By Huntress Thompson
Sometimes, when songs are similar, it’s not sinister or plagiarist – it’s just that there are more people spreading around the same kind of awesome.
Case in point: These 5 songs, which are each wrapped around one classic beat.
The Ronettes – Be My Baby (1963)
The original. Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys calls this the greatest pop song ever made, and describes their Don’t Worry Baby as the universal male response to it. Dick Clark introduced it on American Bandstand as the “Record of the Century”.
Most people (fine, most women) in their 20s/30s first heard it over the opening credits of Dirty Dancing, when we lost our innocence right along with Baby, and have kept out of corners ever since.
Thrushes – Heartbeats (2008)
Baltimore’s Thrushes dropped this stunner in 2008, from their Sun Come Undone album, with generous strands of Death in Vegas and grainy, shoegazy shimmer.
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey (1985)
Ah, Scotland, 1985. Actually I have no idea what it was like – I was one at the time, in Durban, and apparently responding really strongly to the video for You Can Call Me Al. But this song makes me feel like I’m a character in a Danny Boyle movie, getting nostalgic.
Although, really, all it should remind anyone of for the rest of time is the transcendent final scene of Lost in Translation.
The Shins – Turn On Me (2007)
The most wonderfully awkward band on Sub Pop’s sign-up sheet shot to international fame after they were featured on Natalie Portman’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl playlist in Garden State. Off their third album, Wincing the Night Away, Turn On Me is another wordy, angsty Shins song that’s really more a thought than a record, at all – which is a fairly hard trick to pull off.
Also, this video is well weird.
Best Coast – Over the Ocean (2009)
Oh, Best Coast! The romance, the grandeur – you make me Ugly Cry with happiness, you perfect, perfect band. The Ronettes heritage in this song is most obvious in the iTunes Session version, with just enough surf pop fuzziness to make you swoon good and proper.
Next week, I’m doing 3 Songs That Start The Same, and one of them is by The Stooges. Any guesses? Or suggestions?
In the vacuum between dark and light, Siouxsie Sioux and Emmylou Harris, Amelie and Travis Bickle, Huntress Thompson is an idiot lost, and reporting from the field. If you’re after irrational, impassioned rants about cupcakes and Johnny Cash (and you probably aren’t), she’s grumpy, but she’s your girl.