Friday, November 9, 2012

Cover Me Impressed: 'Jackie Wilson Said'

My affinity for both the TKO Horns and the production team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley are already well documented. You can argue about what their best moment was as a collective, and they worked together a few times, but my vote would be for the album 'Too-Rye-Ay' by Dexys Midnight Runners. Of course, the brass section wouldn't be named TKO Horns until Elvis Costello got a hold of them and chose the name himself a year after they left Kevin Rowland's band, but you get my point.

"Jackie Wilson Said" was the third single from 'Too-Rye-Ay' and the followup to the international smash "Come on Eileen." It didn't chart here in America, but it was another huge hit in the UK. The flip side was "Let's Make This Precious." This might be my favorite song on the album. So, if I had a list of all-time singles, this would have to be on there somewhere. "Jackie Wilson Said" has been covered by quite a few acts -- and I have seen Costello perform it live on a couple of occasions -- but the version by Dexys tops them all. The song sounds so full here, like its about to burst, and the enthusiasm is palpable.

Researching for this post, I was absolutely shocked to discover the original 1972 single by Van Morrison never charted. If you don't have any of his work, this compilation is a pretty good start. Then move on to 'Astral Weeks.'

I'm including Dexys Midnight Runners' performance of the song on 'Top of the Pops.' You will notice a rather large photo of darts player Jocky Wilson as the band's backdrop. Back in '82, this created some confusion and controversy. I'm not sure anyone has ever confessed being behind that one.

Dexys Midnight Runners - Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile) (mp3)
Van Morrison - Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile) (mp3)

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