Saturday, December 5, 2020



purchase  [ Gorilla ]

SMM has done Leftovers at this season every year since its inception back in 2008. That theme, something Christmassy, followed by our In Memoriam theme are our traditions.

With ony two in the house for "turkey day" this year (in Istanbul, Turkey no less), we had no leftovers besides the pumpkin pie and a dab of cranberry. To compensate, I cooked a second batch of stuffing and turkey the next night. Want some more? Yes, please. Gotta have those leftovers.

But ... the music ... No leftovers here. Does Village Voice critic Robert Christgau like James Taylor? His comment about Taylor's version of this song are a pretty clear: "No, thanks". He labelled it "disgraceful". Further remarks he has made about Taylor indicate that it is not just this song. He writes: "I am no more likely to enjoy a James Taylor concert than an Engelbert Humperdink concert, and [...] this prejudice is not primarily musical."

In almost a rebuttal  to Christgau's "no way, thanks", Taylor's version of the lyrics of Marvin Gaye's original, again and again sing "thank you baby" - to Carly SImon. 

I kind of side with Christgau -but not as vociferously - Sweet Baby James was a good album. I'm mildly prejudiced because I had one foot in Chapel Hill, NC in those days, so Taylor was a home-town hero (and the songs were provocative in their own genre for the time). After that ... we discovered the true baby james.

For contrast, there's narry a thanks in Marvin Gaye's lyrics, The song "vibe" itself is thanks enough. Christgau is right.

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