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Indestructibles 4: Revenge of the Girls

Promises, Promises

Last year I wrote about the “indestructibles”, my arbitrarily-chosen word for songs that hold up well to multiple interpretations by different artists, and now’s a good time to revisit that idea. Looking through my iTunes collection, I’ve listed the songs recorded by at least three different performers below (the ones that weren’t covered in the earlier post, anyhow). At this point it’s getting to be a lot of groovy/fun ’60s songs which wouldn’t be considered standards by any stretch, but there are some interesting nuggets to be found. “Oh No Not My Baby”, for example, was done at least four times in three different decades, but each singer has her own unique take on the tune. Some of these are purely coincidental: goofy music expert Phil X. Milstein recently sent me a bunch of “Hurting Each Others” which predate the Carpenters’ hit, and the presence of three renditions of the obscure ballad “Look at Me” seems like a complete fluke. If anyone has their own “indestructibles” to share, post ’em here. I’d love to see them! (artwork from the original program for Broadway musical Promises, Promises, c.1968)

Anyone Who Had A Heart — Cilla Black, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt
Both Sides Now — Harpers Bizarre, Doris Day, Skeeter Davis
Boys — The Shirelles, The Beatles, Jeannie & The Big Guys
California My Way — The Committee, The Fifth Dimension, The Gimmicks
California Nights — Lesley Gore, The Four King Cousins, Wes Montgomery
Call Me — The Foundations, Petula Clark, Chris Montez
The Drifter — Harpers Bizarre, Rita Calypso, Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends
For Once In My Life — Barbara McNair, Jean DuShon, Spiral Starecase
Happy Heart — Andy Williams, Petula Clark, Freda Payne
Heart — Joey Loren, The 2 of Clubs, Petula Clark
Hurting Each Other — The Carpenters, The Guess Who, Jimmy Clanton, Ruby & The Romantics, Ruth Lewis
I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You — Diana Ross, Dusty Springfield, Syreeta Wright
Look At Me — Davy Jones, Bergen White, Rita Calypso
My Boyfriend’s Back — The Angels, The Chiffons, The Paper Dolls
Oh No Not My Baby — Maxine Brown, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt
One Tin Soldier — Coven, The Original Caste, Skeeter Davis
Paradise — The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, Bette Midler
Popcorn — Gershon Kingsley, Hot Butter, The Fairfax High School Marimba Band
Silver Threads and Golden Needles — The Springfields, Skeeter Davis, The Cowsills
Sunglasses — Skeeter Davis, Tracey Ullman, Sandy Posey
What Am I Gonna Do With You — Lesley Gore, The Inspirations, Skeeter Davis
Yesterday — Dionne Warwick, The Doodletown Pipers, The Toys
You Are My Sunshine — Aretha Franklin, Dee Dee Sharp, The Free Design

10 Thoughts on “Indestructibles 4: Revenge of the Girls

  1. the singers unlimited do a nice version of “both sides now” too, assuming that’s the joni mitchell song we’re talking about.

  2. Three quick picks that haven’t shown up in the other lists or comments:

    Where or When — Dion And The Belmonts, Pat Kirkwood, The Dinning Sisters, “Unknown”

    Ghost Riders In The Sky — Dick Dale, Mary McCaslin, Peggy Lee, The Ramrods, Sleepy Labeef, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Wingy Manone

    Louie Louie — Iggy and the Stooges (live), The Beach Boys, The Rice University Marching Owl Band, The Sandpipers, The Nomads

    I suppose it would just be silly to bring up “St. Louis Blues”….

  3. goodnightjack on August 27, 2007 at 3:51 pm said:

    “Wasn’t it You,” a Goffin/ King track, was recorded three fabulous times by Petula CLark, Billie Davis, and Peggy Lipton. It’s one I highly recommend.

    Also, Propaganda’s 80’s dance-pop track “Duel” has two equally great covers, one a PWL version by Mandy Smith and another a recent b-side by Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

  4. I have Peggy Lipton’s “Wasn’t It You”, but not the others. It’s a beautiful song.

    Ray, I have versions of “Ghost Riders In The Sky” by Gene Autry and Johnny Cash. The Sandpipers did “Louie Louie”? That’s gotta be odd.

  5. B Smith on August 28, 2007 at 6:49 am said:

    Anyone Who Had A Heart – Sandy Shaw
    Both Sides Now – was that the one that was also a hit for Judy Collins?
    California My Way – a cover by Australian band The Iguanas was a hit here
    Oh No Not My Baby – Manfred Mann (or Paul Jones) and Rod Stewart…or different song with the same name?
    I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield, The Bay City Rollers, The Tourists

  6. Hey Matt… have you heard Vikki Carr’s version of “I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You”? It’s actually pretty decent. It’s definitely in the Diana Ross vein, but it’s not a total retread. Let me know if you’d like me to send it along!

  7. Great list Matt! Don’t forget Blossom Dearie’s version of “Both Sides Now,” which was on the CD I copied for you. Will e-mail you soon!

  8. Thanks, Ion. I just added Claudine Longet’s “Both Sides Now” a few days ago (a library checkout!).

  9. Hello Matt, it’s been a long time since we were trading Cafe Apres-Midi. I found your indestructibles posts while researching “Love So Fine.” Have you got the Don Costa Concept version? Let me know if you haven’t. Nick DeCaro does a lovely “Happy Heart,” too. Personally, I will listen to any version of “Never Can Say Goodbye” and “Stardust.” So many duplicates on my iTunes from all the muzak!

  10. Frank D on July 25, 2009 at 1:44 am said:

    Matt, you’re the MAN! 6 years after you turned me onto the Free Design, Four King Cousins, etc.etc. I’m hooked into this style and have a few treats for you as well. Email me! My email is no longer mrduul….. Oh, and Curt Boettcher nd Roger Nichols are, like, God.

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