Sunday, November 09, 2008

RUN FOR COVERS: DELILAH x 7



"She stood there laughing..." Exactly 40 years ago.
Longer, if you consider the movie version, not the Tom Jones song.
That's cold, cruel Hedy Lamarr in both photos. She played Delilah in the movie "Samson and Delilah." It's one of the few things anyone remembers about her. She also was one of the first famous actresses to do a nude scene, and she successfully sued Mel Brooks for corrupting her name into Hedley Lamarr for "Blazing Saddles" (figuring a tribute pun wasn't the same thing as...getting paid.) She also uttered a memorable observation; she said that it was easy for a woman to look sexy: "all you have to do is stand still and look stupid."

But that's not why you're here. You're here for SEVEN versions of DELILAH.
The song's about a cheatin' shady lady whose sillhouette of herself and another man caused Tom Jones to go out of his mind in 1968. "My my my Delilah! Why why why Delilah!"
Tom went all "Son of Sam" on Delilah, defying the odds that a murder ballad, in oom-pa-pa waltz time, could become a worldwide hit.
Hit-man Tom is such a powerful, unique singer, that when he bellows a tune...almost nobody dares to out-shout him.
Some of his songs are so STOOPID, they are his alone...as nobody in his right mind would cover "It's Not Unusual." As for "What's New Pussycat, Whoaaahhhh" nobody touched it except that Welshman filled with too much fermented grape juice.
No MOR-singing MOR-on could equal Tom, but some genre-singers gave "Delilah" a try. And in your download, you get the Italian version, "La Nostra Favola," via the rather light tenor Jimmy Fontana. You get another operatic version as well, plus a country take by the forgotten (well, except to Red Neckerson) Theron Gooslin. Don't you think he's psycho, mama? Just listen.
You'd expect a heavy metal version to be good, especially if it has lesbian overtones (lead singer female), or that maybe a crazy reggae artist would do a killer job but when you listen to those versions, you might not be impressed. Actually the most entertaining version beyond Tom's bathospheric bawl, is probably the live take by that overage delinquent Alex Harvey. The late Scotsman was always good at portraying slightly retarded hoodlums, and is a most believable murderer on one of the most ridiculous pop songs of all time.
With its overdone orchestrations, Tijuana brass-section, shifts from waltz-time to bolero, and fast (literal) cut from corn (didn't we hear about "silhouettes on the shade" just a few years earlier) to operatic violence, "Delilah" is a classic. And yes, there are a few other cover versions out there, but..."forgive me Delilah, I just couldn't take any more."


7 Versions of DELILAH

4 comments:

BbertT said...

Here's a link to a free download of another Italian version of Delilah, by some guy named Stefano. Difference is this seems to be a literal translation of the original version, rather then the reworked lyrics of the "La Nostra Favola" versions.
http://amiestreet.com/music/stefano/americantimeless-songs-in-italian/

PS: Any idea what year the Theron Gooslin version is from?

Ill Folks said...

Thanks for the info!

Kentucky's Theron Gooslin covered the song on his album "Would You Believe Theron Gooslin In Nashville." It was probably his only release, circa 1970. He was mainly a session musician. You can get the whole album and see a photo of the cover over at http://redneckerson.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

LINK IS DEAD!!!Pleas try to fix it!!!!

The Man with No Name said...

You're about a month too late. Amie Street.com was absorbed by Amazon. If you search Stefano Delilah on Amazon.com mp3s you'll probably find it there. The song was also avail on iTunes at least at the time of the original post. Haven't checked to see if it's still available in either place recently. Good Luck.