Saturday, August 25, 2007

Late Night Listening: Installment V

Tonight, you get two versions for the price of one song, "Trapped" by Jimmy Cliff.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band contributed a live recording of their cover for the otherwise forgettable USA for Africa album We are the World back in 1985. I remember it getting some airplay on the Circle City top 40 station. The refrain has a wonderful synth buildup, and you find yourself bulldozed by the bass, if not drowned in the soulful wailings of its vocals. Clarence's sax solo brings tears to my eyes.

There is a clip of Bruce et al. doing the song live in Paris in 1985, but it isn't quite as rich as the version on the USA for Africa album.

Doesn't he look so young in that video?

I identify with this song these days because of the protagonist's sense of limbo, that space between awareness of an unjust situation and the capacity to escape it. I want so badly to move on, but so much needs to be resolved before I can.

While searching for the Bruce song, I found a clip of the Williams College Ephlats, a a capella group, performing the song. The camera angle and not-so-great acoustics are a big minus, but my guess is seeing this done live would be nothing short of awesome.

Call me crazy, but I love the voice on the woman who is doing the backup vocals (Patty Scialfa's part).

I think one of the things that impressed me was that given the era of the performance (around 2003), most of the group's members would have been toddlers at the time of the release of the Springsteen recording.
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