Friday, March 17, 2017

Middle: (Still) Stuck in the Middle with You

I got scooped by our own Seuras Og. I was preparing my own take on the elephant in the room when I saw his. However, he made the mistake of saying that most covers of Stuck in the Middle with You are dire. I couldn’t resist the challenge. To be fair, there are a large number of covers of the song that range from unnecessary to unfortunate. If you are going to cover a song, I feel that you should take possession of it, and show the listener something new in how you approach. But here are five versions of the song that do just that.
65 Mines Street: Stuck in the Middle with You
This one may be the weakest of my selections, but I had to find a ska version. 65 Mines Street gives this one a minimalist ska treatment; there are no horns, and they give the performance a punk attitude. Still, they do find a new infectious groove to replace the one in the original version.
Venice: Stuck in the Middle with You
Venice does the most straightforward cover of the song in this set. However, I love the accordion and bottle neck guitar here. This one is a change not of the groove but of the flavor, and it really works.
Sara Colman: Stuck in the Middle with You
How should you approach doing a jazz version of the song? Sara Colman and her small combo remake the song into a slow burner with real heat…
Michael Buble: Stuck in the Middle with You


…while Michael Buble can afford to give the song a big band treatment that really cooks as well. Alas, we don’t all have a major label backing us, but it’s great when that backing gets put to such good use.

Dale Ann Bradley: Stuck in the Middle with You
Finally, Stuck in the Middle with You turns out to be a popular choice with country artists, including versions by Keith Urban among others. But once I found this tasty bluegrass version, I stopped looking for more. There are probably a few more worthy versions in the cabinet of musical curiosities, and I hope our readers will let us know about some of those in the comments.

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