If for no other reason, keep coming back over the next couple weeks for the newsfeed to the right. Already, interesting press about the magical 9/9/09 date is everywhere. The world is going Beatlemaniacal all over again. If only I had time to link to it all. But seriously, check it out.
Okay-- and now for a Live at the BBC quickie. (And I DO mean quickie. When I come back, I'll resume my usual verbosity, I hope...)
The Beatles based their cover of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)" on the version made popular by Elvis Presley, who released it on his first album. The song is actually pretty old-- it was written in 1953 by two guys named Joe Thomas and Howard Biggs, neither of whom I've ever heard of. (Someone jump in if you have.) And it's been covered by a lot of others, I think, though the only other one I'm personally familiar with is Del Shannon's. Anyway, since it's the Elvis version that matters, let's have a listen.
Elvis's is pretty kickass, isn't it? It just sounds a little more polished, or something, which makes sense since it's an album track, whereas the Beatles were performing live for a radio show. Elvis's also sounds very honky-tonk. But the Beatles did that thing that they do a lot on their covers, which is make a kind of country-fried song and move it firmly in a more manic rock and roll context. I love it when they do that! And that's why I kind of love the Beatles' version more.
It's John's vocal (shock) that makes it for me. Although John was an Elvis fanatic, as were all the Beatles, his vocals sound nothing like Elvis's-- it's all his own thing. I'm not sure he could sing like Elvis if he tried. So instead he sings it like himself, and he spits out all those words like crazy, in that intense way that he has. It helps that this thing is sitting so high in his range, and the falsetto bit on "what I'm gonna doooo....EEEE" is freaking outstanding. Let's also acknowledge Ringo, who is doing what is, for Ringo, some damned athletic drumming. You know what I mean? He normally doesn't go in as much for those really fast rolls, and he's so famously self-deprecating about his own ability to do that kind of thing, but this drumming sounds to my drumming-novice ears quite technically impressive. Don't you think? (I wish I knew more about drumming so that I could talk about Ringo's contributions more intelligently. Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to learn to play the drums.)
Anyway, I love this little song, and it's going to rock me nicely into the southern hemisphere on my iPod tonight. Have a great couple weeks, kids. We'll talk soon.
"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)," released in the U.K. and the U.S. disc 1 track 20, November 30, 1994.