I’ve always been a fan of song covers that significantly shift the musical context of the song. Off the top of my head, here’s just a few examples I can think of:
- Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails “Hurt”.
- Iron and Wine’s cover of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”.
- Mark Kozelek’s fantastic album What’s Next to the Moon, featuring covers of AC/DC songs.
A few weeks ago Kate and I heard “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes on the radio in the car, and it struck us both that the song itself was incredibly strong, and would probably do quite well as a cover. I’m not the biggest fan of 80s music (especially the production), but sometimes there’s some real gems hidden beneath the synthesizers and drum machines.
So, I took to the ukulele and came up with this fingerpicking based arrangement.
I’m happy with the arrangement, though not especially happy with my vocals, which I think is the weakest part of the recording. The chorus is right at the top of my range and I couldn’t quite nail a take where it sounded good, so I settled for keeping it an octave down.
As part of writing this post, I read the wikipedia entry for this song, and was surprised to learn that it was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the 1960s and first recorded by Dionne Warwick. No wonder I thought it was a great song, since it was written by one of the best songwriting teams in pop music history. I haven’t yet tracked down the older versions, but will be doing so soon.