Inside Out (Live)
Download Only, 2009
12″ Single, 1982
One of my favorite singers covered one of my favorite records of all time and she did it damn well. This cover game has rules (or at least I have rules that I judge covers by), I’m sure I’ve mentioned them before: do it different, do it better or don’t do it. Chances are if the song is good enough to cover, you aren’t going to do it better (there are exceptions, for sure). Eska completely flipped this song and extended the already lengthy 6+ minute original to 8+ minutes, all of which completely hold my attention. Instrumentally, the original is almost inappropriately peppy under fairly somber lyrics. Eska slows it down and completely changes the instrumentation to almost a campfire vibe but then builds it up in waves. My favorite part of the song is at 5:19 where, after dropping everything down to percussion, hand claps and voices for a full minute it seems like the song is going to end (it would still be a stellar song if it ended there) but instead everyone comes back in and they go into an unexpected climax (at 6:15). This is another song that puts me back in my band days because they use dynamics in such a powerful way that I can’t help but notice.
Eska’s paragraph on the song:
I loved this song from childhood when pops used to play this Odyssey album called Native NewYorker. I thought those 3 angels with bejeweled and woven hair where from another planet. They sang about ‘roots’ – things my dad would continually remind us about: I’m first generation Afropean (Born Bulawayo, Zimbabwe). There weren’t many Zims in the UK back then, not like now, since Zim suffered a catastrophic exodus over the past 5 years! I have always loved the lead singer’s vocal delivery, sincere and relaxed. The musicianship on this record is stellar. I mean, check the bass line for ‘Inside Out’. What is that?????? As a frustrated bass-player, I can only play air-bass to this tune, and even that feeeeeels gooooood…don’t you just wish you were in that band???? But as a kid, the thing that struck me was the lyrics. I didn’t know what this song was about, I couldn’t relate to it but I wanted to – you know that moment when you understand the words to every love song and you hear them completely differently when it’s accompanied with experience ‘….I wanna be inside out, oh darlin’, I wanna be so deep that you’ll be turning inside out, oh darlin’…’ Ouch! Can’t get better than that, it really can’t.
My love Eska is well documented on this site. I (and many) have been looking for an album from her for years and according to her myspace blog, she’s set a mastering date which means it really must be (almost) done.
Shout out to Jonesy for reacquainting me with this song years back and to Put Me On It for alerting me to the Eska version.
Songs are available for two weeks.