“She’s Got Rhythm” (The Beach Boys cover)

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions! It’s great to be back doing these songs again. I have so many that I want to record and they’ve been mostly successful so far. I’m even going back and remastering some of my old videos. My thought is this: I may lose the views that I had on the video before, but is anyone actually hanging around to watch these videos that look like they were recorded in the dark and inside an air conditioner? So, cleaning them up has been fairly easy to do and it seems to breathe some new life into them.

But today I bring you a new video in “She’s Got Rhythm”. This is the lead track off of the 1978 album, “M.I.U. Album”. This is one of the Beach Boys’ most panned albums, and for good reason. It’s so disjointed. Of course the songs aren’t bad (at least, in my opinion), but you could tell that Brian was fading away from his brief resurgence during the 15 Big Ones and Love You albums of the previous two years. The other members had a chance to add songs, but you didn’t get much input from Carl or Dennis on this one- you’d have to wait till 1979’s “L.A. (Light Album)”to hear more written by them. However, Dennis does get the lead on probably my favorite track on the album, “My Diane”. I don’t think I should cover that one, though- seems like it’s too personal and written for a very specific person for me to jump in.

So, I chose “She’s Got Rhythm” in keeping with one of the goals of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog. This song is done in a slightly disco style and would probably turn some people off, especially four decades later. So, I thought I’d give it the full acoustic treatment…but still keep the falsetto because, why not? I’d be really interested to hear from folks to see if this song translated well to acoustic guitar and vocals. It just popped into my head one day while playing some songs on piano with my daughter and I knew the chords before I even started playing. And you can tell Brian wasn’t in command of the session for the original track because it’s in the key of D. If he was there, you know this would be in C#…

I hope you enjoy today’s Laptop Sessions cover song video. I have a couple more Beach Boys songs in the can that I’ll debut over the next few weeks. It won’t be easy gaining fans back after letting the site go dormant for so long, but it’s been fun igniting this passion once again! Stay tuned to my YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/jimfusco – I’m uploading new and newly-remastered videos all the time!

“Goin’ Out Of My Head” (Little Anthony & The Imperials cover)

We love these kinds of days here at the Laptop Sessions cover songs blog – the days when we add a new artist to our canon! Today, I bring Little Anthony & The Imperials to the site and I couldn’t be happier to bring such an amazing song to our humble music video blog.

There’s a good story behind how I came to rediscover this song. You see, my wife and I fulfilled a decades-long dream by purchasing a Seeburg V200 jukebox from 1955. This thing is amazing and it’s one of most sought-after jukeboxes of the era due to the fact that it is the first jukebox to feature 200 selections (100 45 rpm records). This particular box was in a 50’s diner restaurant that we used to frequent and it was amazing to find the exact box for sale years after the restaurant closed. So, it had a lot of sentimental value in addition to its inherent value.

The box, thankfully, came loaded with 100 records. Most of these were good songs from the era, though I promptly got rid of “Achy Breaky Heart” as soon as I could find another 45 to replace it with. 🙂 When I went to pick up the box with my good friend Dana (and this was in the early days of the pandemic and the social distancing guidelines, so it was an odd time, for sure) I looked at the songs in the box and saw “Goin’ Out Of My Head” listed. The song popped into my head and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it as we drove it home. Somehow we got the 410 lb jukebox into the house (with the help of my friend Bob and my father in law, Jack) and plugged it in. Thankfully, the jukebox survived the trip and it was time to pick the first song. And, of course, I had to pick “Goin’ Out Of My Head”. It sounded so great coming out of those giant vacuum tubes and the big speakers built into the Seeburg V200. I then decided I needed to learn how to play it.

And you know, it’s a bit harder to play than it might seem- lots of major 7th chords in there that I’m not used to playing. But, I kept trying and was able to pick up the Telecaster and keep it on my lap during conference calls so I could go over the chords from time to time. I couldn’t believe it, but I got this video done on the first take (very rare). At the end, I was so surprised that I had to go back and watch it to make sure I didn’t mess anything up. I guess practice really does make perfect.

