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The Last Shadow Puppets’ version of “In the Heat of the Morning”

I posted a cover of “Moonage Daydream” by this band as the cover of the week yesterday. In the course of reading about the band, I saw that their first single was a 2008 cover of this obscure Bowie song from 1967. I’m not fond of Bowie’s original Actually, there’s an original studio recording by Bowie and a slightly different, even older demo, but to be clear, I don’t like either. Why don’t I like Bowie’s version(s) of his own song? Most of what he did in the late 60s sound to me like Bowie was trying to imitate what he thought was hip at the time and in the process turned out derivative songs with weak melodies and often childish lyrics. In this case the lyrics are not childish per se, but they are simple and largely lacking of the double-meanings, false leads and obtuse evocations of most of Bowie’s great songs. Bowie was 20 in 1967, so what do you want?

All that said, The Last Shadow Puppets makes a song out of it! I surely like this version better than Bowie’s. The changes are minute. I don’t know enough about music to really describe what makes this cover different than the original, but in my inexpert listening, it just sounds more…together. At the end of the day, what draws me to Bowie is that I like the sound, and even though he was amazingly, consistently good, there’s some stuff he put out that I don’t like because of the way it sounds. I like the way this sounds, so I thought it was worth posting.

Bowie apparently liked this cover, too. Bowie chronicler Nicholas Pegg reports that he described it as “a delight.” I agree.

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