May 24 – Single Was Shining Star In Stellar Career Of EWF

They were shining stars this day in 1975Earth Wind and Fire hit #1 on Billboard‘s singles chart for the only time with “Shining Star.” They’d come close again, mind you, with six subsequent top 10 singles (including “After the love Is Gone” and “Let’s Groove”) and seven more tracks that would top the R&B chart.

It was the first of eight gold singles for the hard-working band founded by Maurice White in Chicago in 1970. By the point they hit #1 here, they’d already put out six albums in the half decade. The upbeat “Shining Star” was from the album That’s the Way of the World, actually a movie soundtrack to a film with Harvey Keitel about the music biz. The movie flopped but the album did well, topping the charts and selling over three million copies (it was later renamed Shining Star on newer issues). The single won them a Grammy for best R&B performance by a group or duo and reflected the band’s positive philosophy. The deceased White said of it “by advancing a totally positive approach to our lives, we can reflect this in our music. We won’t allow it to reflect any negative vibes.”

Among their fans, Barack Obama who invited them to play at the White House.


March 19 – The ’70s Most Unlikely Smash?

A lot of albums topped the American charts during the 1970s. But it may be fair to say perhaps the least likely of all of them hit #1 this week 50 years ago. Not rock, not pop, and lacking vocals – Dueling Banjos illustrates how far one catchy tune and a big movie can take you! The 1973 Warner Brothers album/soundtrack credited to Eric Weissberg featured one of the film’s most iconic tunes – the title track and was officially titled Dueling Banjos, From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Deliverance. The single, by the way was listed as Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell.

Weissberg was a talented multi-instrumentalist from New York who exceled at banjo and had been a member of folk group the Tarriers in the ’60s. Mandell, also a city kid (originally from Philadelphia) who’d been in Judy Collins backing band but specialized in bluegrass music. They somehow collaborated on the instrumental that got used in Deliverance, a big box office hit of ’72 about four Atlanta businessmen who decide to canoe down a remote river only to run into all kinds of trouble with the backwoods locals. One of the film’s pivotal scenes involves one of the city guys, Drew, plays his guitar and plays the tune in a sort of musical, well, duel with an inbred kid who happens to be a banjo virtuoso. The actors couldn’t play the song, so the music was Weissberg and Mandell and was dubbed in .

The unusual instrumental was popular in the film and released as a single, did well (getting to #2 in the U.S. and Canada, and getting the pair a gold single.) So Weissberg decided to capitalize on that and put out an 18-song bluegrass album, including the hit, much of which had been recorded in 1963 and featured him and another musician, Marshall Brickman. Half of the songs clocked in under two minutes and the new hit was in fact the only one to run over three. The track listings included some familiar in bluegrass circles like “Pony Express” , “Bugle Call Rag” and “Mountain Dew.” Deciphering exactly which were originals and which were oldies is complicated from looking at the album credits, which seem to credit all three – Weissberg, Mandell and Brickman – for all the songs. Which led to at least one complication.

Turns out “Dueling Banjos” had been written in the 1950s by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith, under the name “Feudin’ Banjos.” It had even been played on TV, in a 1963 Andy Griffith Show episode. Smith wasn’t chuffed that the tune got used in a movie, then became a hit single, without his permission, so understandably he sued successfully and won a songwriting credit and some royalties. The song went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Country Music instrumental.

The album wasn’t one most would have picked as a surefire hit, but it was that, going gold. Allmusic consider it “one of the best introductions to instrumental bluegrass music available” and figure that even though people bought it for the movie hit, the “real treasures are the rest of the songs.”

Mandell would go on to write for Broadway and commercial jingles while Weissberg became a popular session musician (playing guitar on Bob Dylan’s “Meet Me in the Morning”, steel guitar on Billy Joel’s Piano Man and on Talking Heads Little Creatures just to name a few)but neither would have a hit record again.

Dueling Banjos would spend three weeks at #1, before being topped by more movie music, Diana Ross’ Lady Sings the Blues. And the public would have had its fill of backwoods Georgia bluegrass for a few years… until Charlie Daniels told us of a sort of dueling fiddles event in 1979!

