Hello and welcome, one and all, to my favorite type of acoustic cover song — a collaboration with fellow Fusco-Moore Productions artist Jim Fusco. (I’ll be posting another one soon with Jim and his girlfriend — fiance, to be more precise! — Becky Daly.) Tonight, I’m happy to present our rendition of the Beach Boys’ “Getcha Back” from their 1985 self-titled release.
This is probably their last great record, as such. After this, Dennis’ absence is all the more profound and the overall quality of involvement and projects seems to decline. But this album should not be ignored, even taking into account how much it sounds like “eighties music.”
“Getcha Back” is the first track and sets the tone for the album as a whole. I used to turn this on, set it to repeat, turn off the lights in my room, and lay on the floor listening to it again and again. There’s so much running through Mike Love’s vocal and the instrumental accompaniment is both rocking and sad. It made me want to write and record a song that could be that simple, and yet that good!
Years later, I still love the track, and I feel privileged that Jim would relinquish his claim on a Beach Boys cover — one of my favorites — so that I could record it for the acoustic cover songs music blog. Not only did he let me record it, but he joined in to make it probably one of my favorite Laptop Sessions thus far. I hope you enjoy it too!
Don’t forget to hurry back tomorrow for a new acoustic rock cover by Jeff…
Welcome to your Terrific Tuesday edition of the Laptop Sessions! Tonight, I’m the first person to post using our brand new WordPress 2.6.1 version of the blog. Of course, on your end, you shouldn’t see any difference, but on our end, the difference is vast…and great. For one thing, our visual editor won’t mess with our code anymore, so we’ll be able to post chords to our cover songs more often than before.
Also, things seem to work a little better now, so I hope our sitemap and the live site will work a bit smoother than before. If not, we don’t have much of an option but to upgrade, but honestly, we don’t have the money for that right now. Did I mention that there’s a donation button on the left side bar? Right now, we have a package that’s only about $5 a month. In order to get “server priority” as they call it…which I assume means more server resources, the price goes up to $20 a month. That’s quite a difference for “server priority”. But, I do believe that it will help keep the site running quickly, as we already have over 500 posts and hundreds upon hundreds of pages. I hope many people will come to our site’s aid and give us a donation! Oh, and that includes you, too, Jeff, Mike, Becky, Sarah, Chris, Dana, Dave, Alberto, Matt, Stuffy, Palumbi, et al.
Okay, on to tonight’s video. Tonight is a classic one in terms of my live performances. The “band” of Chris, Jim, and Becky (see Chris’ post a few days ago) was formed in 2004 and we loved to sing this Barenaked Ladies song, “Maybe Katie” in concert. Then, we didn’t realize we were singing it in the wrong key- a half step below the original key. Rest assured that for this video, we fixed the error, as all the Laptop Sessions songs are always in the original key- the ONLY way it should be! Listen up, cover song musicians on YouTube and elsewhere: YOU REALLY STINK IF YOU DO IT IN THE WRONG KEY!!! There’s no exception to this- if it’s out of your range and you change the key, then you don’t deserve to do the song. I sang “Baby Please Come Home” by Darlene Love at our Christmas party in the original key and that song is ridiculously high. You didn’t see me take the easy way out. And this is why our motto is “Putting an end to bad YouTube covers FOREVER!” Wow, the tangents tonight…
Moving on, this song is off of one of my favorite albums, “Everything To Everyone”. I do believe that it’s probably their fourth best album behind “Gordon”, “Barenaked Ladies Are Men” (the almost 30-track version), and “Maroon”. This album has some input from the other band members, which if you’ve read some of my past rants, means a lot to me in a band.
We do “Maybe Katie” a bit differently than the album’s version in the sense that the BNL version has some heavy electric guitars on the chorus and middle sections. Our version is completely acoustic and has more of a “folk” feel to it. That’s what happens when you don’t have a drummer handy…that isn’t already reserved to play the solo like I am.
I hope you enjoy tonight’s Laptop Session and I do hope that you’ll consider donating to the site, even if it’s just a few bucks. Thanks again and see you tomorrow!
Welcome to my first Original Wednesday original acoustic song music video for the year 2009! It’s Jim Fusco here with a great song that we chose to kick-off our (and by “our”, I mean the band Masters of the Universe, or MoU) second album, “Homestead’s Revenge”. The song is “Only A Dream” and it’s a chorus I wrote the tune to, but never did anything else with.
I remember the day very vividly. It was one of our band songwriting sessions and I remember finally fleshing-out the chorus with the help of Chris, Mike, Becky, and Cliff. Then, I ran over to the piano and started to work out chord progressions for the verses. I came up with the very interesting Em7 to Bm chord progression and I really love the tune that goes along with it. I remember sitting there working and hearing Becky and Chris deciding on words to go into the chorus of the song.
