Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I like Frank Sinatra, he knows his way around a song, but some songs just don't fit. For instance, his version of the Glen Campbell hit "Gentle on My Mind" (written by John Hartford) -- it just sounds sleazy, Frank talking about leaving his sleeping bag rolled up behind some babe's couch. I mean -- as if!

Similarly, Glen Campbell's version of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You" -- altogether too smooth. The cliches which sound wryly, ironically sincere coming out of Bob's mouth just sound like cliches coming out of Glen's. "If not for you the sky would fall, rain would gather too" -- it's a terrible line, but it works when Bob sings it, because he knows it. (Pedantic parenthesis: what makes it terrible is that the second cliche is much weaker than the first. Bob makes it work because he's laughing at himself, while meaning it, mostly. [Double pedantic double parenthesis: I mean, Bob-voice or Bob-singer, having no opinion about Bob-person.])

Similarly, Renee Fleming's version of Joni Mitchell's "River." No, Renee, you're not "gonna quit this crazy scene." You and Frank -- you're slumming.

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