The Letter - Someone finally did a Blues Version

I grew up listening to The Boxtops The Letter. Great rock song and I love it.

But, I always thought the emotion and sentiment in that song got blown away by the driving rock beat. If you look at the lyricsthere is depth there.

Eva Cassidy must of felt the same way. She slowed it down and gave it a blues feeling.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB0jvwu6dc8

Eva always added a new twist to any song she covered. this time I think she nailed it. Especially considering that most of Eva’s recordings are either live cuts or were done in really small studios. She died before she ever got a major label recording contract. Given even better production and studio musicians this could have been even better.

Set aside the Box Tops version. Listen to Eva’s totally different approach.
Does it work for you?

Not bad.

You are aware that **Al Green **did an amazing R&B cover of the song?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svoSwK5h4W8

It’s on his Greatest Hits CD. If you don’t own it, buy it right now.

Her version is more of a variation of the Reverend Al’s vs. The Box Tops.

Hell, someone’s gonna have to tell Joe Cocker that there was never a blues version of the song before Eva Cassidy.

I fucking hate it.

:eek: I had no idea that anyone else had done a blues version of The Letter.

I thought this was Eva’s cool idea.

I’ll go check out those other artist’s versions.

Many thanks for fighting my ignorance. I need to get out more. :o

Just listened to Al Green. He slows it way, way down and puts that funky blues to it.

I still prefer Eva’s. She’s playing it faster and includes a few rock riffs. But, there’s no doubt she’s covering Al Green.

I love the Box Tops, but the real soul in the song gets lost in their rock version.

You’re dead to me.

:wink: :smiley:

As for Cocker - yeah. I think he’s fine, but I am not a huge fan…and he doesn’t hold a candle to Al Green.

Knocking Reverend Al can be dangerous. :wink:

I listen to Al Green. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart and* Lets Stay Together *are my two favorites. I’d forgotten about his version of the Letter.

Actually her version is clearly based on the Joe Cocker/Leon Russell arrangement, incorporating some changes they made to the melody as well as an adaptation of the horn part from that version.

I’m kind of “meh” about it, but then I’m an old fogey.

What I would like is to hear someone do a version with a habanero beat, like Big Mama Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog”. It could use a New Orleans/Latin treatment.

How about an EDM version!! Yeah, by Avicii, with a cool acoustic drop-out, and…I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. :wink:

A reggae version would rock. The lyrics have that plaintive vibe that some great reggae songs have…

One of the most important songs, emotional/ history (discrete event) for me. If not the most.

Wanted to declare that. Thanks for turning me on to Cassidy. Don’t yell at me, but I never heard of her before.

If done more upbeat, with Janis? (Her phrasing here and there made me think.)

Eva Cassidy died almost 20 years ago. She was popular in the clubs around Washington DC. She could have easily been forgotten. Fortunately one of her songs got air time in the UK and her posthumous album became a hit. A lot of the recordings were recorded at her club appearances. It must of been a big job getting them cleaned up for her compilation album. She covered a wide range of genres. I enjoy her album Songbird.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Cassidy

Fields of Gold. lovely song.

I’m going with meh. Al’s version is better.

I was not aware that Al Green did an amazing R&B cover of the song. It took a few clicks to find the right Greatest Hits CD but I just ordered it. 38 Al Green tracks for 10 bucks? Yeah, I’ll take a copy of that.

I thought Eva Cassidy’s version was good, aceplace57, and that’s how I voted. But I definitely prefer the Reverend Al’s version. I just wish it was 3 minutes longer and featured an extended sax solo.

It’s a reasonable cover. It does what I like covers to do, put a different spin on a song. It’s somewhere between OK and good, but I’m not super enthusiastic about it. I did end up voting “good,” after thinking about it. Now the Al Green version. That’s a great cover.

Ah, spreading the word of the Reverend Al. My work here is done. :wink:

Joe Cocker “The Letter” in live 1970 (MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN) don’t count?:cool:

Didn’t read the thread? Mentioned in Post #3 and discussed from there.

With Cocker, there’s a fine line between emoting and sounding like you’re coughing up a lung.