As you probably know by now, The Analog Kid lives for b-sides and non-album cuts. In this continuing series, I will share some of my favorite EPs and 12″ singles from over the years in their entirety. And since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about correctly setting the turntable speed to or 33⅓ or 45!
I was at a Peter Murphy concert in the summer of 1992 when a very strange notion occurred to me: Peter sounded a lot like Neil Diamond. I am not really sure what twisted portion of my brain caused me to equate the Prince of Goth with the Prince of Schlock, but it happened that night at Starplex Ampttheater. Obviously, Peter’s operatic range is quite a bit larger than Neil’s, but when they both sing in that low, throaty voice…
You think I’m crazy, I know. But I speak from experience– after all, I am the lead singer of a Neil Diamond tribute band. I’ve been singing Neil tunes for 13 years now, and I do a pretty solid Diamond. Trust me when I tell you that Peter could take my place in a heartbeat– hell, he could probably take NEIL’S place on stage and nobody would know the difference. OK, maybe the black eyeliner and capes might give him away, but is that look really that far off from Neil’s seemingly unlimited collection of shiny sequined shirtwear? Add a tiger to the stage and both could headline Vegas, baby.
Diamondbag is still a Neil Diamond tribute band, but we’ve recently transitioned into playing ’80s pop and new wave songs as well. I’m sure it won’t be long before “Cuts You Up” becomes a staple of our set list– after all, I already know I can mimic the voice! “Cuts You Up” was the second single from 1989’s Deep, Peter Murphy’s third solo album. The song was released as a single in 1990, and it became Murphy’s breakthrough hit in the U.S. “Cuts You Up” topped the Modern Rock chart and went Top 10 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and it even made an appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 (it peaked at #55). The video clip was also a staple of 120 Minutes on MTV, perhaps the only show that was mandatory viewing for the Analog Kid in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
The U.K. 12″ for “Cuts You Up” contains an edited version of the song, an alternate version of the Deep track “A Strange Kind Of Love,” and an extended version of “Roll Call.” “A Strange Kind Of Love” is one of my favorite tracks from Murphy, and the slightly-faster take on the single is every bit as good as the album version.
I can sense it: you’re still not really buying the Murphy-Diamond thing, are you? That’s OK, I’m used to it. I’ve been pointing out the vocal similarities for 22 years now, and most people I mention it to look at me like I have just equated Siouxsie Sioux and Linda Ronstadt. Do me just one favor, though– check out the bonus tracks and listen to “Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem,” and then try to tell me that you don’t hear a dash of the Diamond in Mr. Murphy’s voice. I guarantee you that if you get Peter Murphy drunk at a bar, he’s gonna karaoke some Diamond because he knows he will tear that shit up. My money is on “Love On The Rocks”– ain’t no big surprise.
Peter Murphy: Cuts You Up [U.K. 12″]
Beggars Banquet, 1990
1. “Cuts You Up” (Murphy/Statham)
2. “A Strange Kind Of Love [Version Two]” (Murphy)
3. “Roll Call [Reprise]” (Murphy/Statham)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Peter Murphy: “Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem” (Murphy/Statham)
From the album Deep
RCA Records, 1989
Linda Ronstadt: “How Do I Make You” (Steinberg)
From the album Mad Love
Asylum Records, 1980
The Creatures: “Miss The Girl” (The Creatures)
From the album Feast
Wonderland Records, 1983
Diamondbag: “Heartlight” (Bacharach/Sager/Diamond)
Recorded live at The Barley House, Dallas TX on 7/27/2013
Neil Diamond: “Love On The Rocks” (Diamond/Becaud)
From the album The Jazz Singer
Capitol Records, 1980