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WRONG NOTES: a blog of ear reverence

Wrong Notes collects posts on music, art, culture and fun stuff. Also included: news about the Ear Reverends.

This town ain’t big enough for the both of us

Music is so amazing in its reach across people and places and time. I always dig looking at this—and, the other day, just for kicks, I collected videos for 18 versions (many, covers) of the Sparks' song, This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us.

I've always been interested in Sparks (official site, Wikipedia). During the time when I was a kid and watched music videos on MTV, Sparks had popular videos for songs like I Predict and All Your Ever Think About is Sex.

In spite of my interest, I've never listened to them very much. But, over the past few months, I've gotten really into Sparks' latest album, Exotic Creatures of the Deep. So, I am listening to Sparks much more now. And that somehow led me to find all these Sparks videos of This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us on YouTube.

I knew that the Sparks' song, This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us (Wikipedia, fan site's story of the song) was a big hit in the UK. But, it's not one of the Sparks' songs that I ever heard more than once or twice—it was never as popular in the US.

Anyway, it's a cool song—and also a very archetypal Sparks song. Like, if you wanted to play someone one song, such that they'd have a good idea of what Sparks sounds like, I think this would be a good choice.

And, this is what makes it interesting both as a cover song, and as a song to see Sparks themselves play across the eras of the 70s, 90s, and past few years.

So, I didn't include absolutely every video of the song on YouTube. There were several 1974-era TV appearances with Sparks lip-syncing that I left out. And, there were a couple super low quality cover versions that I left out too. Also, I tried to put them in a meaningful sequence—there's a somewhat intentional progression there. Anyway, I ended-up (at this time) with these 18 videos:

(Finally, I'll note that I am always hoping that there'll be some interesting innovation with music players that allows us to rotate through different versions of songs we like. So, for example, imagine a player with a playlist item for This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us that, each time that items comes up for play, a random version is selected, rather than the same exact track. . .

Tim Leary meets Billy Idol by Joey Ramone on 1993 Television

The 1990s start looking like a fictional past when you watch this video of Timothy Leary interviewing Billy Idol about the "cyber" future on a show hosted by Joey Ramone, that also features an interview with the band Television about their album from 1992.

This video is from a show called ABC in Concert—I never watched it (I totally tuned-out of TV during that era). The video is online as part of what's turning into an amazing resource, the Timothy Leary Archive, at the Internet Archive.

It's strange to see—a weird purgatory era—for Billy Idol, for the Ramones, for Television—for the web. I don't know what things were like in general for Tim Leary at that time (he rants a bit about still being seen as a "public menace" in the UK). His comments about cyber-culture are really insightful. But his appearance in this video—interviewing Bily Idol, nevertheless makes me think of the 1990s as being "out of time."

At just before 16:45 minutes, there's an interview with Television. It's neat to see them, at that time, as a band. The album they're promoting, Television (1992) is one that I rushed out and bought and listened to (because their earlier Marquee Moon is one of my all-time favorites—and I also am big fan of Tom Verlaine's albums in-between.) But, "Mars" was the only song I ever got into on Television.

Again, it's like it's "out of time." You draw a line between Marquee Moon and Tom Verlaine's current work, and Television (the album) maybe isn't even on that line.

(btw, we we're just turning-on some friends to Tom Verlaine's 2006 instrumental album, Around the other night. That gets played a lot around here.)

Anyway, here's the video:

Timothy Leary Interviews Billy Idol - In Concert with The Ramones (1993)

nearby posts:




. . . the new music player is very coming soon and such . . .