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

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm slipping away like the sand to the tide....

Patricia Kaas-Quand J'ai Peur De Tout Stunning 1997 Original
Sugababes-Too Lost In You English 2003 Cover
Patricia Kaas-Quand J'ai Peir De Tout Haunting live version
Sugababes-Too Lost In You Single version
Sugababes-Someone In My Bed B-side to Too Lost In You sounds like the new Girls Aloud track
Sugababes-Down Down B-side to Too Lost In You that sounds like Round Round.

Patricia Kaas is one of the most popular French singers within the international music industry. According to Wikipedia she was born near the German border and was deeply influenced by Edith Piaf in her early life and music. Talk about being blessed in stardust: her first album Jalouse was produced by the film actor Gerard Depardieu and led to her debut winning major European awards.
From this moment on she's sold millions, performed on sell out tours all over France but also audiences in China and Russia. Shes currently on a bit of a break but is already working on another album with Peter Plate of the huge German rock-disco rock band Rosenstolz a move which could suggest a major change in direction for the nu-chanson singer.

However this post is really to celebrate the British pop band Sugababes. They're about to release their greatest hits package ready for the Christmas market and have had quite a poptastic ride in the merry world of music. They started out as a mini-me-All Saints collective of three just as All Saints begun imploading. I won't blab on about the ever changing members but concentrate on their musical history which rather sparkles. Sadly some of the Sugababes most stunning moments won't be on that cd for the record company never always picked the songs for singles. Must-have Sugababes tracks are Ace Reject, Soul Sound, Little Lady Love, Conversations Over, This Aint A Party Thing, Situation's Heavy and the majestic Whatever Makes You Happy. The latter's non-release is a great crime so check it out. I demand it! Since they broke out they've sold over 10 million records worldwide which is rather fab for a band dropped after flopping! It just goes to show that with a bit of patience & artist development eventually pays off in the end.

Anyway, what marked out Sugababes as "different" from other girl grops was the fact that they wrote all their songs for is this some bench mark of quality. Which it isnt, but for some reason it is in the music industry. Still, the Sugababes followed in the footsteps of their label-sisters, All Saints, by being the complete opposite of the other girl band of the day the poptastic trio, Atomic Kitten. Whereas Atomic Kitten jumped up and down with smiles induced by some overdose of the happy juice, the Sugababes barely moved and their faces revealed three girls who probably read far too much Sylvia Plath. Then they were joined by a rather chirpy lass from Liverpool who was once actually in Atomic Kitten and the rest they say is history.

Now despite the fact they've written most of their material theres one song that stands out as not theirs yet its quite beautiful, melancholic and addictive. Its also a prime example of when popeatspop and again like the previous post on St.Etienne takes us back to France. Too Lost In You, a video for which featured the girls in the classy departures lounge of Stansted Airport, was originally given to Patricia Kaas. Her version is less epic yet haunting. Both versions add something to the stunning ballad penned by almighty songwriter Diane Warren. However it is Patricia's that I prefer. Probably because it was the first version and her voice has a depth that has made her known as the voice.

So today we have a number of tracks for your delight. The original studio recording by Patricia Kaas from her 1997 release Dans Ma Chair, a stunning live version by Patricia, the Sugababes original edit of the song which mirrors the Kaas version and the album/single mix of the Sugababes version. Also included are the two b-sides that featured as the flipside for Too Lost In You. Is it me or does Someone In My Bed sound very close to the new Girls Aloud single? Even down to the "oooh!s". Call the lawyers! Ooh!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yes! She never meant to call but she did anyway...

