I was going through my Box.net account, my online storage facility, and I found several MP3's I had loaded in with the intention of posting, but never got around to. In the interests of completion, and because they are worth hearing, I am posting them now, with little or no comment.
This is a Jackson Browne song that has been covered many times. The original impetus for this post was the latest Glen Campbell album, Meet Glen Campbell, on which he covers a lot of very good songs, including - albeit anemically - "These Days." Listening to Campbell's version, I realized how much I had always liked the song. It had always struck me as odd that a 19 year old could write a song with so much weldschmerz without sounding too pretentious. That led me to go back and listen to all the versions I own, from Jackson Browne's original, through Nico's, Tom Rush's (the first I heard, back in 1969) and finally the one I find the most soulful, Gregg Allman's. Here are three:
Nico - These Days
Tom Rush - These Days
Gregg Allman - These Days
I Don't Wanna Know
Last fall, HBO aired a series called "True Blood," involving vampires good and bad in and around New Orleans. On one episode, (called "I Don't Wanna Know...") the end credits rolled over Dr. John singing a song with the chorus: "I don't wanna know 'bout evil, I only wanna know about love." I had never heard Dr. John's version before (and don't particularly wanna hear it again) but the song itself was familiar. It took me a few old age minutes to remember that it was a John Martyn song, from his 1973 album, Solid Air, which I had played a lot about 10 years ago. While researching all of this, I came across Beth Orton's version from her first album, the horribly-named, Japanese-only Superpinkymandy, produced by William Orbit.
John Martyn - I Don't Wanna Know
Beth Orton - Don't Wanna Know bout Evil