Monday, October 4, 2010

LADIES FIRST: 'Porpoise Song'; Carole King>Monkees>Lola Dutronic



LADIES FIRST spotlights classic songs that 'she did first'.


"A face, a voice, an overdub has no choice..."

"The Porpoise Song" is one of the coolest psychedelic songs ever made. Made brilliantly by THE MONKEES, it has been covered many times by neo-psych, doom metal, and electro bands.

CAROLE KING wrote the original in the last days of her storied songwriting partnership with Gerry Goffin. Here is her original demo. Note the Lennon/ "Sgt. Pepper" hallmarks all over it in the piano march, wavey harmonies, and phased voices.

CAROLE KING -"Porpoise Song" (1968)



The song was written for the opening sequence of "HEAD", the glorious career suicide film made by The Monkees. Here's the first ten minutes, which set up the song (2:15) and the freewheeling chaos that follows.

(Hint: rent the movie.)

"HEAD"/ "The Porpoise Song" (1968)



"HEAD" became a cult hit in the 80's when released on video, and the song was discovered again when included in "VANILLA SKY" (2001). Many artists have covered it like
BONGWATER w/ Ann Magnuson (1988),
TROUBLE (1995)
THE CHURCH (1999)
THE PILLBUGS
DJ NOBODY (2008)
AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD (2004)

Here's a typically radiant version by Brian Wilson's touring buddies, THE WONDERMINTS, which someone has matched up with the film footage.

THE WONDERMINTS -"Porpoise Song" (1996)



And a lovely Electro-delic version by Canada's LOLA DUTRONIC, in a fan video that homages the underwater film sequence with some twists.

LOLA DUTRONIC -"The Porpoise Song" (2004)



"The porpoise is laughing/ goodbye, goodbye..."

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