Etienne Daho-Weekend A Rome The French Original
Saint Etienne-He's On the Phone The Cover
Princessa-He's On The Phone Rare cover of the cover
Saint Etienne-He's On the Phone Motiv8 Remix

Consider this thread a feeble excuse to talk about Saint Etienne: Britians poppiest band of the 1990's. One must admit I only did this thread because there isnt enough of Saint Etienne in blogworld. They were a clever pop band in Britain when it wasnt really that cool to be. They'd go back to the days of Dusty, Elton, Kate Bush, Donna Summer, Cilla, StockAitkenWaterman, and Italian disco long long before the Scissor Sisters were even dreamt of. The band were introduced to me by one of my brothers boyfriends and I'd rant off about them to my school mates who were all none-the-wiser. & Saint Etienne were quite amazing and to this day theres something 'word of mouth' about them. Tracks like Hug My Soul, ShowerScene, PaleMovie, Who Do You Think You Are and Nothing Can Stop Us are delicate pop anthems for the 21st century. At the Scissor Sisters best, Saint Etienne were simply mediocre and its time this band were probably recognised with a crown of fantastic kudos. They kinda paved the way for current acts like Lorraine and Goldfrapp.

Personally I think Who Do You Think You is ripe for covering by an act like Kylie or Girls Aloud with a little touch of the Richard X. You can't really go wrong with much of their material for the melodies are so rich and lyrics so distinct. The band consisted of three key members; Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell who are some of the most talented song writers+producers the world has to offer at the moment. They've worked with the girlgroup Shampoo and their songs they did with Kylie were deemed 'too pop'. If you could sum up their sound I'd say: restrained camp disco.

Typically I want to return to Scissor Sisters who are fab, abrasive, loud and cocky. Imagine the two bands as disco bunnies for one moment. Scissor Sisters would be high up on the podium in gold hotpants, screaming out quotes from PetShopBoy and Donna Summer records. Saint Etienne on the other hand have tears in the eyes because the disco loops are making them so warm they've never felt as loved or happy as they do while under the influence of the rising melodies and simple piano rifts. As the tears are wiped away they start to dance whilst whispering quotes from Dusty Springfield and Kylie Minogue b-sides. I love them!

Okay, so there two other acts here. He's On the Phone was originally a French pop song by Etienne Daho. He has worked with likes of Marrianne Faithful, Chris Isaak and Dani and even features on the Saint Etienne cover. He's a bit of a legend in France with loads of studio albums and a greatest hits collection released earlier this year. Weekend a Rome was one of his many hit singles when it was released in 1984. I was one so forgive me if I can't recall it.

Princessa is Spanish pop legend herself albiet quite unsung. Sadly there is very very very little on her on the web yet shes released a fair few number of singles. Her music covers Italian disco, Spanish trance and Swedish pop. Deeply influenced by the Beloved, Saint Etienne and Mecano her albums never sound too dated. Its a shame her current record label have pulled the release of her 3rd album for it used Eurovision songs as its template. She quickly covered the Saint Etienne version of He's On The Phone before the band could release theirs in Spain and Japan. Although she did well in those two aforementioned countries her version of the song is quite rare and very difficult to track down. Now love as i might Saint Etienne I think i actually prefer Princessas version. Don't know why...I think it might be the pronunciation of Leicester Square and instead of saying the 'shoes in hand' it sounds like 'cheese and ham'. Fantastic no?

I'd love it if Gwen and Girls Aloud hooked up with Saint Etienne. Even better I'd have an epi if they worked on Kylie's new album. Already half done with Jake Shears it would so achieve classic status with the addition of the Saint Etiennes disco dust. Its not like Kylie doesnt have their number....

So today we have the French original, the British cover and the ultra rare cover of the cover. Also included is a Motiv8 remix.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Your taking me higher than heaven....

Kelle Bryan-Higher Than Heaven The Original
Bardot-Higher Than Heaven The Cover

Like Tyler James, Kelle Bryan also got to release singles from an album that never made the stores despite heavy promotion in the press. Now it sadly gathers dust somewhere. Of course Kelle comes from the hit pop British girlgroup Eternal but with Higher Than Heaven many expected s
he'd become quite a solo act. Whilst the song crashed out at no.14 it contained a rather quirky video that recalled that infamous fagtastic moment with Rupert and Julia in My Best Friends Wedding. The scene was recently spoofed in the Hollywood blockbuster Date Movie which starred Sophie Monk....

