Saturday, December 08, 2007

Would it be a sin . . .

Truly late night music club...

Certain melodies sound timeless: classical, pop, doesn't matter. How many of you felt, when you heard "With or Without You" by U2, that you had heard it before . . .it somehow reminded you of something.

What it reminded you of is a classic melody, reworked enough to be different, yet standing on its own as a unique, wonderful song.

Another such melody is "Can't Help Falling In Love", first recorded by some guy named Elvis:
"Can't Help Falling in Love," by George Weiss, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, is a pop song based on "Plaisir d'amour" by Jean Paul Egide Martini. It was rewritten for the 1961 film Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis Presley.

I won't bother posting any videos of Elvis singing it. Like all of his repertoire, toward the end he did it too fast and jivey. But several other artists covered the song, including some unlikely ones.

Pearl Jam recorded the song for a fan club CD, and played it live often. Here's a live recording of them respectfully covering "Can't Help Falling in Love":



Here's the original version, not a real video, but still...:



And for those who want the most beautiful recording of the precursor, "Plasir d'amour", here's the great Greek singer Nana Mouskouri lip-synching to her timeless version of the song from her 1976 "Passport" album. Melody is the most important part of music to me. Oh, and this song is from the afore-mentioned Martini's opera "Annette et Lubin", written in 1789:



And just for fun, here's my friend Liona Boyd playing a version of "Plasir..." on the "Super Dave Osborne" show . . . why, I'm not sure: