Dr. Gonzo: Ready to rock?
Big Money: perhaps!
G: Either you is or you ain’t – there is no perhaps in rocking.
B: i am ALWAYS ready to rock
G: That’s more like it.
B: Um…whose turn is it?
G: Yours, I believe
Ahhh, i got something. Let’s do some classic soul. Deal?
G: Deal. For future reference, you never have to ask whether I’m interested in classic soul.
B: So, since i’m not actually sure which of these came first…
A little ‘Reefa?
G: Aww yeah.
B: Is this a live version?
G: I can’t tell, I don’t think so.
This is one of those songs that while overshadowed by tunes like “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” everybody knows. They might not realize it until the hook comes in, but they do.
B: Gotta love some Bacharach and David
G: So many classics from that duo.
B: Hmmm…
I guess this was actually the first version, so sorry for going out of order.
G: Boy, we’re really pitting two of the era’s greatest here. Nice shot of Dionne with LBJ. I thought these were released the same year, but actually, they were nearly exactly a year apart. Dionne’s was issued in October 1967, while Aretha’s was released in the fall of 1968.
B: I shoulda figured since it was a Bacharach/David song that Dionne did it first.
G: Yes, that makes total sense.
Meanwhile, the Aretha version comes from one of her best LPs, Aretha Now, which includes (among other things) her take on “You Send Me.”
B: It might be the only Aretha album from the first few Atlantic years that I don’t have.
G: Well, it is a solid string of albums in that early period.
B: Totally…she had a good 6-7 year run there.
There have been some interesting covers of this song over the years…
G: This seems so dark!
B: Well, much of the British dance music during that era had a dark edge…probably why it sort of evolved into trip-hop
G: Point taken.
Did Bomb the Bass have any hits to speak of?
B: You’d recognize ““>Beat This,” I think.
G: Hmmm. Don’t think so.
B: OK, now, let’s get gay!
G: HA! This is so 1997.
B: Isn’t it though?
G: I also feel like there were a shitload of videos in that era that had this “person singing in a narrow bedroom” motif.
B: You’re almost definitely right. Although i can’t specifically remember any of them.
So…we’ve got four versions here. I’ll spare you the rendition from the Glee Cast.
G: I thank you for that.
B: Thoughts?
G: Alright, well – the Diana King version is pretty typical of the era, and frankly pretty uninteresting, although not a bad cover.
The Bomb the Bass cut is just a little weird given the darkness of the choruses. I can’t decide if I like it or not.
So for me, this is really between Dionne and Aretha.
B: I dislike the Diana King version, I have to say.
The Bomb The Bass version is actually cool, but i’m not terribly crazy about the amateurish singing.
But then when you’re against Aretha and Dionne, we’re all amateurs!
G: This is true!
I think that I might actually go with the Queen on this one. The Dionne version is great, and perhaps most true to the Bacharach/David style. But Aretha’s version pops a bit more for me. Plus, it’s fucking Aretha Franklin.
B: I’d have to say the same. Dionne’s singing is a little too mannered for me.
Or maybe it’s just that Aretha squeezed all the soul out of it that wasn’t there before, or wasn’t obvious before.
I love the arrangement of the Dionne version though
G: Maybe you can make a mashup of the Dionne instrumental with the Aretha vocal.
B: How much you wanna bet someone has already tried that?
Not exactly, but…
G: Hell yeah, Solid Gold.
Aretha rocking that excessive 1980s makeup.
B: You know you wore makeup like this in the 1980s.
G: Ah yes, during my CeCe Deville phase.
B: Aretha’s not trying to sing Dionne under the table., and i’m falling way down the rabbit hole.
G: Lol at Whitney’s “mmmm….” to Natalie’s preface that this is “an old Aretha Franklin classic.”
B: This is really good as well, although things get a little nutty at the end
G: Excessive ad libbed outro
B: All good. makes me miss some Whitney though
B: So..Aretha is still the Queen, yes?
G: Yes. Donald Fagen says so.
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