....who used to be the girlband Bardot. I realise the link is rather tenuous but I am ill and i think it actually works. The band used Higher than Heaven for their first album which sold a rather huge amount. So much so that in true TV-made-pop-band-style when it was time to release another album the band broke up after poor sales. The girls are all busy with solo projects so its not like the break up was such a bad thing. I do predict however that they'll regroup in five years time when the mortgages need paying.

Back to Kelle though. She recently came a second in a British TV reality show dedicated to sex, z-list celebrities and bad Irish presenters. So not really a proud moment for her fans but exposure is exposure. Hopefully she'll do something with it and release something soon.

Its a nice little song. I prefer the original because theres a London feel about it especially that of areas like Shoreditch and Hackney. It also has a gospel aspect to hte production which cuddles up to Kelle's soaring vocals. The Bardot version gets involved but it feels unfinished. A facet which is highly likely as most of these tv reality albums tend to be rushed out so as to make the most money out their products.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm just a man with my sexual needs for your tending lovin' hands...

Foolish by Tyler James The original
Foolish by Gareth Gates The first cover
Foolish by Justin Guarini The second cover

Foolish by Mister Tyler James first appeared on the Open Season giveaway Cd. Since then it has been covered by two other acts straight out of the Idol bandwagon who both came second to the delightful Will Young and Kelly Clarkson. The album produced by Tyler ended up being spiked by bad record company blues and was only saved by Itunes. It includes a few collabs with Amy Winehouse and some great melodies. Sadly it was way before its time. The current "sound-2-b" Lily Allen appears to have traced nearly every damn trick that I first heard on his excellent LP titled the Unlikely Lad. The differences between Lilly and Tyler James are quite obvious though: one had a famous dad and Kylies hit writers on her album while the other had a record company trying to make out that he was some "east london" hoxton/estate boy.

This ploy did not work at all. Tyler James wouldnt even pass for a Camden debutante let alone a Kentish Town pikey. Think more Hampstead village...

Then they tried the "Mc-Fly" route by getting Danny to interview Tyler. Both of them wear far too gel and it sounds sooooo sixth form media studies. As you will hear Tyler loves Kylie and the Supremes. I miss you Tyler, get yourself a myspace and walk over Lily.

Now to the other singers. Everyone will know of the Gareth Gates story so theres little need to cover it here. He covered Foolish in the vein attempt to shed his former baby boy skin on his flop second album. His website says he's working on another album but thats been in the works for sometime. Theres a calendar out there of him showing his muscles and a chest so large it gives Jordan a run for her faketan vouchers. Its funny how fame works aint it?

The other singer of Foolish has quite a similar past to Gareth Gates. Not only did they both train their voices as choir boys but came second in the Pop Idol tv competition. I am talking of course of the quite yummy Justin Guarini. Like Gareth, he too appears to have stumbled on his second album whilst the winners Clarkson/Young remain with sell out tours and albums. You can can hear Tyler taking the backing vocals on all versions and something tells me we havent heard the last of Mr.James nor this little ditty.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

From all of the sadness, the tears that I've cried

3rd Party-Waiting For Tonight The Original
Jennifer Lopez-Waiting For Tonight The Cover
Alex Gaudino and Jerma pres.LilLove-Waiting For Tonight Excellent new nu-ItaloPop Cover
Jennifer Lopez-Waiting For Tonight/Walking On Sunshine Brilliant live performance of JLO's two greatest pop recordings. The Girl should really tour more! This is stunning
Jennifer Lopez-Una Noche Mas The Spanish version with better vocals IMO...
3rd Party-Pop Muzik Excellent cover of the first post-modern pop song...

