Fool for You

OK, by popular demand, I am posting a cover this week: my version of “Fool for You“, by Chicago’s own Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions. I whipped this up in October of last year in advance of the wedding of our friends Jocelyn and Erik, who were kind enough to fly Baby Teeth out to San Francisco just so we could be their wedding band. They wanted something for their wedding mix, and this was my contribution.

Just about every musician I know in this town is a big Curtis fan, and I’m no exception. I’ve been obsessed with this song in particular for years. First of all, there’s that bizarre 9/8 time signature, which is absolutely relentless. Second, there’s the desperately persistent horn figure, which I couldn’t really replicate in my cover because MIDI horns tend to sound fairly wack. I opted instead for a Spinners-style soul-strings line (since MIDI strings sound ever-so-slightly better). And third, there’s that killer opening lyric, full of disarming — yet menacing — straight talk: “Never liked nobody / That’s been mean to me.” Who is this person? A man-child who can’t process the complexities of the world, or an outlaw about to blow your head off? (Not that those two archetypes are mutually exclusive…. far from it.) Then, the next line reveals the wrinkle: “I got a heart full of stone / And I can’t take the misery.” Ah: it’s someone who’s spent their whole life avoiding heartbreak via the sheer strength of their rationality… until now. Someone finally punctured the shell, and now all hell is breaking loose. I could go on and on about this song, but music criticism is a highly controversial profession, and the Internet is hardly a forum for controversy of any kind. So I’ll leave it at this: it’s a BRILLIANT recording that everyone should own!

That said, the one thing that always bothered me about the song was its tempo, which struck me as too fast. Why let an epic tale like this one languish in midtempo limbo, when everything about the song calls for it to be a ballad? Covering it gave me the chance to make this case, aided on the chorus by a string motif nicked from my favorite slow jam of 1988, “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS. I drowned the vocals and keys in reverb and wah-wah effects because… computers are fun!

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Comments
5 Responses to “Fool for You”
  1. The Bubble King says:

    I woul’ say dat I listen’ to dis song and it pretty goo’ or wha’ever!

  2. Abraham says:

    thank you; you are a kind king.

  3. I woul’ ha’ to agree weeth Bobble Keeng, dees eez a faorly tyee’ rendeeshon ov’ dees song.

  4. Abraham says:

    pancake master: excellent. I have to say, you and bubble king are truly two peas in a pod. I hope you get to meet each other someday.

  5. I tried to post some picture but it didn’t work, YOOPS!

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