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October 23, 2002

Alles klar?

Daniel Radosh

Music club convened last weekend for the long-awaited session of English-language songs with foreign words. Typically, people stayed away from the most obvious. Surprise pick of the month would have to go Elizabeth, whose choice (Lush Life) contains only a single foreign word, and one that appears in some English dictionaries at that. I guess we were in a forgiving mood. The final lineup:

1. Games Without Frontiers - Peter Gabriel
2. Ping Pong - Stereolab
3. Circumstances - Rush
4. Der Kommisar - After The Fire
5. Manana (Is Soon Enough For Me) - Peggy Lee
6. Spanish Grease - Willie Bobo
7. Rafiki - Zap Mama with Black Thought & ?uestlove
8. Lush Life - John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman
9. The Waters Of March - Susannah McCorkle

Our next theme is already shaping up to be a cantankerous one: Cover songs that are better than the original. We got a sneak preview when Gina Sue said that everyone was going to bring All Along The Watchtower, and Anthony and I flipped out at the thought that anyone could think Hendrix's garish rendition is an improvement on Bob's subtle masterpiece. Anyway, there are some big questions to consider. Do I choose a good version of a song that I find unlistenable in the original? Or do I go with a cover that improves on an already great original? I've already decided to rule out show tunes and popular standards, which almost by definition exist to be endlessly revisited and improved. Other than that, I'm open to suggestions.

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