The Original vs. The Cover – “Valerie”

For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover we are going to discuss a song that was covered only a year after the original and a little more current.  We are talking about the song “Valerie” written by the band The Zutons in 2006 and then released by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse and a third version was released by Amy Winehouse as a B-Side for her Back to Black album.  The song first appeared on the Zutons second album, ‘Tired of Hanging Around’, in 2006.

The song has been revealed to be about a young lady named Valerie Star who is a celebrity make-up artists.  She is friends with Zutons frontman Dave McCabe and he wrote this to her as a way to show her support when she got in to a little trouble for driving under the influence.  Apparently, the song took 20 minutes to write and he was inspired to write it in a cab ride on his way to his mom’s house.

The song for The Zutons hit #8 in Scotland and #9 in the UK, but never charted in the US.  The cover version with Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse hit #1 in the UK R&B Charts and #2 in the UK Charts so it was a little more successful. Amy’s solo version in 2008 hit only at #37 so it was the least popular, but is it the best version?  We will see.

THE ZUTONS

Tired_Of_Hanging_Around

The Zutons song is a light hearted indie pop sounding song. It is a fun, upbeat track with some great guitar tone to it. There is a little musical break with just a drum beat, hand claps and Dave on vocals that is a nice touch to the song to give it some variety. Dave’s vocals are little squeaky at times, but still very pleasant. It has a calming, sensitive feel to it like he really cares for Valerie and he wants he to come over and he’ll take care of her during her troubling times.

MARK RONSOON (FEATURING AMY WINEHOUSE)

Mark Ronson’s version of the song is more upbeat than The Zutons. The tempo is sped up and the production of the song is from the 1982 song called “Town Called Malice” by The Jam. There is a horn section and it is has a little blues, a lot of pop and a nice beat throughout. Amy’s vocals have the same old Amy sound, but not as jazzy as she can get and a lot more on the pop side. The song even has a little dance vibe to it.

AMY WINEHOUSE

Amy Winehouse’s solo version is nothing short of pure Amy. It was recorded Live at BBC Radio 1 in 2007. It is jazzier version with keyboards and a more acoustic feel. It has more heart and feeling and Amy’s voice is like no one else’s at that time and it sounds so classic. There is such a maturity to her vocals, she seems so seasoned like she has been through a lot and carries that weight in her vocals. A utter talent.

THE VERDICT

Picking a winner here is easy for me. Amy Winehouse’s solo version is tops for me. Not beating around the bush here. I really dug her vocals and when you put her in the jazz and blues setting she can’t be touched. The other songs are fun and more pop, but don’t have the heart her vocals bring. Now Dave McCabe of The Zutons hates the fact that Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse’s version were so popular because people tend to forget it was really his song. It truly bothers him. I am sure when that check comes, it bothers him a little less.

I am really interested in hearing what everyone else thinks of these two songs.  Let me know which version you like the best and why.  Feel free to leave a comment and talk about the song and tell me how right or wrong I am on this one.  Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

“Valerie”

Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water
And I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I make a picture

‘Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie?

Did you have to go to jail, put your house on up for sale, did you get a good lawyer?
I hope you didn’t catch a tan, I hope you find the right man who’ll fix it for you
Are you shopping anywhere, changed the colour of your hair, are you busy?
And did you have to pay the fine you were dodging all the time are you still dizzy?

Yeah

‘Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie.Valerie,Valerie?

Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water
And I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I make a picture’

Cos since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair and the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over, stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie, Valerie.Valerie,Valerie?

Yeah valerie

Written by Dave McCabe, Russell Pritchard, Sean Payne, Abi Harding, Paul Molloy and Boyan Chowdhury

My Sunday Song – “Adrenaline” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #214, we are going to discuss the song “Adrenaline” off Matt Nathanson’s album ‘Show Me Your Fangs’ from 2015. The album contained 4 singles and next to “Headphones” this might be my favorite single off the album. It charted as high as #26 on the US Adult Alternative Charts and did as well as “Headphones”.

I picture “Adrenaline” as a song about longing and desire. After a bad breakup and you run in to that person again and you want to be with them so badly you can taste it. All you remember is how great it was and wanting to capture that desire, that passion that emotion one more time and if you could grab hold, you wouldn’t let go this time. Lyrically, the song captures that feeling beautifully as well as full of some imagery of Los Angeles and of that desire that make the song a little on the sexy side.

Musically the songs starts off with an almost angelic vocals full of echo and a haunting delivery. There is a great drum beat throughout that gets you moving and bobbing the head. The highlight for me is how Matt delivers the song vocally. They way he dances with the lyrics and loses himself in the lyrics makes you feel everything that the song is trying to make you feel. A talent on both as a songwriter and a singer and when those too mesh together in the right way, you are treated with something magical and this song is exactly that.

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Adrenaline” by Matt Nathanson”

You Pick It! – Which Album to Review in October?

