“That Was Then, This Is Now” (Monkees Cover)

Originally posted 2008-06-14 15:59:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Saturday dose of The Laptop Sessions, brought to you by me, Jim Fusco!

Today, I’m doing a fairly-unknown song that’s technically only by Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork, but billed as the Monkees. This song was on their first greatest hits CD in the late eighties and actually continues to make appearances on “Best Of” albums. I love this song and I’ve known it for many years now. Actually, the Monkees were my favorite band before I found out about the Beach Boys. I LOVED that Monkees Greatest Hits CD when I was like 4, and I find that I still love all the songs today.

They didn’t write this song, but in a few weeks, I’ll be putting another Monkees song that they did write (by Michael Nesmith) on http://laptopsessions.com .

We also did a radio show on our free internet radio station, WCJM Internet Radio at http://wcjm.com , called the “That Was Then, This Is Now” Show. This show not only featured this song, but also featured songs (and comedy skits) that give a look at bands both then and now.

I think this Session may fall under the same category that my most famous, “I’m So Lonely”, video falls under: the over-produced and way-too-eighties-sounding songs that I took and made into an acoustic song. These versions always tend to come out the best because you can just LISTEN to the real song and cut through the production.

That’s why I’m always a big fan of people that use production to make the song the best it can sound, but not just “make” the song. That’s why Brian Wilson is so great: he wrote (and writes) great songs, then uses the production to make them shine even better. But, they’d still be great songs without all the instrumentation, which is what I try to prove with these cover songs on the Laptop Sessions.

On a slightly different note, I think it’s obvious by now that we’re doing all of these cover songs because we’re songwriters and the only way we can think of people showing interest in our original music is to play other people’s songs right along with it. I figure, if you like the same songs I like and I write similar songs to the songs I like (in general, of course), you’ll like my music by the transitive property!

With that said, I hope you’re checking out our weekly “Original Wednesday” songs and going to my original music website at jimfusco.com. We have some pretty great stuff- we’re not looking to make a fortune, although we are looking for people to pay….attention!!

Thanks for watching today’s Laptop Session and stay tuned for Chris’ new song tomorrow!



“Down Under” (A Men at Work Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-15 23:50:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

This is another all-new cover video here at your source for the best cover songs on the web or anywhere: the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music blog! Since I haven’t introduced a brand-new band to the video blog in a while, I decided to record a song that I had considered recording back in the specialty “Number Ones Week.” I never recorded this song, which was a number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the eighties, for that week, and I put it aside — out of sight, out of mind — in my bookmarks menu. Then, I came across it tonight and decided to make it official.

This is “Down Under,” originally performed by the Men at Work. This is an eighties band that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see here on this acoustic cover song blog. But, my father and I had always laughed and enjoyed this song whenever it came on the radio, so I thought it deserved its fair shake as an unplugged performance. It is an extremely easy song to play — the verse and chorus sections are different only by one chord — and it’s right in my comfortable vocal range.

Truth be told, it did take me quite a few takes. Unlike my last post, which I happily reported on Saturday was a one-take (my first ever!) recording, this took me about ten takes, false starts and all. It wasn’t so much that it’s a difficult song because, as I said before, it’s not. However, I haven’t really listened to the song in full for years, so I needed to find it on the YouTube videos search and watch it a couple times. Well, I really only had to listen to it, but it was so funny to watch that I simply couldn’t resist. I love the flute player in the tree and, of course, the man behind the counter “from Brussels” with “muscles” who gives the singer a “Vegemite sandwich.”

To this day, I’m really not even sure what a Vegemite sandwich is…

I actually just looked it up on Wikipedia now, and I found that it’s a “dark brown savoury food paste made from yeast extract, used mainly as a spread on sandwiches, toast and cracker biscuit.” It’s no surprise that I didn’t know what it was because, even though it is distributed by food manufacturing giant Kraft Foods, it has simply not caught on in Western nations such as the United States of America.

Vegemite knowledge notwithstanding, it really took me a long time because I needed to relearn the song. But, as my fellow FMP songwriters Jim and Jeff probably know all too well, I was very tired and had my mind on other things when I realized that tonight was my night to post another quality cover video. So, wiping the mid-summer sweat from my forehead and ignoring the headache that was creeping in, I did what any responsible video blog poster — or at least one who has committed himself to the session-a-day promise — would do… I recorded a Laptop Session.

I hope you enjoy it, as it really is a fun song, and I only wish that I had been able to record this acoustic cover song with some flute accompaniment… If this doesn’t quench your thirst for quality cover videos, you’ll just have to hurry back for Jeff’s next all-new session tomorrow, here on the Laptop Sessions Music Blog.

See you next session!



“Drive” (The Cars) Cover

Originally posted 2008-06-02 22:27:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Monday, Monday edition of The Laptop Sessions at http://laptopsessions.com !

Tonight, I give you a song from another band we haven’t done yet, “The Cars”.

Now, I always thought that “Just What I Needed” was their biggest hit, but this song, “Drive”, was actually a #3 hit on Billboard pop charts, their highest charting song.

I love this song- it’s the quintessential 80s ballad. The chord progression is great and it’s sung from such a youthful point of view. I mean, the chivalry of driving someone home just doesn’t exist now. And, it’s only been about 20 years!

Another interesting point about this tune is that it was written by the keyboardist for the band, Greg Hawkes. And, the song is originally sung by the bassist, Benjamin Orr. You would expect their biggest hit to go to Ric Ocasek, but that’s the way things go. I always thought that it wasn’t fair that the Doobie Brothers main original guy, Tom Johnston, never got a #1 hit. But, another member, Pat Simmons, did with “Black Water”. And, years later, Michael McDonald did with “What A Fool Believes”.

Well, I hope you enjoy tonight’s Session and make sure to come back tomorrow for Chris’ Session!



“Every Grain of Sand” (Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2010-02-05 23:30:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Federico Borluzzi:

Unplugged cover of Bob Dylan’s “Every Grain Of Sand” (from the Shot Of Love album – 1981), with acoustic guitar and harmonica.  I changed the two harmonica solos to fit my harmonica skills (I have a lot to learn before I can play exactly what Dylan plays) and the possibilities of my G tuned harmonica.

** EDITOR’S NOTE: **

In his first contribution to the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video blog, Federico has chosen a beautiful little number.  I wonder if he was aware of my love for Bob Dylan when he decided to submit this video…

He certainly couldn’t have been aware of how much I love this underrated gem of an album, Shot of Love.  Often considered the third in his “born-again Christian trilogy” of studio albums, Shot of Love is actually more of a transition album.  Critics tore this release apart, often with the exception of “Every Grain of Sand.”  And, truly, Federico couldn’t have chosen a better song to translate into an acoustic cover.  Although his harmonica is not spot-on, it is clearly because of the key the harmonica is in.  He has a knack for matching the fingerpicking pattern as well as the harmonica tabs — any Dylan fan will be able to hear how close his solo is to the original, all except for the key, that is.

And, again, I’m thrilled at his choice of album.  Shot of Love may have been panned by fans and critics alike, but there are some excellent tracks.  Consider “Heart of Mine,” percussion by none other than Ringo Starr.  Then, there’s the striking “Lenny Bruce.”  “Property of Jesus” may be dismissed as just another “Christian song,” but it’s a catchy and effective one.  And, although it wasn’t included on pressings until four years later, “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar” is a phenomenal Dylan track.

So, listen to Federico’s first session, and get out there and listen to Shot of Love if you’ve been missing out all these years!