Friday, March 20, 2009

Going Down to Liverpool

With the possible exception of their cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter", "Going Down to Liverpool" has long been my favorite Bangles song.

Of course, I'm not quite sure what that says of The Bangle's lyrical chops since both songs are covers. "Hazy Shade of Winter" was originally written by Paul Simon and recorded for the Simon & Garfunkel album Bookends, before it was redone for the soundtrack of Less Than Zero (featuring a young Robert Downey Jr. and Andrew McCarthy, who my girlfriend inexplicably has seen more than a few times on the streets on NYC). "Going Down to Liverpool," meanwhile, was first issued as a B-side to the Katrina & the Waves smash "Walking on Sunshine."

Interesting side note, both "Walking on Sunshine" and "Going Down to Liverpool" were written by Waves guitarist Kimberlry Rew, he formerly of the seminal band The Soft Boys, The main singer and songwriter of The Soft Boys was the truly great Robyn Hitchcock, who recently made a cameo as part of the wedding band in Rachel Getting Married, directed by Jonathan Demme (who a few years earlier directed the concert film Storefront Hitchcock). I still have my Hitchcock concert tee from 1989, which may also be the last time I wore it (unlike my Fishbone shirt, which I wore far longer than the fading cotton would really permit).

Anyway, back to "Going Down to Liverpool" and the reason for this post. Up until a few minutes ago I had never seen the original music video for the song. More importantly, I had absolutely no idea that it featured Leonard Nemoy in an extended cameo. So to celebrate this momentous discovery I present to you both The Bangles' cover version as well as the original (by way of videotaped vinyl). Enjoy!

And while we're at it, here's The Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter":

And what the hell, here's the Hitchcock song "America" from Rachel Getting Married:


Katarina Whimsy said...

Zohmgods. I love that cover of Hazy Shade of Winter. Love love *love* --it is easily one of my favourite covers of any song ever.

I'm so happy that someone else has heard of it.

~Sor (Who has actually been reading since the summer or so, and quite enjoys your blog, but doesn't tend to say a lot.)

Nathan said...

I don't think Spock finds the actions of the Bangles to be logical.

J. Daniel Gezelter said...

Do you think the Bangles had any idea what a UB-40 was?

zero hour said...

ahh that all brought back memories!!!
some of my fave stuff man!

Shaun said...

And how about this: The Soft Boys also did the original version of "I Wanna Destroy You," the song that the Circle Jerks did as a duet with with Debbie Gibson! Don't ask me why I know this...

Jennifer said...

1) "Hazy Shade of Winter" is one of my favorite songs. And I just may prefer The Bangles' version over Simon and G's.

2) Circle Jerks did a duet with Debbie Gibson??

Unknown said...

This song is about unemployment in the north of England in the 1980s. A 'UB40' is Unemployment Benfit form 40 which is what you were given if you claimed state benfits for being unemployed. The 'green and Pleasant land' phrase comes, of course, from "Jerusalem" which is the unoffical national anthem of England (as opposed to the UK).