Welcome to yet another “Original Wednesday” Session here with me, Jim Fusco!
This one kinda crept up on me today, and for the second time, Chris and I tried to do “The Game” off of my band MoU’s new album, “Homestead’s Revenge”. But, again, my voice wouldn’t hold out—for my own song! It’s been like this for about a month now and I don’t know how to make it better.
So, I reached way back into Jim Fusco lore to get this song off of my album, “Formula” from early 2003. You can listen to the entire album and purchase it here: http://fusco-moore.com/music/jim/albums/formula.php I tell ya, it sure seems like a lot longer ago than that- a lot has happened in only five years. I expect a whole lot more is coming in the next five years, as well.
I always remember my father pointing out that this was a good song- something about it caught his ear and I took note of his reaction.
I changed one line just for curiosity’s sake. If you’re an official Jim Fusco fan (no, not you Jeff, Chris, or Becky), then you’ll know which one. and if someone other than those three asks me, I will be happy to answer why I changed it for this version.
From an otherwise “okay” album that I don’t think has worn too well over five years, this song has always been a standout track for me, and I hope you agree.
Make sure to stay tuned as the Session a Day rolls on here in 2008!
The chart-topping success of Let It Be is truly a testament to both the heights of Beatlemania and also to the abilities of the four Beatles to consistently top themselves in their songwriting and musicianship. Even by 1970, amid tensions that caused all four to at least threaten to quit the band, they managed to come together (no pun intended) to finish the principal tracks for a new album.
This was made easier, of course, by the fact that this new album was based primarily on material that had been written and recorded before their previous record, Abbey Road, was released.
The true complication in this process arose when Phil Spector was somehow given the “okay” to add his signature studio treatment to the tracks. Perhaps with the disagreements between the Fab Four obscuring their collective vision, Spector was allowed to turn these songs — many of them little gems — into overblown, overproduced testaments to the capabilities of a mixing board. Orchestras aside, the original concept of this album (at least, when it was begun in January 1969) was that there would be no overdubs of any kind. How the leap was taken from “no overdubs” to “here’s Phil Spector” is a subject of some debate. The result? An album that made many fans and sources close to the band wonder what it would have been like without all the accessorizing.
Let It Be… Naked puts an end to that inquiry.
The cover of the 2003 remix of “Let It Be”
As the title implies, Naked is a stripped-down, bare bones version of Let It Be that highlights the instruments and original vocals of the four Beatles which, not surprisingly, is more than enough to excite and entertain. Ringo once pointed out that, despite all their issues and arguments, when the count began and a song was performed live, they transformed back into those four boys from Liverpool who just loved to play music together. For anyone who thought that may have been an overstatement, this new take on their final album is the proof of its veracity.
Throughout Let It Be… Naked, the Beatles’ harmonies are tight and their instrumentation is simple yet impressive. The drums and bass are particularly fun to focus on, perhaps imagining Ringo and Paul falling perfectly into the rhythm and putting all their combined experience, personal talent, and emotion into what would be these final released tracks. Of course, John and George are just as much fun to listen to. George’s guitar work, for instance, clearly never needed to be and never should have been buried beneath layers of production and overdubs.
Even the track listing is rearranged on this 2003 remix of the album, tossing out “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae,” as well as adding “Don’t Let Me Down,” a track that had made the cut on the earlier Glyn Johns mix of the album, before the project was shelved. This is hardly a revelation — I don’t imagine many will miss the two deleted tracks and the album is certainly much better for the inclusion of the latter.
In every conceivable way, Let It Be… Naked is a success and finally presents the album as originally intended, making it a must-listen for any Beatles fan as well as any fan of rock music who is interested in hearing the real story of the final album of this legendary band.
COMING LATER THIS WEEK: In addition to our regular Beatles cover songs, a review of the new Let It Be 2009 remaster. How does it compare?…
Hello and welcome to another all-new edition of the Laptop Sessions. To kick off another full week of new material, I’ve reached into the Moody Blues catalog of songs — specifically from their 2003 album December — to bring you a cover song version of their cover of the Mike Blatt and Tim Rice song “A Winter’s Tale.”
