Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BOTB: I SAW THE LIGHT

The bloggers below are co-sponsoring a blog event on the first and fifteenth of each month. 






Robin (Your Daily Dose) 

Chris Fries

I have been an uninvited guest in the process, at least until I run out of covers of Todd Rundgren songs. That day is coming soon.

For today's post, I am back to what should be more familiar territory, as I still hear this song played when in stores, so I am thinking most of you will know it.

"I Saw The Light" was the opening track on the Something/Anything? album, and followed in the Motown tradition of putting hit songs at the beginning of the album.

The song is a pastiche of 1960's pop songs, as well as an homage to Carole King and Laura Nyro.

Todd's version peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.


TODD RUNDGREN-I SAW THE LIGHT



This song has seen quite a few cover versions, including takes by The New Seekers, Mood Six, Workshy, Terry Hall (ex-Specials), Lori Carson, Hal Ketchum (reached #36 on the country charts), Teenage Fan Club and Yo La Tengo. 

Rundgren even covered it himself when he fronted The New Cars. 

So here are few of those versions for your perusal. 

The last time I posted multiple versions I got some abuse for having so many of them. 

So I decided to post even more versions this time. 

Serves you complainers right!


THE NEW CARS-I SAW THE LIGHT






THE NEW SEEKERS-I SAW THE LIGHT








HAL KETCHUM-I SAW THE LIGHT




LORI CARSON-I SAW THE LIGHT





TERRY HALL-I SAW THE LIGHT






19 comments:

  1. I'd have to go with Todd on this one.

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    1. Agreed, Alex-the original 1972 studio version is pure pop perfection...

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  2. Out of the covers, I think I like Lori Carson and Hal Ketchum the most -- at least they try to bring something new to their renditions. The Cars are just having fun onstage doing the song live, and Terry Hall's is more like a complete ripoff of every aspect of the song even with the exact same orchestration including slide guitar playing note for note.

    But this is a song where Todd's version is so iconic and good that it would have to take a LOT to upstage it. None of the covers come close to doing that. So another vote for Todd from me.

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    1. I thought a few of the covers had interesting takes, but agree that none improved on the original.

      The Something/Anything? album was supposed to be Todd's answer to Tapestry, and "I Saw The Light" is (IMO) the best slice of pop confection on the album.

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  3. That Lori Carson version sounds like something I'd hear some poor broke hippie chick playing on her acoustic guitar in the corner of a crappy hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. And no, I would not flip her a quarter.

    Todd, though, I'd flip him a quarter any day. Even with a bazillion other choices, I still like his the best.

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    1. Right there with ya, Bryan-this is Todd at his best doing a three-minute pop song. Hard to top.

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    2. And for the record...I have flipped him enough quarters (between concert tickets and record sales) to cover you.

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  4. I liked Todd the best time. I think the best covers are from Hal Ketchum and Lori Carson. They are notable due to the differences from the original. The country feel that Hal's version has actually works for me. And the stripped down version with Lori's pure vocals is also very lovely. I really didn't think much of the others.

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    1. I did like the other takes as well, Robin, but there is a reason I still hear the 1972 version when walking through retail stores, etc.

      It's just that good, even forty years later!

      (gasp)-am I really that old?

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  5. Of course I'll take Todd, with Hal a close second, and the only pretender that I really cared for.

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    1. I could not imagine anyone covering this song and improving it, CW

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  6. I'm still with Todd.Nobody does it better.

    These covers went from bad to worse. The 25 second instrumental intro on Terry Hall's version showed some promise and then he started to sing. Holy carp! I didn't like it at all.

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    1. I didn't think he was so bad, but the arrangement made it almost like him singing karaoke...

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  7. Well, LC, I didn't listen to a single one of these songs - especially Todd Rugrat's original recording - and I have no intention of listening to any of them (ESPECIALLY Rugrat's original)!

    But (I'm sure you'll be happy to learn)... that will not prevent me from casting a vote.

    Although I've never heard their version, I am voting for THE NEW SEEKERS, just because I like their name the best, and because THE NEW SEEKERS never appeared on 'American Isuck'... I mean, "Idol". And because when it became popular to change the color of one's hair, Todd made himself look like a skunk. [Wanna bet whether or not he has any tattoos?] while THE NEW SEEKERS remained grey, or bald, or whatever they are (hopefully no worse than dead).

    I now invite you to go back to FAE'S 'BOTB' blog bit and see how I voted there. (I hope she takes my second vote to heart.)

    Aside from the music, watch your Email InBox, as I will be sending you news about a job opening that might interest you.

    [Yes, despite the jocularity and my attempt to get your goat (and rape the hairy animal), in all seriousness, I think I might have info that mayhaps will interest you.]

    Todd Rugrat - entirely too girlie to play 'flag football' with my friends and me. (Although he plays a mean Carole Klein piano! Don't bruise his girlie fingers.)
    [:-)}

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Wow...someone needs to get more sleep...


      While Todd did do silly things with his hair, he recorded this song way back in 1972 when his hair was mono-colored...and the New Seekers were not yet bald or grey.

      That should count for something.

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    2. And check out my comment at FAE's post where I give you a shout out...

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  8. The New Seekers sounded really good; at least as good as Todd.

    But Hal Ketchum gets my vote. Dang, can he hold a note.

    .......dhole

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    1. I guess after more than forty years of listening to Todd's version,I have a bias....

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  9. Sorry I missed this one. At the time I was miserably sick and my computer was acting up so much that I had difficulty accessing this many videos.

    Todd wins for me of course.

    I will give an honorable mention to Lori Carson. Her voice and style reminds me so much of Leslie Phillips before she inexplicably changed her name to Sam Phillips. This sounds like a cut that could have come from "The Turning" album.

    Love this song by Todd.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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