Keeping this one small today. Primarily because I know very little about this band other than that they were one of my favourite bands of 1996. Thats 10 years ago! Ten years!!! I feelz so old! The band consisted of Maria, Karmine and Elaine. Maria is also one of the key songwriters on 3rd Partys one and only album 'Alive'. The album is absolutely poptastic and was probably just a bit before its time. It pre-empted the rebirth of pop music which we saw in the form of the Spice Girls, Cher and Britney and the band vanished only popping up on some cd soundtracks now and then. They were an American band doing Europop which was highly unusual and had jumped the gun.

In time, t
he songs they'd picked to release like Love Is Alive would be covered by artists like Anastacia and Joan Osborne. However today we're concentrating on the 3rd Party classic album track Waiting For Tonight. Many will remember this song as J:LO's most poptastic moment. The video was hot and the sound was ever so 'now'. When Kylies On A Night Like This came out many screamed 'copycat' without realing that the Lopez version was already 2 years old.

The Lopez version went on to become a signature song for Lopez. Selling over a million, a top 10 single in the US, UK and most of Europe.
Crucially it managed to grab Lopez out of the Latino fad that was very quickly losing its grip on the charts and thus secured her longevity which has now spanned over five albums.It ripped through the clubs landing on most dance charts at the top end. All of which, despite seeing a song that could have made her band huge, pleased Maria no end as she wrote it!

In fact Maria has written quite a lot for pop acts we all know. Celine Dion and N*Sync stand out but its the Lopez track that has bankrolled Marias first solo album which you can check out for yourselves over at her official website.

Included today we have the quite rare original by 3rd Party, the monster Lopez hit, a very recent brilliant cover by an Italian dance group which is doing very well in the clubs of Rome & Florence, an amazing live version taken from Jennifer's one and only time shes staged a concert and the Spanish version of the song. For the sake of celebrating 3rd Party's ten year aniversary I've also included their rather brilliant poptastic cover of Pop Muzik that sounds very PAY-TV...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Every good girl hears it, every bad boy fears it...

Amy Grant-The Power Original version released in 1994 on the House Of Love LP
Cher-The Power Available on the huge album Believe
Cher-Strong Enough(Gay version) Released in time for the Australian Mardi Gra

Cher-I'm Only Human Stunning newish track by Cher with an epic chorus

As some of you might already know my family are deeply religious and so whilst growing up the only music allowed had to be sanctioned by a higher force. One of the acts that my mother allowed was the American singer Amy Grant despite the fact she was, as my mother would always say, 'from a different and most shameful house of Christianity'. Now Christian pop music was generally quite lame back then so Amy Grant was the best of a very bad selection so I wouldnt mind her music. In fact I think this facet gave Amy Grant the title of "Queen of Christian pop music". Which kinda makes her the true Madonna of pop music if you think of it terms of theology.

Occasionally Amy would step into dance and The Power represented that move. However like most of my parents music I refused to actually allow it pass into my brain no matter how many times my mother played the songs. Then came 1997, I was 14 and secretly dancing to Cher's Believe single that was spreading throughout the world. Eventually I bought the parent album and with my brother we set up a secret listening party in his room. It was like G-a-y or Heaven in the bedroom. If you can imagine two boys dancing to heavy disco with headphones sellotaped to their heads so they wouldnt fall off mid-strut then you got the scene.

We listened and danced to the hit single for about 45 minutes. Sooner or later I remember we got tired of track one and thus allowed the cd player to carry to track two. As it started we froze. Had our parents taken over Cher? Had they caught us listening to forbidden music? My brother jumped out of the coma first and stopped the music immediately. I felt as if suddenly the world was looking down on us and had discovered us. In the sudden silence I looked at the tracklist of the Cd and realised that Cher had covered the song.

Eventually we got over the amalgamation and begun to love her version, which as ya might hear, is exactly same as the 1994 Amy Grant version. It hasnt been changed, pumped up, lyrically altered or disco frenzied. However the song has a greater significance for me...

