Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Cover Version - Deftones Haunt Japan's "Ghosts"

Well, I ought to leave, but the rain it never stops, and I've no particular place to go.

Very very very odd bedfellows here indeed! Yap, yankee rawkers Deftones cover sensitive arty Eighties 'New Romantic' pioneers (no, not really .. they were infinitely better than that silly label suggests) David Sylvian's mighty Japan and their wonderful "Ghosts."

This cover version featured as a bonus B-side on the iTunes deluxe edition of the group's “Diamond Eyes“ LP. It also appeared on a real interesting eclectic collection of covers imaginatively called, erm "Covers", released  especially for 'Record Store Day 2011' - an album well worth hunting down.

Surprisingly proving themselves to be big Anglophiles, included therein too are covers of two other fine Eighties Brit leftfield tracks (and one not so leftfield!) the magnificent Smiths song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" and wonderful "If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" by The Cure plus, more oddly, "The Chauffer" by those fey Duran Duran blokes! ... Plus a take on Eighties Brit pop in the bizarre form of sweet Brit lass Sade's 'No Ordinary Love' for good measure!

Back to the cover version, and the term 'faithful rendition' has never been more apt as here! But so what ... it's a sublime song so best to not fuck around with it. And Japan's stuff is nigh impossible to cover well, anyway.

"Ghosts" was essentially Japan's swansong, released as a single from the mighty 1981 album Tin Drum, the band's final LP.

Amazingly, the song reached the dizzy heights of number five in the UK charts .... man, just imagine a song like this hitting the top ten in the modern-day cesspool that passes for The Charts!

Sylvian's sumptous song seems to exist outside time. Poetic, athmospheric, evocative, existentialist. A rarified song of rare subtlety built on silences and shadows. One of sculpted Beckett-like lyrics with fine lines like "the rain it never stops and I've no particular place to go."

A story of a self destructive individual, alone in a painful world where "the simple life is no longer there". A tale of painful inevitabilities; hopes and dreams built up only to be ripped apart by virtue of internal 'demons'... "Just when I thought I could not be stopped. When the chance came to be king, the ghosts of my life grow wilder than the wind." A tale of a soul trapped inside an endless hellish cycle.

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