Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cover Me Impressed: 'The End Of The World'

I have been meaning to write about Girls' cover of Skeeter Davis' "The End Of The World" since it was released as a B-side on their single "Morning Light" last month. The song has been available on Girls' 'Album' (my No. 2 record of 2009) for quite some time, but it was only as a bonus track. So, I'm assuming some of you out there have not heard it.

Country music has never been my forte. Therefore, I don't know a lot about Davis. In fact, I never heard a song by her until I got into the 1985 album she did with NRBQ. 'She Sings, They Play' is a really good listen I can recommend... especially if, like me, you're into the Q. If you like them, then you probably already know NRBQ bassist Joey Spampinato tied the knot with Davis in 1987. They remained married for about a decade. Davis, unfortunately, is no longer with us either. She died about six years ago.

As for "The End Of The World," this 1963 single was the biggest hit in Davis' storied career. Not only did it nearly top the country chart (No. 2), but it almost duplicated that feat on the pop charts (No. 2), too. The song is one of those dramatic arrangements made famous by Lesley Gore, Petula Clark and others during the period. The strings are lush, and I'm glad Girls stayed true to the original. I prefer the toned down songs of Girls anyway, and this one couldn't be any different than the fuzzy guitar sound of the A-side, "Morning Light."

"The End Of The World" has been covered by dozens of artists, but it has received recent attention because, besides this version by Girls, Internet star Susan Boyle recorded it for her debut album as well. So, obviously, it's a versatile tune liked by artists of all genres. The cover I would most like to hear but haven't is by Veruca Salt's Nina Gordon. The one I would least like to hear (other than Boyle's) is from the forgettable '80s vocal group Expose. Ugh.

Skeeter Davis - The End Of The World (mp3)
Girls - The End Of The World (mp3)

More Cover Me Impressed:
"(Don't Go Back To)Rockville"
"God Only Knows"
"And Your Bird Can Sing"
"So Sad About Us"
"Walking The Cow"

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