June 11, 2012

Two Little Singers

For tonight's Musical Mondays selection, I would like to offer a twofer--a song done by two different people, one Awesome and one Stupendously Awesome.

For the Stupendous, let me present the original: the incomparable Freddie Mercury and Queen, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

(Well, crap. I was going to embed it, but apparently someone's gone all copyright-paranoid at YouTube and the various iterations of the video are unavailable. However, here's a link to a Queen performance on Saturday Night Live in 1982. This is a terrific performance, and Freddie...sigh. Miss you, man.)

Now, for the Awesomeness, here's country warbler Dwight Yoakam with his version of the song. For those country-western haters among you, don't automatically turn screaming and run--Dwight has a wide streak of 50's rockabilly, and this song fits him like a glove. (Except that he can't exploit the "Ready Freddie" quip in the original.)

This is a live version shot at Orlando, Florida's Hard Rock Cafe, which I settled on because frankly, the CMT video sucked. Sorry, Dwight. I usually don't get embarrassed at videos, but this one is half-assed to say the least; the sight of blue-jeaned and hatted country line dancers gyrating behind a lip-syncing Dwight didn't do it for me at all. Also, this live video has a great slap bass.

This isn't to say that Dwight does the song better than Freddie, although he does it pretty darned good...the arrangement is almost identical to Queen's, but Dwight makes the song thoroughly his own, just as Freddie did. In this case, the greatness is very much in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.

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