Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kind Tune of the Moment

The Left Banke, Walk Away Renee

I had heard this song growing up, and was reintroduced to when I saw Badly Drawn Boy on his first tour of America, at a tiny club in Chicago called Schubas. The song suited him perfectly, and I've loved it since. 

I was reintroduced to the song again thanks to Mojo Magazine's list of the 10 greatest Motown albums of all time. Other than the Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder albums that made the list, I can't say I've spent much time listening to Motown albums from front to back. It was the first genre of music that I fell in love with, but to me it was pretty much all about the singles, the hits. Well I'll be sure to check out the other albums on the list if they include gems like the Four Tops cover of Walk Away Renee. It's a pretty straightforward cover, nothing too unremarkable at least until the grittiness and passion of the vocals kick in on the second verse. You can hear the Tops really connecting with the song. Perfect.

Here's the original from The Left Banke. Can't say I'm aware of anything else this band has done. Maybe a one hit wonder, but what a hit it is.

And finally, with official confirmation of what a depressing song this must be, here's a version by Elliot Smith. I can't say I'm too big of an Elliot Smith fan, although I like pretty much everything I've heard by him. Just not much of an urge to seek his music out. And this isn't the first time he's shown up covering a tune in my Kind Tune of the Moment series. Probably won't be the last, if I ever get to Don't Fear the Reaper.