Recycle It!: System Addict

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ever come across a cover and just thought---I don't know who does it better? This 'crossroads' happen with "Mean Sleep" awhile back (though Lenny Kravitz and Cree Summer's original won by a landslide in the comments), but I'm back at dividing line when I hear "You Are In My System".

It's kind of strange that The System's first single for their 1983 debut, Sweat, has been sort of forgotten. To me it's as big as a milestone for the marriage of R&B and dance music like Shannon's "Let The Music Play" and Madonna's "Everybody" was, and just as catchy. Packed to the wall with synths and a chorus you could really sink into, the track is one of my favorites from the duo and a favorite of those who clubbed in the 80's, as it was a top ten R&B smash.

Robert Palmer took his shot on it the same year for his Pride album, even recruiting the System's David Frank to play the synths on it. His spin is just as funky as the original, but just a tad glossier. Palmer's done many other covers before (I'm still learning to love his version of Cherrelle's "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On"---I'm just so precious about the original), but this is his best cover, in my opinion. As (hilarious) as one YouTube commented by saying that Palmer was "a Black man accidentally born White", it's not far from the truth and you'll hear it on this track.

So which "system" rocks the best?

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