Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cover Me Impressed: 'Everybody's Talkin''

You may not know the fella pictured above, but you do know a folk song he wrote in 1966 about a man's disconnection with the rest of the world. The beautiful and haunting "Everybody's Talkin'" would, of course, become an international smash when Nilsson covered it in 1968 on his 'Aerial Ballet' album and became the theme song to the 1969 film 'Midnight Cowboy.' I just watched the movie again the other night. Although it clearly hasn't aged well (especially the far-out party scene near the end), the song is an absolute classic that will always stand the test of time. Quite a few musicians must think so, too. There are more than 100 known covers. Here are a few of my favorites. If you like the song as much as I do, you may want to check out this blog post from back in September by Cover Lay Down. Thankfully, I didn't overlap with this writer's selections too much.

Fred Neil - Everybody's Talkin' (mp3)
Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin' (mp3)
The Beautiful South - Everybody's Talkin' (mp3)
Crowded House - Everybody's Talkin' (mp3)
Matthew Sweet - Everybody's Talkin' (mp3)

A couple of quick notes: The Nilsson version is from an excellent two-disc set called 'Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology.' If you are a novice, this is a great place to start. If you aren't familiar with the Beautiful South, that's the band Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway started after the underrated Housemartins disbanded in 1988. The Housemartins deserve a post of their own here soon. The Crowded House version was recorded in 2007 on Australian television. You can watch the performance here. Matthew Sweet's version is an outtake from his work on the 'My Name Is Earl' soundtrack. It eventually appeared on this Shout! Factory sampler. Last (but not least), you can buy the original Neil take here.

More Cover Me Impressed:
"What Goes On"
"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
Halloween Edition
"Porpoise Song"
"Prairie Rose"
"Come On Eileen"
"Walking On Thin Ice"
Jason Falkner Edition
"True Love Will Find You In The End"
"This Will Be Our Year"
"You're My Favorite Waste of Time"
"The End Of The World"
"(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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