Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Whenever I listen to one of my favorite Glenn Tilbrook/Chris Difford tunes, "Slightly Drunk" from Squeeze's sophomore release "Cool For Cats," my first thoughts are always the same, "Man, that keyboard and drum intro is just terrible." It was the 80s after all. But at the heart of the dated production, and maybe one or two other missteps, is a song with great lyrics, great harmonies, and a chorus melody to die for.
I often think, if "Slightly Drunk" was played a bit more straight, maybe a tad slower, employing an acoustic piano instead of the cheesy synth, would it be a better song?
It's a silly notion. It is what it is. But, I know I'm not the only person to feel this way. Heck, Difford and Tilbrook reimagined their quirky and mechanical hit single "Goodbye Girl" as a speedy, guitar-driven rocker for some live performances.
GOODBYE GIRL (LIVE)
Bruce Springsteen once said, "Yeah that one really got away from me in the studio." He was referring to "Real World" from the album "Human Touch." Listen to the the studio version and then a live version from the Christic Benefit in 1990. It's easy to toss the studio version of "Real World" aside, thanks to the horrible production. For me, the barebones live version hits harder.
REAL WORLD (LIVE)
I always loved Madonna's record, "Like A Prayer." But it took John Wesley Harding's acoustic reading for me to truly appreciate the song. The shuffle of Led Zeppelin's last hit, "Fool In The Rain," was a departure for sure, but it worked...except Jimmy's synthesized guitar-solo, which to my ears, sabotages the tune. His playing is great. His choice of sound takes the tune down a notch.
It's a fantasy, of course, to be able to remodel songs to fit our precise musical needs, but if you could, what songs would you tweak? Which song would be just perfect if it wasn't for.....