The original "The Love You Save" by the Jackson 5 is one of my favorite songs ever. It makes me so damned happy. Its lyrics are simultaneously both inane and deep (well deep for a very young MJ, anyhow) and its rhythm and pacing are invigorating. The urgency in Michael's voice is palpable. God, they were a great pop outlet. [Insert requisite "too bad Mike's completely twisted now" comment here.]
Why Madder Rose had to come along and mope up this already perfect song is beyond me. I wanted to like their version, and perhaps convinced myself I did for a while back in 1994 when I bought this single, but now it seems significantly more bland than it did then. Maybe if the vocals were softer, as if Ida were covering it, I'd endorse it with more fervor. Or maybe if the singer didn't sound just so damned bored. When it's on, I find myself sighing exasperatedly and doing that "speed the fuck up already" hand motion in the direction of my speakers. I mean, nothing's more annoying than ennui for ennui's sake.
All of that said, I have a few friends who absolutely love this version and think it's sweet and poppy and, I suspect, would definitely use it as part of the soundtrack to the movie of their lives. You know the finally-about-to-make-out-with-the-dreamboy-she's-been-chasing-the-whole-movie scene? Yeah. Right there.
I want to be able to tell you all about the strange phenomenon of James Last and his cover-mad orchestra, but I'm exhausted and must go to bed. Check out this great little bio over at Space Age Pop, and definitely scroll down and click the link you find there to his official site, on which he refers to himself as "The Gentleman of Music." Weird. I thought that was R. Kelly.
This cover is full of life, but the necessity for it escapes me. And the idea that fans clamor for it? Mind-boggling.
Still, I like the horns. And picturing middle-aged swingers decked out in rhinestone-encrusted gowns or polyester leisure suits ballroom dancing to it while drinking champagne spritzers and laughing dramatically as if they're having the best time in the world.
I have many scary visions in my head.