Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sing A Song Of Prostitution! ...

When the title for this post popped into my head a few days ago, I was singing it to the tune of "Sing a Song of Merry Christmas!" (Holy crap. I just Googled that title to make sure I capitalized it correctly and do you know who composed it? Mozart! Wow. I'm a pretty big fan of Wolfie, but that bit o' knowledge had somehow escaped me. The things you learn every day, huh?)

Anyway, the title of the post refers to my latest recording effort, a knockout cover of The Police's "Roxanne" by George Michael.

Given the lyric "I won't share you with another boy," this isn't the most logical song for a woman to sing, but the first time I heard this arrangement, I was blown away and knew I wanted to try it someday.

While "Roxanne" isn't my favorite of Sting's songs (that'd be "Don't Stand So Close to Me" for those of you playing along at home), when it's rearranged into a sultry jazz number, I'm all over it.

Well, I try to be, anyway. As ever, this is a work in progress. There are kinks to iron out, but considering that Brian and I cobbled this together from three takes, and I refer to my first take of any song as my "first pancake" because it's the one I'm most likely to want to throw away, we made a fair amount of progress in a couple of hours. George Michael's version tags out more appropriately, but Brian just applied a fade to the end of this track for the time being. I'll attempt the ending the next time we meet. Oh, and the "do do do do do dos" between verses? That's George. We left a bit of him in, though I don't think we sound very different.

And if you need it, the direct URL is here.

I'll also add this track to my post that hosts all my tunes to date.


Blogger Jim Marquis said...

Wow, I am so impressed. That is a great rendition. You have a really nice voice!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, J.

Isn't it just the coolest way to present that song? It's so completely different from what The Police recorded. I love that songs can be rearranged into entirely new experiences.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Whoa, kind of like a torch song! I had never thought of that song in that way. Your voice is excellent! Thanks for posting the link to your peformance, and thanks to J.Marquis for directing me here to take a listen!!

I love doing other people's songs in odd ways. There is a local band where I live who did a slow, sad Townes Van Zandt song as an uptempo sort-of happy number on their CD... it works very nicely!

I haven't gotten OUR band to do anything like that yet, but I'm trying. Our bassist and I want to do a rocked-up version of "Tainted Love" with a straight-four beat instead of the swing-beat thing that Soft Cell did, and I have always wanted to do a power-chord-guitar-heavy version of "Girl U Want" by Devo... both are synth-oriented things that I think would sound cool with some guitars and melodic hooks, without all the synths. (I'm the keyboard player, so I guess I would have to play a Hammond or regular piano instead of synth!, but both those songs could work nicely that way.)

Keep up the good work!

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Beth - I'm another Jim Marquis-driven individual. I loved your interpretation! Yes, the arrangement is wonderful, but I especially loved the...I don't know, the depth/breadth of your voice. Just a lovely quality to it.


2:58 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Aw, thanks, guys. I really appreciate your kind words. They're certainly motivation to keep pushing forward with ... whatever this venture will turn out to be.

And by the way, I take requests. I'm always looking for new material and there are approximately eleventymillion songs in the world I don't know about yet.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about "At Last" ... seems to be the song of the hour and can be sung a number of different ways. Very torchy.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Oh, would that I could. I've tried it, for sure. But that song was, is, and always will be the province of Etta James. I was reticent to listen to Beyonce's version, even.

But maybe if I find an arrangement of it that comes at it in a new way, I'll give it a go.

It's a great suggestion. It's a great song. But it's one of those tunes that has been performed so perfectly, it should remain in that pristine state.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Although I don't think it is the best song ever, I have always toyed with doing a quiet, atmospheric acoustic ballad version of "Believe" by Cher. You would be able to sing it better than I will, once I eventually get around to doing it! But that's an idea, anyway.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

I also think you could do a great version of "New Slang" by The Shins with a similar musical arrangement to the original song.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Ooh, I like the Cher/"Believe" idea, Snave! Interesting! I like the Shins tune, though I don't think it's right for me. But the guitar in it reminded me of Jeffrey Gaines' live acoustic version of "In Your Eyes." If you've never heard it, find it on iTunes. I love it. And Gaines is way underappreciated.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Terence Towles Canote said...

It is an odd song for a girl to sing. But I believe you make it work. As Snave said, it is sort of like a torch song. Which brings up a thought--I'd really like to hear you sing Cole Porter's "So in Love." I think it would really fit your voice, which is beautiful.

BTW, what did you think of "El Tango de Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge?

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Way to go, Beth! Very, very nice.

9:12 AM  

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