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The CHIRP Blog

Entries categorized as “Take Two” 24 results

Eddie writesTake Two: “I Put a Spell on You” (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Vs. Nina Simone)

by Eddie Sayago

The Original:
Screamin' Jay Hawkins (original artist and recording)
From At Home with Screamin' Jay Hawkins (Okeh, 1956)

One of the most popular songs for the Halloween season is the signature song from Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who literally screamed, grunted, and moaned on what was originally going to be a traditional love pop ballad while in a recording session back in 1956. Most radio stations banned the track due to its "cannibalistic nature" yet it sold over a million copies in the U.S., thanks to his macabre live performances and eccentric lifestyle. (Which should been a limited series at the very least, which can include how he fathered somewhere between 57 to 75 children over the course of his lifetime.)

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Categorized: Take Two

HipHopHeadmistress writesTake Two: “I’m Every Woman” (Chaka Khan Vs. Whitney Houston)

by Lesley Gwam

Until 1978, Chaka Khan was known as the powerhouse lead singer of Chicago funk band, Rufus. That changed, however, with the release of Chaka Khan’s eponymous debut solo album, which featured “I’m Every Woman” as its lead single.

Written by Ashford and Simpson of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” fame, “I’m Every Woman” begins with a riveting string arrangement accompanied by a funky bassline that immediately captivates the ear. Chaka’s powerful vocals and harmonies demonstrate the confidence that came to dominate her illustrious solo career;  most noticeably at the bridge of the song, where Khan showcases the breadth of her vocal abilities.

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Categorized: Take Two


Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesTake Two: “It’s My Life” (Talk Talk Vs. No Doubt)

Funny how I find myself in love with you.
If I could buy my reasoning, I’d pay to lose.
One half won’t do.
I’ll ask myself, ‘How much do you commit yourself?’
It’s my life. Don’t you forget. It’s my life. It never ends.


The Original:
The title track from the 1984 album by New Wave band Talk Talk is a romantic declaration of personal insight set to an arrangement that features sweeping waves of synths washing over a jazz-tinged rhythm section. The pre-Animal Planet video for the song, which enjoyed heavy rotation on early MTV alternative music shows, uses a montage of wild creatures that, combined with the music, makes a connection between man and the world.

Video director Tim Pope wanted to make a statement against the rampant degree of lip-synching in music videos, so Lead singer Mark Hollis spends his time standing in a zoo, silent and immobile except for the animated squiggly lines dancing across his face. The images, music, and Hollis’ and Tim Friese-Greene impressionistic lyrics combine to create an effect that’s contemplative as well as pop-oriented.

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Categorized: Take Two


Lily Y writesTake Two: “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” (Tame Impala Vs. Rihanna)

Feel like a brand new person (but you make the same old mistakes)
I don’t care I’m in love (stop before it’s too late)
Feel like a brand new person (but you make the same old mistakes)
I finally know what is love (you don’t have what it takes)


The Original: The final track off of Tame Impala’s psychedelic-pop 2016 album Currents is a relaxing, yet haunting, synth filled ballad about self-doubt, lack of inhibition, and spur of the moment ideas. At 6 minutes long, vocalist Kevin Parker’s hypnotizing voice perfectly suits the song and results into an electrifying confrontation about a changing mindset, and accepting any future changes that will happen. 



The Other Version: More like a note-for-note remake, rather than a cover, Rihanna’s version on her 2016 album ANTI retitled "Same Ol’ Mistakes" adds nothing new or exciting to the song. Rather than adding her own pop-reggae flair that we normally see in her albums, Rihanna focuses on Tame Impala’s psychedelic aspects by almost imitating an airy, ethereal tone much like Parker’s voice.

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ronharlow writesTake Two: “A Boy Named Sue” (Johnny Cash Vs. Shel Silverstein)

by Ron Harlow

I was eleven when Shel Silverstein died. My sixth grade English teacher took a break from the curriculum so our class could read poems Silverstein wrote, because my teacher wanted us to understand just how special of a person the world had lost. I loved Silverstein’s playful humor, his bizarre illustrations, and his wild imagination. I could relate to his spirit.

I was fifteen when Johnny Cash died. At the time, the most I knew about him was that his music video for his cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” was nominated for several awards at the VMAs, but didn’t win any. I started listening to his music when I was nineteen, at the insistence of a friend who burned me a copy of At Folsom Prison on CD-R. Being a boisterous and rebellious young man, I felt a connection to Cash’s rawness, his dark demeanor, and his reverence for the outlaw.

In my mind, silly Shel Silverstein and rugged Johnny Cash were far apart on the artistic spectrum. But when the two overlap on a Venn diagram, what you get in the middle is “A Boy Named Sue.” When I first heard the song on Cash’s 1969 album At San Quentin, I played it over and over because the lyrics are brilliant. It’s a perfect ballad built on an absurd premise. There’s a climax of conflict, a moral resolution, and a punch line at the end. I was surprised when I learned years later that Silverstein wrote the lyrics, but not shocked.

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Share October 13, 2015 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: Take Two


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