Thursday, 20 April 2017
3:58 pm
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Posted by: Fluteboy
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The sincerest form of flattery

I have spoken before about those delightful things known as soundalikes, and now I am going to revisit them. Aren't you glad!

I decided to dig out that erstwhile copy of Musical Rendezvous presents 16 Chart Hits volume 9 which dates from 1973. Like all soundalike albums it has its good and bad moments, but two tracks seem to stick out for me. First up is a rendition of Showdown, a song which saw The Bearded Genius of Birmingham AKA Jeff Lynne tapping into his inner Marvin Gaye. The cover itself is pleasant enough, with the vocalist stretching himself to reach those high notes, along with a bonus tambourine throughout to help usher things along.

Unknown Artists - Showdown

The second candidate comes to us by way of a British folk band called Strawbs. Better known for their rousing anthem Part Of The Union, They also had a hit with the poetic Shine On Silver Sun. The original version is a little hard to digest, with the lead singer's affected pronunciation, along with a somewhat muddy production - and this is where the soundalike version helps things out, with its simpler production and gentle string section. If only they could have got the lyrics right! I have listened to this version for years, and as a result, I always had the wrong lyrics in my head. Listening to the original had me thinking: "No! Surely not! I prefer the nonsensical version!" For your reference I include the correct verse lyrics:

Unknown Artists - Shine On Silver Sun

Once I sat upon a hill to watch the world go by
My friend the young magician had forbidden me to cry
But I was the comedian with the laughs in short supply

The sunlight filtered softly through the pale and watery sky
To catch the mirrored salmon as it rose to take the fly
The flowers on the riverbank were left alone to die

The church bells sounded midnight as I rose to say goodbye
And a solitary tear fell from the corner of my eye

But tell me true, how does one arrive at a lyric like: "The treadmills on the kite"? I will assume they were whacked off on nutmeg or something....

For further reading, see my post of Friday 24 January 2014, entitled Broaden your minds, and also Record rip-offs from Monday, 9 June 2014.

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