KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

FROM AMY TO ZAPPA – I’m Waiting For Valerie

This is a silly subject for a blog post: songs named “Valerie” (including alternate spellings). I was inspired a few weeks ago after hearing one of them at the gym, and then another one on my MP3 player during my commute later that day. A few more “Valeries” immediately popped into my head and I wanted to find out if others enjoy them as much as I do. After a brief internet search I was reminded of two more that I had forgotten about. Although I don’t like them as much as the others, they’re noteworthy enough to include here. Consider this an informal poll. Please let me know how many of these songs you like and if there are any others I’ve overlooked.

The Monkees – “Valleri” (1968)
(Great chorus & killer lead guitar)

Richard Thompson – “Valerie” (1986)
(I couldn’t find the original version online but this is an excellent substitute)

Marshall Crenshaw – “Valerie” (1989)
(Crenshaw’s cover of Richard Thompson’s original was my introduction to the song since I didn’t become a Thompson fan until a few years later)

Steve Winwood – “Valerie” (1982)
(An early ’80s classic)

The Zutons – “Valerie” (2006)
(Liverpool’s The Zutons were a personal favorite during their brief 3-album career from 2004 to 2008. They were huge in England but never made a dent here in the U.S.  This song had a second life as you’ll see below)

Mark Ronson Featuring Amy Winehouse – “Valerie” (2007)
(A completely reworked version of The Zutons track. I still prefer the original but it’s hard to deny the infectious groove on this one)

Patti Scialfa – “Valerie” (1993)
(I didn’t initially like the debut solo album by Mrs. Bruce Springsteen, but when I fell in love with her sophomore record a decade later I came back around to its predecessor and found a lot to enjoy…including this song)

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention – “Valarie” (1970)
(This cover of an old doo-wop song is probably one of Zappa’s most straightforward & accessible recordings)

If none of these songs do anything for you, perhaps you prefer one of these Valeries:

Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie Bertinelli – Actress & former Mrs. Eddie Van Halen

Valerie Harper - TV's "Rhoda" (among many other roles)

Valerie Harper – TV’s “Rhoda” (among many other roles)

 

Valerie Perrine - Actress best known to my generation as Miss Teschmacher from 1978's "Superman"

Valerie Perrine – actress best known to my generation as Miss Teschmacher from 1978’s “Superman”

Ross Valory - Longtime bassist for Journey

Ross Valory – longtime bassist for Journey

Advertisements

40 comments on “FROM AMY TO ZAPPA – I’m Waiting For Valerie

  1. DanicaPiche
    January 5, 2016

    Your gym has inspired DJ’s (or programmers). I’m not familiar with these songs and am streaming. I like the alternate Valerie list too!

    Like

    • Hi Danica. Fortunately my current gym plays much better music than the previous one. I don’t like working out with headphones so I’m at the mercy of the DJ/programmer. Glad you enjoyed my alternate Valerie list. I can’t expect everyone to like these songs, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dean Vincent Micheli
    January 5, 2016

    Material Issue – Valerie Loves Me

    Like

    • I had completely forgotten about Material Issue and hadn’t heard this song in more than 2 decades. Thanks for reminding me about them. They’re a worthy addition to this post.

      Like

  3. DanicaPiche
    January 5, 2016

    Here’s another Valerie song: The Weeknd (2011):

    Like

    • That’s a really nice song, Danica. Is it safe to say The Weeknd is somewhat inspired by Michael Jackson? I hope he’s saving up his money to buy the missing “e” for his group name. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good to see Richard Thompson and Marshall Crenshaw on these pages, I need to investigate ‘Good Evening’. Who’s the drummer?

    Like

    • Hi Matt. I would love to write about the complete Thompson & Crenshaw discographies. If/when my schedule opens up, and when I’m eventually settled in a new house & get my music collection out of storage boxes, I will strongly consider those when deciding on upcoming subjects. I believe Kenny Aronoff was the drummer on Good Evening. I saw Crenshaw on that tour and Aronoff was with him (along with one of my all-time favorite bass players, Graham Maby). It was by far my favorite Crenshaw show…and I’ve seen him at least a half dozen times.

      Like

      • Ta Rich. I always liked that Crenshaw album ‘Downtown’ but need to check out some more. Like his songwriting a lot. Aronoff really is Mr Solidity…

        Like

      • I love everything Crenshaw has released but his first decade as a recording artist is hard to beat. I love the fact that he used different producers for each record to give them a unique feel, people like Richard Gottehrer, Steve Lillywhite, T-Bone Burnett, Don Dixon and David Kirschenbaum. I get the feeling you’ll enjoy just about all the albums from that era. Downtown is a particular favorite, especially songs like “The Distance Between,” “Blues Is King” and “Like A Vague Memory.”

