Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Cover From Another Mutha

So, another event I went to a few weeks ago was a show with The Sweet Divines and Eli "The Paperboy Reed" at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn. That's only the pretext for this post and I WILL post about the Sweet Divines very soon. Before the first act went on tunes were provided by The Honeydripper, an affiliate of the Daptone Records crew. She played this one song that took me nearly the whole duration of the song to place. I recognized the melody and lyrics, but the version I was listening to sounded nothing like the song I was familiar with. I finally placed it . . . it was a Stevie Wonder song from his underrated 1980 album "Hotter Than July." I'm gonna place the songs in the order that they came into my consciousness, so we'll listen to the Stevie version first . . .

Stevie Wonder - All I Do
This is easily my favorite latter-day stevie (post songs in the key of life) song. It's a tender, mid-tempo disco soul groover and Stevie just nails everything about it. Once again, I owe it to my brother to hip me to this one.

Tammi Terrel - All I Do (Is Think About You)
So, now that you're listening to the Tammi version, it's like, "wait, which one came first?" especially considering the song was written by Stevie along with some of the usual Motown song-writing suspects: Clarence Paul and Morris Broadnax. Stevie never recorded it back in 1966. He waited 14 years to record his own song. And more interesting yet, the only version prior to Stevie's that was released was performed by Brenda Halloway, but her version was actually Tammi's version with Tammi's vocals stripped off and Brenda's put on to the same rhythm track. Tammi's version was only released in 2002 on the compilation "A Cellarful of Motown." Needless to say, this is a dynamite song and listening to the two versions side by side, its illuminating how differently the artists took this song 14 years apart. Thanks Honeydripper for playing this . . .

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