With our minds still blown by Fiona Apple’s phenomenal version of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It,” last week, a friend has turned our attention to another great cover by the wacky genius Fiona. Her version of Elvis Costello’s 1986 torch ballad “I Want You” (from the very underrated LP Blood and Chocolate.)
I’m not exactly sure where or when this was recorded but it looks to be some sort of VH1 special, somewhere around the time of her 2005 record Extraordinary Machine. I am apparently very late to the Fiona-does-Elvis party, since this clip has been viewed over two million times on YouTube. It features some powerful guitar work by Mr. Costello, a very underrated axeman.
The last time I saw this level of scary-intensity in someone’s eyes was in the fall of 1993whenKurt Cobain closed out the Nirvana Unplugged in New York show with his chills-inducing cover of Lead Belly’s “In the Pines” aka “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?"
Let's hope Fiona hangsaround a lot longer than Kurt did.
I picked up Fiona’s new record The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do the other day and am loving it - it is a spare confessional in the tradition of Laura Nyro or Nina Simone with a soupcon of Carole King. Not always an easy listen, but definitely a riveting, satisfying one. One of my favorite tracks so far is a despair-ridden neo-beatnik ditty called "Left Alone."
Buy on iTunes:
Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
Elvis Costello’s Blood and Chocolate