I’ve been listening to Roxy Music lately and their version of Wilson Pickett’s In the Midnight Hour is notable for a total lack of dirtiness. The blurps and beeps in the arrangement, which float far in front of a very solid sounding horn part, render this modern, even though Ferry plays it straight. This came shortly after Elvis Costello’s fairly triumphant cover of Pickett’s I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down, and an Englishy buzz about Stax and Atlantic soul. I may not be totally cool with the sound, is it gimmicky? But I like it.
But not as much as I like the first version I knew. Which had nothing on what I later heard from Pickett himself, but which is an exemplar of the blue-eyed sound. The Rascals were great.