Recycle It!: The Triple Play Of 'Love You Down'

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

There are some tunes that no matter who remakes them, or how many times they are covered, it can still sound like a breath of fresh air. Sometimes even better than the original. This is the case with the Ready For The World classic, "Love You Down". The R&B collective from Flint, Michigan, with the wet n' wild Jheri curls, released their slow jam come-on to an older woman in 1986, a sultry change of pace from their dance shufflers known as, "Oh, Sheila" and "Digital Display". Little did the group know that there song was to take on not one, but two different twists. The evolution of this song is pretty interesting, if you lay it all out....shall we begin?

Exhibit A: RFTW's Original

Can't you just feel the Jheri curl juice drip from the sweet seduction of this? Wipe it up please, you're getting it all over my carpet...

Exhibit B: INOJ's Bass Rehash
Now flash forward to 1996, when a little known R&B/Bass singer named INOJ, released her version of this song, and gained a strong radio hit from it. This song took me back, and re-listening to it, its remains to be a great cover. INOJ takes the slow jam and turns in into a ram-bam dance meets hip-hop track. Technically, the track was fashioned on a Miami Bass style, a style that is somewhat passe...well, till a rapper who likes to snatch microphones from teeny boppers revitalized it with his 808's project. INOJ was a repeat cover smother offender as she also released a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", which actually reached the #6 mark back in 1997, and also tackled Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell", but blink back then, and you probably missed it. In a possible nod to the performers of "Love You Down" INOJ named her one (and only) album, Ready For The World. Homage much?

Exhibit C: Meshell's 'Love' Creep
Now let's rejoin the present and tune into music innovator, Meshell Ndegeocello's rendition were she sexes it up even more. At the moment, Meshell is creating a fluster of joy among fans with her recently dropped eighth album, Devil's Halo (which we'll return to later). But the talk of the album is the "Love You Down" remake. A remake that has me, the Audio Diva, reaching for a glass of wine to down after experiencing the nocturnal erotic creep of Meshell's version. Meshell literally strips the song bare and flips making it a completely different song. It still has that sweetness, but when Meshell rips into the guitar...well, just listen above and you'll feel your soul being rocked.

Moral of this exhibit? You can take one great song, bend and shape it into something different and it still a song that people enjoy no matter what flavor it has been changed to.

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