaka entered a period where his own recordings received diminishing attention and it was his songwriting for others that sustained him (cf. Workin’ on a Groovy Thing by the Fifth Dimension).  The 1970’s brought a return to the limelight even as Toni Tennille (of The Captain and Tennille) sang “Sedaka is back!” in her performance of Sedaka’s song Love Will Keep Us Together, the number one hit of 1975.

Laughter in the Rain (his own hit recording) reached #1 that same year but it is a reworked Breaking Up that interests us (for purposes of this post).  Sedaka’s new recording of the song was a slow ballad. This version hit No. 8 on the Hot 100 in early 1976, making Sedaka the only artist to record entirely reworked and rearranged versions of the same song and have both reach the Billboard Top 10. The 1976 ballad version also hit #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

Example Two   Two Very Different Interpretations (separated by about fifty years)

Cole Porter, one of the twentieth century’s most prominent composer/songwriters, wrote Don’t Fence Me In in 1934 for an unproduced film musical (Adios Argentina) but it took a decade before the song resurfaced in Canteen which starred Roy Rogers.  Other popular covers include versions recorded by Kate Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Autry and Bing Crosby.  Ironically the song was one of Porter’s least favourite compositions.  Here’s Roy’s version from 1944’s Canteen

Fast forward to 1990.  As part of a Porter tribute album (Red Hot+Blue) David Byrne of Talking Heads fame did his take on this Porter classic. giving it a “Brazilian” flavour.  Try a taste…

p.s.

Sweet Sixteen

A considerable achievement in the canine world.  Today we celebrate a special birthday…

A special cake... chicken and rice with drizzled cheese and vegetables and a wiener candle

A special cake… chicken and rice with drizzled cheese and vegetables and a wiener candle…

 

...for a special Gem.

…for a special Gem.

Some special music (courtesy of Neil)…

…and a new (pink) collar!

A season of giving...

Fashion statement

Advertisements