on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2014 6 Aug

Why don’t you, babe?

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 3 Comments

Sometime ago, some manafonistas discussed the phenomenon of „guilty pleasures“, their love for some songs that are in general regarded as quite uncool. Now the on-line magazine „thequietus“ has posted fifty guilty pleasures, calling them, well, „guilt free pleasures“… right so, no reason to blame oneself for being like everybody else, so to speak.

To be honest, some of it is really awful, haha!, but everybody has this special love for certain kitschy, ultranormal, middle of the road and trivial songs – the magic is working inside, well hidden or not there at all , maybe only connected to a special memory. There is one description I totally agree with, and this is related to Rod Stewart’s version of „You Keep Me Hangin‘ On“.  Might take you back to the winter 77/78. And, in case I’d have had to contribute to that selection, my choice would have been Terry Jacks‘ „Seasons in the Sun“. (me)


Taken from 1977’s Footloose & Fancy Free, one of those Rod Stewart records you’ll see clogging up boxes at charity stores – the one where he’s got a blonde mullet and his collar is turned up against a Californian sunset, and the one with ‚Hot Legs‘ on it, too, which hardly helps – Stewart’s cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic is a truly magnificent, overegged work of ridiculous extravagance. The song may have only first made its mark on the public a decade earlier when performed by The Supremes, but this seven and a half minute long opener to side two of his eighth solo album found Stewart sounding like he was absolutely convinced that he could completely eclipse their interpretation.

Consequently, this no-holds-barred flight of fancy employs every trick in the book: gently psychedelic organs to lull us at its start, a battery of drums and guitar riffs, theatrical breakdowns, and the distinctive sound of Rod The Mod, his voice comically plaintive, his spirit so worn down that he can barely even utter the words „Why don’t you, babe?” before, minutes later, he’s doing his best, full-throated, Janis Joplin impression. Seemingly fearful that he’s still not stamped his identity on the song, he then introduces an orchestra, before the kind of solos for which air guitar was invented kick in for the finale. Absurdly bombastic, it is, frankly, a total pantomime, with Stewart as Cinderella, and all the better for it. -Wyndham Wallace

This entry was posted on Mittwoch, 6. August 2014 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Jan Reetze:

    Da gäb’s aber schlimmere guilty pleasures als „Seasons in the Sun“. Immerhin ist das im Original von Jacques Brel. Sozusagen schlechter Geschmack mit Gütesiegel.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Das hatte ich ganz vergessen. Habe ich irgendwann mal gelesen, aber dann klingt die Melodieführung wieder so gar nicht nach Brel. Deshalb habe ich es wohl vergessen. Oh, ich habe auch guilty pleasures ohne Gütesiegel, wie wäre es mit einem Stück, dessen Titel mir gerade nicht einfällt, von James Last?

  3. Jan Reetze:

    Ich behaupte ja bis heute, der Mann hätte Deutschlands Quincy Jones werden können, wenn er sich dafür entschieden hätte. Hör Dir mal seine „Hair“-LP an, da wird sehr deutlich, was er als Arrangeur tatsächlich draufhat. Ohne ihn hätte es auch so seltsame Sachen wie Achim Reichels „Grüne Reise“ nicht gegeben. Im übrigen habe ich ihn mal getroffen, als ich 16 war, aber das erzähl ich vielleicht mal bei anderer Gelegenheit …

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