Sometimes it’s just the phrasing in a song that makes you go “Hey, that sounds like…”
Here’s the chain of events:
1. I was over at the Power Pop Criminals blog (Hi, Angelo!), and downloaded the latest in the blog’s series of power pop cover version compilations, Tributes Or Not Tributes. (Thanks, Angelo!)
2. I was listening to the compilation, and enjoying most of it (some of those cover versions were… um, ah, um, well, er… let’s just say I’d rather not hear them again).
3. One of the songs on it was “Still I’m Sad”. I’d never heard the song before, and was amazed when I heard the opening phrase. I didn’t know if its similarity to another song was that noticeable in the original version by The Yardbirds, so I found it and had a listen to that as well. Yep, that phrasing was just as noticeable. The cover did it instrumentally, but The Yardbirds did it vocally, Gregorian Chant-style. (Why???) Either way, its similarity to another piece of music was glaringly obvious to my ears. This is the bit:
The Yardbirds – “Still I’m Sad” (1965) (excerpt)
4. I was amazed at how much it reminded me of this:
The Tokens – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight“ (1961) (excerpt)
And that’s the chain of events.
Yep, sometimes it’s just the phrasing in a song that gets one part of your brain talking to another.
Here are the full versions:
The Yardbirds – “Still I’m Sad” (1965)
The Tokens – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight“ (1961)
And in case you’re interested, here’s the cover of “Still I’m Sad” that sparked this post:
The Jigsaw Seen – “Still I’m Sad” (2002)