“Don’t Be That Way” (Indie Music by Songwriter Jim Fusco!)

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to Original Wednesday! How exciting for me, because it only comes once every three weeks.I can’t wait until my new music officially comes out so I can do Sessions of those songs, but for now, I’ll settle for my last album, “What About Today?”

This song is called “Don’t Be That Way” and it kicks off the album. There’s some references to my past songs in here, so if you know any of my older music, you’ll get the “inside lines”. This song goes along those lines of someone taking and not reciprocating as much as I’d like them to. Must be a pretty strong topic with me! 🙂

Well, I recorded this just last night, so you see I’m back to health again. I actually recorded 8 total songs last night! Hey, if you’re on a roll, don’t stop it.

If you really like this song, and I think you will, you can download the original version on iTunes! That’s right- just search my name, the name of the album (What About Today?), or the name of the song and you can get it for only 99 cents!

You can also buy the physical CD on Amazon.com, CDBaby, or at my own website by clicking here!

MoU even did a version of this song on their first album. Same thing- you can order it on iTunes, CDBaby, or on our own site by clicking here!

I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for an amazing Thursday pick from our own Chris Moore!

“You’re So Good To Me” (Beach Boys Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Hello all, and welcome to your weekend edition of The Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog with me, Jim Fusco. After two strong outings from Jeff and Chris, I decided to pull my ace-in-the-hole and do a Beach Boys song.  I always have good luck doing a Beach Boys cover song, as growing up, I would constantly sing these while in the car.  After a while, I think my voice just grew into the Beach Boys tone, so I’m able to bring you fairly accurate cover song videos here on the music blog!

This is an earlier Beach Boys song that doesn’t have way too much emphasis on the background vocals, so it was a nice transition into Laptop Sessions form.  Normally, I like to take more produced songs and turn them into cover song videos, but tonight, I’m taking a lesser-known song and bringing it to the public’s attention again.

I love the way Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys sings this song. It’s like he’s semi-screaming it at some points, but he’s singing about how someone is “so good” to him! I think this might have been an attempt to sound a bit more “macho” on Brian’s part, and if I were in his shoes, I would completely understand.  Of course, I think the “macho” aspect goes away on the falsetto, “And I love it, LOVE it!” line.  That’s okay, though, as it’s my favorite part of the song.  I’ve noticed lately that one of Brian Wilson’s strengths as a songwriter (and there are many) is his ability to write a great bridge.  Those catchy transition periods between the verses and choruses are usually my favorite parts of a song.  I’ve been putting a lot of focus on them in my original songs, as well.  For instance, in “Good Enough” off of my album, “Those Around Us”, I love the way the bridge came out.  It features really cool harmonies and a catchy tune.  Plus, I like the line, “And now my heart is hardened like a heart of gold.”

I hope everyone likes this one, even though it doesn’t have my favorite Mike Love low part in there. Gotta get Chris to stop correcting high school English papers one of these nights and do some more collaborations!  Actually, this cover song video doesn’t feature any of the background vocals.  The “la-la-la” part in the chorus can be considered annoying by some people.  In fact, it took away from my love of the song until just recently.  I guess it grew on me.  But, here I give you a version with no background vocals for the acoustic cover songs music video blog so you can hear just what a great little song “You’re So Good To Me” is!

See you Tuesday with another Session, but stay tuned for Chris and Jeff’s entries over the next two days! Haven’t missed a day in ’08!

“Do You Wanna Dance?” (Beach Boys Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Well, do you? 🙂

Welcome to another Jim Fusco Tuesday here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.  I can’t believe it’s been another week- here I am again to send a new cover song music video your way.

I realized I’ve only done one Beach Boys song so far in 2009 (and a quite unknown one, at that), so I decided to please the Beach Boys faithful (who’d have to be REALLY faithful to wait three months for another video) by doing a song everybody knows in “Do You Wanna Dance?”!

Originally written and recorded by Bobby Freeman in the late 50’s, the Beach Boys version is very far removed from the original recording.  Freeman’s version has a more bossonova feel to it and is a little slower-paced.  Brian Wilson, clearly budding into an ambitious producer at the time, took the song and turned it pure mid-sixties rock and roll.  It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at Nubmer 12, and was the highest charting record with Dennis Wilson on lead vocals.

