Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Under The Covers: Leaving Here by The Birds and Eddie Holland

The Birds
Leaving Here! This is one of those songs that can be done by just about anybody and it will still sound great. It's just one of those songs. Leaving Here was first recorded by Eddie Holland for Motown in December of 1963. Eddie Holland's name may sound familiar, despite the fact that he had only a brief frontman career for Motown. Eddie was the lyricist for one of THEE most potent songwriting teams ever -- Motown's house composers, Holland-Dozier-Holland. Eddie was the lyricist behind the label's biggest hits such as Heatwave, Baby I Need Your Loving, How Sweet It Is, Stop In The Name Of Love, Baby I Need Your Lovin'....Ah, hell, you get the picture. I could go on and on with the songs he wrote and produced of which you know every frickin' word. But back to one of his lesser known songs....

Leaving Here got picked up early by mod kings, The Who. They recorded it two or three times and did a pretty damn good job of it too. But none of the recordings ever made it to vinyl. From The Who the song was picked up by Ron Wood and his bandmates in his first band, The Birds. (nope, not The Byrds, but The Birds). Ron Wood substantially rearranged the song and turned it into a barre chord burner with a nice 1 and 1/2 step down twist for the lead guitar riff. The band released it on Decca on the 30th of April, 1965. While an obscure recording, The Birds version inspired many other covers of the song by artists as diverse as Motorhead, The Morlocks and The Cracked Jaffers. Pearl Jam, it should be noted, clearly covers The Who version. 

Eddie Holland


Enjoy. We'll see you next time On The Flip-Side!

7 comments:

  1. That original is sweet.

    How is the Who version different from the Birds'? I notice the Birds' version has a key change.

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    1. Jack, had you heard the original before?

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    2. Amazingly no! Pleased to hear much of the song I know is contained in the original: Pounding drums, back-up vocals, that Oh Yeah at the end and so on.

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    3. I'm glad we could lay one on you that your well-worn turntable has yet to have spun.

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  2. Each of The Who versions tracks closer to the original. Back up vocals (Ohhh, yeah!), the turnaround, the key (eddie is in C, The Who in Db, The Birds in A), lyrics (the birds add the 1x1, 2x2....) and so on. The Who do add a wonderful guitar solo, however. I would say, generally, The Who version tracks more with the soul roots while The Birds take it deep into garage/punk.

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    1. That 1x1 lyric is sort of extracted from the the Eddie Holland version. Go to 1:58.

      The Rationals out of Ann Arbor, MI do a unique garage version released in 1966 with absolutely crunching guitar work at the start.

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    2. Yeah, I picked up on that too.

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