Five Dollar Blog Post

So I was goofing off on the internet and came across this video, and about halfway through it was suddenly struck by an insatiable desire to own The Girl From Ipanema. You know how it is.

This led to the iTunes music store, which led to the realization that the song has been covered by at least forty different singers. Per year. Since the early sixties. (Wikipedia claims it to be the second-most-covered song ever written, after the Beatle’s “Yesterday”.)

This makes it a little difficult to find the original version, recorded by Stan Getz and João Gilberto in 1962:


(download as mp3)

And even more difficult to find the canonical version, recorded by Astrud Gilberto (João’s wife) in ‘63:


(download as mp3)

But it’s very easy to find versions that are odd but a little interesting, like Ella Fitzgerald’s:


(download as mp3)

Or versions that are just plain wrong, like Sammy Davis Jr.:


(download as mp3)

Or versions that are so very very wrong as to defy description:


(download as mp3)

That one’s by someone named “Mrs. Miller”, who I’m deliberately avoiding googling, because it’s a no-win situation: either she’s doing it as a gag, which would be disappointing, or she actually thinks she sounds good, which would be depressing.

Finally there are versions that are so wrong that they come out the other side and become right again.

I think I can quantify exactly what makes the difference: it’s all about the “aaaaah”. As in and when she passes / each one she passes / go aaaaah. Astrud is relaxed and suave. Sammy sounds like the girl punched him in the gut on her way by. And Kompressor are, well, themselves.

Go on, press play on all five simultaneously. I know you want to.

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