Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cover Me Impressed:
'I Don't Want to Talk About It'

In 1988, Everything But the Girl released 'Idlewild,' the band's fourth long player. To coincide with the album, the duo released the cover "I Don't Want to Talk About It." Oddly, the single didn't appear on the album, at least initially, but this was how I was introduced to 'Idlewild,' as the 12" contained two songs from the album. The single performed its duties admirably. Based on the strength of "Oxford Street" and "Shadow on a Harvest Moon," I bought 'Idlewild' immediately.

The Danny Whitten-penned tune was made somewhat famous in the mid-'70s (and again with a rerecorded version in 1989) by Rod Stewart. As a youngster, Tracey Thorn and her family were fans of Stewart's, and I'm sure it was a warm and nostalgic moment for her when EBTG recorded it. Thanks to that last sentence, now you will get a result when searching for Rod Stewart's name on my blog. I digress. The song was a smash and EBTG's first UK top 10 single, peaking at No. 3.

I discovered just today that many editions of 'Idlewild' released after this single included "I Don't Want to Talk About It," even going so far as to make it the album opener. As a 25-year listener of 'Idlewild' and an owner of this cherished single, I cry "foul!" The lovely piano of "Love Is Here Where I Live" will always be the way 'Idlewild' should open. Period.

Here are two versions of "I Don't Want to Talk About It" from my crackly 12". I know what you're thinking: "What's the use of this song without Thorn's engaging vocals? Just give it a listen. Ben Watt co-wrote a beautiful string arrangement for the instrumental mix, and it's a very different experience than the single. Simply beautiful.

Everything But the Girl - I Don't Want to Talk About It (mp3)
Everything But the Girl - I Don't Want to Talk About It (Instrumental Mix) (mp3)

1 comment:

Echorich said...

Have to agree, as gorgeous as their cover is, it's sits best as a non-lp single in whetting fans appetites for the next release.
Even the 2012 Deluxe reissue by Edsel puts the track deep into the added singles a-sides and b-sides.
Idlewild is a really strong album. Oxford Street, Love Is Here Where I Live and The Night I Heard Caruso Sing are among my all time favorites by the band.