Monday, October 4, 2010

LADIES FIRST: "Porpoise Song'" - Carole King > The Monkees > Lola Dutronic > Django Django



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

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

"The Porpoise Song" is one of the coolest psychedelic songs ever made. Interpreted brilliantly by The Monkees under the spell of SGT. PEPPER, 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/ 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 beginning of the film and the freewheeling chaos that follows.

(Hint: rent the movie.)

HEAD: "The Porpoise Song" (1968)



HEAD became a cult hit in the '80s 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)
DJ NOBODY (2008)
AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD (2004)

Here's a typically radiant original song by Brian Wilson's touring buddies, Wondermints, which sounds like a merging of The Beach Boys' "Wonderful" with "The Porpoise Song".

WONDERMINTS -"Tracy Hyde" (1996)



Here's a lovely Electro-delic cover 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)



And here the jingle gets jangled when wrangled by Django Django.

DJANGO DJANGO "The Porpoise Song" (2014)




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



© Tym Stevens



See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist


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