Recycle It!: John Legend & P!nk 'Don't Give Up'

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oh, the recession. Making my college degree obsolete one day at a time. I should co-sign with the 'rent is too damn high' party and bury my pen along with dreams of writing professionally and slap on a red nose and join the circus. Or I could listen to some mood lifting music and keep hope alive. If there is a song that is partially depressing and partially uplifting it's Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush's "Don't Give Up". Actually it's not thoroughly depressing, but considering that the subject revolves around the tale of a man contemplating taking his own life after losing his job and financial situations go awry, it's a little down in the dumps. Well, until a voice of reason steps in to save him. 

When Gabriel and Bush collaborated on this back in 1986 it was a golden opportunity for some out-of-bounds quirkiness, yet they unleashed the unexpected: a tame and lush ballad complete with a hug-a-lots music video. Personally, "Don't Give Up" is one of my favorite songs, and any cover of this is welcomed with me. Lady GaGa put her stamp on an electronic version a year ago, and now we have John Legend and P!nk taking over, and it isn't a run-of-the-mill rehash. Recorded for Herbie Hancock's Imagine Project, Legend and P!nk put their best feet forward and come up with a deliciously beautiful take. I often say that we don't give P!nk much vocal credit considering she gets more attention for her "party songs", but here she takes over Kate's consoling coo with a tinge of roughness and carries it well throughout. With Legend at her side, they compliment each other so well on a song that is just as poignant as it was some 24 years ago.We are living in hard times right now, but it's good to know that we have friends and music to guide us through those rough patches. Check after the cut for both versions to compare and contrast.

Shouts to XO Middle Eight for the heads up.

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