Standards Polls of 2021 #1: Best "Cry Me a River"

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

let's settle this

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Julie London 11
Ella 1
Lesley Gore 1
Joe Cocker 1
Archie Shepp Quartet 0
The Singers Unlimited 0
Aaron Neville 0
Candy Sylver 0
Sylvester 0
Crystal Gayle 0
Barbra 0
Aerosmith 0


J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:53 (one month ago) link

Julie London

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCGNYJOrebA

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:53 (one month ago) link

there's several barbra takes to choose from ("a happening in central park" is highly regarded) but I favor the television appearances

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O71Xb3ivjzI

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:55 (one month ago) link

Lesley Gore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6grqqVQylA

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:56 (one month ago) link

Crystal Gayle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-I_kJiZU-s

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:57 (one month ago) link

Sylvester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W8Eayem3gM

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:58 (one month ago) link

Candy Sylver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iz63ufoJlw

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:58 (one month ago) link

Aaron Neville

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7oAKH3oxG8

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 00:58 (one month ago) link

Joe Cocker

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRDe0PIPqj0

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:00 (one month ago) link

The Singers Unlimited

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I83q8WnrGyQ

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:00 (one month ago) link

Archie Shepp Quartet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1j8ufaOfNI

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:01 (one month ago) link

Aerosmith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkKVmWEyOuM

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:02 (one month ago) link

Trivia:

“Cry Me a River” is track 1 on Julie London’s first album
“Cry Me a River” is track 1 on Barbra Streisand’s first album

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:10 (one month ago) link

I love this tune even though the "plebeian / through with me, and" rhyme is exactly what I do not dig. (I have friends who love it.) Barbra's is for me the one to beat, like most singers she walks it all the way downtown by the end but the tune is receptive to subtler approaches, see Lesley Gore's frankly incredible version or Aaron Neville's, which does get intense but in a sort of middle range. (Neville says he sang this for a small label that never paid him -- which means this is probably just some house engineers setting up the mics, but it's an impossibly great recording.) Crystal Gayle's perfect pitch & range make this a natural for her but things get interesting when Sylvester and Candy Sylver weigh in. Hyper-cheese vocal harmony is something I can kinda not get enough of until I do, Singers Unlimited sounds exactly like you'd expect but man those harmonies & extensions -- if you can stomach the severe caucasity it's really nice but "no, man" is also a valid response to this one. Joe Cocker does his thing and if you're in the mood it'll get you but you gotta ask, given the right drugs could our kids not also do that? The Archie Sheep version is more trad than I'd've expected but dude plays HARD. Finally Aerosmith, not yet sober, bring a pretty weird vibe to the proceedings -- Tyler is honestly in rare late-dope-fiend form but the band doesn't sound very inspired, which, given that Joe Perry's gone, is not surprising. (Jimmy's not so bad, though.)

There's a Sammy Davis Jr,. version among many others too but I just didn't.

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:15 (one month ago) link

missing from the wrap-up there are London and Ella, who, alongside Barbra, are probably the defining versions. Ella sounds incredible on this but when does Ella not sound incredible? As a kid I found her scatting cringe-y but kids cringe at anything, Ella's all-time. Meanwhile the original has an arsenic-in-your-gin groove that's unbeatable, and it's not a standard yet so it breathes nicely.

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:19 (one month ago) link

The guitar performance on Julie’s original tips it for me over Barbra’s version but I gotta check out these other versions

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:34 (one month ago) link

yeah that guitar is sweet as hell. Lesley Gore & Sylvester are both super key, Sylvester's is modeled on the Joe Cocker version but Sylvester is singular so it goes beyond.

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:54 (one month ago) link

Cool thread idea!

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 16 September 2021 01:55 (one month ago) link

I have that Candy Sylver 45 (is this her only record?) but I’d only listened to the other side of it till now. Not a bad version, even though I don’t know what those words are she’s singing.

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 02:23 (one month ago) link

Now that I’ve heard them all, I will stick with Julie London’s original. She carries the most resentment in her voice.

Archie Shepp’s is my 2nd fave.

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 02:50 (one month ago) link

thanks upper miss, I suspect there won't be many of us on these but I'm alone in hotels for the next two weeks so why not. it's hard to really know where to begin with "standards" -- vast somewhat nebulous category whose very name dates it but at the same time we still know a standard when we hear it, or even hear its name -- I'm weighing "willow weep for me" vs. "my melancholy baby" for the next one

the crystal gayle one here is really worth it because it's got that pre-80s Nashville vibe where all the musicians are just total fucking badasses 100% in service to the track, the only star is the singer fellas make it fancy but stay out of the way -- listen to how they handle the tempo change in the instrumental bridge, the second one -- just effortless, I bet I know like two bands who'd need less than three rehearsal days to get anywhere near that. but I think Lesley Gore is honestly the biggest surprise to me, it's got that Tommy James seamlessness & power

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:14 (one month ago) link

OTOH Barbra is just so so good

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:15 (one month ago) link

the other thing about these tunes is that in a lot of cases there's gonna be MAJOR players in the running every time -- Billie Holiday, Ella, Sinatra, Babs, etc -- which means that any "here's my from-a-different-angle" contenders are going be going up against something bigger than "a good version of a good tune"

which makes the sylvester version here really resonate, he really takes it to the stars

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:28 (one month ago) link

NB, I am no expert.

