Monday, August 13, 2012

"Supremely" outdone

"You Keep Me Hangin' On" came blaring through the airwaves on some bad Saturday night '80s radio show with rain and the smell of 1,000 pig asses hovering all around some patch of nowhere in Lancaster County.

It sounded good. It sounded way too good. I thought it was Exposé, or maybe even Bananarama, which would have explained why it sounded so amazing, but I knew in my gut it wasn't either group.  And I couldn't for the life of me remember who did the original.

The Supremes!

Yes, yes, it was The Supremes, and amazingly, unbelievably, outrageously, Kim Wilde, she of the equally awesome "Kids In America," had outdone the legendary Motown group that spawned Diana Freaking Ross, and she did it on their signature song. I'll admit I'm a kid of the '80s, and yeah, the slightly morbid minor-key overload of keyboards slathered all over the song really gets me, but I'm a student of the classics too, and almost always a believer that it was done best the first time.

But not this time. And not when Vanilla Fudge did it (my wife when I pulled the song up on YouTube: "Can you turn that shit off?"), or when Reba McEntire did it.

You might think it's preposterous to even consider comparing a two-hit wonder with an icon of Motown. But give a listen.

Kim Wilde, 1987

The Supremes, 1966

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