left banke - walk away renee

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this is most beautiful song i've ever heard.

ethan, Friday, 1 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"Walk Away Renee" was the perfect song the Beatles were always trying to write and never quite did.

Ian, Friday, 1 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Vs. the Four Tops - Walk Away Renee--GO!

Keiko, Friday, 1 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Neither. Go for the Lotion vers.

JM, Friday, 1 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Absolutely gorgeous 60's pop.

Pump Wellington, Saturday, 2 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

take the b-side and sample one bar of the first harpsichord riff then loop. funky as shit

ddd, Saturday, 2 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I like Desiree, that backing vocals are beautiful.

A Nairn, Saturday, 2 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Mod's talking crazy again. Go for the IDA version. (The Lotion version's pretty OK, though.) (And the original is unfuckwithable.)

David Raposa, Saturday, 2 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The lotion version doesn't touch the lotion version of Fly Me To the Moon. The four tops version is the worst. The good thing about the lotion version is it is MORE unintelligible and dreamy than the original. Good song allround, Desiree is incredible too though. As I've written elsewhere however, "She May Call You Up Tonight" is truly superb. I like the empty sidewalk crying her name, because that image is SO FUCKING POETIC.

Sterling Clover, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

And the only song Ida ever did a perfect cover of is Eno's Golden Hour.

Sterling Clover, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Heard a few of the new Michael Brown/Steve Martin recordings yesterday. You will not believe how brilliant they sound. Steve's voice sounds exactly like it does on those early Left Banke records, while Michael's arranging genius is still all there too. A real treat is a-comin' your way.

harveyw, Sunday, 3 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Christ on a bike, Harvey - when are these recordings due out and where? I must know!

Rob M, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The recordings I heard are just demos, yet they sounds pretty complete & releasable to me as they are. One was just piano/vocal, another full band, another mainly strings. Can't remember any titles, sorry. (Apologies if this is all a bit vague, they were on in the background in a shop. I genuinely thought they were lost 60s recordings by the band, that's how good they sounded).

If you want any more info Rob, email me off board.

harvey williams, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Wrongo, Sterlingo. Try "Are You Tired of Me, My Darling?" (The Carter Family), or "Shoe-In" (The Secret Stars) in conjunction w/ "Golden Hours" for Ida coverage goodness. I would point you to an archived Rhubarb Cake show featuring said group in studio, but I don't believe it's actually archived.

David Raposa, Monday, 4 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
"Walk Away Renee" is one of my favorite songs. It truly is beautiful and never fails to move me. For the curious...go to the Audiogalaxy website and search under Cyndi Lauper. There is a duet of this song that she did,with whom I don't know,that is quite lovely. You can download it there. I've always wanted my favorite band Cheap Trick to do a cover version of this song.

robert silverman, Wednesday, 17 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

need the words walk away renee

frank brett, Wednesday, 24 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Revive!

I'm downloading the Left Banke best of - "There's gonna be a storm". It's ridiculously good.

bert (bert), Thursday, 7 August 2003 20:49 (sixteen years ago) link

well, the first half is good, anyway...

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 7 August 2003 20:59 (sixteen years ago) link

"walk away renee" is ace, but let's not forget about "pretty ballerina". hot damn.

lauren (laurenp), Thursday, 7 August 2003 21:03 (sixteen years ago) link

Has anyone heard those Stories records that Michael Brown was responsible for?

(P.S. I love this stuff but when I'm not actively listening to it, it always seems a little too fey for me. Also the lyrics for things like "Men Are Building Sand" are kind of embarrassing.)

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 7 August 2003 21:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Let's also not forget "She May Call You Up Tonight"

If I'm not mistaken There's Gonna Be A Storm is not the best of, but the entire recorded works of the Left Banke, and, yeah, the second half isn't very good.

Sonny A. (Keiko), Thursday, 7 August 2003 21:31 (sixteen years ago) link

The Four Tops' version is magnificent.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 7 August 2003 21:40 (sixteen years ago) link

the Stories' first record marries Brown's chamber pop feel with faces-style 70s boogie rock. Not really recommended, though a couple of nice melodies still shine through.

More than the Left Banke, I love Montage, especially the stripped down, pannicky version of Desiree!

