It's time for a spooky little tune called... Spooky. It was originally performed by Classics IV, named such because they're the fourth classic rock band to ever exist. But it was originally written as an instrumental by saxophonist Mike Shapiro. Well, shouldn't that be the original. Well, they used Shapiro's original mix, Classics IV simply wrote and added the lyrics. The song was very popular, and I certainly understand why. Classics IV were from Jacksonville Florida, which might be the least terrifying city in the state of Florida.
It starts with it's guitar rift, it's simple minor key. But with a catchy rhythm. The rhythm makes this song, the light tapping I'm not sure if it's a rimclick or a clave, but it starts of really smooth. And that's the atmosphere of the song. I particularly like when the lyrics come in, and there's this backing vocals that's just, “ooooooo~ooooooo”. The lyrics are great, just this song about this girlfriend that's kind of difficult to read. The saxophone solo is amazing, it's got a real punch I guess that's not a surprising given that it's written by a saxophonist. I love how at the end of each verse there's this break and a puase, in the first verse it emphasizes the pause when he asks her if she wants to meet up for a date and she says, “I have plans for the night...” but then the music has a short rest and when it picks up she's changed her mind, “Alight.” In the last verse it's used for comedic delivery, “you've been haunting my dreams, so I proposed... on Halloween.” The lyrics are clever and the song is catchy, naturally it would have a lot of covers and it did. But which one am I going to compare it to.
Lydia Lunch is a great artist. She creates weird music, jazz and punk influenced. She's done spoken which I appreciate and she never got much credit. She's considered kind of a Siouxsie Sioux clone, but they both came on the scene in the late seventies. Siousxie was in London and Lydia was in New York.
Lydia being the cutting edge arthaus musician that she is must have done some pretty outlandish stuff for this cover. Not really. The music is still has the same smooth sounding groove. They changed the pronouns, and now it's a “spooky little boy like you.” instead of “spooky little girl like you.” At first it seems like the “ooooo” vocals are replaced with a organ, which gives the same spooky vibe. But they just come in a little bit later. I think the biggest change is that instead of one saxophone, there's two in the solo. Which I guess means it's not really a solo... but it's a dueling sax battle or something.
How do they match up? Well, this cover is pretty faithful to the original. Given Lydia Lunch's reputation as an artist kind of makes that disappointing. Also two saxophones aren't necessary better than one. And yet, I'm charmed with the cover. I often feel like I'm that spooky little boy, who sends mixed signals and is awkward but adorable. Awkwardorable. I'm tempted to give tons of bonus points to the cover for that reason alone. Except the original is just really good. So just by a sliver the original wins this round.