“Into the Great Wide Open” (Tom Petty Cover)

By Jeremy Hammond:

My cover of “Into the Great Wide Open” by Tom Petty. I play the main verse pretty much the way Petty does, as far as I can hear.  I’ve re-arranged the chorus section a bit to try to closer mimic the multiple instrumental layers you hear on the album.


The title track to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1991 album of the same name, “Into the Great Wide Open” may not have topped the charts, but is an excellent song that deserves appreciation.  Even though it fell a full sixty-four slots shy of its predecessor “Learning to Fly,” Petty did manage to produce an outstanding music video for this song.  And it even starred a young Johnny Depp as Eddie Rebel with supporting roles by Chynna Phillips (of Wilson Phillips), and Matt LeBlanc (of Friends fame).

They truly don’t make music videos like this anymore, so if you haven’t seen it, you should really take the time to do so.  Go ahead, that’s what YouTube is for, right?

What makes “Into the Great Wide Open” such an excellent candidate for an acoustic cover?  Well, there’s the catchy, powerful acoustic strumming before the chorus, never mind the fact that this is certainly a song that comes across well when played with a minimal arrangement.

As per usual, Jeremy has demonstrated great taste and considerable ability in his performance of this Tom Petty classic.  I had forgotten how much I love this song and this album, and I’ve already watched Jeremy’s video several times over the past few days, enjoying this stripped down rendition.  On behalf of the Laptop Sessions, I thank Jeremy for yet another wonderful video.  Here’s to many more in 2010!

“Fire and Rain” (James Taylor Cover)

By Chris Moore:

Welcome back for another installment in the session-a-day project at the best music blog on the Internet! Tonight’s Laptop Session is from a new artist to the blog — James Taylor. “Fire and Rain” is his second single, released in 1970 after “Carolina on My Mind.” And now it is one more acoustic cover song to be added to the Laptop Sessions’ list of covers!

I’ve always liked this song, since I first heard it on a seventies compilation early in high school. This is actually a funny story — I was just explaining it to Jim last week…

Growing up, I didn’t listen to a lot of music. My dad had tapes of his favorite artists and a few compilation tapes, but outside of this, I didn’t really focus that much on songs or especially albums. Then, by middle school, I was listening to the radio religiously, especially the morning show on Kiss 95.7 — one of my favorite parts of summer vacation was being able to listen to 8am-10am portion of the morning show. As I began to record my own “radio shows” on cassette tape, I also began buying CDs so that I would have a wide range of music to present.

Thus began my vast musical journey. My first CD was an Elvis greatest hits that my parents bought me to go along with my first CD player. Then, I got into sixties music briefly. I had an extended seventies period, picking up greatest hits of the 70s compilations and — yes, I’ll admit it now — disco CDs. If you listen to some of the earlier Moore Hits in the Morning shows on WCJM.com, you’ll find that disco music crept into my choices for best songs.

Suffice it to say that I, just like most other people in the free world, did indeed grow out of that phase!

I collected and listened to a lot of eighties music, as well. All throughout these whims, I was buying contemporary music, and I’ve since gone back to the sixties — Dylan, the Beach Boys, and the Beatles — for the core of my favorite music artists.

I’m not sure that everyone goes through a musical education quite like that, but I have a good laugh when I really think about the way I grew into music and experienced a lot of different styles and eras over a relatively short amount of time. So, tonight, I dig back to my favorite seventies tracks to bring you this great one from James Taylor. I hope you enjoy it!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow for yet another awesome acoustic rock cover by the man, the myth, the legend — Jeff Copperthite…

See you next session!

“Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

To see how it’s played in a cover song music video: CLICK HERE!

“Sex & Candy”
Marcy Playground

B                      G                         F#
Hangin’ round, downtown by myself and
I had so much time to sit and think about myself
And then there she was, like double cherry pie;
Yeah, there she was; like disco super-fly…

(Stop; riff)

(no chord)         B   G   A
I smell sex and candy here.
Who’s that loungin’ in my chair?
Who’s that castin’ devious stares in my direction?
A                                  D          A
Mama, this surely is a dream.  Yeah.
B                          G               D          A            B   G   F#
Yeah, mama, this surely is a dream.  Dig it.

Hangin’ round, downtown by myself, and
I’ve had too much caffeine and I was thinkin’ about myself
And then there she was
In platform double suede,
Yeah, there she was
Like disco lemonade…


Yeah, mama, this surely is a dream.  Yeah.
Yeah, mama, this surely is a dream.  Yeah.
B                          G                                 end on D
Yeah, mama, this must be my dream.

** 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. **

“Sex and Candy” (Marcy Playground Cover)

For Marcy Playground chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

After both technical difficulties and more than my share of human error for the night, my “Chris Moore Monday” post is here!  Not only am I posting a video tonight for the best acoustic cover song music video blog known to man — and humble, too! — but this is actually the first of a double header that will conclude tomorrow night.  Since Jim is away for one more “Jim Fusco Tuesday,” I didn’t want to see anyone go without new material for even a day more.  So make sure to check back tomorrow for an all-new cover song and music video.

Tonight’s song is one that would have made me blush in 1997, and to be honest, it still does.  Back in late ’97 and early 1998, Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy” was everywhere, particularly if you listened to a modern rock radio station.  (CT locals may remember the alternative station Rock 104’s hey day in the nineties.)  At the time, this song broke the record for most consecutive weeks at number one on the modern rock charts — 15 weeks, to be specific.  Meanwhile, this song catapulted Marcy Playground to one hit wonder status, peaking at a solid number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

To this day, I’m not exactly sure why this song was such a big hit at the time.  Structurally, it’s a very simple song, and the vocals are very straightforward.  I think the song’s success can be attributed to its provocative lyrics and John Wozniak’s distinct vocals.  Fortunately for me, “Woz” as he refers to himself has a vocal range that is well within my own, at least on this song!

There are two reasons I’ve chosen this particular song for tonight’s session.  The first is that it reminds me of a time when I was first becoming interested in music, listening to the radio and just beginning to buy CDs at the overpriced Sam Goody’s store in the mall.

The second reason will be explained in tomorrow night’s session…

You know, another sign that this song was successful is that “Weird” Al included the chorus of “Sex and Candy” in his “Polka Power!” polka medley.  If only I, too, could one day have a song parodied by the man, then I would truly know I had earned success.  But, until then, I’ll just have to enjoy the new “Weird” Al video for his new song, “CNR.”  It’s a style parody of the White Stripes and the video was produced by JibJab, so it’s all the more hilarious.  While I thought the “Skipper Dan” video a couple weeks ago was enjoyable, this one is truly great — it made me laugh out loud a couple times and want to watch it again.

Okay, so that’s it for me for now.  I’ll see you back here, same Laptop Sessions time, same Laptop Sessions channel for an all-new “Chris Moore for Jim Fusco Tuesday” cover song music video.

See you next session!