There are a few classical guitar arrangements of this over-exposed piece of doggerel; none of them have so captured the voice, the piano and BadgerMan's guitar so completely, so tastefully and with such finesse, on just six strings. Rhapsody's what it is.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
EVENSONG. I STOOD AT THE REMBRANDTS IN AMSTERDAM AND WEPT THAT OUR GENIUS MUST DIE. THIS HAS THE SAME EFFECT ON ME. AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE FREDDIE MERCURY
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I was going to enquire if you had ever wished that you'd 'never been born at all' Mr Ishmael, but I am more interested whether you can 'do the fandango'.
I'll bet you can. With a rose between your teeth?
Why is there a woman doing the strumming??
No doubting his skill extraordinaire or his ability to raise this rubbish to previously unscaled heights, it kinda feels a bit Lounge Bar to me.
When it comes to pickers, I'm more of a Davy Graham or maestro Thomson man myself.
Davey Graham & Alexis Korner; John Renbourn; Bert Jansch, Nic Jones, Nick Drake, countless others; we have been well-blessed with jazzy, bluesy, folky, percussive, elegiacal fingerpickers; there have been dozens and dozens of them, John Martyn, the Incredible String Band - where would Jerry Garcia stand, against players like these; Martin Simpson, Gordon Giltrap, Whizz Jones, it is a rich cultural heritage. much of it, over some years, exhibited here, mr tnp.
This guy, though, is outside tha tradition. I can look at Richard Thompson stuff and think, well, I could manage a working version of that, and if I worked hard I could manage a fair version ( I don't). This though, is from somewhere else. Like many, I listened to a lot of Segovia playing Bach, compared to this it seems dreary and leaden.
Good, but I found the rhythm to metronomic compared to the original. Its like the difference between flamenco and classical guitar styles.
There's another version, mr mike, by Steve Bean, which I dispreferred because that very Flamenco-ish fluidity and drama of which you speak.
It was the mutation from le rock grande et bombastique of Queen into Cruz's classial precision which I loved, his so-clever, so-perfect arrangement, as much as his playing.
It is a wonderful performance and arrangement, Mr Ishmael. With it on in the background, while tinkering around with other things, I found my self listening as though to an entirely original piece, heard for the first time.
Yes, mr bhs, me, too; even though he voices all the parts of the original, it is like something brand new. It is an odd symbiosis - this would not have existed without the mega-singlecumvideo, yet its perfection transforms and elevates the kitsch and the camp into someting divine.
It was as I said, I looked at the lace ruffs and the beards in The Night Watch and thought How can anyone do this stuff and yet be mortal? I stood pn the stage of the Albert Hall singing the Messiah and thought the same thing, Fuck me, I thought, this is God's Rock'n'Roll, why did Handel have to die? The more I know, the more I am moved by stuff. Hope I'm not turning into a luvvie.
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