‘Always Something There To Remind Me’ Covers: A Not Even Remotely Complete Ranking
The other day that synth version of “Always Something There To Remind Me” by Naked Eyes came on the radio, and I was reminded that there are approximately eleventy hundred covers of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic, most of which are probably better than the Naked Eyes version, but several of which are much weirder. Let’s rank these suckas from worst to first.
OK, look. I dig on new wave, and I never have problems with unconventional covers, but you cannot CANNOT do a Bacharach/David cover if you can’t sing, and Naked Eyes cannot sing.
Did you want a guitar version? Jose has you covered. This wouldn’t be so bad except that at some points, Feliciano inexplicably whoops. This is not a song about whooping. This is a sad regretful song, because Burt Bacharach and Hal David did not really specialize in happy little ditties.
The Dutch version! The instrumentation here sounds like almost every other classic 60s arrangement of the song, but the Dutch does not lend itself to singing this even a little bit. There are many parts of Dutch that apparently sound just like clearing your throat, which doesn’t really work in a delicate song like this. Also, Edwin Rutten probably didn’t sound that fantastic in any language, really.
Now French works MUCH much better here. British songstress Sandie Shaw recorded quite a few Bacharach/David classics in her day (who didn’t, really?) and the French gives it a nice swinging 60s vibe.
Years ago, Dusty Springfield told a story (no link, sorry — this was teevee) about how after Bacharach and David essentially broke up with Dionne Warwick and were writing for other people primarily, Springfield had to sit Bacharach down and say “STOP WRITING MELODIES ONLY DIONNE WARWICK CAN SING” because Bacharach would write the melody for an instrument, not a person, but it didn’t matter for Dionne. Back in the day, Dionne was that good, and no other version comes close.