February 21 – Making Hits A 9 To 5 For Dolly

If you’re working a mundane office job today, feeling unappreciated, the song that hit #1 on Billboard on this day in 1981 could be your theme. It was 38 years ago that Dolly Parton had her biggest “crossover” success with the theme song to the movie “9 to 5”, which she co-starred in (along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.)

The comedy film about three under-appreciated secretaries who plot revenge against their bullying boss was a hit and that probably helped give Parton’s work anthem the added boost it needed to top the pop charts, as well as the country ones. She’d come close one time before, with “Here You Come Again” in 1977, which was a top 10 hit in both the U.S. and Canada. Of course, she was the long-standing queen of the country charts by this time; “9 to 5” was her 13th #1 in country music circles. As well the song helped her album 9 to 5 and Other Odd Jobs become her fourth studio one to go gold at home. Eventually the song would be among the year-end top 10s in North America and earn her a platinum single just this decade (after downloads helped spur on sales past the gold level.)

The lively song about working women was sort of one of 2 songs by women called “9 to 5” that hit the top of the charts in 1981, coincidentally. Sheena Easton also had a #1 which was a smash in her native UK entitled that. Her song had a rather different feel though, in fact it was about a stay-at-home homemaker waiting dutifully for her man to come home from his job. Because Dolly’s hit became an American smash first, Easton’s record company changed the name of the single in North America to Morning Train.”

Parton had some good help on the track. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter played guitar while Larry Knetchel (of Bread and a member of the Wrecking Crew session musicians) played keyboards. She also used a couple of interesting “instruments” to add to the rhythm of the single. She drummed her long fingernails on a hard surface for part of the percussion and utilized typewriters in use in the background music, something so unusual to today’s listeners that Songfacts explains in detail how typewriters and worked and what the bell sound was on them! Just in case you didn’t already feel old…

Dolly reprised the song in 2021 with a twist – she turned it into “5 to 9” as an ad for web design company Squarespace. Of course, she’s been in the news a fair bit lately. She was in the most recent class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, which has apparently inspired her to record a rock record with help from the likes of Paul McCartney and John Fogerty and this week’s she released a new version of her ’70s country classic “Jolene”, sung with Olivia Newton John shortly before she passed away last year. Not bad going for a 77 year-old “country gal”!

February 18 – Movie Music John, Part 1

Happy birthday to a man who while only marginally tied to music, has left his mark on one of the biggest records ever. And appears on the front covers of two of the biggest-selling records of all-time.  John Travolta, famed actor and Scientologist, turns 68 today. The New Jersey-born lad’s mom was an actress and grew up with a desire to act, that he “acted” upon. Upon graduating high school he headed to Broadway and the stage, which in turn led to his dalliance with musical success. He played in the Broadway version of Grease, which apparently required a little singing. This coupled with his fame from TV’s Welcome Back Kotter got him a record deal in the mid-’70s that led to a moderately-successful, but largely forgotten single, “Let Her In.” Soon after, as we know he got the lead, Danny, in the movie Grease, despite producer’s concerns about his singing and Olivia Newton John’s acting. Of course, he’d already starred in Saturday Night Fever, and is on the cover of that album, but he didn’t sing in it. Hesitant producer or not, they were cast and the rest, as they say, is history. The soundtrack sold in the tens of millions and John dueted with Olivia on one of the biggest-selling singles of all-time, “You’re the One That I Want.”  He even had a minor hit of his own from the soundtrack, “Greased Lightning”. The pair’s 1983 reunion, Two of A Kind wasn’t so popular but no matter. They apparently stayed friends until her death last year. He wrote “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible, love you so much…your Danny, your John”. Meanwhile, Travolta’s acting career took off and to this day his voice is heard on oldies and retro radio stations more than many of his contemporaries who’d dedicated their lives to music.

