Friday, May 1, 2009

How Malvasio made it to Empoprise-MU (Yankovic, Ivey, Judkins...)

Over the last few days, I've been writing about Weird Al Yankovic's song "Amish Paradise," a parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise."

What I didn't realize was that Coolio's version was not an original creation of his.

Yes, I know you're shocked, this whole idea of a rapper taking an pre-existing song and modifying it to his/her own purposes. But it happens on occasion.

But Coolio was smart enough to use a good source. The original song upon which "Gangsta's Paradise" was based was a song called "Pastime Paradise" from one Mister Stevie Wonder.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find either Stevie Wonder's original, or Patti Smith's cover, on YouTube (though they're both on But I did find an acoustic version by Malvasio.

Who is Malvasio, you ask? Here's what his YouTube profile says:

I was a subway musician for 25 years from 1975-2000 here in Montreal, I also played in night-clubs and sang in the summers at a tourist area called the Old Port. After 25 years of trying to make a living as a musician I switched careers and became a computer nerd. About 18 months ago I came upon YT and it hit a nerve, my love of music reared it's head and my guitar which in the previous 6 years had remained mostly dormant once again became part of my daily routine. Most of my musical life had been spent busking and forced to sing songs that would make me money but now on YT for the first time I get to sing what I like. You will find that I have a wide variety of tastes and styles probably because my mother owned a record store from the time I was 8 till I was 18 and I just loved being there and I was inundated with all kinds of music.
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