Here is Faron Young in 1956 covering Don Gibson’s “Sweet Dreams” for him and his eyebrows to get a ticket for the Checkerboard Showboat to continue “following those girls.”
Now, here are the Pioneers covering the song 12 years later in a recording released 1968 (is that a ukulele I hear?).
When I listen to this version, my own eyebrows raise as if to reach across space and time some 44 years to bring the vocals into key. It is precisely because of this, in our autotune saturated world, that I really like this recording.
Here is Jim Reeves in 1959 singing “He’ll Have To Go”, this time without the pressure of enduring the Checkerboard Showboat.
Now, here is David Isaacs covering the song 10 years later in a recording released 1969.
Those back up singers, with their bizarre harmonies intentional or not, are precisely why I can’t stand to listen to this recording at a low volume.
My wife rolls her eyes when I play it loud, just as I want to always hear it.
Now, from his 1974 masterful record “Rhapsody in White,” here is “Love’s Theme” by Barry White performed by The Love Unlimited Orchestra.
Aside from the rich orchestration combining two rhythm guitars,
roiling piano, lush strings, sweeping harp, and the drums and bass I could listen to four hours alone, I love this particular recording for a few reasons.
First, popular music these days that combine classical elements like strings,
is essentially boring. I am looking at you The Verve, and Guns ‘N Roses.
Second, around 1m45, when the horns take in the bridge,
there is a wonderful maybe-flub by one of the players.
Then from 3m07 to 3m11 the piano loses it,
before nearly everything is taken away by a quite artificial but delicious
rapid fade out at 3m16,
leaving naked the rhythm guitars shivering alone with the bass and drums.