Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Dark End of the Street - diffs

Two versions of the same song. Not sure which I like better (does that make me bi-polar?).

James Carr

Gram Parsons

A sad tale of infidelity and ensuing guilt. I'm not sure which version I like better.

James Carr is not remembered as much now as he probably should be, as one of the greatest southern soul singers of all time like Otis, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke et al.

He 'fell at the first hurdle' due to mental health issues and ended up virtually catatonic for most of his life.

Gram Parsons was a rich-kid who found that he had a knack for country/soul music and managed to get himself into 'the Byrds' and unofficially 'the Rolling Stones' and made vital contributions at crucial times in both bands' careers, with 'the Byrds' on 'Sweethearts of the Rodeo' and with 'the Stones' on their 'Exile on Main Street' period.

This is essentially his own group - 'The Flying Buritto Brothers'.  Gram Parsons didn't make it past 30 years of age, I don't think. Fulfilling a promise, some friends stole his coffin and gave him a cremation in the Joshua Tree Park in CA.

James Carr made a couple of very brief comebacks but died a few years back, after being cared for by his sister for many years.

I find it abhorrent when people try to do this song - like Andrew Strong in 'the Commitments', or anyone on 'XYZ Factor' or any of those shows. You can't touch these 2 versions...

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