Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stuff White People Like to Muck Up (Or, the Crimes of Rod Stewart and Robert Palmer)

Exhibit A: Some Guys Have All the Luck

One of my favorite songs, in its original incarnation by The Persuaders, "Some Guys Have All the Luck," has had the severe misfortune of being worked over and "re-imagined" by two paragons of popular music, Robert Palmer and Rod Stewart.  When listened to in conjunction with the laughably bad and, frankly, offensive music videos, Palmer and Stewart's versions become even more pathetic.  Of course, the real injustice here is that groups like the Persuaders are lucky to just scrape the R&B charts with their--original--recording.  

Where Palmer's version is barely remembered, Stewart's evisceration provided him with a major mid-career boost, topping out at Number 10 on the U.S. charts, while effectively wiping out the original from the collective memory.  

On top of this, according to the exhaustive liner notes from WSM's Creme de la Creme 2, producer extraordinaire Phil Hurtt extensively re-wrote the original song credited to one-timer Jeff Fortgang.  Yet, Hurtt never received a proper credit and so was shut out of all song-writing royalties from the Persuaders recording, which he co-produced with his Young Professionals cohorts, and the future chart-busters from Messieurs Palmer and Stewart, and, much later, Maxi Priest.

Rod Stewart, 1984:

Two for the price of one:

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