You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month.  It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site.  See…simple!

There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections.  They are…

  • One has to be a new release (within the last month)
  • One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
  • One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
  • And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before

What are the 5 albums you ask?  Funny you should ask because I have those right here…note: I tried to throw in a couple non-obvious choices to make things a little more interesting. I have to admit, there are some heavy hitters on here for this selection.

  New Release – Dokken – ‘The Lost Songs: 1978-1981′

  Never Heard Before – The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

  Not My Normal Genre – Miles Davis – ‘Kind of Blue’

  From My Collection – Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin IV’

  From My Collection – Queen – ‘Innuendo’

Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in October, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.

Thanks for participating!!

Friday New Releases – September 18, 2020

Ace is back!!! Welcome to Friday’s new releases and there are a handful of releases worth noting and of course, the true Spaceman himself has a new album out. Even if it is a covers album, I have already bought it is on its way! All my choices are highlighted in Blue which is only 2 for sure and maybe I will check out the Derek Sherinian and Flying Colors albums, but it will all depend on time. What is out this week that you want to hear or what did I miss from the list? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 517kMXR55OL  Ace Frehley – Origins, Vol 2 – (Entertainment One): Yes!!! Ace is finally releasing his 2nd covers album which has been talked about since the release of Vol 1 a few years ago. It has some John 5, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick and the one and only, Bruce Kulick!! Yes Kiss Fans…Bruce!!! The two best Kiss guitarist are on a song together. Doesn’t get much better than that!!
  • 61sw2gzbXtL._SX522_  White Lion – All You Need is Rock & Roll: Complete Albums 1985-1991 – (Cherry Red): This album has been bumped time and time again and is finally coming out. It is a box set with the first four studio album plus a live disc which is the one I am wanting. I can’t “WAIT”!!!!
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – September 18, 2020”

Kiss – ‘Ace Frehley’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

When we think of the Kiss Solo albums, we really only have Ace to blame.  Ace was not happy with the band and he wanted to do a side project, but to keep the peace, the idea was floated out there that each member of the band do a solo album and they were all to be released under the Kiss moniker and all on the same day.  A feat never done again by Kiss or any other band and there is a reason for that.  No one can afford all albums at once and not every band member is created equally as Ace proved here.

Ace Frehley’s solo album had the best producer of the four, Eddie Kramer, and it was the one that sounded the most like Kiss.  In the case of the solo albums, this is a Win-Win for Ace!  Ace didn’t deviate from the Kiss sound at all.  In fact, I think he refined it and made it even better.  This would only boost his confidence even more and drive that ego to hit the stratosphere as problems would continue from here on in for Ace and Kiss.  Between his issues and Peter’s, things were about to get dicey.  Enough about that, and back to the solo albums.

IMG_2447 Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Ace Frehley’ (1978) – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)”

Kiss – Alive / Worldwide Tour (1997) – Tour Book

In my quest to get all the Kiss Tour Books in my collection, I have now come to my fourth in the Tour Book Series.  This is one of two that came from the Kiss Alive / Worldwide Tour from 1996-1997.  This is the 1997 Tour Book that includes the Giant 1997 Poster Calendar as the earlier Tour Book with the black cover did not.  I have that book as well and will get to it once I finally have it in my possession as it is currently being held by my brother in Atlanta until I come down to visit as I am too cheap to pay for the shipping. Plus, it gives me another excuse to get back home to see the family.

This book I bought on eBay and it has a pretty interesting story on the shipping. Okay, it is interesting to me.  I bought the book at a great price at only $10 and paid $5 for shipping.  Sadly, the post office didn’t deliver it, instead I got notice that there was still postage due of $7.42.  What the F@$K????  I paid for shipping.  Well, it turns out the U.S. Postal Service did an inspection, opened it and found out it doesn’t qualify for Media Mail which is the cheaper mailing service used for books, CDs, etc…  I thought that this certainly qualifies and apparently so did the seller.

It turns out because this Tour Book had a calendar and advertising in it that is doesn’t qualify.  Again What the F@$K???  The advertising, btw, was the band members advertising their guitars and the merch page.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was extremely pissed that I had to take time out of my day and go pick this up and pay extra. I reached out to the seller to voice my displeasure and he quickly refunded the extra shipping cost. That was very much appreciated.

Now on to the Tour Book.  As we normally do, I will show you every page of the book in the order of the book so you can see what you missed from 1997.  This particular Tour Book was a replica of the European Tour Book and finally available to US Tour goers during the 1997 leg of the Tour. Continue reading “Kiss – Alive / Worldwide Tour (1997) – Tour Book”

1980 – The Greatest Year in Music?

If you are new to the site, I started this series with the year 1987 and then noticed that 1991 and 1983 were also a couple of the greatest years in music.  I got to thinking, was there a pattern that every 4 years we have another great year in music.  Well theory didn’t last long as I don’t think the next two years I researched were “great” years in music.  Those years were 1979 and 1995. If you want to explore all the years I have examined so far, click on the link below…

1971 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1979 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1983 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1987 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1991 – The Greatest Year in Music?

