After Over 40 Years, I Want You Back!

Lake Street Dive recently covered the Jackson Five’s debut major label single “I Want You Back”.   The J5 released it in 1969, and it went to the top of the singles chart in January 1970.  Lake Street Dive has been getting buzz from an eclectic set of directions including reviews in the Wall Street Journal, an appearance on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” and sets at SXSW.  Fronted by jazz singer Rachael Price, their sound is as eclectic as their buzz.

Enjoy the laid back Lake Street Dive cover and the historic original.

Of course, Lake Street Dive isn’t the first band to cover this song. Here are some other great renditions from KT Tunstall (showing that she can use the live loop), and Graham Parker knocking it out old-style with The Rumour in 1979.

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A Host of Space Oddities

Apparently astronauts aboard the International Space Station are given a bit of time to relax and pursue their hobbies.  Canadian ISS Commander Chris Hadfield used some of his to create this rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, complete with appropriately modified lyrics.   In case you’re not one of the 16 million people who have already seen this – enjoy.  By the way, YouTube is home to other videos by Hadfield with interesting and amusing glimpses into life on the ISS.

The first minute of dancer Franky Manzo’s video for “MJ’s Coursing” might be the only other use of space station footage in a music video. The rest of the video is, shall we say, more earthy.

Bowie originally wrote “Space Oddity” for “Love You Till Tuesday” – a film intended to introduce the once little-known British artist.  Below is a clip with the film version of the song. At about the two minute mark this clip features girls floating in outer space some 40 years before Franky.

We’ll end with the well known version of “Space Oddity”, Bowie’s first commercial hit.  It was originally released in 1969 around the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Looks like “tin can” might have been a metaphor for Bowie’s recording studio.

RIP Mack Emmerman, Founder of Criteria Recording Studios

Fascinating obits ran recently, noting the passing on May 17th of Mack Emmerman, founder of Criteria Recording Studios in North Miami, Florida. The story of Criteria is not too different from the story of Sound City in Los Angeles, which was richly chronicled by Dave Grohl in his recent documentary (see our earlier post Dave Grohl’s “Sound City”), though Criteria was arguably even more successful.

Opened in 1959, Criteria’s history of landmark recordings includes The Allman Brothers’ “Eat A Peach” as well as Eric Clapton’s “Layla”, which featured the iconic slide guitar work of none other than Duane Allman.

Savor these tracks from Criteria’s catalog.

Criteria was purchased by New York’s Hit Factory in 1999 and continued to put out big albums including Michael Jackson’s last studio recording “Invincible”.  While the Hit Factory’s original New York location closed in 2005, the Miami facility lives on to this day, apparently a favorite of many rap and hip-hop acts.

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