In football parlance, it’s getting to the business end of the year. The time of year when the winners are seperated from the losers, the wheat loosened from the chaff, the right decent records recategorised as ‘classics’ while the clunkers vanish into obscurity. It’s a couple of weeks too early for any definitive list/rundown, but 2 or 3 singles are easily near the top of my ‘right decent records’ list. The Maccabees ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ is one of them. I said when it came out that it would be one of my favourite singles of the year and time has not changed my opionion. ‘Standing Next To Me’ by the Last Shadow Puppets. Paul Weller‘s ‘Echoes Round The Sun’, ‘Oranges & Apples’ by the Trashcan Sinatras. All great records. Given time I could give you 20 more. MGMT‘s ‘Time To Pretend’ is also up there, and I intend to post a fair few MGMT remixes in the coming weeks. However, whilst those records (or downloads-only) above have grabbed me for whatever reasons, my number 1 favourite single of the year without a shadow of a doubt is ‘Mercy‘ by Duffy.
I can be quite snobbish about my music, especially when records like ‘Mercy‘ become all-conquering chart monsters and everyone from Primary 1 girls to 50+ year old secretaries can sing them. And that’s just my place of work. The elitist in me sometimes likes ‘my’ music to remain ‘mine’. But that’s my problem, not yours. Surely, only the sniffiest of music snobs could seriously ignore ‘Mercy‘ Some might say that Duffy being a bit of a looker doesn’t do any harm, but ‘Mercy‘ is a fantastic track, from the wonky ripped-off ‘Stand By Me’ bassline intro to the Sly Stone double-time handclaps at the outro, via the vocals themselves. It’s northern soul fruggery of the highest order, and as a dance track it’s right up there with ‘Superstition‘ in the ‘Songs That Make Me Dance Like The Rhythmically-Challenged White West of Scotland Male That I Am‘ list. But you probably knew that already.
To these ears, the original version is still the definitive version, but there are a number of official and unofficial remixes and live tracks out there in internetland that are worth investigating. Some don’t sound too different. Others have some interesting samples – is that Sly Stone’s bassline on the ?uestlove mix? Nah. Maybe it’s on one of those Dunproofin mixes. Anyway, here’s what I’ve found (For review purposes only of course. Buy what you can folks):
Mercy (?uestlove Remix) (mp4 only)
Quite a list. Every one of them worth a listen. Go on!
For review purposes only, of course.
Download. Burn. Use image above as cover. Voila!