Thursday, May 25, 2006

Renditions

It was a long time before I knew that Shaun Cassidy didn't originate "Da Doo Run Run." I was in second grade and in love with the Hardy Boys. I had every album (of the whole, like, 4 he ever put out) and I just thought he was brilliant. It was his song! And it was good! And gosh he was cute. *swoon*

I was more aware by the time Tiffany came on the scene with her bubblegum pop rendition of "I Think We're Alone Now." Pfft. Mall performer. I swore off remakes on principle. Why must people recycle music when there's so much more to be said??

But then I heard Lyle Lovett cover Townes Van Zandt and my opinion started to soften. Bless his heart, Townes was a drunk with a mediocre voice, but the man could write a song. I wouldn't have realized how skilled his songwriting abilities were except that I started hearing people cover him. Lyle Lovett's version of "If I Needed You" is a heart-stopping interpretation of the original. I literally get chills every time. And Norah Jones has turned "Be Here To Love Me" into a lush, dramatic plea... Comparing the covers to the originals, you'd hardly know they were the same songs.

Then this morning on the way in, I was listening to an Indigo Girls cover of "I Don't Want To Talk About It." I realized that even though I've never been much of a Rod Stewart fan (at all), the song itself ...the lyrics...the tune...was beautiful. And even though I've heard the original a hundred times, maybe I've never really heard it at all.

So maybe I have to rethink this whole purist attitude toward remakes. Maybe it's less about recycling a song and more about reinterpreting it...and letting the song reach people that it didn't...couldn't...before. It's far less objectionable to think of it that way...and I get to enjoy good music guilt free! Bonus! :)

4 comments:

Ellen said...

Slight correction: It's Da Doo Ron Ron

http://www.shauncassidy.net/SCN.htm

I only knew the later (NRBQ) version of the song "Get Rhythm" until I heard Joaquin Phoenix do his Johnny Cash version in the movie "Walk the Line". Now I'm a fan of the original, but for me it's the "second" version.

I Blog, You Blog said...

Whoa! What an informative website! I didn't know my former heartthrob was still around...but he's actually doing stuff I've heard of. Go Shaun!

Thanks for the update on the song title...you can tell I don't do research for these things. Heh... I'm a naughty blogger! :)

grrrbear said...

Exactly. Just like how Vanilla Ice repinterpreted "Under Pressure" by Queen.

It's the only way to remake and still keep it real, yo.

I Blog, You Blog said...

ACK! EWWW!!

Now I feel all dirty...