Travolta of course wasn’t the first, nor the last actor to take a run at crossing over to singing. Before him there was David Cassidy, who got cast in The Partridge Family merely because of his looks. Cassidy sang with that TV group and had a couple of hit records of his own, notably his version of The Association’s “Cherish” which was a #1 hit in Australia and a top 10 in North America and “Daydreamer”, a UK chart-topper, in 1973. Around the time Travolta was Vinnie on Kotter, David Soul was Hutch on the cop show Starsky & Hutch; he parlayed that into a recording contract and a #1 single in his apparent soft-rock ode to erectile difficulty, “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby” and, surprisingly five albums through the late-’90s. And let’s not forget action hero Bruce Willis – sadly diagnosed with dementia this week – , whose David sang old rock standards drunkenly on the show Moonlighting. People liked it when he did that on TV so he put out an album of the same, The Return of Bruno (remarkably it was on Motown!) . The album sold some, with oldies like “Secret Agent Man”, “Under the Boardwalk” and “Respect Yourself”. The latter was a top 5 hit for Willis.

One person often lumped in with this group doesn’t fit – Rick Springfield. Although he undoubtedly cashed in on his General Hospital soap popularity with his early-’80s records including the Grammy-winning “Jessie’s Girl” , the Australian’s first love was music. He’d been influenced, like so many others, by seeing the Beatles as a kid and learned guitar. By 1972, he’d been in a rock group Down Under and had a solo record released- long before seguing onto a TV screen near you.

February 18 – Movie Music John, Part 2

Today we remember a talented writer who was for some years a big mover & shaker in Hollywood. Wait… isn’t this still a music blog? Yes it is, but when you’re talking about John Hughes, music was a part of everything. The writer/director/producer was born this day in 1950.

Although a star in the motion picture field, he once told MTV “I’d rather make music if I had the talent.” He said that as a youth his heroes were “Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Picasso because they each moved their particular medium forward.” He was actually born and spent his early years in Michigan, but his family moved to Chicago (setting of almost all his movies) when he was in Grade 7. He felt awkward and alone…”until the Beatles came along. Changed my whole life. And then Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home came out and really changed me.” Presumably it was here he developed his eye and feel for teenage alienation…and the essential part music played in their lives, all of which flowed through his iconic movies like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

He came about his career rather haphazardly, beginning writing ad copy and some jokes for comedians like Rodney Dangerfield. That got him a spot on the National Lampoon magazine staff as a writer, which in time allowed him a shot at writing movie scripts. Their Class Reunion. From there he began a whirlwind of activity through the ’80s, writing and at times directing and producing films including the aforementioned ones, Sixteen Candles, She’s Having a Baby, Some Kind of Wonderful and by the following decade box office smashes like Home Alone. If one common thread that seemed to run through most of them was young people struggling with the pressures of growing up, another even more pervasive one was the great use of music through them.

Marilyn Vance, who was part of the film crew for a number of his films remembers that. “The music he chose, especially for Pretty In Pink…just altered everything…the character in the script, it just brought it to life. He’d say ‘I’m going to drop in this music into there and he’d play it and it was incredible!” He concurs. “To have a song work for the movie, it can’t just be written apart and shoved in. It’s got to come out of the action. It’s got to talk about the characters. I don’t look at the album as a marketing tool, because if you do that, then you’re going to fail.”

He must’ve been on to something as his soundtracks live on long after the ones for bigger box office smashes have been relegated to dusty closets and 50 cent yard sale bins. The first significant teen movie he made with his ingenue, Molly Ringwald, 16 Candles came out with a five-song EP. But three of those tunes were popular – the existing “Gloria” by Patti Smith plus the title track performed by the Stray Cats and “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins. The movie itself featured new or almost new tracks from the likes of Paul Young (“Love of the Common People”), Spandau Ballet (“True”), Stevie Ray Vaughan and Nick Heyward’s brilliant “Whistle Down the Wind” as well .

He upped the game with Pretty in Pink – the title coming from a Psychedelic Furs tune they re-recorded for his soundtrack – with it producing new hits from New Order (“Shellshock”) , Suzanne Vega with Joe Jackson (“Left of Center”) and Echo & the Bunnymen (“Bring on the Dancing Horses”) as well as returning the Furs to the charts with the title track. For many Americans, it was their first introduction to them and Echo. Recently Huffington Post listed it among the “15 Film Music Compilations That’ll Change Your Life.” As to what the Furs thought about all the attention, Richard Butler, the singer, said Hughes “God rest his soul” misinterpreted the song. “He got the wrong end of the stick. He made it literally about a girl that was wearing a pink dress and it wasn’t about that at all…me saying ‘pretty in pink’ meant somebody who is naked! Given that, the movie did us a lot of good.”

