Monday, January 26, 2009

Music Monday 12 :: Etta James "At Last"

I keep hearing Beyonce's version of "At Last". Not that I don't like it, but it really waters down the original. I guess the "Bey" version is more popular now since she sang it as the president and his wife had their first dance to it a few days ago. Also, the song is now available on the "Cadillac Records" soundtrack.

At Last - Etta James

When I saw Beyonce sing the song for the first dance, I was a bit miffed. No disrespect to her, but it seems like disrespect for Etta James, the singer who popularized the song. Etta James is still alive you know. I'm hoping that she was asked to sing the song, but for some reason was unavailable. I really want to know if she was asked to sing the song.

James' version of the song is so crisp and effortless. And the instrumentation is precise. Good stuff.

This YouTube version won't sit well w/some who like live performances to mimic the recorded version. James improvises and takes the song in a different direction.

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At 2:58 PM, Blogger Lori said...

Hey, I like Ms. Etta's version better as well, but B's isn't bad (smile). I would have enjoyed seeing/hearing her and Ms. Etta perform the song together. Bet that would have brought the house down (LOL).

Also, did you know there is a cd of the original artists (Etta, Muddy, Wolf, Bo & Lil Walter) performing the songs that were featured in the film "Cadillac Records?" It's called the "Best of Chess Records" and I purchased it while I was visiting the "home of the blues" Memphis (smile).

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Radiogirl said...

I did not know about the cd w/the original artists. Cool. And yes, seeing Beyonce and Etta sing the song together would have been a nice compromise. I think I would have liked that. I want to hear from Etta!

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I think it was disrespectful of the producer's of the inauguration and any other show since the movie to parade beyonce around singing this woman's signature song without inviting etta to accompany her. They have acted as if the original artist was dead, when its a blessing that she is still here. can you imagine them treating james brown or ray charles that way while they were still living? amazingly classless

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Karlise Brown said...

I agree the Beyonce version is weak, and I can relate to Etta's comments since she 1. Never sang at the White House and 2.Lived this long to see the first AA president.

PS: I started singing it before Cadillac Records came out but I had no idea it would be revived.

Check out my version on youtube search starr singing At Last (Shhh-Don't Tell Etta).


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