Holy s–t! I remember hearing this song a lot when my Mom played a constant rotation of Linda Rondstadt, Roberta Flack, Rita Coolidge, and Crystal Gayle back in the 1970s. However, I completely forgot about this song until today, when I listened to Adam Carolla’s podcast and a caller asked Carolla if there’s a song that made him weep. Carolla rose to the challenge and said, in so many words, “Oh, I’ve got one for you!” Apparently, he heard this for the first time in 1981 after a painful breakup when he was listening to the radio in his Dad’s driveway. And damn, is this song the absolute LAST song you want to hear when someone has dumped you. OK, maybe This Mortal Coil’s “Song to the Siren” may be worse, but this is first runner-up. Damn. Completely devastating lyrics, an arrangement that guarantees buckets of tears, and Rondstadt’s non-Auto tuned voice … sweet Lord … it will put a shiv in your heart. Devastating stuff. You are warned.
An absolutely amazing cover of one of my all-time favorite songs. Given the subject matter, you would have thought that Ferry would have composed this song himself. However, it was written and performed by Tim Buckley in the late 1960s and Ferry’s version was from 2010.
Bryan Ferry just keeps getting better as he gets older. It’s almost like he’s been waiting his entire life to grow into the Serge Gainsbourg-like world-weary European gentleman he’s become. The studio version of “Siren” on Ferry’s “Olympia” album is stellar, but this live version is very special. Also, highly recommended is his 2007 album of Bob Dylan covers “Dylanesque.”
Here is the earliest known recorded version of Tim Buckley’s enduring and classic ballad. It’s quite different than the version that was eventually recorded for Buckley’s 1970’s “Starsailor” album. The version here (performed for “The Monkees” TV show in 1968) is more of a straight-ahead ballad, instead of the bizarre and heartbreaking version that appears on “Starsailor” that sounds like it was recorded by someone really ready to cast themselves on the rocks in despair. A great and underrated song that keeps gaining more resonance as the years continue. In just the last few years, Robert Plant, Bryan Ferry, and Sinead O’Connor have all done covers. The most famous cover, by This Mortal Coil, has already been posted on Dave’s Strange World.
Arguably, the most famous cover of Tim Buckley’s most famous song. Director David Lynch apparently wanted to use this for “Blue Velvet,” but because he couldn’t afford the rights had to make do with the Angelo Badalamenti-Julee Cruise song “Mysteries of Love” (not a bad substitute by any means, in my opinion). Lynch eventually got to use this in 1996’s “Lost Highway” and it also appeared in director Peter Jackson’s 2009 film adaptation of “The Lovely Bones.” Comedian Patton Oswalt made mention of this during his famous KFC Famous Bowls routine.