Has anyone heard the Left Bake reunion record from the 80's/early 90's?

pulpo, Friday, 8 August 2003 08:07 (sixteen years ago) link

Odd query: Am I right in saying one of (the actors who played one of) Spinal Tap was in fact a member of Left Banke at some point?

(honestly)

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Friday, 8 August 2003 08:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Michael McKean was a member after they had their hit.

There is an interview with a couple of the original members of the Left Banke in one of the last issues of The Big Takeover.

earlnash, Friday, 8 August 2003 08:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I was in a record shop at the weekend and "Walk Away Renee" came on and wow, it's what music should be all about

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 8 August 2003 12:22 (sixteen years ago) link

Hmmm...haven't finished downloading the second half yet. "Sing Little Bird Sing" sounds pretty good though.

bert (bert), Friday, 8 August 2003 14:26 (sixteen years ago) link

i've always been fascinated by how incredibly short the verses in "walk away renee" are. they're so short they almost don't qualify as verses. they're more like pre-choruses or little mini-bridges. the fact that the first word of the song is "and" just heightens the effect -- that you missed the beginning and you're tuning in somewhere in the middle of the song. only later do you discover that there was, in fact, no beginning.

to my ears, the structure of this song is: pre-chorus/chorus/pre-chorus/chorus/etc.

it's kind of brilliant.

fact checking cuz, Friday, 8 August 2003 16:46 (sixteen years ago) link

the blades of grass did a pretty good version of walk away renee.

i love the fact that "what do you know" is a country song sung in faux british accents.

call mr. lee (call mr. lee), Monday, 11 August 2003 05:58 (sixteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
pretty ballerina is SO GOOD!!!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 7 May 2004 02:30 (sixteen years ago) link

The comp is their first LP, "Pretty Ballerina/Walk Away Renee," on Smash, and their second one, which came out in '68, I believe, "Left Banke Too." Plus singles, etc. I think it's almost all great stuff, love "Desiree" and "Goodbye Holly," "Bryant Hotel," "Sing Little Bird Sing," etc. Very hothouse pop music. I actually like the words to "Men Are Building Sand" myself. "She May Call You Up" is a perfect song, very proto-power-pop. If I'm not mistaken, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sings backup on "Too." Very few things say "'60s" to me like "Left Banke Too."

Not a big fan of Stories, though...just seems mannered and lacking in energy, without the saving grace of callowness found on the LB recordings. Michael Brown's dad, Harry Lookofsky, did the string arrangements on the early stuff--he was a big-time NYC arranger/session man...

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 7 May 2004 03:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Re sampling: I believe Folk Implosion used a slowed-down bit of "I Haven't Got the Nerve" for "Natural One."

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Friday, 7 May 2004 07:07 (sixteen years ago) link

I like the Billy Bragg version. Or, according the 12": (version). Has some of my favourite lines:

"And you have to take the crunchy with the smooth I s'pose"
and
"And then one day it happened - She cut 'er hair and I stopped lovin' 'er"

Rob Bolton (Rob Bolton), Friday, 7 May 2004 08:20 (sixteen years ago) link

I love early Left Banke. Gotta get the Desiree / I´ve got something on my mind 45 because they´re fantastic songs! Esp. I´ve got something ong my mind.

You should download the masterpiece Black Cab from Jens Lekman/Rocky Dennis homepage (he released stuff on Secetly Canadian etc) It was the best single last year.

It samples I´ve got something on my mind.

http://www.srvice.com/rockydennis.html


heroes + villains, Friday, 7 May 2004 09:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Some people on soulseek have stuff which isn't on 'There's Gonna Be A Storm'. I downloaded their Coca Cola advert, it's great.

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Friday, 7 May 2004 12:03 (sixteen years ago) link

http://www.srvice.com/rockydennis.html

You sure about that link? Didn't work for me.

Rick Massimo (Rick Massimo), Friday, 7 May 2004 16:50 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah it the adress or try

http://www.srvice.com/mp3/rockydennis_blackcab.mp3

heros + villains, Friday, 7 May 2004 23:44 (sixteen years ago) link

http://www.secretlycanadian.com/secretlycanadian/catalog/sc70.htm

his page on secretly

heros + villains, Friday, 7 May 2004 23:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Another interesting cover of "Walk Away Renee" came from the Boston band Orpheus in 1968. They arranged it around the harmonies of "Never My Love" and, for reasons that elude me, opted to only sing the refrain several times, omitting the verses entirely. It actually kinda works, with the caveat that I'm a sucker for overblown overorchestrated pop.

