Paul McCartney Is Being Very Charitable To Duffy

Sep 22nd, 2008 // 11 Comments

Come November, the UK charity War Child will release a new all-covers album, Heroes, as a way to raise funds for its efforts to protect children in conflict-ravaged areas around the globe. So far, the tracklisting is as such: Duffy covering “Live & Let Die”; Hot Chip re-recording Joy Division’s “Transmission”; Beck taking on Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”; the Kooks doing whatever it is they do to the Kinks’ “Victoria”; and Rufus Wainwright constructing a medley from two songs off Brian Wilson’s Smile. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Wainwright track is the one that piques my interest most; while Paul McCartney said that Duffy’s version of the Wings track was “great–I was really impressed,” I’m a bit, shall we say, skeptical. I get that she’s cute and can rock a romper onstage, but how much longer must we all suffer through this “next Dusty” charade? (And who picked her to be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this week, anyway? Is this season’s musical theme “artists who don’t sound that great live, but it’s OK because our crummy sound tech prevents even the best bands from sounding any good at all, ever?”) [Billboard]

  1. Lax Danja House

    Is covering Joy Division songs the new covering Britney songs? Except with less (intentional) irony.

  2. Chris Molanphy

    I like Duffy, but even I can’t picture how her “Live and Let Die” would improve on either Macca’s or Guns’. Sounds misbegotten to me.

    Over the summer on FNMTV, I thought she sounded wobbly but not, like, off-key or anything. I dunno, her whole high-register sound isn’t well-suited to live performance, anyway. Everything I like about Rockferry has nothing to do with the purity or soulfulness of her voice – she’s shrill and brassy, which is kind of the point.

  3. Thierry

    @metalkate: FYI, if you hate Duffy, you won’t like hearing this, but the McAlmont-and-Butler combo that was the highlight of Rockferry also features prominently on the (excellent) opening track of Spiteri’s album, “It Was You”:

    I’m not sure why her band never caught on here, but this is as good an excuse as any to post my favourite Texas song (also the best Supremes song the Supremes never recorded):

  4. Thierry

    @MrStarhead: I remember that Arctic Monkeys appearance being particularly awful…

  5. wakeupbomb

    @MrStarhead: Dude, did you just say Andrew W.K. was one of the “next big things” from the U.K.? Do you know what the “U.K.” is? Andrew W.K. is from California. Just sayin. Also, Kylie is Australian, and the Scissor Sisters are American too.

    I think I get what you were saying, but be more clear because you said they were “from the U.K.” and not the “next big thing IN the U.K.”

  6. metalkate

    duffy sucks balls. nothing about her voice or music makes me want to listen for more than five seconds.

    sharleen spiteri does ‘next dusty’ a lot more convincingly, but apparently she’s like forty and has been in UK music for like 20 yrs, which i guess makes her less appealing for retarded media buzz. i just happened to catch her looking cute (and young!) on graham norton and thought she was some hot new thing.

    [www.myspace.com]

    here’s the graham norton appearance

  7. Handsome Pete

    Covering Joy Division had already been overdone by the time Moby got to it.

  8. MrStarhead

    Yeah, I wonder if they’re letting Don Pardo run sound for the musical performances.

    Unfortunately, Maura, having Duffy on SNL is well within their recent trends; they’ve been suckers for the next big thing from the UK for at least 10 years, going back to the time All Saints were the musical guest. Or don’t you remember David Gray in 2000, Kylie Minogue and Andrew W.K. in 2002, Ms. Dynamite in 2003, Scissor Sisters in 2004, Keane and James Blunt in 2005, Arctic Monkeys and Corinne Bailey Rae in ’06, or Lily Allen and Snow Patrol in ’07?

  9. westartedthis

    all of these sound misbegotten, but the Kooks doing “Victoria” is just idiotic. there are a million great Kinks songs that haven’t already been covered a million times.

  10. MrStarhead

    I meant artists that were hyped by the British press and had success on the British charts, without comparable success among Americans.

  11. MrStarhead

    And actually, Andrew W.K.’s from Michigan.

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