He didn’t put as much new music into the Saturday-in-school hit The Breakfast Club, what he did caught our attention. “Simple Minds worked for the Breakfast Club,” Hughes said later, “in the context of the film. Even if you never bought the record. We didn’t put that song on there to sell records. We put that song on there because it was a part of the movie. You couldn’t take that song out of that movie.” Well, unless it was perhaps to play it on the radio. It blew the Scottish band’s career into the stratosphere going to #1 in North America (in the U.S. they’d never even had a chart hit before that) and earning them platinum discs in Canada and Britain. Fittingly, Don’t You Forget About Me is the title used for a documentary about Hughes and a book of essays about his movies.

Sadly, Hughes died of an unexpected heart attack while out for a walk in 2009. He was 59. But thanks to characters like Ferris Bueller, Andie and Ducky, Claire and Bender and moreover thanks to songs like “Pretty in Pink” “If You Leave”, “Whistle Down the Wind” and “This Woman’s Work” (from his 1988 movie She’s Having A Baby) living on, rest assured… we won’t forget about you, John.

January 16 – Swayze Followed In Travolta’s Cut A Rug Footsteps

A “one hit wonder” whose star blazed for far more than just one hit single. Patrick Swayze hit the American top 40 this day in 1988 with his only real hit song, “She’s Like the Wind.” For Swayze, it was a case of “third time’s the charm.”

Swayze was by then 35 years old and a reasonably established actor. He’d come to the public’s attention in 1983 in the film Outsiders, and had success in Youngbloods as well as being in several lesser-known movies to that point. He was trained in dance too, which no doubt helped him get the male lead in the small-budget retro film Dirty Dancing. Little was expected of it when it came out in the summer of ’87, but it became one of the year’s breakout hits and established Swayze as a major star. And as a singer.

He came about that honestly, he played a little guitar and sang and had been on Broadway in Grease. He likely thought “hey, if John Travolta can do it, why can’t I?” Not to mention that the late-’80s seemed a perfect time for crossover actor-singers. In the previous couple of years before “She’s Like the Wind”, Miami Vice‘s Don Johnson and movie & TV star Bruce Willis had both put out records that had some success and they were trailing soap opera star Rick Springfield who’d had a string of pop hits through the decade. So it wasn’t a stretch for Swayze to do so too, especially when starring in a film about dancing. However, “She’s Like the Wind”, which he co-wrote went back far further.

While only beginning to make a name for himself he’d been in acting classes in L.A. and met Stacy Widelitz, a man who was more musician than actor. Widelitz, his girlfriend Wendy Fraser and Swayze became friends and would hang out “talk about music, dance, acting and we became good friends,” Stacy recalled. They came up with the song together circa 1983, with Swayze writing the lyrics and “two chords” which his friend built upon for the tune. Swayze pitched it to the producers of the film Grandview USA, which he was in. They passed. A couple of years later he tried to sell the makers of Youngbloods on it, they too declined. Finally in 1987, he pitched it to the makers of Dirty Dancing, they liked it. So they recorded it, with Widelitz on synthesizer, Fraser doing the female backing vocals and studio musicians including guitarist Laurence Juber – briefly a membr of Wings – filling in the rest.

It was added to the soundtrack which was a mix of existing oldies befitting the movie’s early-’60s setting, like “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes and Maurice William’s “Stay” and new songs recorded for it. Notable among those were the singles “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen and “The Time of My Life”, played over the film’s exuberant finale, by Bill Medley (of the Righteous Brothers) and Jennifer Warnes.

With the movie’s runaway success, the soundtrack followed. It went to #1 and stayed there for 18 weeks in the States, and eventually sold better than 30 million copies worldwide. Swazye’s single, the third off the album, was a major adult contemporary hit and got to #3 on the singles chart, and #4 in Canada and Ireland.

However, that was about it for Patrick the singing sensation. He did record a few songs for movies like Roadhouse and Next of Kin, but they drew little attention. He might not have minded much though; he was by then a major film star and would have blockbuster success in Ghost soon after as well as be named “sexiest man alive” by People in 1991.

