You know how a song gets stuck in your head and you can’t stop playing it? Well, I was listening to The Body Wins, Sarah Jaffe’s new album and got hooked on “Sucker for Your Marketing.” If you have Rdio or Spotify you can listen to it here.
The lyrics aren’t much, but I find the music hypnotizing. Of course, it’s rather basic with Indian tribal dance like drumming, and an angry bass, and Sarah’s singing with far more emotion than the words convey, and then there’s the chorus of oh, oh, oh that reminds me of an exotic bird. It’s a very sparse arrangement depending mostly on the rhythm of the drums and Sarah’s bass playing, accented by a few piano riffs, and a violin that uplifts the song to sound like a much bigger production. In fact, the violin sounds more like a strings section than a violin player.
My friend John Grayshaw suggested we write about demos of famous songs for my music blog, and this got me to thinking about how “Sucker for Your Marketing” was thought up and arranged. I got on the net and found several live performances of “A Sucker for Your Marketing” as the song was called in its earlier forms. Here’s one of the earliest.
As you can hear and see, the song is not the same as it will become on The Body Wins. What’s interesting, is the song appeared on an album The Way Sound Leaves A Room, released in September of last year. So it’s development is in between that of the live performance and the newest album released last week. Again if you have Rdio, you can listen here.
This recording is rawer than the new version and the violinist didn’t play on this version. However, here’s a video from 2010 that does have the violinist – I think she adds a lot to the song. I’m not sure if the newest version has that violinist or a hired strings section.
That makes me wonder why she released the same song on two different albums with different arrangements? Jaffe must obviously love it too, as well as her fans. Maybe it will appear again on future albums with more development. I’d like to see a longer jam version. I’ve looked through many YouTube live versions, but none extend the song.
I think the song is evolving over time, becoming more powerful. It’s a shame the lyrics don’t live up the the emotion I feel from the song. I’m quite in love with The Body Wins. I think it shows great development over Jaffe’s earlier folk album Suburban Nature, which I also liked very much. One of the questions I had while listening to The Body Wins is whether or not these musical changes are Jaffe’s creative development, or a producer’s effort to make her more popular. Watching the videos makes me think its her and the band evolving together.
Now here’s a live performance from February of this year that shows the band has gotten tighter, that Sarah’s singing is more in control, and their performance skills have gotten slicker. This version also includes “Vulnerable” a song from Suburban Nature that often follows “Sucker for Your Marketing” in the videos on YouTube.
Here’s another version that I think was filmed by the record company and is probably an official video. I don’t know if it’s been enhanced in editing. But it really sells the song. Try and watch it full screen at 1080p. Sorry, but I can’t embed the video.
If you don’t like “Sucker for Your Marketing” try “Glorified High” at her site. That’s what worked on my friend Stormey after “Sucker for Your Marketing” didn’t turn her own.
JWH – 5/5/12