The Rod Blog

02 August 2006

Cash gives better value

Another day for laps. I arrive at the pool, and music is playing over the PA…if you could read my mind / what a tale my thoughts would tell… (it’s hard to sing in text). The singer is powerful and on key, and backed up by the driving accompaniment of a big band.

By odd coincidence I’d just been listening to the same song at my desk. This singer could not be more different. His creaky, wavering voice struggles to hold a note. He’s backed only by a strumming guitar.

The big sound of the glitzy version reminds me of the interior of a shopping mall. All chrome and glass, but lifeless in spite of the lavish production. It sounds like the triumph of marketing and money over something less tangible.

I am far more affected by the low budget effort. The lone singer expresses with a soulfulness I finding moving. Even the teenage girl who sold it to me said as much.

This is why I did something new recently. Don’t tell anybody: this can be our little secret. I bought a Country music album!

Johnny Cash’s America V was made in his bedroom during his last days and, in spite of the obvious effort it took him, his honesty shines through.

For my money, the flashy edifice is easily beaten by the humble shack.

Happy Birthday Michael!


  • Good sentiment - not so sure about the song though! Still I've heard a fair few recordings of finger-in-the ear cracking voices of English folk singers which leave a lump in my throat & transport me whenever I hear them.

    By Anonymous Jenny A, at 5:01 pm  

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