Many, many decades ago, I was a disc jockey on Reed College's former radio station, the powerful 10-watt KRRC. One of the songs that I played was Lene Lovich's "The Night," a dramatic and mysterious piece that you could find in those punk/New Wave days.
Fast forward a few decades, and I'm poking around on Songfacts after (U.S.) Thanksgiving dinner, and I happen across an interview with Martyn Ware. Toward the end of the interview, he was discussing a British Electric Foundation release called "Dark." In response to a question about the album's title, Ware responded:
Well, the original idea was to do dark, electronic versions of previously happy pop songs, but the idea kind of evolved over time. It's not quite as focused as that. So some of the songs were originally dark, yeah, like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" just ended up being a reinterpretation in a different way. I was fascinated initially with the idea of recontextualizing lyrics into a different context. So the thing that inspired me and gave me the idea was originally a song by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons called "The Night." I don't know if you know that song. Do you know it?
The Songfacts interviewer wasn't familiar with it, and neither was I - or so I thought. But since I had been listening to some Four Seasons recently - both "Beggin'" (a song that was recently remade by Madcon) and "Who Loves You" (which, as far as I know, hasn't been remade yet), I figured I'd seek the song out on Spotify. I found it on a collection of songs from the Four Seasons' time at Motown, and I was listening along to it, and then I heard the chorus...
...and realized that I had heard this song before.
Just with another, very different artist.
Hear them both on my recent two-song Spotify playlist: http://spoti.fi/18awSrD.
Incidentally, Ware said that HIS remake of "The Night" didn't make the album. Now I'm curious.
And now I'm going to have to figure out how many bands have remade Four Seasons songs. "The Night" itself was also recorded by Pulp, among other bands.
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