Once self-style “generation terrorists,” Manic Street Preachers are not the first band I’d think of if I was asked to come up with groups likely to cover early Madonna songs. But age mellows us all. Recorded live for the BBC 6 Music Festival in their home nation of Wales, their new cover of “Borderline” is remarkably faithful for a band that started a punk band (sort of).
Lyricist Hal David, best known for his songwriting partnership with Burt Bacharach, died of a stroke this past Saturday. He was 91 years old.
Bacharach was always the one who got the attention – debonair, handsome, jet-setter, married to Angie Dickinson, writer of melodic lines that were intricate yet hummable. But David was the one who provided the words that brought the melodies home. Without him, nobody could have asked Alfie what’s it all about, or asked a pussycat what’s new, or asked a Californian if they know the way to San Jose, or made any of those questions a part of our national fabric. David may never have been one to perform in an Austin Powers movie – it was rare enough that he performed on any stage – but he left an indelible mark on the industry, and it’s safe to ask how we could forget him when there is always something there to remind us of his accomplishments.
For those under the age of twenty-five or so, The The’s “This Is The Day” calls to mind a commercial for talking candy. For those of us old enough, or lucky enough to have parents that forced them to listen to cool music, it is something of a classic, a bittersweet ode to no one in particular. For their upcoming best-of album, National Treasures, Manic Street Preachers decided to “Pay a really fitting tribute to it, manic style.”