Under The Covers With Sandie ShawAugust 18, 2007
Sandie Shaw is best known as being the bare-footed, bowl-cut headed Eurovision winner in 1967. The rest of the music world may have been happily psyching out to Syd Barrett, Hendrix and Woodstock but Sandie found success with her inoffensive brand of pop music.
Some of you may be aware that this work enjoyed a critical reappraisal in the mid 80s, thanks to the patronage of Morrissey. Indeed, the Smiths ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ was a direct steal (in title if not music) from Sandie’s ‘Heaven Knows I’m Missing Him Now’. She went on to return the favour by recording her version of 3 Smiths tracks (a later post for sure) as well as covering other stuff of the day like Lloyd Cole’s ‘Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?’ What many people don’t know is that toward the end of 1969 she had a go at producing her own album.
The resulting album, ‘Reviewing The Situation’ was unlike anything she had done so far. The album contained covers of the more alternative acts of the day. In fact, she was the first person to cover a Led Zeppelin song. ‘Your Time Is Gonna’ Come’ (originally on the first Led Zeppelin album) is a belter. It’s fairly faithfull to the original. Starting out on a 12 string guitar, it comes on all heavy organ through the verses and features some brilliant double tracked vocals in the chorus. Better than Led Zeppelin’s? It’s not far off.
It also features a flute-happy, organ heavy version of Bob Dylan‘s ‘Lay Lady Lay’, Sandie’s whispered vocals to the fore. Not a patch on Dylan’s, but it’s always good to hear his songs done by other folk.
The last track on the album is her version of the Rolling Stones ‘Sympathy For The Devil’. Some frantic brushed drumming, piano riffing and bass playing, coupled with the slightly helium approach on the vocals make this sound a wee bit too fast. You’ll need to insert your own “woo-hoo’s” though. Points off for missing them out Sandie.
Following her success at Eurovison and beyond, Sandie was fed up at being treated like a conveyor belt pop star and saw this album as her chance of making it as a credible artist. But sadly for Sandie, Pye Records hated the album and did nothing to promote it. You can still get it, but enjoy these tracks while you can…
Bonus track not on the album. Sandie Shaw’s version of Paul McCartney‘s ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’. You will be amazed…(apologies if you are offended)…..
Sandie Shaw’s greatest hits. Sorry.