My brother conspired to la madre that Cher was in fact a Christian act and thus we could play her. That year we changed my mother into a Cher fan all because we provided The Power as concrete proof of her religious leanings. The Power was the ultimate catalyst that changed her opinion on the grand dame of all things fabulous. If there was a dinner party she'd put on Believe in the understanding that Cher was an avid follower of her God. This pleased me no end especially as I, in following in my brothers deviancy, swapped the album mix Strong Enough with the 'gay version'. On any given morning, the family would sit there slowly waking up to Strong Enough without infraction as they were all none the wiser. Except, of course, for us gay boys sitting around the table. My brother and I would eat our cornflakes with mountains of glee beaming from within. This was our way saying 'this is us' and for those moments all was calm, accepting and our desired 'happy+united family' scenario.

So The Power was the key song that made my life just a little bit easier as a teenager. It also allowed us to come out in our little way.

Today we have the original The Power by Amy Grant which is quite good, the Cher version, the Gay version of Strong Enough recorded for Australian Gay Pride and a stunning Cher track called Human. Oh and I need some suggestions regarding songs. Lined up we've got more Kylie, a bit of J:LO and Anna Vissi! Send an email if ya got any thoughts...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Always been told that I've got too much to ride...

Sheryna Dyer-Show Me Love Original version of the hit single
Robyn-Show Me Love(BlackLite Mix) Stunning radio edit
Robyn-Show Me Love(Paul Andrews Mix) So Gay So Good

To celebrate Robyn's new single GirlieStyle with Teddybears, PopEatsPop thought it would be nice to go back in time and remember her first huge and only real hit in the UK Show Me Love. But...was it hers? Was she the original singer of the song? In fact it was originally by an English singer called Sheryna Dyer who some might better recall as a singer in the Sugababes-ilk girlband Made In London.

Initially though Sheryna Dyer started out as a solo act, young, sweet and possible star of MTV. Her look preceeded that of Melanie B and at various London pop radio PA's she promoted Show Me Love as her new single. It got played once, yes just the once, and wasnt heard of again. I'm told that there was some U.S promotion either planned or completed as Show Me Love screamed success. A video was apparently shot but this remains lost. A Cd was released in some European country but try as i might to research more on the matter I've never found it.

Robyn was a star in Sweden by this time and had already released her Robyn is Here(were talking circa 1995). It didnt however include Show Me Love. When it was time to launch Robyn in the U.S the Swedish record company wanted a hit. So while Robyn and her producers remixed some of the songs from the Swedish version of the album for its re-release they also found Show Me Love which had hit written all over it. Robyn recorded her version and bumped off a rather mundane track called Where Did Our Love Go. It would then go onto to become Robyns signature song and highlight of the 1997 re-release of her debut album...

After Dyer some years of wilderness picked herself up and managed to secure another record deal with RCA as a singer in the fiesty girlgroup Made In London. They released two singles and were then sadly dropped.

Now the original version includes a very strange lyric that is slightly different in Robyns cover. If someone can explain what "always been told that I got too much to ride" I'd appreciate it muchly. Is she complaining about horse-riding? A large sex-toy? It seems Robyn and team were just as perplexed as me and thankfully changed the starting lyric.

Dyers version lacks that typical Max Martin/Cheiron sound that was so popular at that time. There is none of that combination of brilliant harmonies, keyboards and kick-back baselines that we so loved about Robyns hit single. Instead Dyers original sounds more electronic and gospel. There is more depth in her vocals but it seriously feels like its too fast for its own good. I really feel like it sounds like a track from the Australian pop girlband Girlfriend. Which, in other words, means it sounds dated but ever so sweet. Robyns mix on other hand sounds as fresh as it does today. Go and play it now. It hasnt aged one bit.