Thanks for stopping by the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog today and checking out “Goin’ Out Of My Head”. Hopefully I did the song justice. It’s so nice to be back working on my creative endeavors again and the goal is to find a nice balance where I can keep working on music while not taking away from family time. By the way, I’m almost at 2 million views on my YouTube channel, so I would appreciate if folks would go through some of my previous videos to get the channel over the top!

Oh, and yes, that’s my “haven’t had a haircut in three months” look. 🙂

“Sorry Again” (The Wiggles & The Cockroaches cover)

Hello and welcome everyone to the first new edition of the Laptop Sessions in FIVE YEARS! I almost don’t even remember what life was like back then. Two kids, a different job, a new house, and a Master’s degree all occurring in that time will do that. I’ve also been part of a band, WCJM free internet radio is back and operating again (woo hoo!) and I’ve now created my third “studio” here in the house. This one is slightly more compact than the others but I certainly was able to hook everything up the right way and now I’ve realized my dream of being able to flip a power switch and then sit down to record whatever I want immediately- drums, vocals, guitars, etc. It has allowed me to record three songs in a very short amount of time. And that’s good because I only have a very short amount of free time!

So, when I released my first new song in five years (noticing a trend?) I released a slower, more introspective song. Not exactly a big bang for a “comeback” record. It’s like if Elvis’ big comeback record after he got back from the army was “In the Ghetto”…

Well, I’m always one to double-down on a stupid idea, so I give you my first Laptop Session acoustic cover song music video in half a decade: a Wiggles song! Yes, those Wiggles. My son loved watching and listening to their music and we like so many of their songs. Their original songs aren’t really “kids” songs. You know how kids songs go- they’re overly simplistic. But the Wiggles were born out of a rock band called the Cockroaches (yup) and much like cockroaches, the Wiggles will never die. They live on to this day with a group of 75% new members (the OG, Anthony, still remains) and are still very entertaining. Yes, I’ve seen them in concert…twice…out of state…

This song is from the video “Big Red Car”, which has some good tunes on it. This particular song is the one Jonny and I loved the most from this video. It’s such a sweet song. But it’s a real song- not just a children’s song. Very few children’s songs have an A flat minor chord in them. The original Wiggles recording was sung by raspy-voiced Captain Feathersword, but I cleaned things up a little. The original recording was by the Cockroaches with slightly different words. But it’s essentially the same song, which is so cool to me- these guys realized that any songs could be children’s songs with some tweaks. And that’s why the Wiggles music is so good to me.

This video goes back to the roots of the Laptop Sessions and our ideal of “putting an end to bad YouTube cover songs”. Well, we certainly never achieved that goal, but this video takes a song that would’ve been written-off as a kids song and turns it into a “real” song. The idea of this music blog was never to take “perfect” recordings and make them better- when people do that (including us), it’s almost always worse. So, I want to get back to doing that again. Like, taking a song from the 80’s that people don’t like because of the fake instruments and production style. It’s still a good song- it just needs the acoustic treatment!

Of course, I will do the exact opposite of that for my next video, as it’s an absolutely perfect song and recording…but I had to do a cover of it for many reasons, which I’ll share then! It’s great to be back- not committing to a schedule at this point, so we’ll just see you next time!

New Music From Jim Fusco: “Angelina Rose”

In these troubling times, I bring to you something to brighten the world just a little bit. This original song is my love song to Angelina Rose, my beautiful and wonderful 2-year old daughter. This song (obviously) came from the heart and can only begin to express my love for my little girl. She calls the song “Angie Rose” and I love that she’s mesmerized by it. There’s nothing better than seeing her dance around the house singing it. I hope you all enjoy and pass this little ray of sunshine along to anyone and everyone who could use a smile.

Personnel:

Jim Fusco: all instruments and vocals

Instruments:

  • Pearl Export EXL drums
  • Martin MMV acoustic guitar
  • Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster electric guitar
  • Gibson Les Paul Traditional electric guitar
  • Eric Clapton signature guitar pedal (rotating Leslie speaker setting)
  • Fender Jazz bass
  • Electric guitars recorded through Mesa Boogie Cab Clone and Fender Excelsior Amplifier with Eminence speaker