Now, although I am an English teacher, this is not to be confused with the William Shakespeare play “The Winter’s Tale.” Not only is there a notable difference in parts of speech (namely the indefinite – “a” – versus the definite – “the” – articles), but there is also a big difference in tone. Still, “The Winter’s Tale” is quite a trip. Consider, for instance, that this play contains one of Shakespeare’s most infamous stage directions: “Exit, pursued by a bear.” What I find the most interesting is that there is contention over whether he used an actual bear for the original productions, or simply a man dressed in a bear costume.
I would assume the latter, but the former is just so much more fascinating…
But this is all beside the point.
“A Winter’s Tale” is one of those songs that is indisputably beautiful, sung perfectly by Justin Hayward. For those who have seen them in concert recently, you may have noticed my apparel is a nod to Hayward’s typical onstage wardrobe. That wasn’t too difficult to arrange, as I simply removed my tie and jacket and voila! Of course, this is also one of those songs that, upon playback, forces me to remember I’m a rhythm guitarist hammering away at what is such a subtle, pretty song at heart. During our MoU Christmas concerts, Mike would front the band on this one, fingerpicking and taking the lead — and for good reason!
The reason I’m standing up is because the song simply didn’t sound right when I played it sitting down. I found I was having trouble getting comfortable as I played it.
Of course, the majority of the song being played on barre chords didn’t help either…
Several takes and several strained ligaments in my hands later, you’ve got yourself a new Laptop Session.
As a final note about the song, I found it very interesting that this song, originally written by songwriters Mike Batt and Tim Rice, hit #2 on the UK charts back in 1982. Batt teamed up with Rice to write the song for performer David Essex. Another interesting bit of trivia is that Batt went on to produce Justin Hayward’s solo album Classic Blue between 1988 and 1989 at Abbey Road Studios in London. Classic Blue, ironically, is an album of covers. The track listing includes three songs written by Batt, as well as classics from Brian Wilson, Lennon/McCartney, and Led Zeppelin.
I hope that you enjoy this installment of the Laptop Sessions, and I encourage you to hurry back for more very soon. In addition to your regularly scheduled (yuletide?) cover song music video tomorrow, there may be a brand new Guest Session on Friday, as well as another edition of the Weekend Review. If you missed last weekend’s music review, you should know that I just kicked off a top five albums of the decade countdown. Each weekend between now and January 2nd, 2009, I will reveal another album on the list, as well as a full review. Then, on January 2nd, I will post my full “Top Thirty Rock Albums of the Decade” list, along with my review for the number one rock album of the decade.
Thus far, the Barenaked Ladies’ Maroon (2000) has cinched the #5 slot. Which album will rank as the fourth best album of the decade?
You’ll have to tune in to the Weekend Review to find out…
To see how it’s played in the cover song music video, CLICK HERE!
“A Winter’s Tale”
The Moody Blues
Intro: F Bb F Bb F C F
The nights are colder now
Maybe I should close the door
F C Dm
And anyway the snow has covered all your footsteps
And I can follow you no more
The fire still burns at night
My memories are warm and clear
But everybody knows
C Bb C F
It’s hard to be alone at this time of year
It was only a winter’s tale
Just another winter’s tale
And why should the world take notice
Of one more love that’s failed?
A love that can never be
Though it meant a lot to you and me
On a world-wide scale
We’re just another winter’s tale
Instrumental: F C Dm Dm/C/Bb C F
While I stand alone
A bell is ringing far away
I wonder if you’re here
I wonder if you’re listening
I wonder where you are today
Good luck, I wish you well
For all that wishes may be worth
I hope that love and strength
Are with you for the length
Of your time on earth
Sing the following over the end of the instrumental:
Bb C F C – F
We’re just another winter’s tale.
** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **