This site is dedicated to documenting pop songs that have been covered by another act. A covers project? No not quite. PopEatsPop is not really about famous songs being covered but rather when a pop act usually in a distant country records a song that is then swiped by another who tends to have a larger record company behind them! Any suggestions would be great! Drop a line at cartharsispopboy@hotmail.com

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Illusion never changed into something real...

Lis Sorenson-Torn/Braent The original original original
Ednaswap-Torn The original original

Trine-Torn The original version of the hit
Anne Previn-Torn The original writer covering the hit version of her song
Natalie Browne-Torn The Almighty dance cover

The singles that represent the stunning pop ballad Torn symbolise the strength of the record company and the weakness of acts. The story of Torn can be divided in four critical chapters that starts in Denmark, spreads to the West Coast of the US, to Norway and then to the sunny sands of Australia. Naturally there is the Almighty epilogue narrated by the trashtasic Natalie Browne which is included for the hell of it.

The first outing of the song is pretty rare despite being quite a big hit. Not even Wikipedia mentions Sorensons release nor do the many articles debating the later releases. So I thought it high time that Lis got a big up! Ednaswap, an American band from LA, wrote the song back in 1993 after a break-up with a boyfriend. Initially the group gave the song to Danish superstar Lis Sorenson who can claim to be the first person to release the song albiet in Danish. I bought this version of Sorensons original Torn while on a recent trip to Denmark because it was so cheap. I had no idea that Torn was on it or that the Danish language sounds so odd when put to song. Nevertheless, this version of Torn can claim to be the first ever release of the track all the way back in 1993. It would take until 1997 until the rest of the world fell under the spell of its magical lyrics and beautiful chords.

Realising it was a brilliant track, a year later the Ednaswap recorded the first English version of the song in the U.S were it failed to gain any interest. However frontwoman, Anne Preven has gone on to write material with Sinead O'Conner and Madonna but will always be remembered as the writer of Torn. As you will hear the Ednaswap original sounds more dark and haunting than the later versions but is clearly the template for the current female pop rock sound made famous by Kelly Clarksons anthem Since You've Been Gone and nearly everything released by Pink.

Talking of which, the 3rd chapter in the history of Torn leaves us in Norway. Trine Reine is a very popular singer with sales tipping the million mark. Her biggest hit single Just Missed The Train was covered by Kelly Clarkson on her first album Thankful. As you will hear on Trines version its sound and production is very similar to Natalie Imbruglia's version. Consequently one might argue that while Trine's Torn was a cover in itself, following versions of the song mirrors the Norwegans' far more than the actual original by Ednaswap. In other words, it is Trine's mix that would become the definitive template of Torn. Indeed, Anne Preven has released a new version of Torn that mimics Trine's somewhat optimistic ballad rather than the cold Ednaswap rock original.

And now to the version that everyone knows and adores: the epic debut single from Natalie Imbruglia. As many will know Natalie came from the same TV show that gave us Kylie, Jason and Gayle/Gillian. 1998 was a strange time for Kylie who faced poor chart placings and record company complications due to her Impossible Princess L.P failing to appease critics who panned the album as it was deemed too leftfield for an ex-soapstar. Kylie's collaborations with Nick Cave and the Manic Street Preachers were all recieved as record company ploys. Despite such charges faced by Kylie Natalie managed to shake these attacks due to the brilliance of her debut.

The song became a symbolic middle finger to Kylie and all that she represented despite the fact that Kylies most recent album was anything but the traditional form music she was now infamous for. Articles and interviews on or with Natalie subjected the possibility of doing-a-Kylie as a most horrific career path. Natalie was an artiste you see.

For me, the magic of Torn is that it is actually a caveat. Natalies record company launched her career on the back of someone elses song just as The Locomotion worked wonders for Kylie. What I find rather delirious though is while Kylies debut was clearly a cover of the Little Eva hit Torn was promoted as Natalies for she was
artiste, the real McCoy and thus nothing like Kylie. In truth however, Natalie was just as manufactured as Kylie if not more. Indeed, some might say that as Kylies debut single in the UK was not The Locomotion but I Should Be So Lucky, the more original artiste then must be Minogue rather than Imbruglia.