1995 – The Greatest Year in Music?

Now that my theory is busted, I am now on the hunt for the “Greatest” year in music. I reviewed 1971 first and it was pretty fantastic and I am now on 1980.  I know, I know.  I am not going in any kind of order.  I am going with what I am in the mood to explore and this time 1980 has me jazzed as so many great albums are now 40 years old!!

Will 1980 be another great year or will it be the greatest year.  Let us explore and see and then decide at the end.  But first we have to ask What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?

NEWS:

400px-Original_Sony_Walkman_TPS-L2The Sony Walkman: I wrote about the advent of the Sony Walkman in the 1979 post as that was when it went on sale in Japan.  In the U.S., it went on sale on June 25, 1980 almost a year later.  The way you listen to music was changed forever!! (at least until the CD and then the MP3 and now streaming).  Who didn’t have one of these if you were a kid in the 80’s.  I definitely did.  It helped spur my love for music as it now was more portable and more personal.  It was better than just the radio, I could listen to what I wanted to wherever and whenever I wanted.  I used mine while I mowed the lawn (and every now and again I would snag the cord on the mower and pull my headphones off). I had a boombox, but that wasn’t the same as the Walkman.  There was nothing better (until my iPod). Continue reading “1980 – The Greatest Year in Music?”

You Picked It!: Stevie Wonder – ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ – Album Review

Alright…You Picked It! And here it is. The one you picked was Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs in the Key of Life’.  The votes were as follows:

  1. Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life – 7 votes
  2. Genesis – Genesis – 4 votes
  3. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain – 3 votes
  4. Adelitas Way – Shine On – 3 votes (one vote was a Like on Twitter by the band)
  5. Mr. Mister – Welcome to the Real World – 2 votes

Thanks to all for participating.  The October choices will be up on Saturday!

STEVIE WONDER – ‘SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE’

I don’t know what I was thinking when I picked this album to add to the You Pick It ! post. I had completely forgot what a daunting task this would be as this album is considered the best Stevie Wonder album, one of the best albums ever and it is a double LP with 21 songs and at a run time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, it is a lot of ground to cover. When the album easily won the vote count, I became a little freaked on how I was going to do this album any justice. There is really no way I can go song by song as this post would be way too long and you would get bored. So, I am only going to go through what I found to be the highlights of this album which is still quite a lot.

Continue reading “You Picked It!: Stevie Wonder – ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ – Album Review”

My Sunday Song – “Car Crash” by Matt Nathanson

My Sunday Song #213 is the song “Car Crash” by Matt Nathanson.  The song is off his 2007 album ‘Some Mad Hope’ and it was a single and got a relatively fair amount of airplay. Not as much as another song on that album which will be the final post of this 10 song series.

The song is rather dark in subject matter.  It seems to be about someone that has kept things inside for so long that they have become numb to everything around them.  They want to so desperately to feel something.  They want that “car crash” moment to wake them from the darkness and let them feel life again.  They need that dramatic cataclysmic catastrophe to be alive as they are dying on the inside.  It is rather heartbreaking that the person feels so low and depression is so rampant in today’s society which even today is easy to see how the darkness can consume.

Musically, the song fits the lyrics as the chorus explodes and the drum beats and cymbal hits sound like a crashing sound.  While on the verses, the electric guitars fill the image with a rich tone and texture that accompany the vocals to give it a sound that is uplifting despite the darkness. The sounds feel like everything is about explode and all will be right with the world.  It is a perfect blend of the dark lyrics with the light instrumentation.

SMH Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Car Crash” by Matt Nathanson”

Friday New Releases – September 11, 2020

A rather somber day for us in the U.S. as it is the anniversary of 9/11 and I can’t believe it has been 19 years…still feels like yesterday. Even though is is somber, it is still Friday and we still have new releases to celebrate. This week doesn’t see a ton of releases, but there are some very noteworthy ones to list and I have done just that for you. Are there any for me this week? No, not really but like I said a couple very notable groups that a lot of people like. I have no choices highlighted in Blue this week, but I still want to hear from you and what you want to check out and what I may have missed this week as there is always something. Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great weekend! See you next week!!

  • 71X13UqawZL._SS500_  Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos – (Loma Vista Recordings / Concord): Marilyn Manson is back with his 11th Studio album…crazy to think he has that many. It has been three years since his prior release and I am sure the fans are eager to hear more of his industrial, shock rock brand of metal.
  • 81xY01P1Y-L._SX522_  Mastodon – Medium Rarities – (Reprise Records) – Vinyl out 10/16: I love it when a home town band makes it big and these Atlanta boys have done that and then some. This is a cool release and I might dive in to it as it is a compilation of rare tracks from the band. Rare tracks are always fun.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – September 11, 2020”