        Like

      • Definitely agree re. ‘Distance Between’, what a superb track. I even did a home-recorded cover of that playing all instruments (but not singing) which I may try and post somewhere! It’s funny that Crenshaw worked with Hugh Padgham. On paper they would seem an odd match-up but I’m intrigued.

        Like

      • Would love to hear your instrumental version of “Distance Between” so please let me know if/when you post it. I don’t recall which Crenshaw album was produced by Hugh Padgham. He also worked with Ed Stasium, who did a great job on what I consider his last truly classic album, “Life’s Too Short.”

        Like

      • Wow. Another curveball right there. I only know Stasium from Living Colour’s debut. I need to do some serious Crenshaw research. And yes, will try and put ‘Distance Between’ on Soundcloud in next few days and drop you a link.

        Like

  5. wardo68
    January 5, 2016

    The original “Valarie” by Jackie & The Starlites is hilariously overwrought. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekJ_n1zKsWA

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing the original recording, Ward. I agree that it’s a little overwrought, but that’s probably what drew Zappa to it.

      Cheers.
      Rich

      Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 5, 2016

        I think that Zappa was a genuine doo-wop fan. Interestingly, just a short time before Rainbow, Ronnie James Dio was singing doo-wop.

        Speaking of Rainbow: I have tickets for the Loreley concert next summer!

        Like

      • Zappa’s love of doo-wop pervades a lot of his music, and it’s an aspect of his discography I’ve always liked. I knew that RJD wasn’t always a metal god but haven’t heard any of his early recordings. I’m guessing they’re on YouTube so I’ll have to seek them out.

        Wow, you will get to see the return of Ritchie Blackmore, Electric Guitar God. You need to set up your blog so you can report on that show.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 5, 2016

        Somewhat surprisingly “ronnie james dio doo wop” in Google turns up some stuff in Youtube, but it is just sound with stills, no video. I don’t think there was ever any footage (and back then it would have been real footage of film) shot. (I’m always surprised when there are videos, or even just photographs, of famous people long before they were famous).

        Yes, I’ll be seeing Ritchie, and at an interesting location. However, I’ve seen him before, once with the reincarnated Mark II lineup and several times with his current outfit, Blackmore’s Night.

        I gather that he is getting arthritis and realizes that his playing days (well, at least his days of playing guitar; he has a wife decades younger and young children, in addition to his son Jürgen who is our age) might soon be over, so why not give it one last fling?!

        Like

      • I’m not surprised that there’s no film footage of a young RJD but I’m glad there are at least some still photos. Once someone becomes famous, anyone with photos or videos will do whatever they can to cash in. That’s especially true in the internet age.

        That’s a good point about Blackmore’s health. I’m just glad he’s rocking out one last(?) time. How do you feel about the lineup he’ll be playing with, especially the relatively unknown singer?

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 5, 2016

        I do hope to get the blog set up this year. Hopefully before summer. Maybe even in February.

        Like

      • Looking forward to reading your blog whenever you launch it. I’m guessing concert reviews will be a part of it, right?

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 5, 2016

        “How do you feel about the lineup he’ll be playing with, especially the relatively unknown singer?”

        Considering the number of lineup changes Rainbow had, it would be unrealistic to recreate one of the old lineups! Of course, many of those guys are still around, and while Don Airey, say, would be nice, put yourself in Ritchie’s place: ask Dougie White and Joe Lynn Turner would be offended and vice versa. It really has always been “Ritchie Blackmore’s Ranibow”, though of course some like Cozy Powell and Dio did put their stamp on aspects of it.

        Of course, people will want to hear the classic stuff. Including certain people from old lineups would bias the material towards that lineup. I don’t think there’ll be any new music, so any creative contribution from new members is a moot point. I’m sure they’ll be technically competent.

        Like

      • All great points, Phillip. I’m sure the show will be great but it would be extra special if he could include some former members, even for a song or two.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 5, 2016

        “Looking forward to reading your blog whenever you launch it. I’m guessing concert reviews will be a part of it, right?”

        Certainly. But there’ll be other stuff too.

        Like

  6. mikeladano
    January 5, 2016

    Best post ever, Rich. Ross Valory! Great way to end it. Also, thank you for teaching me how to spell Miss Teschmacher!

