Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Dancing Barefoot

I first heard "Dancing Barefoot" many years ago when a deejay played The Mission U.K.'s 1987 cover on an 80s show. The deejay said zip about the song or group and Internet research was a tad more difficult back then. I zeroed in on The Feelies as the most likely candidate and ordered Crazy Rhythms because it was their only album without a track listing on Amazon. That Song was likely on it, I figured, and it was probably worth owning either way. Wrong on the first count, right on the second.

The Feelies version doesn't appear on any of their (too)-few albums, and remains fairly obscure. Still, I tracked it down before I found The Mission's version. There was initial disappointment at the immediate realization that it was the wrong song, but it's hard to resist its perfectly-executed, jangly rock-pop joys.

As lovely as The Feelies' version is, once you're on a song quest, nothing but that song will do.

The Mission U.K. (a.k.a. The Mission) version is more deadpan but by no means bloodless. It's only natural that the song should inspire as many covers as it has. The lyrics touch on universal feelings and are poetic and appealing.

I heard Patti Smith's song, the original, last, and oddly, it took time to grow on me, but I now love it.

A solo CD is on the way this year from The Feelies' Glenn Mercer.

The Mission U.K.'s next album, God Is A Bullet, is out in early April, and will be preceded in March by the first single "Keep It In The Family". The band has posted a YouTube preview of tracks from the album:

As of December 21st, another group that covered the song, Simple Minds, was in "serious negotiations" for an early 2007 "surprise return to live concerts in Australia and New Zealand".

Tomorrow, I'm seriously considering making a surprise return to blogging. (Don't tell; it's a surprise.)

Patti Smith just celebrated her birthday on December 30th.

The Mission U.K. - Dancing Barefoot (available on The First Chapter)

The Feelies - Dancing Barefoot (available on Un Printemps 89)

Simple Minds - Dancing Barefoot (available on Neon Lights)

Patti Smith - Dancing Barefoot (available on Land 1975-2002)


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