Driving Home For Christmas

December 19, 2010 11:17 AM

Quick and dirty cover of Chris Rea's gruffly charming classic. Hope Chris doesn't mind me breaking in and rearranging the furniture a little. Merry Christmas everyone!!

posted by MajorDundee (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Looking at what else is going on at the moment on MeFiMu I appear inadvertently to have omitted a word from the title. It should of course read "Driving Goat Home For Christmas". Apologies for any confusion arising from that.
posted by MajorDundee at 11:53 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Major, you beaut!

Hats are tipped and off!
posted by Zenabi at 12:24 PM on December 19, 2010

of course no-one's driving anywhere in good old Blighty at the mo. nice work, Major. love the bells. and really like the vocal. i know you're often a bit 'meh' about your singing, but there's no need to be.

i must, however register my slight disappointment at the absence of a solo...:-)
posted by peterkins at 3:58 PM on December 19, 2010

I've always like Chris Rea, if only because he was proof that (at the time) fat ugly old guys could still make it in the music biz. This is a realy nice cover of a good song. I particularly like the little tele rhythm parts, and the way the beat turns around into that kind of offbeat section.

And yeah, this is right in the sweet spot for your voice.
posted by unSane at 8:49 PM on December 19, 2010

Thanks very much to all.

Down the years I've had several people come up to me after gigs etc and say "Do you know you sound just like Chris Rea?". And I'd say something that amounted to "bollocks". So when my kids started harping on that same theme and asked me to do a cover of this I thought "OK, lets puncture that particular myth once and for all". Successfully I think. Sure I have a lowish baritone like a bear with a sore ass, but that as far as the similarity between Mr Rea and myself goes. That and the fact that he's written some great songs (e.g. "Fool If You Think It's Over"). The comparison exists simply because there aren't that many lowish growly baritones around these days.

Anyhow, I started trying to do a really straight cover but soon realised that that was going to be incredibly boring (and time-consuming) so I just started fucking around with the rhythm and general arrangement. It's not all that successful, although I do like the hooky/versey bits - there's a nice floatyness there. The reggae bridge bits don't really work at all. But.......hey ho, there ya go. No solo because I set myself a time limit to knock this out (an afternoon + early evening) and ran out of time and enthusiasm (fwiw I was going to bung one in the intro and another in the middle somewhere).
posted by MajorDundee at 6:35 AM on December 20, 2010

The reggae chops what what I meant -- I love the way it turns around into those.
posted by unSane at 6:39 AM on December 20, 2010

Boo Yaa, Major! It's funny how you feel about the reggae bridges, cuz I love 'em too along with unSane. You know, beauty in the eye of the beholder. They are kind of unexpected, but very pleasantly so and they highlight the the sweet bass bump that goes on throughout.
posted by snsranch at 3:50 PM on December 20, 2010

Nice; it's even got me grooving along merrily, and that's saying something. Actually, I've been dreaming of that guitar rhythm (the one on the left) for weeks. No lie. I can't escape it.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:06 PM on December 20, 2010

Yeah, the Tele rhythm part on the left is the unsong hero of this arrangement.

I went back and listened to the Chris Rea version and he totally does the cod-reggae thing throughout, doesn't he? It sounds like a freakin' Bontempi. Your rhythm parts are MUCH better than his.

You have a couple of really nice understated tiny drum fills in there too.
posted by unSane at 6:19 PM on December 20, 2010


although unsong is a great idea for a challenge

posted by unSane at 6:20 PM on December 20, 2010

Thanks again friends! I guess I was trying to get a sort of looser, blue-eyed soul kind of groove going with those guitar rhythms. The one on the left is really quite random and all played in one take - just trying to get into that groovy zone (as it were) and it's anchored by another Tele in the right channel that just chops out a straight rhythm. They swap over about two-thirds of the way through because when I was doing the straight chops (which were all I was going to do to start with) I got bored playing that and started messing about, liked how it sounded and thought "Oh, must do that from the get-go". Hence the twin Tele rhythm parts. Actually that's a good example of why I love making these demos - you never quite know what direction something's going to go in. I find that endlessly fascinating and intriguing - like pouring oil on water and watching the patterns evolve and change.

I'm still not keen on that reggae stuff - it's too much of a sudden departure to my ears (and because of the Tele it sounds a bit too Police-esque for comfort). BUt, hey, if some of you like it - that's just great!

Finally - unSane's "Unsong" challenge is an absolute must do. A bit like Alice in Wonderland - you know, the "unbirthday"? The challenge would be, I'd surmise, to do a song that is totally out of your normal shtick or comfort zone? Like me doing some death punk industrial noize-metal, or whatever (is that a genre??? It is now!). Or it could be chopping up two or three songs and stitching them together - a sort of "Frankentrack"
posted by MajorDundee at 1:48 AM on December 21, 2010

although unsong is a great idea for a challenge

Just check out any gyrophonia or pasty anglophiles track for plenty of examples of unsongs. It's practically all we do!
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 2:37 AM on December 21, 2010

Clearly then, for you the challenge is un-unsong.
posted by unSane at 4:20 AM on December 21, 2010

If I'm really, really quick (and really, really drunk) I might do a remix of this track as if Captain Beefheart was in the chair with George Orwell engineering and call it "Driving Goat Home For Christmas". I guess that would definitely be an unsong. It may of course just be unspeakable. LOOM - I may need your expertise me old matey, together with that of your Gyrophonia colleagues, in realising this inspired scheme - how's about it?? If anyone else wants to take a shot at totally fucking up this track in the cause of unsong - be my guest. I can provide the multitrack via YouSendItUp.
posted by MajorDundee at 6:16 AM on December 21, 2010

Do it
posted by unSane at 7:01 AM on December 21, 2010

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