As I come up with more and more songs, these cover battle intros (and video examples) are getting longer. May have to start editing myself again. Eventually. But anyway –
What can I say about this song. It’s awesome. I’m not even sure anyone can go wrong with this song. I mean, those horns? Come on! It’s big and brassy and showy and dramatic. I think you can tell I kinda like it. I heard the first one years ago during my Buble infatuation.* I knew I had heard the song before but I don’t remember when or where or by who (whom?) or in what context. Michael’s version is super slick and sexy and checking out the video you can easily see this used in a Bond flick.
The Muse version, I think, is the best one. It’s hard and passionate and bold and, in plain English (see what I did there? ‘cuz, like, they’re British?) totally kicks ass. Adam Lambert’s is modern and uses his sweet screeching (in a good way) falsetto and vocal gymnastics to good effect. It’s just over the top and it suits him.
Nina Simone. Deep voiced and throaty , nothing outrageous, just straight forward singing; a little old school scatting. Cool. Crazy cool.
I just heard Jennifer Hudson’s version for the first time today, and after only a few seconds in I got chills. The power of her voice is amazing. I do feel some of the smolder is lost in the slightly faster tempo of this arrangement. But still, it’s a great breakdown of a powerful piece of music.
I think the Rebecca Ferguson performance is a little less successful, for me. While she does seem to bring a new take the song (and her look is flawless) I can sense a little hint of timidity and uncertainty in her performance. I think if she just owned it a bit more that would go a long way in selling it to the audience.
Now Ed Sheeran. Wow. Totally unexpected. With no horns or big orchestral instrumentation, on a live radio station mike (mic?) with only his guitar as accompaniment .
I’ve also included a recording done by the composer, English actor and singer Anthony Newley. It’s heavy on piano and strings, and doesn’t really hint at the potential power of future incarnations, but I don’t think composer showcase versions ever really do.
Shoot – Just found a Bobby Darin one, too. And in my book if there’s a Bobby Darin version, it is not to be ignored. Evah. Bobby can do no wrong. This is called taking a song and making it your own. Same song as everyone else but it’s all Bobby.
And of course I just found two more. That’s it, guys, I swear. Really.
So we have George Michael. It’s good, but I don’t know if I’d keep coming back to it. I’ll have to listen to it a few more times. And then we have the lovely John Barrowman aka Doctor Who/Torchwood’s Captain Jack Harkness (excuse me, while I go all gushy). Where’s my fainting couch so I can give a proper swoon. That laugh he gives at the end? Unf.
Okay, now that’s it. I really mean it this time. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed now to dream of Captain Jack.
*It’s over, he’s married now and we’ve both moved on. (Buble: call me!)