Archive for December, 2007

Julie Covington, Pete Atkin & (well) me

December 30, 2007

This is an good discussion that took place on the Midnight Voices website, which is the website devoted to the songs of Pete Atkin and Clive James.

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Re: Julie Covington
« Reply #4: 21.12.07 at 21:04 »
Quote


Has anyone other than myself noticed that Julie Covington is becoming something of a presence on You Tube of late.  
 
I know that the sound quality on YouTube is not all that great, but if it’s the only place I  get to hear Julie wonderful interpretation of John Lennon’s In My Life – the best piece of lyric-writing Lennon ever did, to my mind –  or her grammatically corrected (though idiomatically awkward) version of the same lyricist’s If I Fell, then I’m quite happy to settle for poor sound quality. I ever grateful for small mercies.
 
Kevin Cryan
 
PS.  
 
I have often wondered whether there ever could be cicumstances in which the lady being addressed by Lennon’s protagonist in If I Fell would accept his proposal.  If I were a woman, I’d be tempted tell him to take hike before he’d got half way through his spiel. I like think that the only reason he actually gets through at all  is that she is dumbstruck by his sheer effrontory.

Pete Atkin
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Re: Julie Covington
« Reply #5: 27.12.07 at 09:05 »
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Thanks, Kevin – yet again! – for calling attention to these performances, which I for one would almost certainly have missed otherwise, the original broadcast having passed me by at the time.  They’re both great examples of Julie’s exceptional ability to add a dimension to a song undreamt of by its writer.   Most cover versions of Lennon and/or McCartney songs have ranged from the bizarrely inappropriate to the just about justifiable of the grounds of sending you back to the original, but I think both of these belong with the tiny number of L&M covers which, while they don’t – and don’t pretend to – eclipse the originals, find something more in them.  (I’d include in that number Shawn Colvin’s recentish encore version of “I’ll Be Back”, so far unrecorded as far as I know.)

Kevin Cryan
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Re: Julie Covington
« Reply #6: 27.12.07 at 16:03 »
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on 27.12.07 at 09:05, Pete Atkin wrote:

….. Most cover versions of Lennon and/or McCartney songs have ranged from the bizarrely inappropriate to the just about justifiable of the grounds of sending you back to the original, but I think both of these (In My Life & If I Fell. kc) belong with the tiny number of L&M covers which, while they don’t – and don’t pretend to – eclipse the originals, find something more in them.  (I’d include in that number Shawn Colvin’s recentish encore version of “I’ll Be Back”, so far unrecorded as far as I know.)


Hi Pete,
 
It’s good to be able to report that Shawn Covlin has recorded I’ll be Back and that it’s on her 2005 album,
Polaroids – A Greatest Hits Collection. In fact, she recorded it specially for inclusion on that album, and in doing so was deliberately extending the definition “hits” beyond recorded “hits” to include “hit” live and broadcast performances.  
 
Kevin Cryan

Clive James, Simon Barraclough, Isobel Dixon and Liane Strauss

December 30, 2007

It is very heartening to see that Clive James is still capable of spotting talent before everyone else. Here is a comment by Chris Hamilton-Emery of the independent literary publisher, Salt Publishing

The wonderful Clive James (http://clivejames.com/) has a large-scale online project, which he and his collaborators have been working on since his since retirement from mainstream television a few years ago. More than a personal archive the site hosts a wide range of essays, cultural comment and many guest writers. Recent additions include three Salt authors:

Simon Barraclough

Sharing with other admirers of the late Michael Donaghy a winning propensity for using mythical America as a lexical paint-box, Simon Barraclough stands out even among the stand-outs in his readiness to make a knowing reference to the popular arts twice per line….
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Isobel Dixon

Born and raised in South Africa and living now in Cambridge, Isobel Dixon works in London as a literary agent, but her poetry is much more than a sideline, and some would rank it amongst the most lyrical written in her generation….
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Liane Strauss

One of the pleasures of building this section of the website is to have been plunged into the poetic world of the late Michael Donaghy, whose alumni are disproportionately represented on my guest list. If he gave them water to drink during seminars, there must have been something in it. Among the leaders of a pack that seems to consist almost entirely of leaders, Liane Strauss has got something going in her poetry that it took Donaghy himself adequately to describe….
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