Friday, July 06, 2012

Your Friday Moment of "...and Speaking of Gorgeous™"

From earlier this year, please enjoy amazing Antipodean singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer Michael Carpenter and an absolutely drop dead exquisite cover of The Hollies' "Look Through Any Window."

Seriously -- if this doesn't give you goosebumps, seek immediate medical attention.

How do I love this? Let me count the ways. For one, the song itself -- by the great Graham Gouldman, obviously -- and the original recording by the Hollies are both on my short list of greatest things in rock-and-roll (not just power pop) ever. For another, I can't think of another good cover version; in fact, the only one I can remember off the top of my head is by the usually admirable Loud Family, on that otherwise wonderful Sing Hollies in Reverse tribute album from the early 90s, and which is at best meh.

This one, however, despite being a tad slower than I think is appropriate, and despite the fact that Carpenter's drumming isn't as exciting as Bobby Elliott's on the original (and frankly, who else's could have been?), is simply spine-tingling, and every other one of the changes Carpenter has wrought on the song -- from the little phrasing fillips on the backup vocals to the psychedelic guitar-solo mid-section to the slightly drawn out finale -- totally work for me. Not to mention the choirboy harmonies are so angelic I can barely listen to the damn thing without swooning.

I should add that I knew absolutely nothing about Carpenter until long-time reader and friend of PowerPop FD13NYC sent me the link to this yesterday and I am deeply in his debt. If you would like to know more about the artiste, hie thee hence -- as did I -- over to his official website, where among other things you can marvel at his exquisite taste and (more to the point) download more of his music.

16 comments:

Gummo said...

Very pretty, but ultimately forgettable.

Ah well, we don't always have to agree, do we.

Dan Pavelich said...

Yeah, this is really good.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Meh

JZ said...

Okay, but it doesn't cut the Hollies version.

Michael Carpenter said...

The Hollies version is untouchable. We weren't trying to beat it, as i love it too much, and think it's an impossible task. But we were respectfully trying to update it and present it as, i guess, a 'contemporary powerpop' song. So others can hear how incredible THE SONG is. Thanks again Mary for bringing it to people's attention..

KevinR said...

Speaking of the Hollies, have you heard Radio Fun, their live on the BBC disc released in May?

steves said...

Not bad, but Steve hates being called Mary. ;-)

Peter said...

Hey, Steve: Snap.

steve simels said...

Great minds, concentric circles, etc.....

Peter said...

Yes indeedy. And I'd like to officially state that I'm in the "I like Michael's version a lot" camp.

Anonymous said...

Bobby Elliott!! Check out his awesome drumming on live Hollies youtube clips. Wow.

And I was personally jazzed when I mastered that tricky guitar part on the intro. Lot of stretching.

Michael Carpenter said...

Yeah.. that riff is killer, and more difficult than it seems. That's why i got Rob to play it.

I have to mention that this track was a duet with my good friend Rob Smith. He did a lot of great work on this.

And we have a video for it..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgyPRQ_37MA

buzzbabyjesus said...

I've never really listened to the original, so I can't weigh in on the drumming. I gave this another listen, actually the whole thing, and it's as good as the Dukes Of Stratosphere. That's essentially a compliment.

Dave said...

I'm kvelling. I'm an old pal of Michael's (first brought together by our love of Brian Wilson). I'm happy to testify that Michael is not only a fantastic musician and producer, but is a true fan. And a great guy, too. I'm proud of all your accomplishments, M.C.

Dave Feldman

Michael Carpenter said...

Thanks David. So nice to see you after all this time. I'm so happy you're still listening! :-)

MC

James A. Gardner said...

I don't qualify as a pal, but I was a PSML member for a time when you were, Michael, and participated in the Net Sounds tribute albums, too. You still sound great!