By Chris Moore:
Hello and welcome to a brand new week. Thanks for spending a little bit of it here on the Laptop Sessions music video blog with the latest edition of “Chris Moore Monday.” No one understands the pressure I’m under! I mean, there’s a lot riding on this video — if I’m good, I’m helping your week get off on the right foot. If I’m not so good, then… Well, let’s not even consider that option.
For tonight’s selection, I’m doing something that I’ve only done once before…
…make an enjoyable recording! No, I’m just kidding. (Not about the “enjoyable” part, I hope…)
This is only the second time that I’ve recorded a song by not only one but two artists whose work I’ve never played before. Tonight’s subjects? U2 and B.B. King. (Jeff has already recorded U2, but B.B. King is a new addition to the blog.) Why, you may ask? Well, the big “New Music Tuesday” release of tomorrow, March 3rd, is No Line on the Horizon, U2’s first new studio album in five years. It’s already making waves, having received a five-star rating from Rolling Stone magazine. Now, I’m not often one to agree with Rolling Stone, but I am very curious about this album. After all, Rolling Stone has never given U2 the five star salute. Bono and company have come close, earning 4.5 stars for 1991’s Achtung, Baby, but this is the first time they’ve received 5 stars for an original studio release.
To be fair, this isn’t their first 5 out of 5 star experience — the band’s re-release of The Joshua Tree was granted 5 stars. I just listened to that album last night for the first time, and although I wouldn’t give it five stars, I very much enjoyed it. The first three tracks are a veritable U2 greatest hits, and there are several deep cuts that are great songs.
So, tomorrow is a new music Tuesday to look forward to. To hold you over, I’ve gone back into the U2 catalog and hauled out an oldie but goodie. “When Love Comes to Town” was originally released in 1988 on Rattle and Hum (a title that is taken from lyrics in the song “Bullet the Blue Sky,” from The Joshua Tree). This is a song I have always loved — there’s such an energy between Bono and King’s vocals and the addition of King’s guitar to the instrumental mix. I have always felt that the song had a timeless feel, and I would have loved to hear someone like Johnny Cash record a version of it. So, for my cover song music video version tonight, I’ve slowed it down a bit and taken it down an octave (which is convenient, since my vocal chords are no match for Bono’s typical soaring range!).
Just like I thought, this song has such a classic feel to it that it lends itself to a stripped-down acoustic arrangement. Still, my version is no match for the energy, emotion, and rocking presence of the studio version! (And I can’t quite figure out what “catch that flame” means… I sing “catch that plane,” which is what I’ve always thought he said, but the official U2 lyrics page says “flame.” Oh, well…)
I hope you enjoy this U2 cover, and I hope it tides you over until tomorrow’s release of No Line on the Horizon. Until then and until an all-new Jim Fusco Tuesday…
See you next session!