Song Of The Day 5/15/2014: The Four Tops - "Everybody's Talkin'"


Quarterly Covers Report: It's not often a single instrument in a song welds itself onto my skull, but whoever's playing guitar on the Four Tops' cover of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" has done it. It could be Marv Tarplin, who played on the Still Waters Run Deep album, but I don't know for sure. Of course it's only been recently that we've learned to better appreciate the unheralded backing bands at Motown. But anyway, it's that stuttering, single-note guitar line in the left channel (I think it's the left, I've been known to not care about where my speakers are placed) that sucks me into this version. It's like David Gilmour, The Wall era -- "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1," "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" and "Run Like Hell," where Gilmour plays rapid solitary note lines like a bassist just with more skittishness and more girls' phone numbers in his vest pocket. (This Pink Floyd reference and bassist joke are brought to you by Vicks NyQuil -- is it in you? No, wait, that's not it.)

You also get to hear one of the most underrated singers of Motown's golden years, Levi Stubbs, trying to channel the spirit remnant of the Midnight Cowboy wandering New York asking middle-aged women for directions. Spoiler alert: He doesn't get them.


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