I get the Barbra performance as a tour de force performance but I find it completely obnoxious. Ella's version is over the top as well, but feels effortless in comparison.

Of these, I think the Lesley Gore or the Julie London versions are the winners.

Honorable mention to the Candy Sylver version - it's cool and makes me imagine a John Carpenter version on the Escape from New York soundtrack.

Taliban! (PBKR), Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:39 (one month ago) link

Needs an other option, Mari Wilson and Michael Buble both had UK top 30 hits with it. Voting for Julie of course.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:57 (one month ago) link

I was just investigating the question "Who was Candy Sylver?" and it turns out she's Évelyne Courtois, who in the '60s was the popular French yé-yé singer known as Pussy Cat.

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 13:04 (one month ago) link

I like how Archie Shepp's horn sounds like a bitter drunk really unleashing on someone

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 13:09 (one month ago) link

yeah it really SOMETHING. just constantly erupting

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 13:12 (one month ago) link

but I keep coming back to Aaron Neville. an incredible performance

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 16 September 2021 13:12 (one month ago) link

I love Ella as much as just about any vocalist ever, but when her version begins with the melisma I'm thinking "that's not really what this song needs," and when the arrangement gets swingy about three minutes in that feeling is confirmed for me. Sorry, Ella.

When I first encountered Julie London I regarded her as kitsch, based partly on her sex kitten album covers and partly on her versions of songs like "Yummy Yummy Yummy," that put her performances on a level with Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." I've come to the opinion that she really is a remarkable singer, subdued but not (usually) deadpan, never showboating and always in tune with her backing arrangements. As noted above, the guitar by Barney Kessel on her version is sublime.

Looking forward to checking out the rest of these.

Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 16 September 2021 13:55 (one month ago) link

Julie London.

I have long loved this version too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnFO6CzlRBc

stirmonster, Thursday, 16 September 2021 14:04 (one month ago) link

it's fun hearing all these

Julie London's cool tone and phrasing match the fuck-you vibe of the lyrics so well I have to stick with her, though Lesley Gore comes close

some interpretations have the singers crying more than mocking, which doesn't work for me

if Julie London is over her used-to-be, Ray Charles is still pissed off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h5psTSgSXk

Brad C., Thursday, 16 September 2021 17:40 (one month ago) link

First version I heard was a Ray Charles knock-off, I guess. May still vote for it though.

What Does Blecch Mean to Me? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 16 September 2021 18:52 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 19 September 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

Voted Julie London. Would be interested in a “Willow Weep For Me” poll - Dexter Gordon does it on his album Our Man In Paris, with Bud Powell on piano and Kenny Clarke on drums, and it’s one of the tracks that got me into him.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 19 September 2021 01:52 (one month ago) link

Voted Julie London. Would be interested in a “Willow Weep For Me” poll - Dexter Gordon does it on his album Our Man In Paris, with Bud Powell on piano and Kenny Clarke on drums, and it’s one of the tracks that got me into him.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 19 September 2021 01:53 (one month ago) link

Apologies for double posting.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 19 September 2021 01:53 (one month ago) link

There's also this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snlccdZpXmw

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 19 September 2021 03:50 (one month ago) link

I would have voted for Archie Shepp if it stayed instrumental. As it is, I voted for Julie London like it seems most of us have. Was nice to hear all these versions - Neville was a pleasant surprise.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Sunday, 19 September 2021 04:02 (one month ago) link

Voted Julie London. Would be interested in a “Willow Weep For Me” poll - Dexter Gordon does it on his album Our Man In Paris, with Bud Powell on piano and Kenny Clarke on drums, and it’s one of the tracks that got me into him.

This is not a bad idea and that is indeed a great version. Pierre Michelot on bass iirc.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 19 September 2021 11:21 (one month ago) link

Seems to me I remember something like that was actually done before? No, not quite, another track on that same album.
Standards Scrutiny: A Night In Tunisia

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 19 September 2021 11:27 (one month ago) link

I can't see where to click for Justin Timberlake so I guess I'll choose Julie London

Nabozo, Sunday, 19 September 2021 11:36 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 20 September 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

Wow, that's decisive.

