Happy Anniversary, Noise Narcs!

by Jared Schorr

Noise Narcs’ first post was one year ago today. What’s the traditional one year anniversary gift for a music blog? Paper, silver, a shutdown notice from the RIAA?

I was hoping for the last, but instead we get two gifts: a Noise Narcs show and a new feature. Still firming up details on the show, but expect mid-March and some fantastic bands. And we probably have room for one more band, so if you know one, tell them to get in contact.

The new feature? “Noise Variations,” where we tackle several cover versions of a song. And what could be more appropriate for an anniversary than best the annum song of all: The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year.”

This is a tall order for a cover. In my mind, “This Will Be Our Year” does no wrong. Only the brave (or the very foolish) would attempt it. The gorgeous, steady piano. The way Hugh Grundy’s drums, heavy on the hi-hat, kick in. Colin Blunstone’s perfect vocals: the phrasing, the way it trembles towards cracking, dancing around the beat, the way “go on” drops out of nowhere, dripping in echo. This is a song that knows at two minutes and eight seconds that it has accomplished everything a pop song can and so calls it quits. This is a song that makes me fall in love again every time I hear it: with it and my girl.

The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year” [Buy]

So, with all that, do any of the covers match up? In a word: no. A lot of acoustic dreck. But there are some worthy of a listen, although none really hold a candle to the original.

The Mynabirds: This is probably best in class. Although the slide guitar throughout and so high in the mix makes this a bit overloaded, it takes the bare sweetness of the original and makes it swing. And fuck it: I love slide guitar. Although this version is great, it makes me wonder, desperately, what Willie Nelson would do.

The Mynabirds, “This Will Be Our Year” [Buy]

Dear Nora: As if recorded by the Velvet Underground with a toned-down Veronica Bennett instead of Nico. A lithe, little garage band version.

Dear Nora, “This Will Be Our Year” [Buy]

The Zombies (demo version): Wow. What a difference a take can make. Still a great song, but pales, pales, pales, pales in comparison to the original. The only thing that matches the studio version is Grundy’s drumming. There’s also a mono version with horns: better than the demo, but the horns just get in the way.

The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year (Demo Version)”[Buy]

OK Go: This version needs a clever video. And euthanasia. At least he nails the “go on!” OK go away. One-year-old-blog burn!

OK Go, “This Will Be Our Year”[Buy]

Other notable versions: The Avett Brothers’ dreadful live take, Rose Melberg’s too cute by half ukelele version, Great Lakes’ points-for-clarinet track, and the Model Rockets’ slice of snearing grunge. Any we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Narcs Katherine and Matt K used it as their recessional.

And thank you, everybody who has read and contributed. Been a fun year. Come to our show!

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5 Responses to Happy Anniversary, Noise Narcs!

  1. Christopher T says:

    A remarkable track from a remarkable album, worthy of a Noise Variations (nee “the To Love Somebody treatment”) post. I especially like the weird syncopation on the Dear Nora rendition. And OK Go’s not that bad.

    • David G says:

      It really is hard to standout on an album as wonderful as Odyssey and Oracle, but “Year” certainly does. True, I’m giving OK Go’s rendition too much guff (there were many much worse tracks); it is almost impossible to make this song bad, but that doesn’t mean there’s any reason at all to listen to the OK Go version when you could just hit repeat on the original.

  2. Katherine says:

    This sampling makes me think it’s pretty hard to take the ’60s out of this perfect song, though The Mynabirds are from the ’60s anyway, so I suppose the point is moot. (Gosh, I love The Mynabirds.) Also, as a girl who always wants to sing boy songs, I have to say I really appreciate these girl covers. They feel just right. New karaoke choice!

  3. akarnopp says:

    my favorite song, hands down, so i’ve heard a lot of versions. here are some:

    jason joseph (my fave cover, i think?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WaZhIKR1H8
    the beautiful south http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJJCCSZB9q8
    vanessa paradis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aezvKQa-As
    pablo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1qG1kpBeTY
    nobody http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7ZEkb7TlJ8

    and other version i can’t find quick links to include: the cheeksters, the out_circuit, and jason falkner.

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