Generally I don’t like blogs of the “hey look at this wacky thing I found on youtube” format. But I’ve found a doozy of a wacky thing on youtube, and I really can’t contain my enthusiasm. It’s actually not a wacky thing. It’s a series of things which are wacky in and of themselves, but also form into a might Voltron of true absurdity. But how about I show instead of tell.
Perhaps you’ve heard the song “Because The Night.” Bruce Springsteen wrote it in the late 70s, and gave it to Patti Smith, who released it as a singe in 1978 with slight modifications. Both perform it, and they put very personal touches on it: Bruce turns it into a defiant rock anthem, Patti makes it slinkier, more about sex than anger. But anyway, it’s really good both ways:
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DDrO6ij5Zs”]
I know that that’s pretty long, so sorry. But I promise the solos about 5 minutes in are totally worth it. Watch watch watch. And here’s Patti Smith:
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0brHGJ6xqbk”]
I thought that was the final word on “Because The Night.” Then about a year ago, I found this, a fairly recent cover by a Dutch DJ who trades under the name Jan Wayne (he announces himself in the best way possible about 50 seconds in). This video is almost a pitch-perfect parody of House music and culture (look at how angrily they dance!), made all the better because this is a Springsteen song.
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-XEUfGguNM’]
At first I figured this was a one-off episode, but a colleague of mine stumbled across this, another version by German techno-pop sensation, Cascada:
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1uWeAjhczg”]
What’s weird is how well the song works in this context – it actually sounds like it was written as a dance track. Or maybe I’ve just listened to it in disbelief so many times that my ears have adapted and it sounds fine now (I call this the Fergie Effect). Anyway, having done some archaeology (or is it genealogy?) I think I discovered the antecedent of all these – a version from the early 90s by Hi-NRG production team CoRo and Italian chanteuse Talessa:
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nagp_XxYYJc”]
Yup. Now, lest we Americans feel too good about ourselves, there’s also a pretty insane version by third-string hair metal band (oddly enough, the guitar solos here are substantially less bitchin’ than those in the original):
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXC34joX0Nc”]
Ok, is it just me, or does this song take every genre to its logical extent? Just as Jan Wayne is the House-est thing I’ve ever heard, this video contains absolutely everything people make fun of about 80s metal. Now I promised seven versions of this song, so here’s the last. It’s by 10,000 Maniacs:
[youtube src= “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H14R4ZsMM0E”]
Ok, I tried to come up with an Integrated Theory of “Because The Night,” but I have absolutely no idea what to say about this. I feel like I’ve descended into a Lovercraft-ian nightmare realm where effect is divested from cause and the human mind destroys itself rather than face the gaping irrationality of being. Or maybe it’s finals week. Anyway, hope you enjoyed those.