I started this thread for versions of "These Foolish Things" once but didn't poll them. People were mostly interested in talking about Bryan Ferry: ITT: Versions of "These Foolish Things"

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Monday, 20 September 2021 00:03 (one month ago) link

Wonder who else besides Josefa and myself will remember Julie London and her (second) husband Bobby Troup, composer of “Route 66,” in the cast of the television show Emergency!.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 00:11 (one month ago) link

Well you’ve excluded me but I would like to say, yes I remember, and in fact Emergency! was one of my first favorite TV shows. That and Adam-12. I used to get so excited watching the opening moments of Emergency!, hoping it was gonna be some kind of major disaster the Emergency paramedics would have to deal with, preferably involving a fire.

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 00:26 (one month ago) link

Right, that and Adam-12 came as a pair, did they take place in the same universe? They both had titles with interesting punctuation.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 00:39 (one month ago) link

Both produced by Julie London’s first husband, Jack Webb.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 00:41 (one month ago) link

But I would also like to add a stray thought I had which may or may not be relevant. “Cry Me a River” appeared in 1955, which is pretty late in the game for an American standard (the Great American Songbook more or less ends in the 1940s). I can only think of “Misty,” which appeared in vocal form in 1959, as a later standard of similar ilk. When anyone *but* Julie London is singing it they are singing it with the awareness that they are singing a classic or a standard. Therefore they sing it with some degree of self-consciousness. Julie London sang it without that awareness, as just another song, which is perhaps why her version feels more real and less removed or affected.

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 00:41 (one month ago) link

Good point.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 00:52 (one month ago) link

And yeah, Adam-12, Emergency!, and Dragnet: all Jack Webb productions and all about giving good PR to the LAPD and LAFD

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 01:01 (one month ago) link

I kind of figured but had to double check that Barney Kessel played on the Julie London version of the song. Had long forgotten she sang it in The Girl Can’t Help It.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 01:12 (one month ago) link

Here, following the title song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WURyUKNt9Ac

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 01:50 (one month ago) link

Or just go here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N1NDNy61L4

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 01:50 (one month ago) link

Also forgot about Tom Ewell in one of his Too Pooped to Pop roles. Wonder how many of those he did.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 01:52 (one month ago) link

Was just listening to this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToiHWeGIa88

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Monday, 20 September 2021 01:59 (one month ago) link

Tom Ewell did have a habit of winding up home alone with 1950s bombshells, not sure what his deal was

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 02:07 (one month ago) link

And then home alone with Robert Blake’s parrot on Baretta! How much do you remember about the original in incarnation of that show?

Was reminded of the existence of that Richard Thompson album by its being posted on the other thread but never actually listened to it. No time like the present.

Guess Barney Kessel was mentioned already upthread and on yet another thread recently. See also his work with Billie Holiday. The band is particularly good on the Body and Soul album.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:13 (one month ago) link

Ha, recent versions of that album have some false starts of “Comes Love,” one of which prompts the words “Jesus, Barney!”

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:15 (one month ago) link

Wonder if we keep doing this we will get to the standard first song by Jane Birkin’s mother, but maybe it’s not popular enough.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:20 (one month ago) link

Re; Baretta I remember the parrot and Robert Blake’s t-shirt. I’m sure I watched the show but it’s buried deep in my subconscious… I don’t think it’s been widely rerun, at least not lately

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 02:21 (one month ago) link

I also brought that other song up here:
Lets post about JAZZ STANDARDS

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:24 (one month ago) link

One fun thing about reviewing these tunes in this context is to have an excuse to listen to great singers- along with some other singers I guess - and see what they do with them. I know there are two schools of thought for instrumentalists: some say it is important to listen to singers and learn the lyrics or at least a subset of them in order to get the proper phrasing whilst others say “you mean that song has words?!”

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:30 (one month ago) link

Yes. I know a certain music teacher who is brilliant as an instrumentalist but whenever I try to talk about the meaning behind the lyric of a song, or the emotional intention of the vocalist, he falls silent or says “I never listen to lyrics”

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 02:43 (one month ago) link

Found a thread about that topic on another borad, don’t know if I should link it.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:55 (one month ago) link

Sorry, meant to say “That tune has words!?”

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 02:57 (one month ago) link

Anyway, would be happy to participate in further iterations and may start some myself if inspired.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 17:21 (one month ago) link

Also just relocated this thread which mentions the song in question.

Songs That Share A Certain Property With The James Bond Theme

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 17:24 (one month ago) link

I just was reminded that there is something known as the “Cry Me a River” lick but I never remember what it is.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 17:28 (one month ago) link

It's the first six descending notes of the vocal melody ("Now you say you're lone-ly")

Josefa, Monday, 20 September 2021 17:49 (one month ago) link

Oh yeah

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 20 September 2021 17:52 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Someone around here has been learning "Moonlight in Vermont" and it is sounding pretty good.

Spiral Scratchiti (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 20:42 (two weeks ago) link

On the piano. She also wants a bigger midi controller than the one she has, maybe that's for another thread.

Spiral Scratchiti (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 20:45 (two weeks ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.