Welcome to another edition of The Original Vs. The Cover. This time we are going to compare the song “Nothing Compares 2 U” to the original and the best cover of the song. The Original was performed by the band The Family and the Cover was famously performed by Sinead O’Connor. The song was written by Prince and he did perform this song in 1984 or so and it was finally released in 2018 so I can’t count that as the original since it wasn’t released before The Family’s version. Prince did release a version with Rosie Gaines in 1993 which was again after both versions
The Family? What? You never heard of them? Not surprising. The band was a creation of Prince as another outlet for HIS music to be released. He was very controlling and involved in every aspect other than singing and performing. As a result, after they released 1 album, 2 singles (which this song was not one) and after only 1 show, the lead singer, Paul Peterson aka. St. Paul, quit. He felt Prince was too controlling and he felt restricted.
The Family’s version was never released as a single and you probably never heard this version before. I hadn’t until I decided to do this song for the post. I had trouble finding it and only found it on that Tube of You.
The is very stripped down. It is mostly an organ playing with horns and keyboards. No percussion whatsoever. Paul Peterson’s vocals are really great and the backing vocals of Susannah Melvoin played nicely with Paul’s vocals. Paul had a haunting, painful feel to them which the song seems to have a lot of pain.
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Matt Nathanson is one of my all time favorite singers and songwriters, no doubt. If I had to list my Top 10 Bands or Artists, Matt would be there along with Kiss and Def Leppard (if you follow me, you know I love those two bands so that is high praise). Why do I love him and his music so much? Well, this album is a shining example of why.
Speaking of the album, this album took a long journey. No, not Matt writing and recording it. A literal long journey. The album was shipped Friday October 5th (the day of release) from Nashville, Tennessee. It stated it would not be to me until Thursday, October 11th which I thought was strange as North Carolina is not that far from Tennessee (well not really far). When I looked up the tracking #, the package suddenly appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now I am not great on geography, but San Juan isn’t anywhere near North Carolina the last time I checked and doesn’t seem the normal traffic route for a package. Needless to say, it din’t arrive by the 11th as stated. The USPS finally corrected themselves and I did receive it on Saturday, October 13th. It could be worse, I might not have ever received it.
‘Sings His Sad Heart’ is exactly that. An album of songs that are about “loss”. Sounds depressing, right? It is far from it. Matt’s pop sensibility is second to none. He can write an album chock full of catchy tunes that stay with you and never leave. His mixture of that pop sound with folk and rock blends so nicely together that his music makes you feel like you have known the songs and the album your whole life.
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For My Sunday Song #92, I am going with another ballad. This one is from Dokken and is called “Alone Again”. It seems I am on a kick of Power Ballads since last week saw “Fly To The Angels” by Slaughter. The song is off Dokken’s 1984 album ‘Tooth & Nail’ and only reached #64 on the Hot 100, but it was #1 in my heart.
Don wrote the song about 8 years earlier and had put it away not to think about it again. Well, that was until when they were finishing up ‘Tooth & Nail’ and the record company demanded a ballad as all bands had ballads at the time. Don went through a bunch of tracks when he and Jeff found it and thought they could work with the song. And work it they did as it came out beautifully.
The song is about a break-up and dealing with the depression that can result from being lonely. The song captures that sadness in the tone and pacing of the song. Also, Don’s vocals convey a deep sadness as well. It really is a sad, depressing and yet beautiful song. This is not a song to play to cheer you up and unless you really enjoy a good George Lynch guitar solo and some Mick Brown drums. Because there is that to brighten your day.
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