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And here it is- the end of the line. I can’t believe we’re already through all 14 days of my Rock’n’Roll Christmas celebration! Remind me to never do this again. 🙂
Today’s song is my original Christmas tune, “Christmas Morning”, that I wrote back in high school! I personally think every artist has ONE good Christmas song in them. And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure that I’d ever be able to come up with another one as catchy as this one, so I don’t think I’m going to try!
I recorded this song for the first time back in 2004 for our Christmas album, “Our Christmas Gift To You”. At the time, I was just getting used to playing the guitar and recording with my digital 24-track. I had basic microphones, too. Now, I have a Cab Clone to record my guitars, various tube amps, high quality mics, compressors, preamps, and…the same 24 track mixer. But, if you’ve heard both versions, you can really tell a big difference. I’ll probably end-up recording this again in the future after my equipment gets even better!
My wife Becky helps me sing on this tune, too. I was going to have my brother Mike help out, but he was sick when he came home for Thanksgiving, so he couldn’t sing on it. Next time, though!
I hope you’ve had as much fun reading and listening to these Christmas songs as I have making them. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me to do all of this while being so busy otherwise. I hope I can maybe just do one song a year from now on, just to keep me into the recording process. Enjoy “Christmas Morning” and have a Merry Christmas!
And a Happy New Year to you- I’m Jim Fusco back for another year of the Laptop Sessions. I’m also back with Number 200! That’s right, tonight’s video is my 200th and it kicks off a brand new year of great acoustic cover song music videos here on the most popular music blog that isn’t corporately-owned…well, I can’t substantiate that claim… 🙂
Anyway, I figured I’d kick the New Year and new decade off right with a New Year’s song in “Ding Dong Ding Dong”, a hit single off of George Harrison’s Dark Horse album. If you’ve heard the original version of this song, you probably wondered why George’s voice sounded so raw and raspy. No, he wasn’t taking vocal cues from his pal (and future Traveling Wilburys member) Bob Dylan. He was actually suffering from a terrible break-up when his wife ran off with his best friend, Eric Clapton. It forced the two friends to not speak for a long time (yes, significant others can change people and break friends apart, that’s for sure), but eventually they reconciled…once she and Eric broke up, too! That’s a fairytale friendship story if I ever heard one.
The title track from Dark Horse also features George’s gravelly vocals and it’s actually a nice tool he uses well on these somewhat bitter songs. I mean, George was always one to write songs against the “establishment” (like “Taxman”, “Not Guilty”, and “Devil’s Radio”), but this time, it was a more personal fight. One can only think that “ringing out the old and bringing in the new” has to be correlated to his estranged wife leaving the picture.
And, in the end, George ended up finding his real soulmate in Olivia Harrison, whom he was with until the end and continues to preserve George’s legacy to this day. Now there’s a woman who really appreciated and “got” him. So, it all worked out. I guess sometimes a broken heart is just an opportunity to find something (or someone) better!
I’ve always considered this a Christmas song- remember my post from a few weeks ago about my father’s famed Christmas Compilation tapes? Well, this song was on it. And even though it’s loosely based on the New Year and it’s idea of “starting anew”, it’s really not a Christmas song at all. But, you’ll still never find me listening to “Ding Dong Ding Dong” from January through October!
I’ve already recorded a video for next week- I was on a bit of a roll tonight. I could’ve done more, but work is really driving me into the ground lately. So, hopefully I’ll get more gusto in two weeks to record some more videos. My list is ever-growing. I have a great forgotten 60’s song lined-up, but next week’s video is a late-90’s Top 10 Billboard hit that is officially the song played most on the radio- it spent 18 weeks at Number One on the Billboard Airplay charts. That’s the most for any song- ever!
And I can’t believe we haven’t covered it. My only thought is that I’m the only one here that can sing the chorus, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. Look for some new bands to come in the near future, as well- it’s going to be another productive year of great cover song music videos…if I can find the time and energy to keep up with it week after week. Until next week, enjoy “Ding Dong Ding Dong” in LSHD (Laptop Sessions High Definition)!
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!
Welcome to your Thursday edition of The Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog with me, Jim Fusco! I just reached 100 subscribers and I know it’ll only grow faster from here! I hope you’ll tell your friends about the music blog, too.
Anyway, now to today’s cover song video. Today, I give you another in our series of Beatles cover songs that I’ve loved for a long time, “Things We Said Today”.
Paul McCartney said that this song was about a girlfriend of his he met while in another country. They had such a great time together and made all those crazy young promises of “always waiting for you”, etc. So, he’s singing about remembering the things they said to each other while feeling alone and far away. What a great, heartfelt idea for a song!
One of the things I’ve always liked about “Things We Said Today” is the cool strumming pattern of the A-minor chord that starts the song. For a song about such a melancholy feeling, the opening chords are so harsh. Of course, that harsh feeling comes up again in the bridge of the song, where Paul gets a bit rougher with his singing style. I think the middle-8 is one of the best that Paul McCartney ever wrote. He flawlessly transitions his voice from sweet and mellow to biting. It’s very impressive.
I guess the duality in “Things We Said Today” between the verses and middle sections is reflected in the lyrics of the song. On the surface, you’ll notice that Paul is first saying how they’ve promised to “be the only one” for each other. But, if you read into it a little bit, you’ll hear what he really means. He knew, because of the distance between him and the girl he’s talking about, that the promises of “being the only one” were empty and could never be true. He knew it was only a passing fling. In the middle section, he says, “And though we may be blind, love is here to stay.” He’s saying that in a new relationship like that, people tend to overlook obvious challenges like, you know, living thousands of miles away from each other. And, in the minds of these naive folks that are newly in love, it’ll stay great forever! Those of us who have been through that situation know the real eventual outcome.
On a funnier note, I had to relocate to my room for this song (good thing I have a Laptop!) because my parakeets would not stop chattering downstairs! But, I’m glad they’re getting along, even if it is to the detriment of my acoustic cover song videos.
I hope you enjoy today’s Beatles acoustic video- I’ll catch you on Sunday with an all-new Beach Boys song!
We have a NEW album out called Homestead’s Revenge (by Masters of the Universe- the band I’m in). You can buy the high quality mp3s or the CD version. Here’s the web address: http://jimfusco.com/albums.html. PLEASE check it out and let me know what you think! I hope you all enjoy today’s Session, and REALLY enjoy the new album- it’s two years in the making!