Friday, April 13, 2012

Cover Me Impressed: 'Temptation Eyes'

When thinking of the Grass Roots, the thought that comes to mind is, as a youngster, humming along to the horn parts of "Temptation Eyes" while the song blasted from the speakers of the family station wagon. As a song that peaked at No. 15 in 1970, it was worthy of multiple plays on my parents' oldies station.

The first time I ever heard a cover of the song was while taking in a Blake Babies show at Metro in Chicago, circa 1990. No, my memory isn't that good. At this very moment I'm looking at the setlist I swiped from Juliana Hatfield's spot on the stage. In 1991, Blake Babies would release the song as a single from the 'Rosy Jack World' EP. Later that year the band would call it quits (although we would learn at the end of the decade that it didn't take). The song would pop again on the band's 1993 compilation
'Innocence and Experience.' My favorite part of the trio's take is Hatfield's voice when she proclaims, "there's more, baby!"

Many years later, 2008, to be exact, I would hear another cover of "Temptation Eyes" that brought a smile to my face. The outtake from the Replacements' legendary 1984 'Let It Be' sessions could be found prior to '08 on the 'Boink!!' bootleg, but my first listen was when it appeared on the official expanded edition of the album. It's exactly what you expect... sloppy, wild and wonderful.

The Grass Roots - Temptation Eyes (mp3)
The Replacements - Temptation Eyes (outtake) (mp3)
Blake Babies - Temptation Eyes (mp3)

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