I took my ideas over to the rest of the band and we worked out the words. We came up with this image of a man in a jail cell. The conversation went something like this: “How about a man locked in a jail cell that’s dreaming about getting out?” “Oh yeah- like he’s locked in there!” “Okay, let’s see- ‘Locked in solitary confinement…'” “No, that doesn’t work with the tune…” “Locked in solidarity…” “That doesn’t make sense, though.” “Oh, but it does! The guy is locked up AND he’s all alone!” “Perfect!”
And that’s how the writing session went- we scrutinized everything but were able to paint a very realistic image of the idea we were getting across. Why don’t you just listen and find out what that message is?
I also remember Mike returning from the back room, playing his middle-8. I love that part of the song and it leads right back into the chorus very well. He did that on “These Streets” from the same album. The lyrics are great on the middle-8 to “These Streets”- we were thinking about that kind of great fast-paced life you think you have in high school and threw in, “Live like it’s 1999,” because I was a freshman/sophomore in 1999.
Also, I was very excited when we all did the vocals. On the original (which you can hear by going to MoU’s Official Website), you’ll hear double-tracked vocals from each of the five members of the band on the choruses and backgrounds, PLUS the lead vocals.
Some fun facts: Chris, Cliff, Mike, and I recorded our vocals together and we dubbed Becky’s much softer voice later on two other tracks so I could handle it better in the mix. It isn’t easy blending a female voice into four other male voices. But, my voice must not be too far off from a female’s voice, which made it easier to mix. Why do I say that? Well, on the middle-8, you’ll hear the backing vocals come in. I love that part. Well, on that section, Becky doesn’t sing- it’s just Mike’s lead, then Mike, Chris, Cliff, and I on backing vocals. I sang the high part (doing my best Becky impression) because we seamlessly wove the backing vocals around Mike’s lead, allowing us to use only four other backing vocal harmony parts. I remember doing those backing vocals that night with the boys and we were all so incredibly excited. After we finished each good take, we’d get so stoked about it. The greatest backing vocals I think I’ve ever heard are during the second half of the second verse. The way that some of the vocals move around and some stay the same…it’s really a stroke of genius on my part! 🙂 Want to hear just the vocals-only section? Click HERE and you’ll go to the Albums page on the MoU website. The clip of only the vocals from that section will play in the background. Click around to the other pages on the site and you’ll hear more rare vocals-only clips from the album!
Well, I hope you enjoy this great original song. It was truly a collaborative effort- a great, catchy song- that was the perfect album-starter. Until next Tuesday, I hope you have a great week. Make sure to come back tomorrow for your Jeff Copperthite Thumpin’ Thursday acoustic cover song music video!
Welcome to your Monday, Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!
If you take a look at the last few posts, you’ll notice all the work I’ve been doing over the past 24 hours. I’ve managed to mix, master, and put online three concerts worth of material. The last one has 35 songs! Then, I finally posted my photos from our TNA Wrestling show back in May. Finally, I went through and backed-up literally 100 gb of data that was clogging up my laptop’s harddrive. I put all of it on DVDs, which meant that I needed to complete everything before I backed it up and deleted it from my hard drive.
This is the first time in about nine months that the coffee table is clear of five spindles of DVDs.
Today, I bring you a song that Chris, Becky, and I have been playing since the beginning. Back in late high school, I fell in love with the music of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman. I mean, I was already a fan of the Byrds, but we had recentely gotten this album called “McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman”. It was recorded in the mid-seventies, long after the original Byrds broke up and reformed.
A few tracks on this album, including the first track (which Jeff did as a Laptop Session- Click HERE to view it!) meant a lot to me at the time. I was with my first girlfriend (and so proud that I had a CD player in the car- my 1990 Camaro) and the way we got together was a little weird. We kinda had a thing going a year or so earlier, but then something happened to make us not talk for a long time. I’m being vague not because I want to be, but because I honestly don’t remember. That’s why I wrote in a journal every single day, I guess. I’ll have to go back and read up on it. Anyway, when we finally made it happen, I just thought the song “Long Long Time” was perfect for it. I hope you’ll listen closely to the words in Jeff’s version and you’ll see what I mean.
“Surrender To Me” is a great song for a couple of reasons- mostly because of McGuinn’s incredible guitar work. I actually based our live version half on the album version and half on the acoustic demo with Hillman and McGuinn. Having Chris there to play the rhythm guitar (back when we first started playing live, he had a ton of trouble doing harmony parts while playing), Becky singing with me, and me playing a guitar solo I could actually handle, this was a prime choice. I just wish more people had heard of it. But, that’s okay- most people probably think it’s an original, which is major points for me!
Actually, this song is a cover itself. Neither McGuinn, Clark, or Hillman wrote this tune. But I still think it’s a great one and a standout track on the album. Coming up on my next Session starts my suite of videos recorded in the great outdoors. These videos are part of what the Laptop Sessions is all about, coupled with those Jeff did while on vacation- they’re LAPTOP Sessions! We can record them anywhere and bring them to you from whereever you may be. Enjoy today’s Session and make sure to come back tomorrow for Chris’ video, Wednesday for Jeff’s Original Wednesday (which I hope he comes through and plays us his new song), and to download all the new concerts!