Ladies and gentlemen- I give you a brand-new recording!!
This is a cover of the Beach Boys’ classic song “She Knows Me Too Well” off of the “Today!” album from 1965.
I got some new equipment, so I wanted to try to match the original recording the best I could (with a little more flair on the drums, no disrespect to Dennis Wilson). I used my new Shure SM57 mic, Epiphone Les Paul Special II with P-90 pickups, and my Samson 7-piece drum mic set. I rounded-it out with my Fender Stratocaster, Fender Jazz Bass, electric piano, and ten vocal tracks, recorded with my Shure SM27 condenser mic.
I really hope you enjoy all the hard work I put into this and hope you’ll share it with all of your friends, too!
Hello and welcome to my first traditional “video and a post” Laptop Session in weeks! For the past few posts, I’ve opted to write reviews, but now its back to Beatles cover songs for me! This was actually a lot of fun, but I don’t get to write as directly and personally as I do in a post like this one. Thus, I’m back with a guitar, recording my first cover song music video since “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Let’s just say it’s good to be “back”!
You’ve probably already noticed that the Laptop Sessions main page has suddenly been filled with “chords & lyrics” posts. Let me start by explaining these four new additions to the blog.
First, the Beatles chords (for “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”) are obviously meant to accompany this post. If you enjoy it, then by all means, jump in and start playing it yourself. Actually, you might want to read the rest of my post before you break out your axe…
So, why the added chords and lyrics?
Well, I’ve been itching to record a cover version of a track from the new Pearl Jam album Backspacer ever since I started listening to it last Sunday. Specifically, there are two largely acoustic tracks that are very easily translatable into acoustic music videos — namely, “Just Breathe” and “The End.” The first single, “The Fixer,” is more of a full-band, harder rock affair, but its structure is fairly simple and it is truly a great deal of fun to sing. I’m still deciding which song to record for my session (anyone care to hazard a guess before next week?).
Now, normally I would wait until next Monday to post the chords, but I’ve been learning/practicing all three and going out of my mind attempting to comprehend how anyone could post the chords and lyrics without having even the slightest idea as to what the correct words are. This, in fact, is one of the most profoundly aggravating aspects of the decline of CD’s, at least in my mind — people who download digitally do not necessarily get a booklet, and even if they do, do not necessarily take the time to read the liner notes and lyrics. Has music really become that abundant and easily accessible that we couldn’t care less what the singer is actually saying, or what the album as a whole is actually about? This is the feeling I get when I surf the web for chords and lyrics.
This is also why I enjoy spending time in CD stores like Newbury Comics or — as I visited today — Exile on Main Street. It’s a good feeling to see albums that you had forgotten about, never actually seen in person, or perhaps never even heard of before. I left today with my hands covered in a thin layer of dust, having purchased an album that had collected a considerable amount of that aforementioned dust — the Charlie Sexton Sextet’s Under the Wishing Tree. (Sexton played with Dylan for a few years, left the band a while back, and just recently rejoined — he was perhaps my favorite guitarist that I’ve seen in Dylan’s band, so I had to check it out. More to come after I’ve listened more closely to the album…)
After all this posting, I suppose I should actually take a few moments to address the video you’re about to watch…
Following Jeff’s excellent rendition of “Yesterday” last Thumpin’ Thursday, I decided I couldn’t let the Beatles marathon slip away on my watch. I had been planning to record a Pearl Jam song (as I mentioned earlier), so I opted instead to record a Beatles song that had been sung by Eddie Vedder in a cover version a few years back. “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” is the third track from the Beatles’ excellent 1965 album Help! — Nicole’s favorite Beatles album. Thankfully, I was able to borrow her copy of the 2009 remastered version of Help! and ensure that I was more than prepared to record this great song.
The video that follows is a perfect example of what seems like a short, simple song but is in actuality a little gem. To me, this song exemplifies how the Beatles really aren’t overrated — even with a simple verse-verse-chorus-repeat-fade song, Lennon and McCartney had to throw in some interesting chords and variations. It’s not simply G or C that you’re hearing — instead, my underworked and not-so-dexterous pinky finger was called into play to make the song sound entirely accurate. Even as I type, my hand is still recovering from the workout! Overall, I’m very pleased with how the recording came out, even if my lips ended up a bit dry and thus led to a few flubs during my “vocal flute” solo at the outro. I hope you can forgive the slight inaccuracies and enjoy this great Lennon/McCartney classic!
