One of my favourite albums of the last few years is God Help The Girl – the album (and much more) from Stuart Murdoch’s side project of the same name. God Help The Girl
I particularly like the re-working of the track Funny Little Frog which originally appeared on Belle & Sebastian‘s The Life Pursuit and here gets a funky face lift, turning it into a sort of soulful torch song.
I always find it interesting when an artist takes another bash at an old favourite of theirs – and I don’t mean a remix or an acoustic version – I mean a whole new take on a song. Same lyrics, same chords but with an entirely different feel to it.
Diana – Prefab Sprout
Version one appeared as an extra track on the double-pack 7″ single of When Love Breaks Down. About five years later, a much slower and more downbeat version turned up on the Protest Songs album.
Felicity – Orange Juice/James Kirk
This early live favourite from the floppy-fringed, Glasgow art-school pospters first saw the light of recorded day in February 1980 when a live version appeared on a flexi disc given away with a fanzine. A slightly more polished version turned up on the band’s debut album, the seminal You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever in 1982.
Orange Juice are thought by many to be synoymous with Edwyn Collins – and of course Edwyn was always at the forefront of what made Orange Juice great but it would be wrong to underestimate James Kirk’s contribution to the band: a contribution which included penning Felicity.
Many years after Orange Juice‘s demise, James Kirk embarked on a solo career, the highlight of which was the 2003 album You Can Make It If You Boogie. And the album included a reworking of Felicity - a less-frenetic, more thoughtful version, I think you’ll agree.
Pop trivia: when The Wedding Present recorded their own version of Felicity, David Gedge introduced it with the words “this is a William Shatner song” – a reference to the songwriter, James (not T) Kirk.
You’re The One For Me – Jonathan Richman
In 1990, Jonathan Richman recorded a whole album of Country songs under the title Jonathan Goes Country. Alongside some Country & Western classics, he reworked a number of his own songs, including You’re The One For Me, a semi-autobiographical song which had originally appeared on the 1983 album, Jonathan Sings.
Both versions are fab …
Funny Little Frog – Belle & Sebastian/God Help The Girl
The inspiration behind this post. I had known the original B&S version for years before hearing the more soulful version which features on the God Help The Girl album.
And here they all are in one handy clickable thingy:
So there you have it. I've chosen four examples from my own collection which (I hope) illustrate what I'm wittering on about, but I know you've all got your own favourite reworkings …