Friday, 23 January 2009

Town without Pity- Thin White Rope, James Chance, Brian Setzer, Gene Pitney

A good friend & avid vinyl collector used to make me numerous mix-tapes which I played to death driving around in my van. One came to mind yesterday & I found I could remember the hand-written insert & thus the name of the band who did what is certainly my favourite version of Town Without Pity.

Town Without Pity - Thin White Rope
Spoor (1995 compilation) - originally from the Red Sun EP (1988)
website | buy

Such a contrast to Gene Pitney's original - which was recently featured at Starmaker Machine. They included a nice quality mp3 so I won't repost that, but I do have another very different version by the wonderful James Chance, with some tremendous saxophone, as you'd expect from him.

Town Without Pity - James Chance
Irresistible Impulse (2003) but recorded in NYC, March 1988 & previously unreleased

Wow!, just heard it for the first time & it's marvellous - a day-maker; it's really got me grinning, such a glorious ending too. Joyous I say.

Keeping with the modern big-band idea - Brian Setzer did a fine job too
Town Without Pity - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Guitar Slinger (1996)

Speaking of saxophone - here's a jazz instrumental version, which is outrageously good too - ok, it starts off a bit too Ira Newborn for words, as if it was on a Police Squad soundtrack... but if you like a bit of Jazz - try it.

Town Without Pity - Richie Cole & The Alto Madness Orchestra
Risë's Rose Garden (2006)
buy | website | myspace

This started out as a post about one particular version by Thin White Rope, and is in danger of morphing into another multi-cover-extravagance... If that's what you're after, you can find eight covers, including The Dickies, Eddi Reader, Mathilde Santing, Mandy Barnett and Montrose over at Ill Folks, as well as (yikes!) forty versions of Green Green Grass of Home, among many other gems; so I'll just add just two videos - the first shows Gene Pitney performing the song, the second is a pretty nice cover by Eddi Reader.

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