It must have been annoying for Dyer to see some other girl go big with a song that she'd first recorded and promoted. However history repeated itself when a song she'd written and released with Made In London was later taken by the girlband Bardot. Dyer then is a true victim of PopEatsPop. Thankfully though, unlike the Robyn success, Bardot split their ways before they could have a hit single with Dirty Water. Silverlining perhaps but true...

Today we have Dyers ultra ultra ultra ultra rare version of Show Me Love and a beautiful version of the Robyn hit which is so All Saints it hurts. Also included is a camptastic club mix of Robyns hit single.

So free your love, hear me when I'm calling...

Vina-Come Into My World Original Version Released in Vietnam
Kylie-Come Into My World Extended Version Only released on about 50 12" Very rare
Kylie-Come Into My World Live Stunning "live remix" of the song. Needs to be heard!
Kylie-Come Into My world Live Evolves into a night-time ballad

Take your mind back to 2001. Kylie's initial tracklist for Fever included Love At First Sight as the last track of the album instead of Burning Up and Whenever You Feel Like It. A few weeks later the tracklist changed that saw a rearranging of songs and the loss of the aforementioned track. It did however gain Come Into My World. The story goes that just before the album was sent off to be mastered a demo tape by Cathy Dennis had been fed-ex'ed over to EMI who carted Kylie off to Cathy's shack to record it immediately. The quickness of the session explains why the single version ended up being re-recorded and slightly remixed on its release to radio a year later.

However, while Kylie was busy sorting out the final details of Fever a singer originally from New Orleans but settled in Vietnam had demo'd her version of Come Into My World. On its eventual release it became a big radio hit and recieved poptastic remixes that were played in the clubs of Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. While it initially did not become a hit for Vina her version started to recieve heavy airplay by stations supporting the local girl over the international superstar. In other words, the record companies conspired to create a chart battle between the two singers that ultimately led to Vina kick starting a career that has seen more albums, pop videos and concerts.

Despite its rather limited production, special effects and somewhat restricted vocals its certainly gained a special place in my music collection. Also this is just a demo version so don't judge too harshly. Of course the Kylie version is better. She has the backing of a huge multinational which always comes with the benefit of many technological advances. Just enjoy...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Derl el makadelech bal el ghaka....

Khaled-DiDi The Famous version that went to no.1 in France
Giorgos Alkaios-Ti, Ti The Greek version that went to no.1 in Greece
Brahim & Nessa-DiDi The English/UrbanDisco version that went to no.1 in Belgium
Khaled-DiDi The Radio Edit The version that went to no.1 in Algeria & Egypt

Khaled&Others-DiDi French acts perform the song at a tribute show in Khaleds honour
Brahim & Nessa-DiDi The DJ Senol Remix

Now think of the most popular song of the 1990's that dominated the charts for absolutely months. I'd nominate Cher's Believe...but that would be terribly occidental of me. In fact much of blogworld often takes a occidental approach to music and thus neglects some brilliant pop music thats out there . Hence I thought for my second thread I'd try something poptastically Arabic in the form of Khaled's monolithic hit DiDi which can claim to be the most played song in history.

The word "music" originates from the Greek word "mousiki" which means the discipline of the composing of melodies. 'Ilm al-musiqa' was the name given by the Arabs to the Greek theory of music to distinguish it from 'Ilm al-ghinaa' which was the Arab theory. The influence of Arabic on musical instruments has been far wider than has been generally acknowledged. The origin of the words flute, rebec, guitar and naker are rooted in the Arabic words: Al-'ud, rabab, qithara. Its no wonder then that Didi would be translated into Greek and was to be a move that would have spectacular results for the singer of the cover...