Sadly however, he died of cancer in 2009.

December 22 – Hazy? Perhaps. Winter? Most Definitely.

Welcome to winter! Today marks the first complete day of winter, and boy, for most of North America, it feels it too! So, that in mind, what better day to look at a “winter” song so nice, it was on the charts this day twice – once in 1966, and again in 1987. We’re talking about “A Hazy Shade of Winter.”

The slightly gloomy song was written by Paul Simon, at the time barely in his 20s, but looked ahead to a character entering the “winter” of their life, lamenting “time, time, time, see what’s become of me”. It was recorded by Simon & Garfunkel, and released as a standalone single late in ’66; in fact on this day that year it was enjoying its final week in the top 40. The song was later incorporated into their 1968 album Bookends, which essentially was a concept album tracing a man’s lifetime. It was, by their standards, a bit uptempo and “rock” …allmusic for instance described it as “one of the toughest and most rock-oriented” songs of the duo’s career. Radio DJ Pete Fornatale thought it , with Decembery lines like “leaves are brown, there’s a patch of snow on the ground” as the perfect counterpoint to the more optimistic winter tune “California Dreaming” which was a hit around the same time. Cashbox thought it was “a strong session bound for Biggiesburg!”

Fast forward some 20 years and the producers of the movie Less than Zero, a dour look at college aged kids sinking into the drug culture and despair were piecing together a soundtrack. They invited The Bangles to take part, and gave them some freedom to pick a song. The ladies chose to cover “A Hazy Shade of Winter” , a song they’d played regularly in their live shows for four years. With Rick Rubin producing the soundtrack, they got to make it a bit faster and more rock-oriented still than the original, although omitting one verse about drinking vodka and lime which the record label had worried about. Michael Steele of the band said “we sounded the most on this record (like) the way we actually sound live.” Making it a bit different for them, all four harmonized on much of the song, instead of having Susanna Hoffs sing lead.

Whether or not it hit “Biggiesburg”, it did well for Simon & Garfunkel, hitting #13 in the U.S., and #11 I Canada. Later it would make the British top 30. However, the public took to the Bangles take of it better. It was in its third week on the top 40 charts this day in ’87 and would make it to #2 at home, #3 in Canada and #11 in the UK despite the soundtrack album itself posting mediocre results.

The Bangles were happy with their recording, and with getting to meet Paul Simon…after their cover of it had been a hit. “We had loved Simon & Garfunkel, and naturally we also loved Paul as a solo artist” Hoffs explained, “we were really happy to see them perform and then go backstage for a meet and greet.” But they were a bit hesitant to mention the song, which they’d done better (commercially at least, though many would argue artistically too) than the writer. “I don’t think we talked about it very much,” she said, ”I remember he was very sweet.”Better than being cold like a hazy winter day.

November 29 – The Ode To The Golden Age Of The Silver Screen

Yesterday we talked about J.Geils Band who hit the charts this week in 1981; if you were wondering, at the time “Physical” by Olivia Newton John had the #1 spot in the U.S. but the Canadian chart-topper was something more unusual – the cinematic “Friends of Mr. Cairo” by Jon and Vangelis.

The duo were Jon Anderson, singer of Yes (although on leave from that band at the time) and composer, keyboardist Vangelis – Evangelos Papathanassiou – best known for his Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire soundtrack that same year. They’d met when Vangelis tried out, unsuccessfully, for Yes some seven years earlier.

The single was the title track to their second album together. The quirky song, edited down from a 12-minute piece on the album, pays homage to the film noirs of the ’30s and ’40s – “Mr. Cairo” was a character in The Maltese Falcon, appropriately enough. It features not only Anderson’s trademark high-pitched voice narrating but a number of his impersonations of old-time movie stars and the sound of an old movie projector running to complete the effect. Apparently, it came about coincidentally. Anderson said in a 2012 interview they “started every song spontaneously. when Vangelis played it, it sounded like an old-style movie” and so he started doing Douglas Fairbanks impressions for a laugh. They found it worked so he kept going with it! The song apparently inspired Michael Jackson to add the Vincent Price bits to “Thriller” a couple of years later and captivated Canuck ears. The single hit #1 there, and the album went platinum, but was only really a big hit elsewhere in Switzerland. In Britain, the title track was ignored but the song “I’ll Find My Way Home” – which allmusic single out as “breathtaking”- was a top 10 hit. Two years later, Anderson would find some American success with his return to Yes and their 90125 album.