Oh, as a quick “P.S.,” I should mention that my review of the 2009 remaster of Let It Be really will be coming eventually. My internet was a bit screwy last week and I lost all my progress, so I put it aside temporarily.
It’s been a great Yom Kippur (see my Twitter posts above), and although it’s back to school for me tomorrow, I still have another surprise up my sleeve for later this week. That is, if my internet connection can hold steady…
Welcome to another Jim Fusco Tuesday here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog. I can’t believe it’s been another week- here I am again to send a new cover song music video your way.
I realized I’ve only done one Beach Boys song so far in 2009 (and a quite unknown one, at that), so I decided to please the Beach Boys faithful (who’d have to be REALLY faithful to wait three months for another video) by doing a song everybody knows in “Do You Wanna Dance?”!
Originally written and recorded by Bobby Freeman in the late 50’s, the Beach Boys version is very far removed from the original recording. Freeman’s version has a more bossonova feel to it and is a little slower-paced. Brian Wilson, clearly budding into an ambitious producer at the time, took the song and turned it pure mid-sixties rock and roll. It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at Nubmer 12, and was the highest charting record with Dennis Wilson on lead vocals.
This was a great song for Denny to sing- I love the Beach Boys version so much more because Brian gave Dennis a chance to sing on it. The production on the Beach Boys version is very Phil Spector influenced, so my acoustic cover version of it married the Beach Boys verison (in terms of style) without all the guitars, tympanies, etc.
I had to fight siging this song like Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, as in concert he’s the one who sings Dennis’ lead vocals. He sings much differently than Dennis normally would, so there’s different inflection to the words. I sing more like Bruce than Dennis, so I was inclined to sing the Bruce version- but stopped myself and tried to stay true to Denny’s original vocal style, raspy voice not included.
Right after “Do You Wanna Dance?” was released, the Beach Boys came out with one of their Number One singles in “Help Me Rhonda”, a great song. 1965 was an amazing year for music, but especially for groups like the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. It was also the break-out year for the Byrds. The Beach Boys’ “Today” album has to be one of the best recordings ever, especially because it combines the happiness of earlier Beach Boys albums and (some of) the production value of later recordings like “Pet Sounds”.
I hope you enjoy my version of “Do You Wanna Dance?”. On a personal note, I’m scheduled to receive my copies of my new album, “Halfway There”, tomorrow on CD, but the release date still stands for April 7th. I hope you’re as excited as I am! When I get the CDs, I’m sure I’ll get ambitious and do a ton of promotion, so stay tuned! Have a great week- I’ll try to post an original, but I’m pretty tired, so we’ll see. Talk to you again soon!
Well, after all the fun we had last time, the boys of The Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog are back for another Triple Tuesday Special on LaptopSessions.com. Jeff, the innovator for this event, called me up this weekend and I couldn’t resist!
Here’s my version of a great Byrds tune, “Set You Free This Time.” It’s from their 1965 album Turn! Turn! Turn! and it’s another Gene Clark original. He’s such an underrated songwriter, and I like him more and more every time I listen to his material. And “Set You Free This Time” is such a great song, it deserves to have all three of us give it a shot. The song is very introspective- I wonder if he was writing it about a specific someone, or if it’s just a feeling he had (or was thinking about). For 1965, it was pretty innovative- pop music really didn’t take that turn (turn, turn) until a little while later. Gene Clark always struck me as the same kind of guy that played the lead songwriter (Jimmy) in “That Thing You Do”. He wrote these sad, introspective songs. Then, they were turned into pop hits. But some were just meant to be slow and sad. I’m sure Gene Clark fought with his producers, as well. This song was featured on the second and last Byrds album Gene would appear on (in the 60s, at least).
Jim and Jeff posted their versions below mine so you’ll be able to take your pick…or, hopefully, listen to all three!
As a side note, I would like to thank everyone who frequents my videos. Just yesterday, I accepted my 50th subscriber on YouTube (who, of course, received a coupon, as promised by Jim), and today I’m up to 55. I really appreciate your watching and especially commenting both here and on YouTube!
I hope you’ll continue to check out LaptopSessions.com as we update the site with new videos every day in 2008!