Joseph McCombs, Saturday, 8 May 2004 14:40 (sixteen years ago) link

A trivial point I know, but one of the things I like about this is that the first word is 'and' - gives the impression of a continuation of something. I prefer the Four Tops version, as the singing is better (Levi Stubbs is one of my favourites), but I do understand the people who prefer the original, which is a great record too.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 8 May 2004 22:01 (sixteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Don't forget the Pink Lady version.

Brad Baker, Saturday, 25 December 2004 05:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Everybody otm, particularly fact checking cuz. There is also a nice live version by Elliott Smith that you can find at sweetadeline.et

Ken L (Ken L), Saturday, 25 December 2004 17:14 (fifteen years ago) link

this stuff is a little too twee for me

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 25 December 2004 19:25 (fifteen years ago) link

(P.S. I love this stuff but when I'm not actively listening to it, it always seems a little too fey for me. Also the lyrics for things like "Men Are Building Sand" are kind of embarrassing.)

-- amateurist (amateuris...), August 7th, 2003 6:06 PM. (amateurist)

i guess you're not actively listening to it!

s1ocki (slutsky), Saturday, 25 December 2004 19:48 (fifteen years ago) link

i meant that i only can love it when i'm not actively listening to it! bad grammar strikes again!

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 25 December 2004 20:27 (fifteen years ago) link

According to Tom Sholz, Walk Away Renee is one of the primary influences that inspired More Than A Feeling. (G D F# Em7 D) Pretty freaky.

jim wentworth (wench), Sunday, 26 December 2004 06:20 (fifteen years ago) link

i think an essay on the songs that influenced the formal structure of "more than a feeling" is in order. bruce springsteen has cited "louie, louie" as another possible antecedent.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Sunday, 26 December 2004 07:14 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Urgent and Key: why is none of this band's material available anymore?

the pinefox (the pinefox), Monday, 13 November 2006 14:08 (thirteen years ago) link

Because it's out of print at the moment. Wow does anyone actually pay $62 for these CDs on Amazon or is it just wishful thinking?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 13 November 2006 22:17 (thirteen years ago) link

i've always been fascinated by how incredibly short the verses in "walk away renee" are. they're so short they almost don't qualify as verses. they're more like pre-choruses or little mini-bridges. the fact that the first word of the song is "and" just heightens the effect -- that you missed the beginning and you're tuning in somewhere in the middle of the song. only later do you discover that there was, in fact, no beginning.
to my ears, the structure of this song is: pre-chorus/chorus/pre-chorus/chorus/etc.

it's kind of brilliant.

-- fact checking cuz (factcheckingcu...), August 8th, 2003.

I love songs like that. The Raspberries' "Go All the Way" and "I Wanna Be With You" are like that too.

Rick Massimo (Rick Massimo), Monday, 13 November 2006 22:39 (thirteen years ago) link

really love this version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSgO-gFnpSk

The Complainte of Ray Tabano, Friday, 20 March 2015 01:09 (five years ago) link

Rest In Peace :(((

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 20 March 2015 03:39 (five years ago) link

I've had Louis CK on in the next room, so I've heard "Brother Louie" a few times tonight.

clemenza, Friday, 20 March 2015 03:44 (five years ago) link

RIP Michael :(

Walking Close to Melton Mowbray (Tom D.), Friday, 20 March 2015 10:13 (five years ago) link

RIP, Mr. Lookofsky :(

Where is the Brilliant Friend's Home? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 20 March 2015 10:47 (five years ago) link

clemenza, you seem to be thinking of Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate.

Where is the Brilliant Friend's Home? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 20 March 2015 10:49 (five years ago) link

No, you are correct. Completely forgot about his involvement with The Stories. My bad.

Where is the Brilliant Friend's Home? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 20 March 2015 11:00 (five years ago) link

Gorgeousness...

