Thursday, July 8, 2010

JDIZZY's 365 # 60: Adios

Adios - Jimmy Webb (1993)

I came to this song early in life, thanks to my parent's copy of Linda Ronstadt's seminal album of the 1980's Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind. On the Brian Wilson produced version featured there, Linda makes a strong case for singers usurping the songwriters. However, songwriters sometimes wait to record their own compositions, like Carole King did with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?", making previous covers pale in proverbial comparison.

Jimmy Webb is one of my top five songwriters of the 20th century. He's written two songs already in the 365. His songwriting will be featured again. And, in 1993, he went back to a tune he'd written in the previous decade.........and stole it back. Webb has always been a master storyteller, but this tale rings with a truth not found in his previous work. This version , sang so beautifully before, was treated like a musical theatre piece by Ms. Ronstadt: she was playing a part. I have no proof that Mr. Webb lived anything in this song, but the honesty is overpowering. Let it sneak up on you, as it did for me when I purchased Suspending Disbelief at a used record store in 2005, and you will leave the proceedings floored. Listening to this song will no longer be a choice. It becomes a need. A need for the constant reminder that art and pop are not strange bedfellows, but intimate, passionate lovers who will spend eternity painting this world with light, love and intrinsic good.

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