The Commitments is a 1991 movie musical based on a 1987 novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle. Why am I talking about a movie? Well this movie has a lot of great cover songs in it, apart from the fact it’s a very entertaining movie, I share a love of this soundtrack with my wife’s brother. I happen to be visiting my brother in law and his lovely wife at their beautiful home on Vancouver Island, so I thought it appropriate to blog about a mutual interest in music.
“Mustang Sally” clip from the movie, Andrew Strong singing lead vocals as the character ‘Deco Cuffe’
The song was written by Mack Rice and originally performed by him as ‘Sir Mack Rice’ in 1965. Covered at least 70 times.
The most recognizable version and inspiration for the movie was this one by the legendary Wilson Picket, released in October of 1966 and the fourth time the song had been done.
“Take Me to the River” from the soundtrack, again Andrew Strong on lead vocals
Written by Al Green and Teenie Hodges, released on “Al Green Explores Your Mind” album in 1974. Covered over 50 times.
A really different take on this song and one of those “I didn’t know it was the same song!” covers from the Talking Heads (1978) and a regular in my cover tunes playlist.
“Try A LittleTenderness” from the movie, Andrew Strong again.
This song has a very interesting history, written by Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly and Harry M. Woods and first recorded by ‘Ray Noble and His Orchestra’ in December of 1932, released in 1933. Val Rosing (also known as Gilbert Russel) on vocals (see trivia note at the bottom). Covered by the likes of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Lulu and again most recently in February of this year for the 160th time.
“Chain of Fools” from the movie, the "Commitmentettes" – Imelda Quirke (Angeline Ball), Natalie Murphy (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and Bernie McGloughlin (Bronagh Gallagher).
Aretha Franklin in 1967. Oh my, hard to get a better song than this! Covered over 60 times.
"Nowhere to Run", lead vocals by Niamh Kavanagh (an Irish singer from the soundtrack but not in the movie)
Martha and the Vandellas.
There have been covers by Arnold McCuller used in the movie "The Warriors" and by Boga used in "Baby Driver", Michael McDonald even took a crack at it. Let's just stick with the original.
Cover song trivia: Who sang the original version of “The Teddy Bear's Picnic” with Henry Hall & His Orchestra - (1932)? One- Val Rosing, just mentioned above as the original vocalist on "Try A Little Tenderness".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Commitments_(film)#Soundtracks, https://www.whosampled.com/Martha-and-the-Vandellas/Nowhere-to-Run/covered/images: https://fogsmoviereviews.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/movies-i-want-everyone-to-see-the-commitments-1991/
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