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

Betel-chewing Equipment of East New Guinea (Tom D.), Friday, 20 March 2015 11:31 (five years ago) link

James: wasn't till years later that I found out "Brother Louie" was originally Hot Chocolate's. I only knew the Stories version from the radio. (Truthfully, I never really cared for it, although the "Louie Louie" connection is interesting.)

clemenza, Friday, 20 March 2015 14:20 (five years ago) link

WAs it that way round I had it in my head that Hot Chocolate had a hit with a cover of an obscure song.

Stevolende, Friday, 20 March 2015 14:24 (five years ago) link

According to Wikipedia, the Stories followed about six months later. Not surprising anyone over here wouldn't know that: the Stories hit #1 on Billboard, Hot Chocolate didn't chart (but made it to #7 in the UK).

clemenza, Friday, 20 March 2015 14:34 (five years ago) link

I'm from the UK but the song would have come out when I was 6 years old. & I've never been massively into the band Hot Chocolate.
Not sure if I've ever actually heard the Stories version. & haven't seen the writing credits or I'd've known, though they're both Browns so maybe I wouldn't.

But I was aware there was a Stories version that somehow related to Michael brown.

Stevolende, Friday, 20 March 2015 15:06 (five years ago) link

I'd bet The Four Tops and several others got higher with covers of Michael Brown material than the Left banke did too.

Stevolende, Friday, 20 March 2015 15:07 (five years ago) link

Left Banke version went to #5 in the U.S., Four Tops went to #14.

timellison, Friday, 20 March 2015 22:59 (five years ago) link

Once some guy who fancied himself an office oldies maven was going on about three hit versions "Walk Away Renee." Which led to the following exchange:

JR&tB: Three? I only know the Left Banke original and the Four Tops, which is the third?
OOM: The best of all, Southside Johnny.

Where is the Brilliant Friend's Home? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 20 March 2015 23:54 (five years ago) link

Anyway, this page has a version I like which I think I mentioned upthread:

Where is the Brilliant Friend's Home? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 21 March 2015 00:34 (five years ago) link

thanks

curmudgeon, Saturday, 21 March 2015 15:38 (five years ago) link

where's the love for desiree, the less famous but just as good "woman's name ending with -ee" song that MB wrote!
i looooved this song when i was younger. it sounds like a showtune!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6d9k-Nn0P4

groundless round (La Lechera), Saturday, 21 March 2015 16:05 (five years ago) link

Bad year for Michael Browns.

RIP

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 21 March 2015 23:22 (five years ago) link

Yeah! love "Desiree" (both versions).

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 22 March 2015 00:16 (five years ago) link

Relinking to interesting piece about his dad, Harry Lookofsky: http://www.jonroseweb.com/c_articles_stringsville.html. His dad played and arranged strings on both Left Banke and Stories records, as well as producing, particularly on "Walk Away Renee" for which he apparently had to knock on a lot of record company doors to get a release.

Where is the Brilliant Friend's Home? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 March 2015 02:22 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

RIP George Cameron
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_QVUfZv92U

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 26 June 2018 21:44 (two years ago) link

RIP George, had a hand in writing some great songs and also sang lead occasionally.

Alan Alba (Tom D.), Tuesday, 26 June 2018 22:04 (two years ago) link

Rest In Peace and thank you xx

An Uphill Battle For Legumes (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 26 June 2018 23:02 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

It's always a pleasant surprise to be re-reminded that the entire Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina album is fantastic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZSlF2AkrS4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_yCSNj50iI

Feed Me Wheat Thins (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 12:52 (eight months ago) link

two months pass...

Sundazed:

We’re deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Martin Caro, lead singer for the Left Banke, it’s always brought us tremendous pride and joy to share so much of his art with you over the years. Our tone arms are now at half mast. The work of the Left Banke has long been an elusive holy grail for vintage pop fanatics. The legendary "baroque rock" combo's work ranks with the greatest American music of the 1960s, and remains beloved by discerning pop connoisseurs around the world. Out of print for decades and despite its longstanding unavailability, the Left Banke's music has attained an ever-increasing level of prestige over the years, and continues to exercise a powerful mystique amongst the group's legion of admirers. Thank you Steve for all the wonderful art you’ve brought into our lives. #stevemartincaro #leftbanke #baroquepop #walkawayrenee

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:09 (five months ago) link

RIP, such a great voice.

tylerw, Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:24 (five months ago) link

RIP Steve.