DiDi is one of the catchiest songs ever written and first released in France (even though it was recorded in the US). It is truly an international pop song. Even if you can't understand the language the little melody is addictive and it will have you humming it on your way to work. DiDi swept through many Arabic countries staying at no.1 for months in Algeria, Libya and Egypt. It also became the first Arabic song to top the charts in France where it has become iconic and has evolved into an aural metanarrative for the huge Algerian diaspora that live in the country. Anyone born in the 1970's or 1980's would find themselves dancing to DiDi at parties. Even now it is ripping through the dancefloors in Pakistan where the DJ's swapped their indi-pop records with DiDi and its like. Didi-Fever has never truly died out and continues pick up followers wherever its released.

The singer Khaled Hadj Brahim was born in Sidi-El-Houri, Algeria. He began recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled (Arabic for "Young Khaled") and has become probably the most internationally famous Algerian singer. This is what BBC Radio3 had to say about Khaled: 'he is a phenomenon and one of the few artists...in music that can wear the title "superstar". As Algeria’s heavyweight champion of rai music, Khaled has gone on to enjoy astonishing success across much of continental Europe, Asia and Latin America.' Fans of Tarkan, Antique, Hadise and songs that cross-reference cultures, genres and backgrounds will love Didi. You can hear traces of Matt Bianco, early house music, Leila K, early Madonna, Prince and jassfunk.

It also has a very special place in my heart as it takes me back to my family trip to Morocco. My mother is one of those crazy Catholics who goes to church every day and our summer holidays would always have to include my mother making a small pilgrimage to some church, temple and site of holy significance. Often or not the holiday was in reality the pilgrimage. When I heard we were going to Morocco - my father had business meetings there - my brother and I were relieved as its an Islamic state. Finally a holiday without the blood of Christ, confession and pews! Er no! Not 30 minutes from unpacking our bags at the hotel my mother carted us of to mass. Catholic churches are everywhere! You can take the Catholic out of a Catholic country but you can't the Catholic out of a Catholic.

While we couldnt escape morning mass a good case of fake food poisoning was the usual excuse that enabled us to bunk the late evening church visits. While my mother and sisters went to church, my brother and I would shower and shave, Lynx up, put our on H&M's & Adidas' and would explore Casablanca. I was 15 and he was 17 so our nerves were awash with the usual teenage excitement of being somewhere new but also the fear of getting caught. However as my brother had with him a torn page on Morocco from the guide Spartacus (Sorry Waterstones!) it wasnt long before we discovered the many gay discos that were all playing DiDi. For those few hours we could dance to our hearts content, maybe fall in love with strangers, see the stars and hold hands with whomever we wanted. So for me this song is about freedom, love, peace, escape, fun and having a great time with my brother. When I play this song I am reminded of freedom and the absolute joy it offers. Thus this song reinforces why I was right to come out to my parents but contains an ounce of regret as I miss them so much.

But this blog isnt about me or Arabic music but about when popeatspop! So now to the surreptitious cover...

Before it was released in the rest of Europe, the song had already been rushed out and was already no.1 in Greece. The act in question was to become the legendary male singer (think a Greek Robbie Williams)Giorgos Alkaios. His version, retitled Ti, Ti, launched his career that spans over 15 albums since his debut in 1992. The record company in Greece heard Khaled's masters done in NYC and somehow managed to record a new version before the French record company had even recieved the DATS. However do not jump to disregard Giorgos as some record company puppet as he is a rather talented man and is most famous abroad for being the writer behind the Antique smash hit Opa Opa. Opa Opa of course is another epic song that has been translated into a number of languages and its already been put aside for a PopEatsPop examination.

Didi was then translated in English, given a urban-disco makeover and released in the Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and France by Brahim and Nessa. The new version of the song sent DiDi back up the charts. While its just fun their version modifies the catchy sax rift and thus doesnt quite work. Still, its a brilliant cover that includes genres of hip-hop, rnb, disco and Algerian folk music. Fans of the music reality shows might like to know Brahim, who is rather handsome, came fourth in the Flemish version of Pop Idol in 2003.

Included today we have all three versions, a few radio mixes and a live version. Again I apologise for the length...

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!