As I mentioned in a previous post, I love music. I enjoy finding and comparing versions of a song. It is interesting to me how people singing the same song can put such different meaning or feeling to the words. The below are some of my favorite examples.
We’ve Got Tonight
Bob Seger wrote this song and I love his version. His husky voice takes away any potential cheapness of the words and it is very authentic to me. When Kenny Rogers sings it, it makes me feel dirty. Perhaps that is because I know too much about Kenny. I think we all know too much about Kenny. That isn’t to say that I don’t like Kenny’s music – I love his early work. Ronan Keating also put out a version of “We’ve Got Tonight,” but it sounds like karaoke to me. Clear Favorite: Bob.
I have always liked this song by Ricky Nelson. Ricky wrote the song after he was booed at a concert at Madison Square Gardens in 1971. He thought he was being booed because he played too much new music – there has been some thought that the booing was not for him at all but was for the police action going on at the concert. I read about the John Fogerty version of the song in a review and was curious. I thought it was risky as the song was so personal to Ricky, and performed so well. John, a founding member of Creedence Clearwater Revival, took a similar approach to the song. His voice is very well suited to the style – a little country, folk and rock mixed together. John is backed by Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles on this song – and they each have a solo piece and are clearly identifiable. This one is a tough call, but I lean towards John’s version – Favorite: John
Back in the High Life
The version of this song that we all know is by Steve Winwood, who also wrote it. But did you know that Warren Zevon sang it as well? I am a Zevon fan. I love the roughness of his voice – very evident in this song. It is imperfect, but with tons of personality. I like Steve’s voice, too, but after hearing Warren’s version, the Steve Winwood version sounds over produced to me. Favorite: Warren
Red Red Wine
The original of this song was a big surprise to me. I knew that UB40 and Bob Marley had recorded it, but the original recording was by … Neil Diamond. And you know what? It is really good. It has a very subtle reggae type beat to it – but much more mild than the more recent versions. Favorite: Neil
Turn the Page
Don’t get me started on this one. Classic Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Part of what makes this song so special are the saxophone parts by Alto Reed (highly recognized as one of the best, if not the best, saxophone player in the music industry). The song is written by Bob and it is his lament of life on the road for a musician. Metallica butchered this song. They replaced the saxophone parts with the electric guitar and somehow made the song be about a stripper. WTH? Clear Favorite: Bob
The original of this song, performed by Dobie Gray, is a classic. Uncle Kracker put out a version that was fairly successful. Lesser known performances of the song are by Waylon Jennings and Bon Jovi. I am not crazy about Bon Jovi’s version, don’t mind Uncle Kracker’s version, and Dobie’s and Waylon’s are my favorites. I think I would have to say that Dobie’s is my top choice, but I also want to share Waylon’s version with you. Favorite: Dobie