Weekend Open Thread   3 comments

I’m cutting out early today, so welcome to the weekend, and your weekend open thread, where you can discuss whatever you like.

Continuing with my theme of the summer of one-hit wonders, I offer Norman Greenbaum. Aside from dj’s, most people won’t recognize his name, but they will probably remember his one hit, Spirit in the Sky:

How did Greenbaum, born and raised a Jew, write a song with such strong Christian overtones? From an interview he did with Examiner.com:

…I’m a writer and I’ve always thought I can write about anything I want to write about. I was into all kinds of music from jug band music to country music. I was taken by Porter Wagoner, he’d wear these snazzy coats that he’d got from Nudie’s in North Hollywood and had a big pompadour. And he was kind of interesting. He had a show on TV and I’d watch it. One day he’s singing this song about a preacher and I said, “Wow that’s a little out of my league to write about preachers and stuff, but I can do it.” And that’s what I did. But it had nothing to do about having a religious background. Many people thought I was tongue- in- cheek and making fun by saying, “Never been a Sinner” but basically I didn’t know any better. I just did it at the top of my head and put music to it that was unbelievable when you think of a spiritual type of song and it was very risky. But as it developed, the producer and I both knew we had something.

…If you ask me what I based “Spirit In The Sky” on… What did we grow up watching? …Westerns! These mean and nasty varmints get shot and they wanted to die with their boots on. So to me that was spiritual, they wanted to die with their boots on.

…The song itself was simple, when you’re writing a song you keep it simple of course. It wasn’t like a Christian song of praise it was just a simple song. I had to use Christianity because I had to use something. But more important it wasn’t the Jesus part, it was the spirit in the sky. Funny enough… I wanted to die with my boots on.

The song only reached #3 on the U.S. charts, but was #1 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.

Spirit in the Sky has had multiple covers, including one by Elton John:

But the best cover, in my opinion, was by a band called Stellar Kart. Almost all of the covers by other musicians are too similar to the original (including Elton John’s version above). But Stellar Kart opens with a ZZTop-like guitar riff, followed by a punk version of the song:

There is nothing like a fresh take on a great original!

With that, I am calling the week over. Have a great weekend folks!

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Posted July 11, 2014 by edmcgon in Music, Open Thread

3 responses to “Weekend Open Thread

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  1. Yes! After a hell work week it ends on a very very high note! 🙂 With work blowing up in my face all week oil keeps dropping and I keep watching and today charts looked weak so I watched. I sold for a profit 🙂 I made .15% I know I know beer money but the oil is so over sold at this point I can’t watch it anymore. Good example of extreme over bought to extreme over sold. I think it will take some time for oil to correct it’s self.
    BTW I bought SCO when oil was at 102.5 today 100.5, good example of leveraged stocks. I bought my first shares on 6-2 and the 2nd right after.

    I see nice money being made y’all have a great weekend 🙂 Marshall sorry about your down day. How is your knee? I’ll be water skiing soon.

  2. There are very few (if any; until now) covers I like better than the original. However, I found Stellar Kart almost bearable to listen to. I never like the song, Spirit in the Sky, and don’t believe I will until I reach senility and even then I may still not like it.

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