It’s the middle of the month and that means another Battle of the Bands. Give a listen to both cover contenders and vote on which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days! Today I’m featuring another Patti Smith song. Today though, she’s not one of the contenders. She didn’t fare very well in my last battle where she was a contender. But I do hope you’ll give her original a listen: it’s one of her best songs and it has been covered by many artists. The original song is called Dancin’ Barefoot from her album Wave.
Patti Smith – original:
“Dancing Barefoot” is a rock song written by Patti Smith and Ivan Kral, and released as a second single from the Patti Smith Group’s 1979 album Wave. According to the album sleeve, the song was dedicated to women such as Amedeo Modigliani’s mistress Jeanne Hébuterne.
In 1998, the song featured on the soundtrack of Whatever, a coming of age film by Liza Weil.
In 2000, a live version was released on the benefit album Broadcasts Vol. 8 from KGSR in Austin, Texas. (I used to do business with this station when I was a Media Planner/Buyer. It was a cool alternative station and very well received here in Austin).
In 2010, the song ranked #331 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
Give a listen to Patti’s version but don’t vote on it. This is presented for your enjoyment only.
CONTENDER #1: U2
U2 certainly doesn’t need an introduction. Dancin’ Barefoot was on the B-side to the “When Love Comes to Town” single. It was also on the compilation The Best of 1980–1990 and is featured on the soundtrack of the 1994 movie Threesome.
CONTENDER #2: THE FEELIES
Don’t underestimate this lesser known band as they do a great version of Dancin’ Barefoot. For those who may not have heard of them before, The Feelies are an American rock band from Haledon, New Jersey. They formed in 1976 and disbanded in 1992 having released four albums. The band reunited in 2008, and most recently released an album in 2011.
The Feelies rarely worked with outside producers and created shimmering soundscapes with multiple guitar layers that set them apart from most of the punk/New Wave bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They frequently played at Maxwell’s, a live music venue and bar restaurant in Hoboken during the 1980s, often on national holidays.
Although the Feelies never sold a great number of records, their influence was felt on the indie rock scene. Their first album, Crazy Rhythms (Stiff Records, 1980) was cited by R.E.M. as a major influence. The Feelies were influenced by The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. Novelist Rick Moody has cited the band as one of his influences.
Here is their version of Dancin’ Barefoot, released in 1986:
TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles: