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May 052014

So there’s this band that started out in San Francisco that Mr. Royale I like, Deerhoof. We particularly enjoyed this track, “Flower,” from their 2003 album, Apple O’.

Fast forward a few years; the band has moved east and has released a few more albums, including most recently our favorite, the 2012 Breakup Song. On that disc, there’s also a song entitled, “Flower,” but it sounds a little like this:

And then the other day, while I was going through a Throwing Muses phase, I mentioned their song, “Cry Baby Cry” to Mr. Royale. He thought I meant the version from the 1987 EP, Chains Changed:

Yet I was referring to the Lennon-McCartney cover (he didn’t know existed!) from the 1990 Not Too Soon EP:

So what gives?! Are these fraternal twin recordings just to fuck with our heads and the libraries of music lovers everywhere? Are they reflective of a supreme lack of creativity on the part of the artists? Do they represent band ghosts that have yet to be exorcised?

And can you think of other examples of this doppelganger musical form?


  9 Responses to “Twins”

  1. 2000 Man

    I suppose it’s one thing if it’s a cover song we’re talking about, but can’t Deerhoof think of another name for their song, or did the first version leave such a small impression on them that they forgot about it? I don’t like using the same name for songs, or albums for that matter. I always figured it was a good thing I never wanted a Peter Gabriel album, because if there was one that I wanted, I’m sure the store wouldn’t have that one, and I’d buy three crappy albums called Peter Gabriel trying to find that fourth album that just didn’t happen to be in stock, and what are you supposed to tell the store? Hey, I didn’t want Peter Gabriel, I wanted Peter Gabriel!

  2. ladymisskirroyale

    Yeah, it’s a little confusing. I guess in the case of Throwing Muses, using the same title as the Beatles version was in homage, or, I’m guessing, thematically pertinent to Kristin Hersh at the time (see “Rat Girl,” and has since had multiple children).

  3. The primary ones like this that I can recall are when a band basic breaks a song up into a couple of parts with the same name for some thematic concept album purpose. Like Neutral Milk Hotel two shots at “King of Carrot Fowers” or Bowie starting and ending Scary Monsters with two versions of “It’s No Game”.

    Maybe closer to what you are getting at is Steely Dan’s two very different cuts “Your Gold Teeth” and “Your Gold Teeth II”

  4. As you guys may well know, on Springsteen’s worst non-90s album (Working on a Dream) there’s a song called “Tomorrow Never Knows” that isn’t a Beatles cover. He hasn’t ever done the Beatles cover, so it doesn’t actually qualify, but it’s close enough that I think it merits a mention.

  5. ladymisskirroyale

    Interesting, but not exactly what I was thinking about. Two versions of a song are more like covers of the same song; “Your Gold Teeth (I and II) have different titles (albeit, only slightly).

    I would guess that your examples of NMH and Bowie reflect the band’s interest in developing the song; SD’s may be to develop the theme.

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the bizarreness of different songs with the same title by the same band and what were those bands thinking?

  6. misterioso

    I don’t know what happened to the clips, but that first Deerhoof clip, the live one, reminded me of one of their other great performances:

  7. Ladymiss, did you edit out the YouTube clips? It’s weird that they all dropped.

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    Aggggh!!! No, certainly not intentionally. Although I did edit a misspelling I found so perhaps something dastardly happened. I’ll see if I can get them back.

  9. ladymisskirroyale

    Oh, I kinda thought you might post something like this:

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