Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sorry there wasn't a new basement song entry this week. It's been an incredibly stressful four days and trying to dig up something proved a little too difficult.

That said, I'd like to share song with y'all. Maybe you've heard it before. It's Frankie Goes to Hollywood covering Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run."

I believe the measure of a great/classic song is whether you can hand it over to the most unlikeliest of artists to cover it and see whether the song holds up. Such is the case with Frankie's cover of possible the one song Springsteen is most associated with. What impresses me so much about this version is that producer, Trevor Horn, chose to just let the band play and didn't add too much frill to the production. Indeed, the only time the song feels "produced" is during the bridge when some keyboards and electronic bongos were added to create the sort of Jersey shore atmosphere Springsteen originally wrote about. Otherwise, it's just guitar, bass and drums, along with Holly Johnson singing his guts out. Of course, one can't sing "Born to Run" without pouring everything into it. I recall one night of karaoke with my brother-in-laws when I chose to attempt "Born to Run." Mind you, a couple of drinks were involved, but still, I thought I could handle it. The minute that snare drum came in, I was so jacked up to sing the lyrics that I shredded my vocal chords. It was on that night that I realized how punk the music of Springsteen can be. Remove the saxophone, organ and piano. and Bruce is back to his garage band roots. That's what Frankie's version feels like to me, a punk interpretation of "Bron to Run."

Riding in on the train this morning, I was practically bawling my eyes out. That last verse still gets me, and Johnson sings it with real conviction. He believes every word he's singing, and therefore, you believe every word he's singing. Like I said, you can't sing "Born to Run" without pouring everything into it.

Together Wendy we'll live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when
we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Man, how many of us are lucky enough to have a man or woman in our lives that we feel that way about. I am blessed that I have a woman named Julie who keeps me propped up when I teeter and rooted to the ground when I think I'm going to float away. But, we do that for each other.

Enjoy the song.


1 comment:

Ted said...

Well, even though you didn't get to formally write a Basement Songs post, this was pretty darn close.