Wednesday 12 April 2017

Wild Horses

Cover version of the month #24

Wild Horses - The Sundays cover The Rolling Stones

The Sundays were a band I fell for in my early teenage years. Their debut album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic was heralded by the weekly music magazines NME and Melody Maker and the reviews sent me scurrying to buy a copy from Missing Records in Oswald Street in Glasgow. Songs like Here's Where The Story Ends were just gorgeous pop, stunning songwriting. Oh and for a 14/15 year old indie kid, lead singer Harriet Wheeler was the kind of girl you fantasised about when the streets were cold and lonely, dreamy and with a beautiful voice.

I bought The Sundays Goodbye 12-inch single. The b-side was a cover of The Stones Wild Horses, a song I was familiar with through an old battered Stones compilation album owned by my Dad.

The Stones version is a masterpiece in songwriting and delivery. The slow acoustic, Jagger's impeccable vocal (and some of his best lyrics), the beat kicking in, the rise.... it is majestic.

I know I've dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I don't have much time
Faith has been broken tears must be cried
Lets do some living, after we've died

Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them some day

The solo is exquisite, no-one else could play like that, it is beautiful and soulful.

Who in their right mind would attempt to cover it?

Well a young indie band from Reading decided to tackle it. And of course, nothing could compare to the Stones, but The Sundays version was one that greatly appealed to the 16-year old me and after rediscovering it over 20-years down the line it still does.

Wheeler's voice aches in a different kind of way to Jagger's, hearing a female lead makes the elder me look at the song in a completely different way, appreciate it even more. Wheeler's voice is dreamy, yet soaked in reality, detached, yet present. It is potentially the boldest cover to date in this series.


FurryBootsCityBoy said...

Gram Parsons & The Flying Burrito Brothers did my favourite cover of "Wild Horses". The Sundays' version was a bit too sweet to my taste, but maybe that's because it's a woman doing the vocal.

everythingflows said...

Totally forgot about that one!