I Go To Sleep

The Pretenders released I Go To Sleep as the fifth single from their second studio album Pretenders II

clock_sleepI’d written this really LONG blog post, so long that it ended up in two parts, and it was emotionally exhausting. So I took a nap. Napping is not something I do well. Often, waking up, I feel more tired, or disoriented.

This time, though, I was feeling reflective when I awoke. I got to think about this song by the Pretenders called I Go to Sleep. So when I woke up fully, I started to find various versions of the song.

The Kinks (1965): Ray Davies wrote the song, as any obsessive/compulsive liner note/LP label reader would know. But I didn’t even realize this version existed. It’s a demo, and it sounds like it, but it’s sweet, though too fast, with choppy vocals, compared with the version I knew best. It was included, I learned, as “a bonus track on the reissue of their second studio album Kinda Kinks.”

The Applejacks (1965 single). Has this metal clanging throughout, which I found really annoying.

Cher (1965, on her debut album All I Really Want to Do.) She sings it OK, but the arrangement messes with the major/minor chordal structure in the bridge, not to its benefit.

Peggy Lee (1965, from the album, Then Was Then, Now Is Now.) I love Peggy Lee, but not this, which seemed oddly parochial.

Marion (1967, released as a single in Germany and the U.K.) Marion Maerz was a German singer of the ’60s. This was apparently a significant version, as it got a special section in Wikipedia. It is string-heavy on the bridge, and thereafter. The background vocals do not particularly enhance.

The Pretenders (1981, released as the fifth single from their second studio album Pretenders II) The gold standard, three minutes of perfection.

Sia (2008: Sia Furler, on her album Some People Have Real Problems. Sia’s cover charted at number thirty-two on the Australian Singles Chart.) This is about the same length as the Pretenders’ version, yet feels rushed, somehow. However, this Sia version, at 3:30, and with a harmony vocal, is very nice.

Works Progress Administration (2009, on their self-titled debut album WPA). I rather like this one, with the harmony on the bridge.

Anika (2010, on her debut album Anika.) I was reading the YouTube comments. Some people don’t understand why everyone wouldn’t like this. But I’m in the other camp that found the beat very annoying, with the voice somewhat of a monotone. I did like the idea of what’s being attempted here more than the execution.

Rasputina (2011: on their collector’s album “Great American Gingerbread: Rasputina Rarities & Neglected Items”), This is live, with two cellos, and despite a clunky note or two, I rather enjoyed it.

Other versions:
2011: Camilla Kerslake on her second album Moments
2011: Kraus
2013: Rachael Leahcar on her second album Romantique

Here are the lyrics to I Go To Sleep.
Going to Sleep [New Timelapse Video].

Arthur is sleepy.

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