Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun With Downloads: Meet the Spongetones

Given that reader Linda had this to say at the comments section over at Friday's Best Love Songs Listomania --

"Future Perfect" by The Spongetones.
I'm prejudiced,though; it's about me and my husband, who co-wrote the song.

-- I would be seriously remiss if I didn't add something in praise of those long-running powerpop gods.

In that case, from their 2000 album Odd Fellows, please enjoy The Spongetone's spectacular cover of Sir Paul McCartney's "On the Wings of a Nightingale" which can be downloaded here.

The song itself -- and I've never been able to determine exactly when Paul wrote it -- was a minor hit for the Everly Brothers on their wonderful 80s comeback album EB 84. The track was produced by Dave Edmunds and was very much in his vein, with lots of massed acoustic guitars. The Spongetones, however, redid the song a la vintage Merseybeat guitar rock, sounding as it might have if the Fab Four had had a go at it back in the day. As you'll hear, they did an absolutely brilliant job-- the basic track recalls the Fabs circa '64 or '65, but with a lovely recreation of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass lead guitar stylings on top. I think it's a knockout.

Oh, and you can download Sir Paul's quite lovely stripped down original solo demo of the song here.

As always, if the clips have expired by the time you get to them, e-mail and I'll send you the mp3s.


TMink said...

Steve, help me here. I have not downloaded any of the songs you so kindly link. I do not want to steal from the artists. Please understand, I am not getting all preachy, but I want to do the right thing with this.

If I download the songs, am I stealing from the artists?

Trey - who needs to get out more

steve simels said...


Do you have friends who burn CDs for you? I don't see this as any different...

...or than trading stuff on cassettes back in the day was.

Beyond that, I don't really know what to say.

I mean -- I don't think a bootleg McCartney track is going to impact negatively on Sir Paul's bottom line.

Anybody else got an opinion on this?

Anonymous said...

Oh...go ahead kids.

Live it up.

Noam Sane said...

Kind of a moot point when you can't play the song anyway - it's DRM'd.

Notwithstanding that, I've spent outrageous amounts of money over the years on 45s, EPs, LPs, cassettes, 8-tracks, reel-to-reels, CDs, Gold CDs, CD remasters, CD re-remasters, CDs with Bonus Tracks!, CDs with OTHER BONUS TRACKS! and so on. Not to mention concerts.

So an .mp3 here and there, no big whoop.

The record industry screwed the pooch by pricing CDs far beyond where they needed to (LPs were getting out of hand as well, before the CD boom). I think the day I bought a CD, handed the guy a $20, and got back a couple of dimes and a quarter for change was the day my guilt dissipated for good.

If artists want to get paid properly, they should put up a website, offer lossless downloads for a reasonable price, and accept the fact that the days of easy musical-multi-millionaire-dom are (somewhat) over.

Anonymous said...

The song is DRMd?

That sucks...

Sorry about that...I thought it was off my own CD, not iTunes.

Anonymous said...

You reupload that mp3? I'm listening to it now...

steve simels said...

Actually, no, I didn't.

Now I'm totally confused -- you were able to download it?

Noam Sane said...

It wanted a password for me. Alternately, I could provide an answer to your secret question, which was your date of birth.

I tried to guess that, but it wouldn't take a 3-digit number for the year.

steve simels said...


E-mail me and I'll send you the song as an attachment. I'm assuming that would work....

Kid Charlemagne said...

I don't know, at least for me, if I download a MP3 now and again, I usually end up buying the CD if I like it.

Wendy said...

If the song isn't commercially available, I don't see a problem with it. These sites are very public, and I'm sure the artists are aware of them. Also, like the Kid said, if I like a song or two, I usually buy the CD.

Anonymous said...

I put up a Spongetones song on the blog that I started for them, which can be found here:

I'll add more over time as well as some videos. Enjoy!