The Gloria Jones Challenge – Round 4

The Gloria Jones Challenge is our ongoing examination of the many, many, many covers of Jones’ classic Northern Soul jam “Tainted Love” – to see how they stack up compared to the original.

Today’s challenger gives the song a certain “Puttin on the Ritz” flavor.

But first, as always – the original by which all challengers must be judged.

And now, today’s challenger: Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester

Postcard Editor: I hate this.  Hard to believe we would find a version that makes Straight No Chaser’s version sound like a genuine attempt to celebrate the song, but we have.  This group clearly doesn’t respect any of the material they cover (their whole schtick is covering modern day songs in this pre-war Berlin cabaret style).  They just take the formula of POPULAR SONG + BIG BAND ARRANGEMENT + IRONICALLY DETACHED VOCALS and apply it to everything.  Also, the entire time I listened to it I wished Indiana Jones would show up, punch Max Raabe in the face and throw him out the window of the blimp he was performing on, and then say to the shocked audience members:  “No Gloria Jones.”

Postcard ChaCha: This version tickles me in places that Gloria’s doesn’t, but in a “creepy cousin Charlie tried to cop a feel at the buffet table at grandma’s birthday party” kind of way. While I’m definitely a sucker for a good horn arrangement, this dude kind of ruins it with his creepy back alley Berlin vibe.

Winner (and undefeated champion): Gloria Jones.

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