. Before internet and YouTube and social media and all that, it would never have even occurred to me to go hunting for cover versions of Baker Street (which I wrote about yesterday). It’s not that big a deal. But now, it’s just a click away, and it’s fun. It’s a great way to get new input, to learn about artists you might never have discovered otherwise, or re-discover artists you haven’t been listening to for a while.
It turns out there’s several versions out there. Most of them are no match for the original, but there’s good fun to be had anyway, and at least two I found have real merit.
A really, really nice version from Foo Fighters. Great guitar work, great rumble – and yet I feel perfectly at home with the song. This is a great cover.
A truly fun Dance remix, from Dj Octopus
The boring disco version from Undercover
A House version from Michael Mind. It’s actually kinda nice, with some good energy. Too schematic, I think, but it manages to retain the spirit of the original tune. But why oh why did they have to do such an awful video?
Oh, and Lisa actually played the song in a Simpsons show. Thumbs up.
I was never a fan or anything; in fact, I can recall just one song – Baker Street. But that one song – it’s one of those songs that has managed to take up so, so many neurons in my brain. Before today I had not heard the song for probably 25 or 30 years, but it’s instantly recognizable, right down to knowing exactly how the sax solo goes, nodding along with the tempo changes, and singing along with the lyrics.
Why, you ask? No idea. It’s not the song – it’s an OK ballad, but no more. It could be the classic sax solo, but more likely it just happened to be part of the soundtrack to a very impressionable part of my life (last few years of public school), much like Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell”, another (set of) song(s) I’m not a big fan of but can nevertheless remember every note of.
From the same period I remember countless songs by Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, and on and on, but no surprise as I’ve been listening to these songs over and over for the past 30+ years. But “Baker Street”, it was not a song I had any conscious memory of, not a song I’d every go listen to, and as far as I know I do no own a copy of it. And yet, the second I clicked on that youtube link it was there, perfect recall – a long with a fuzzy-warm positive feeling. The brain is a wonderful and weird organ.
Gerry Rafferty died today in Bournemouth, of liver failure, after a long period of illness. He was 63.
(Update: I posted about cover versions of Baker Street)