November 17 – It Took A Quarter Century, But It Got To #1

Just as the new Brit band Inspiral Carpets made the American charts this day in 1990, the #1 song in their Britain was a throwback which went in the opposite direction – an old American hit. “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers was on top there 32 years back. The ’60s love song had a renewed popularity because of the movie Ghost in which it appeared during a pivotal scene.

The song was originally written as a theme for a 1955 movie, Unchained, about a lovelorn convict who thinks of breaking out of jail and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original song (it lost to “Love is a Many-splendored Thing”). The Righteous Brothers had originally released it in 1965, but as a b-side to the song “Hung on You.” Bobby Hatfield sang lead on it, apparently because he won a coin toss with Bill Medley who also wanted to sing it. Medley got to produce it though, which ended up irking Phil Spector. Spector produced their singles (including their first smash, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”) but couldn’t be bothered to work on album cuts or b-sides of singles. He was thus apparently quite irate that radio much preferred it to the a-side he produced! In ’65 it only got to #14 in Britain, although it hit #4 in the U.S.

The 1990 re-release also went to #1 in Australia. Jimmy Young and Al Hibbler both had #1 hits in the UK with “Unchained Melody” it in the ’50s (at one point in 1955 there were four different versions of it on the British chart simultaneously) and when Robson & Jerome did it again in 1995, it made it one of only two songs to ever hit the top of the pops by four different artists there! (Asterisk – the other song to do so is “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” which was recorded by 4 different versions of Band-Aid.) As a pointer to how popular and enduring “Unchained Melody” is, it’s worth noting over 600 artists have recorded it so far, including Elvis Presley.

November 16 – R.E.M. Ended 20th Century In ‘Great’ Fashion

Although not quite as emphatically as say Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, R.E.M. were primarily an “album” band rather than a “singles” band. Although they had their share of hit singles – “Losing My Religion”, “The One I Love” etc – generally their albums did better on the charts and their legion of fans typically bought the LP or CD instead of just the singles. All that made this day in 1999 a bit unusual for them, when they released something close to a standalone single – “The Great Beyond.”

The Great Beyond” wasn’t absolutely a standalone; it was in fact the single off the Man on the Moon soundtrack, which the band produced with Pat McCarthy, who’d done their previous album, Up. As the title suggests, it was the movie soundtrack to the film about Andy Kaufman, the avant garde comic who’d loosely inspired the band’s 1992 hit “Man on the Moon.” Michael Stipe says of “The Great Beyond”, he was trying to “revisit a character that you’ve written a classic song about and try to one-up yourself. Bowie pulled it off for real “ (with “Ashes to Ashes” following-up “Space Oddity”). So the second R.E.M. song about Kaufman was “about attempting the impossible, which I think Andy Kaufman did with his entire career,” according to the singer. He noted many of the lyrics he wrote, about pushing elephants up stairs and so on, came from an old Laurel and Hardy gag since Kaufman adored that duo.

The album is credited to R.E.M., but it’s an unusual one. It contained the previous hit of theirs, as well as the ’70s Exile hit “Kiss You All Over”, plus the theme from Taxi, the TV show Kaufman was a part of, various sound bites from the movie and a number of instrumental, orchestral bits scored by the band (or seemingly Mike Mills, the bassist who performed parts of it with the Mike Mills Orchestra.)

The video, fitting for one about such an off-the-wall character, was an odd one with the band appearing to break the “fourth wall” and come out at the viewers… one of their more creative ones, but at a time when video was on the wane. Overall, the song did OK but wasn’t able to “one-up” the ’92 hit, except in the British Isles. There it rose to #3, technically their highest-charting single ever, and it topped Irish charts. In Canada it hit #16, while at home, the single missed the top 40 but did make the Alternative Rock charts up to #11. The song became a staple of their live shows thereafter, and Stipe suggests he likes their live versions of it better than the studio one.

Maybe somewhere in the great beyond, Kaufman is looking down or smiling… “if you believe.”