    Like

    • Thanks, Mike. Glad you enjoyed Ross Valory’s inclusion. I couldn’t resist. I had to look up the spelling of Teschmacher. I thought it was “Tessmacher” so I was close, but thanks to the internet we now know the correct spelling.

      Like

  7. J.
    January 6, 2016

    Nice post, Rich. I’d totally forgot about The Zutons track (and the Ronson and Amy take). My favourite Valerie would be from Crooked Fingers. There’s just something about it … a drunken swaggering love song.

    Like

    • Glad you enjoyed this, J. The Zutons were a really cool band. It’s a shame they didn’t have more success, especially here in the US. I had never listened to Crooked Fingers before but I gave their “Valerie” a listen and it’s excellent. Thanks for letting me know about them. Here’s the video for everyone else to enjoy:

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        January 6, 2016

        I still listen to Who Killed The Zutons a fair bit. They dropped off my radar after album number 2, which, despite some good songs, was a little more slick and less quirky.

        Crooked Fingers are great – really glad you liked that one. The album it’s from (Dignity and Shame) is excellent also – definitely worth investigating, Rich.

        Like

      • I haven’t played the Zutons albums in a few years but I expect that they’ll hold up pretty well next time I give them a spin. I recall enjoying all three of them equally. I feel the same way about The Coral, another excellent band from the same era, who continue to release excellent records.

        Crooked Fingers are now on my radar thanks to you. I appreciate the suggestion.

        Like

      • J.
        January 7, 2016

        I think they were often unfairly, and unfavourably, compared to The Coral. My brother was a fan of The Coral, but I didn’t quite take to them (though I’ve been meaning to try that lot again).

        Enjoy Crooked Fingers, Rich. I would also recommend their Red Devil Dawn album. Some real good songs on there, too. Bachmann’s Archers of Loaf are very good also!

        Like

      • It’s a shame that the music press will always compare bands, often unfavorably, as if the world doesn’t have enough room for two excellent young “retro” rock bands. Sure, The Coral and The Zutons exist in a similar musical universe, but they each offer their own unique sound. I hope you enjoy The Coral more the next time you give them a shot. Are you familiar with Swedish band The Soundtrack Of Our Lives? They’re another group from that era that should be much more highly regarded.

        I’ve heard of Archers Of Loaf but know nothing about them. I will add them to my “artists to check out” list. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        January 7, 2016

        Couldn’t agree more. The constant comparisons get a bit tiresome.

        As for The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, that’s a band I haven’t heard in quite a while! The last album of theirs I heard was Behind The Music, can’t say I heard anything after that! (Not due to disliking anything; they just fell off the radar). Cheers for throwing their name back out there!

        Like

      • TSOOL are well worth investigating further. They split up a few years ago but they left behind a very impressive discography. After Behind The Music, I think the music press moved on, which was a shame but not surprising. They’re always looking for the next big thing.

        Like

      • J.
        January 7, 2016

        Aint that the way? I remember at the time the music press was all over them. Likely went looking for the new Rolling Stones, Beatles, or Cream …

        Like

      • They need to let us brilliant bloggers take over the music press so we can straighten things out. Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        January 7, 2016

        … the real music press!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Peter Gugger
    January 25, 2016

    Not silly at all Rich. I hadn’t heard the Monkee’s Valleri since watching the TV show as a kid and I’d never heard where Amy Winehouse had got her Valerie from. And I didn’t know Marshal Crenshaw had covered Richard Thompson’s.
    Coincidently a sampled version of Steve Winwood’s Valerie was playing in the gym the other day. It was very difficult to look away from the screen and concentrate on my workout! I looked it up on YouTube (for research purposes only of course) and it’s by Eric Prydz.

    Like

    • Thanks for making me feel less silly, Peter. I’m glad this post let you know about the Winehouse/Zutons and Crenshaw/Thompson connections. Now that you mention it, that sampled version of Winwood’s “Valerie” might have been my initial impetus since that’s what was playing at the gym, not the original. I was annoyed that the song just looped Winwood singing the title with no other hooks, and it got me thinking about the original, then Thompson’s song of the same name…and the rest is internet “history.” I appreciate the feedback.

      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

  9. Pingback: Thirty Year Thursday – RICHARD THOMPSON “DARING ADVENTURES” | KamerTunesBlog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to KamerTunesBlog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 325 other followers

Archives

%d bloggers like this: