The Dark End of the Street

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The original by James Carr is still the greatest followed by a few close contenders. But there seem to be quite a lot of versions out there, including one by The Commitments that is probably the only one a lot of non-ILX0rs have ever heard.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC3AXQ8dPJM

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:32 (one week ago) link

My #2 version, here with the countdown intact, is the first one I ever heard, from The Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers, a perfect vehicle for Gram Parsons deeply melancholic voice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRz92E8ky9k

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:37 (one week ago) link

omg

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:42 (one week ago) link

Percy Sledge version is fine but maybe too close to the original and therefore suffers by comparison.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOpg96VE7RA

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:43 (one week ago) link

James Carr is one of the great almost-lost soul singers, like Arthur Alexander without the songwriting chops, but even if he only ever did this and “To Love Somebody” (I need to relisten to other stuff) that’s plenty.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:49 (one week ago) link

Clarence Carter Takes It To The Effin' Stage:

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

an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:55 (one week ago) link

Holy Shit, Tom Petty Going Absolutely HAM On The Clarence Carter Arrangement Live in '78

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x2sRgPGALc

an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:03 (one week ago) link

I dig the slo-core Cat Power version, which may feature Spooner Oldham on organ, although one must note that he didn’t write it, this is a Dan Penn-Chips Moman composition.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi5X0LT_b4c

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:08 (one week ago) link

LMAO at the SNL sketch.

Most likely my favorite song ever. I almost want to write a book on it (or more realistically a very long feature). Carr's version is definitive, the Burritos' one of the most enjoyable. (It may be Parsons's most successful fusion of soul and country music too - I lent that album to a friend once who never heard of Parsons or the song before and that track made him a fan of both for life. He even took my copy with him when he moved to SoCal, hah.)

Here's one more favorite, a live version by Richard & Linda Thompson. It has a hushed arrangement that suits the material. (A secretive affair like the one described in the lyrics would probably be quiet in nature - so as not to draw attention, sure, but when you think about the private intimacy of the feelings involved, it's fitting in that regard as well.)

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

And another one, an instrumental by Ry Cooder, which is more powerful if you're very familiar with the song. As he plays, you can't help but recall the lyrics, and combined with the arrangement's slow and mournful tone, the effect turns the song into a memory, of something lost or something you regret:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOpYmPO-vVA

birdistheword, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:09 (one week ago) link

Cool! Was wondering about both those versions.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:19 (one week ago) link

Lee Hazelwood and Ann-Marget do a kind of glitzy 60s variety show version, the kind in which one half expects the host of the show to join in the way Jack White joins in that wedding video, perhaps it is Ol(e)’ Blue Eyes himself, similar to the way he joins The 5th Dimension in singing “Sweet Blindness” that one time.

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

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:23 (one week ago) link

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner take is perhaps a little too on the nose but still a worthy addition.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4-UjK_Yp7k

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:38 (one week ago) link

Dolly’s sister in Trio Linda Ronstadt delivered a convincing version on her blockbuster contractual obligation #1 album Heart Like a Wheel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSsgZvgPGsU

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:46 (one week ago) link

Which prompts the musical question: has the third member of Trio and Gram Parsons partner in harmony Emmylou Harris ever sung this song? Seems that she has, but I can’t locate a recording.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:48 (one week ago) link

But in my search for that I came across a serviceable version by another honky-tonk maudit, Gary Stewart.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSsgZvgPGsU

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:52 (one week ago) link

This Linda Ronstadt 1973 KSAN live Sausalito broadcast is nice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eG7Ws87nOQ

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 06:03 (one week ago) link

Putting this Gram Burritos live at the Avalon Ballroom version for reference purposes but it doesn’t really do much for me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTN8tbYuX4g

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 06:09 (one week ago) link

That’s all I got for now.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 06:09 (one week ago) link

This song always fills me with shame, though I've got nothing to be ashamed about.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:48 (one week ago) link

It is pretty intense. You've got two people who are completely convinced they're going to be damned for eternity for what they've done, but they go through with it anyway. And to be clear it's not mere lust or philandering, they're two people who are deeply and completely in love with each other - like it profoundly hurts them not to be able to acknowledge one another in public. Imagine what it's like to love someone that much where you're not just putting your present life on the line but you honestly believe in hell and that you're both going to burn for it. (To be clear, not in a sick or perverted way, the moral violation is infidelity where I want to say it's not the act or feeling itself that's truly wrong - instead it's a reality marred by the cruel and painful circumstance of already committing oneself to another, arguably the wrong person.)

birdistheword, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:18 (one week ago) link

this is kind of a big weepy queer anthem for a certain generation, at least in my imagination. not sure queer kids today would dig it or understand.

ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 17:20 (one week ago) link

the two sides here are pitted against each other with the morality of like a mythic western or something, where it's clear that the superego is part of what shapes the id and gives it its power.

ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 17:23 (one week ago) link

This song always fills me with shame, though I've got nothing to be ashamed about.

― Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, November 23, 2022 3:48 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

great post and otm

ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 17:23 (one week ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A0KlfhGGC8

peisistratos, Thursday, 24 November 2022 03:58 (one week ago) link

Nice!

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 00:43 (one week ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r18fC0_S08

absolutely essential

Windsor Davies, Friday, 25 November 2022 05:51 (one week ago) link

Funny, the song’s been in my head this week because of its prominent use on the new Brockhampton album.

https://brockhamptonmusic.bandcamp.com/track/37th

Cool.

Like how the Prince Buster version says "Marman" instead of Moman.

Gonna have to reread Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music to revisit the origins of this tune.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 13:57 (one week ago) link

Could have sworn I saw Guralnick crossing the street from the more uptown block of Lincoln Center to the lower one whilst I was getting my MUBI GO ticket at the cinema. Maybe he was working in the Performing Arts library or so I imagined. I thought for a second about running up to him but then hought better of it, maybe I didn't want to miss the trailers or something.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 14:01 (one week ago) link

Hmm. Don't think Spooner was not on the original, more like Bobby Emmons. This was yet another song where Dan Penn coached the vocalist, to add to the various Box Tops songs he did that on.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 14:44 (one week ago) link

He also sings the high harmony “lady” part when they sing the title. Although there are other, female backing vocalists on the track as well.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 14:51 (one week ago) link

Seems like there is a lot on this in Roben Jones’s Memphis Boys.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 14:54 (one week ago) link

Marching Church (with Elias from Iceage on vocals) do a decent version live, this studio recording not quite as efficient but still nice and different take
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J6S31oA8fI

corrs unplugged, Friday, 25 November 2022 14:54 (one week ago) link

That didn’t work for me, thanks, but I did find this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRwfzh3fj1o

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 17:54 (one week ago) link

HI DERE!

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 November 2022 16:33 (one week ago) link

Good job

curmudgeon, Saturday, 26 November 2022 18:43 (one week ago) link

I like the Burritos one the best. Now I have to go listen to Sin City

calstars, Saturday, 26 November 2022 18:46 (one week ago) link

This is the Clarence Carter version for me. That intro sets me up for shivers when the big swell happens.

The Bankruptcy of the Planet of the Apes (PBKR), Saturday, 26 November 2022 20:25 (one week ago) link

That version has its own thread, it turns out.

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 November 2022 20:33 (one week ago) link

Tonight we’ll tweet
At the dark end of the street

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 November 2022 23:29 (one week ago) link


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