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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jeane 5 ways for Wednesday


Jeane The Smiths Troy Tate Sessions, 1983 - the original.

Jeane The Smiths Hand in Glove (Sandie Shaw version), 1984 - Sandie Shaw, a great pop singer of the 1960s whom Morrissey and Marr idolized, makes a guest apperance on this track. You can hear Morrissey doing awesome, howling, back up vocals.

Jeanne Billy Bragg The Peel Sessions, 1991, or earlier as this is a collection of performances up to that date - fast paced, straining on the high notes, but for Bragg it's surprisingly in tune. This is my favorite version, although I hated it at first listen.

Jeane Billy Bragg Reaching To The Converted, 1999 - a slow, out-of-tune-starting version. Classic Bragg, he made this song his own, all full of angst, strongly accented with his Cockney inflection. Bragg says,
The Smiths cast a long shadow over this compilation, either in the person of Johnny Marr or in the influence on my songwriting. I felt they were my comrades in a struggle to bring the focus of songwriting away from production and videos and back to good tunes and great lyrics. They stopped playing this song so I picked it up and looked after it for a while.
Jeane Billy Bragg - unknown source
As far as I can make out, this track came from the great blog, This Recording, but I can't find any tag information for it. Do any of you know? It's labeled as track 18 but that didn't help me at all. Maybe it will you. Of course it doesn't help that I've found the title spelled as both "Jeane" and "Jeanne." It sounds like an older Billy rather than a younger one, so I'm guessing it's a late 1990s or early 2000s recording. It's in a lower key, with less angst, and more resignation to the delivery. Bragg's songs become less regional sounding as he ages, and yet still he gives us a gorgeous tune.

Nope, no hidden meaning in the lyrics of this one for me. I just loved playing around with the different versions this evening and seeing how Bragg, a favorite artist of mine, took something and gradually molded it to his own style.

buy The Troy Tate Sessions... well, keep checking here, you might find one!


buy Billy Bragg from his website!

5 comments:

Rol said...

One of my favourite Smiths songs (and I love Billy's version too). Can't believe it's never made its way onto a reissue CD.

FiL said...

What a wonderful roundup! I always need to manfully hold myself together when I hear this ditty - "We tried and we failed" gets the tear ducts all worked up...

P.S. Word verification is "xemwucy," which sounds like it should be an adjective. But what does it mean??

"Darling, better put the cat out, he's looking all xemwucy..."

a Tart said...

Rol, I can't believe the Smiths stopped doing it, or rather I should say, I can't believe Morrissey didn't pick up Billy's version. Maybe it's just me, since I heard that first, but it never sounds right with Morrissey singing it!

Fil, thanks darlin and yes, it's so plaintive, that "we tried" line... sad. Maybe it's that "xemwucy" feeling? xx

JC said...

Billy still playing it....well at least he did when he was in Glasgow earlier this year.

But what he said that night might make your guess of late 90s/early 2000s spot on.

As part of one of his many entertaining rambles, Billy thanked Morrissey for providing funding for the 30th Anniversary gig of 'Rock Against Racism', adding that while it was a great gesture, it still didnt make up for some of the things Morrissey had said about immigration at the time when 'You Are The Quarry' was released.

Billy then added "But at least Morrissey ensuring the Rock against Racism gig gets to go ahead allows me to play this great song again for the first time in years...."

a Tart said...

Ah thanks! I do think I remember hearing him sing it a few months back when he came here too. Hard to believe that 1979 was that long ago isn't it?! xoxo