Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
# 10:18:00 AM:

Finding the song

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The Ataris have a big hit with their cover of Don Henley's 1985 big hit "Boys of Summer."

The new version is ruthlessly faithful to the original. Sure, the guitars are cranked up and the drums are washy pop-punk instead of programmed '80s clack-thwock, but the arrangement follows Henley's precisely, right down to the echo on "Remember how I made you crazy (crazy) (crazy)..." So it's fun to hear, but no revelation to those of us who watched music videos 20 years ago.

One revelation is the song itself: the words, melody, and chord changes. Cover versions often make you hear a familiar song again, and realize whether it's actually any good. And "Boys of Summer" is a fantastic song.

I could almost forgive Henley for all the dreck the Eagles put out in the '70s.


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