The Walker Brothers version of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" is one of those records I am taking with me when I go. For years I was under the impression it was their song and the Frankie Valli version was a decent cover. The fact is, the song was written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, Frankie Valli released it as a single, but it didn't become a monster smash until the Walker Brothers released it a year later.
Why am I telling you this?
Another one of those "in the coffin" records for me is Lulu's "Oh Me Oh My." Once a record hits that nerve, there is no turning back. I don't want to hear it rearranged. I don't want a reggae version. I don't want a remix. And if you're going to cover it, where I would normally balk at a faithful recreation---why bother?---when it comes to personal faves, at least show it respect, and keep it recognizable.
And speaking of respect, Miss Aretha Franklin's version of "Oh Me Oh My" popped up on the trusty ol' iPod yesterday while I was traveling on New Jersey Transit, taken me by surprise and keeping my mind off of the water below, as we crossed the bridge into South Amboy. (I hate that bridge.)
I've owned "Young, Gifted and Black" for what seems like my whole life. It's essential Aretha. I know the song was a hit for Miss Franklin, and yet, I felt like I was hearing it for the first time.
Now what do I do.
I think the death rule is, you are only allowed one version of each song in the coffin when you go.
And also, feel free to share personal faves that were either covered to your amazement, or butchered to your dismay.