Then of course it was discovered that the song had been mooted for release by Trine just a month shy of Natalies single. The tabloids revealed the story of a bigger record company blocking out a minor to get that quick buck. Natalie was now more manufactured than Kylie and left many with red faces. Its not for nothing that Natalie, who usually writes most of her songs, has not since achieved the same level of success as she did with Torn and in many territories it is her only hit. It wasnt so much that Natalie had released a cover but rather that she'd, or rather her record company, pretended that the song was all hers .

Included in PopEatsPop's first ever posting are five versions of Torn. The Danish original, the first English version, the first cover, the original singer covering her own song in the vein of the Imbruglia hit and the clubbed up Almighty version. Not included is Natalie's version for most people will have had the song blasted into their heads due to its heavy airplay back in the day...Sorry for the long text....they won't usually be!


  • At 4:04 AM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Oh, but keep them this long and detailed if they require it! This is really great, and something that I'd never known... wow! Great details and story-telling!

    I can't wait to have my bf read this post, because he loooooves Natalie Imbruglia.

    Funny enought, I actually really like Kylie's Impossible Princess album... moreso than Light Years, actually! On the flip side, Natalie's second album, White Lillies Island -- where she actually wrote all the material -- is another of my faves!

    I can't wait to check out these other versions of "Torn." I think I've most likely heard the Almighty version...

    Keep it up!

    P.S. Change "Preechers" to "Preachers," and you have an extra "S" in "MIssed The Train."

  • At 4:55 AM, Blogger Poster Girl said…

    No, no, no! I agree with J'ason; keep up the long posts (or at least do't be afraid of it), because with details and quality like that, no one is going to mind reading them! I had no idea about any of that history, and you did an amazing job describing the song's various incarnations and how it was passed along.

    I already adore this place! Amazing first post :)

  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger PinkieDust said…

    Thanks for the tips! Jason. Ip was a very strange album. It didnt know what it wanted to be. Which is why its so universal. Universally introverted however does not sell records. It also makes for a very complicated listening. The number of unreleased gems that should have made the album realise the actual utter beauty of the record.

    And thanks for a lovely words! J/poster Girl Blushes! Both of you/and your blogs are totally fab(i've long been a reader).

    Coming up is an article on a huge hit from the Arabic pop industry, Greece and one song released by Kylie from her Fever LP that had already been released in Vietnam. I dont even think the record company+song writers are aware that it was given to another female artist...

  • At 8:52 PM, Blogger Paul said…

    well done pinkie - a fascinating read, i'm so pleased you got this blog up and running cos i thought it was a great idea as soon as i heard about it... bravo :) I shall definitely be back for more :) I added you to my links to!

  • At 11:02 AM, Blogger Robpop said…

    I know of the Trine version but not of the actual Danish original. If I did I would have included it in our Danskepop month! Ella needs some explaining to do!

  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger PoMZY said…

    keep up the good work!

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger HotstuffFiles said…

    Brilliant first post, I must say - and keep it up! 'Tis great to read great things etc.

    Now - to go and put up the link to your site pronto, instead of adding it to the 'Blogs for Links' folder in my bookmarks, in which I dread to even look.

  • At 6:15 AM, Blogger MoogaBoo said…

    Wow, I never knew all that about "Torn"! Fascinating stuff. I can't wait to read the other ideas you have up your sleeve.

  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger Zeon said…

    Wow, I'd want to know about that Kylie song! How come I didn't know about that.
    By the way, great idea for a blog?

  • At 4:35 PM, Blogger Ella Thorvaldsen said…

    I had no idea about Lis! I think i must have missed that album.

  • At 4:03 AM, Blogger David said…

    Small detail, but the Natalie Brown you have in photo is not the one who covered Torn. This one is a friend of mine, she's an indie artist who sings R&B, hip-hop, ballads. You can check out her music at www.natalie-brown.com


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