The Lovin’ Spoonful: “Do You Believe in Magic”

Posted: March 8, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Do You Believe in Magic” – The Lovin’ Spoonful
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Pogues vs. Jonathan Richman vs. Billy Strange
Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!


The Original


The Lovin’ Spoonful:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


The Pogues vs. Jonathan Richman vs. Billy Strange


The Pogues:

Jonathan Richman:

Billy Strange:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. RDubbs says:

    If someone were to pick the 10 least likely songs The Pogues might cover, “Do You Believe in Magic” might very well make the cut. Happy, upbeat lyrics are not exactly their forte. And their cover seems to bare it out. Their cover sounds strained. So why did they choose to cover this song? Word out of Dubbs World says they lost a bet.

    On the opposite side of the spectrum, “Do You Believe in Magic” is exactly the type of song that Jonathan Richman excels with. Yet his version lacks his characteristic energy and playfulness. It sounds like a first take to simply get warmed up. Disappointing is the one word description that comes to mind.

    This leaves me with the strange and unexpected decision to go with Billy Strange. Although none-too inspiring at least his version does not sound strained or forced. Do you believe in magic? Well believe it, Mr. Strange, because you have earned the music world’s much coveted accolade, RDubbs’ vote for your cover song!

  2. Kerry Black says:

    No contest here. The Pogues are the only act that even bothered to use accordion.

    Seems like The Pogues were set up for an easy victory on this one; maybe something to do with the coming of St. Paddy’s. You think this type of pandering will boost your standing in the polls?

    I’m starting to be concerned about the budget at CMI, which shouldn’t be an issue, as my subscription rates have increased each year. Richman has an obviously one-take shot at an a cappella version, then an instrumental track of less than two minutes from the other act. This in the wake of Richard Hell’s “performance” yesterday…

  3. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I agree with Richie, this would be the perfect song for Jonathan, on par with his songs about abominable snowmen and little dinosaurs. But it just doesn’t sound right in his flat a cappella voice. I didn’t like the Billy Strange version at all, I’m afraid. Yes, it was definitely out of character for the Pogues, but a good band is a good band, and they did a decent job at it.

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