Monday, January 15, 2018

Take My Money, My Cigarettes

Talking Heads : Take Me to the River (live)

In January of  1978, on a European tour, Talking Heads continued to play a concert favorite, their cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River", a version that greatly resembled what would be their first big hit, a US#26 single recorded for 1978's More Songs About Buildings and Food

Theirs wasn't the only version floating around in 1978, as singer David Byrne noted in the liner notes of Once In A Lifetime : The Best of Talking Heads:

"Coincidence or conspiracy? There were at least four cover versions of this song out at the same time: Foghat, Bryan Ferry, Levon Helm, and us. More money for Mr Green's full gospel tabernacle church, I suppose. A song that combines teenage lust with baptism. Not equates, you understand, but throws them in the same stew, at least. A potent blend. All praise the mighty spurtin' Jesus."

Levon Helm recorded "Take Me to the River" on a 1978 solo album he made with The Swampers at Muscle Shoals Sound studio in Sheffield Alabama. Lots of good horns here.

Bryan Ferry recorded "Take Me To The River" on 1978's heartbroken The Bride Stripped Bare, an album with sales so much less than expected Ferry reunited Roxy Music.

Hard rocking Foghat actually beat everybody to the punch, recording "Take Me to the River" for their 1976 album Night Shift.

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