Frozen Mug (Tom D.), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:38 (five months ago) link

I'm going on a train journey tomorrow and was wondering what music to listen to, problem solved.

Frozen Mug (Tom D.), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:46 (five months ago) link

RIP. I listen to the 66-69 comp so often and treasure so much of it.

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 18:56 (five months ago) link

So many awesome versions of this tune

Mule, Wednesday, 15 January 2020 20:55 (five months ago) link

yup

Disco Cladistic (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 15 January 2020 23:50 (five months ago) link

I remember coming across this thread a long long time ago, way back when youtube.com was a brand new thing, in the olden times of 2007 before I'd ever heard this song. I looked it up because I was very interested in hearing what someone called the most beautiful song they'd ever heard. (I also did the same thing when someone here said the same thing about "Wichita Lineman." I'd never heard that before either, somehow.)

Anyway I remember hearing "Walk Away Renee" for the first time and liking it a lot not just because it's great but because it's a great thing brand new to me and therefore probably many others and therefore probably severely underrated. Upon reading the news in this thread today I listened to it again for the first time in a long time and still liked it a lot, and because I have free time to kill while I wait for my start date for my new job, I had a lot of the day today to sit around and listen to music. I listened to the whole Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina album twice. It's great! And I've never heard it before. And being able to hear something great I've never heard before is exactly the sort of thing I've been using this board for for nearly the last twenty years.

del griffith, Thursday, 16 January 2020 03:13 (five months ago) link

"I've Got Something On My Mind" is my favorite

uncrut gems (crüt), Thursday, 16 January 2020 03:24 (five months ago) link

^^ that's a super good one
"Desiree" is my favorite I think

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 16 January 2020 14:33 (five months ago) link

I just looked up the backstory of The Left Banke, and I'm amazed by how young they were. I would never in a million years have guessed that Walk Away Renee was written by an actual teenager, even though the lyrics are all about teenage love.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 16 January 2020 17:06 (five months ago) link

Also there were two, possibly, three incarnations of the band, in as many years, and all of them were good.

Frozen Mug (Tom D.), Thursday, 16 January 2020 17:08 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

The Stories’ “Love Is In Motion” is a great track. They don’t have their own thread so posting that here.

TS: Kirk/Spock vs. Marat/Sade (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 February 2020 20:59 (five months ago) link

Now have been listening to There’s Gonna Be a Storm and really digging the melancholy garagey orch-pop of all of it, particularly “Let Go of You Girl.”

TS: Kirk/Spock vs. Hitchcock/Truffaut (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 16:57 (five months ago) link

“Pretty Ballerina” has a drony violin I never noticed before, played by Lookofsky père, I believe, vaguely reminiscent of “Venus in Furs.”

TS: Kirk/Spock vs. Hitchcock/Truffaut (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 16:59 (five months ago) link

Other thing I am reminded of a bit is the Dutch group The Outsiders.

TS: Kirk/Spock vs. Hitchcock/Truffaut (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 16:59 (five months ago) link

Here’s a factoid I never knew from the second album’s Wikipedia page:

A pre-Aerosmith Steven Tyler, then known as Steve Tallarico, contributed backing vocals to several songs on the album including ‘My Friend Today’ and ‘Dark is the Bark’.[3]

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 15 February 2020 14:55 (four months ago) link

It's really obvious it's him too. He was quoted somewhere about he'd been hanging out with the band and was shocked at how unprepared to record they were (songs written immediately before stepping into the studio and/or written in the studio).

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 15 February 2020 15:42 (four months ago) link

Those are pretty good songs, unprepared or not!

Load up your rubber wallets (Tom D.), Saturday, 15 February 2020 16:00 (four months ago) link

Just happened upon this Michael Brown chestnut from the 70s: https://youtu.be/wLeQXGcw5gM

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 13:51 (four months ago) link

The four tops version is the worst.

Jesus christ!

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 17:26 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

Bass player Tom Finn has died, meaning the entire original line-up of the band is now dead.

Future England Captain (Tom D.), Monday, 29 June 2020 10:33 (one week ago) link

RIP :(

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 29 June 2020 17:09 (one week ago) link


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