This was a great song for Denny to sing- I love the Beach Boys version so much more because Brian gave Dennis a chance to sing on it.  The production on the Beach Boys version is very Phil Spector influenced, so my acoustic cover version of it married the Beach Boys verison (in terms of style) without all the guitars, tympanies, etc.

I had to fight siging this song like Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys, as in concert he’s the one who sings Dennis’ lead vocals.  He sings much differently than Dennis normally would, so there’s different inflection to the words.  I sing more like Bruce than Dennis, so I was inclined to sing the Bruce version- but stopped myself and tried to stay true to Denny’s original vocal style, raspy voice not included.

Right after “Do You Wanna Dance?” was released, the Beach Boys came out with one of their Number One singles in “Help Me Rhonda”, a great song.  1965 was an amazing year for music, but especially for groups like the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan.  It was also the break-out year for the Byrds.  The Beach Boys’ “Today” album has to be one of the best recordings ever, especially because it combines the happiness of earlier Beach Boys albums and (some of) the production value of later recordings like “Pet Sounds”.

I hope you enjoy my version of “Do You Wanna Dance?”.  On a personal note, I’m scheduled to receive my copies of my new album, “Halfway There”, tomorrow on CD, but the release date still stands for April 7th.  I hope you’re as excited as I am!  When I get the CDs, I’m sure I’ll get ambitious and do a ton of promotion, so stay tuned!  Have a great week- I’ll try to post an original, but I’m pretty tired, so we’ll see.  Talk to you again soon!



“Girl Don’t Tell Me” (A Beach Boys Cover)

Well, another day and another installment of the “Laptop Sessions.” This is one that I learned a long time ago and forgot about playing until tonight. Anyone that knows me will know that I admire Brian Wilson’s songwriting the most. His song, “Girl Don’t Tell Me” is truly one of his finest works. Plus, his brother Carl sings an amazing lead vocal that I can only hope to emulate in my version.  This is one of Carl’s earliest lead vocals and I’m glad Brian gave Carl the opportunity to sing it.  Carl knocked it out of the park and had a voice much more suited to this style of music.

I think my Laptop Session acoustic version of this song actually sounds a lot like the original because it was done with acoustic guitars. “But,” you say, “many songs are done with just acoustics!” Well, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys really used piano as their driving instrument, plus Al Jardine and Carl Wilson took the rhythm and lead guitars (respectively) on electrics almost all the time. Of course, I’m talking about the early records when the Boys recorded the instruments themselves. After a while, Brian and the others decided to have studio musicians come in, which allowed Brian to experiment more while the others were on tour.  I think one of the last vestiges of the Beach Boys playing on their own music (in the earlier years, at least) was their Christmas album.  One the first side (the original songs), you can hear the Beach Boys playing all of the instruments.  Those songs represent some of my favorite recordings of all time.  They’re simply perfect (to me).

But, enough of the Beach Boys history for the time being. But, I will say that you’ll notice how this song sounds more like a Beatles song than a Beach Boys song. Well, with the production done the way it was on the original (like I mentioned before, with acoustic guitars rather than a piano), one can only assume that this Beatle-esque sound was done purposely!  Of course, this acoustic video flies in the face of the logic I was trying to explain regarding the Laptop Sessions cover songs series.  You see, my idea is to strip-away the various instruments in a song to get to the simplest form.  That way, you can hear the song for what it is.  So, songs that you might not necessarily have liked can be given new life here on the music blog.  With “Girl Don’t Tell Me”, however, that’s not really the case.  I just did a straight-up cover of an acoustic song.  My defense?  It’s a great song- shut up and listen! 🙂  But seriously, another function of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog is to introduce you (or even re-introduce you) to songs you’ve never heard before (or forgot you knew).  And that’s just as important.

This song is really a favorite of mine and I know a certain group of people are going to go, “Oh, wow!” when they see I did a version of this forgotten song! I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more from The Laptop Sessions!