The Gloria Jones Challenge – Round 18

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 stripped down acoustic treatment and a video with the utmost subtle of messages.

But first, as always, the original by Gloria Jones

And now the challenger – Blues MAMA

Postcard ChaCha: Although I kind of dig the simple acoustic guitar this contender uses, she’s clearly been influenced by Patti Smith and not in a mild way. I find this version to be lackluster. For all I know, ‘Blues Mama’ can belt it out with the best of them, but she just doesn’t shine on this version.

Postcard Editor: While I hear the Patti Smith influence that ChaCha mentioned, my first response was that this sounded a bit like an ill-advised attempt at creating the minimalist moody cover of a well known song that launched Cat Power into underground superstardom. But where as Chan Marshall was able to mine songs for their hidden haunted qualities, exploring dark and minor melodies within the structures of the songs, this cover by Blues MAMA just sounds unenthused and unoriginal and the “smoking as damaged love affair/vice” video is so ham-fisted that any sympathies I would have for this one dissipate quickly.

Our challenger standings now have links back to the original reviews to make it easier for you to checkity check them out.

CHALLENGER STANDINGS ACCORDING TO CHACHA:

1. Dave Phillips
2. Stella Starlight Trio
3. Max Raabe
4. The Re-Entrants
5. My Brightest Diamond
6. Ruth Swan(n)
7. Marilyn Manson
8. East German Polka Band
9. The Swampy’s
10. Inspiral Carpets
11. Alejandra Guzman
12. Shades Apart
13. Pussycat Dolls
14. Blues MAMA
15. Straight No Chaser
16. Coil
17. Access Zero
18. Impedance

CHALLENGER STANDINGS ACCORDING TO EDITOR:

1. Shades Apart
2. Dave Phillips
3. East German Polka Band
4. Inspiral Carpets
5. My Brightest Diamond
6. Marilyn Manson
7. The Re-Entrants
8. Ruth Swan(n)
9. Coil
10. The Swampy’s
11. Alejandra Guzman
12. Pussycat Dolls
13. Straight No Chaser
14. Impedance
15. Blues MAMA
15. Max Raabe
16. Stella Starlight Trio
17. Access Zero


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