Today sees the release of the sixth double A-side single from Peter Gabriel’s orchestral covers album Scratch My Back: his version of the Talking Heads’ Remain in Light track “Listening Wind,” backed by David Byrne’s take on “I Don’t Remember,” off Gabriel’s third self-titled album (hear both below).
In the video above, Gabriel, co-producer Bob Ezrin and arranger John Metcalfe discuss the difficulties in translating the Heads’ highly rhythmic track into an orchestral song with no drums. Byrne wasn’t available for the video, but did send in some comments about his contribution to the “I’ll Scratch Yours” end of Gabriel’s project.
Byrne writes of his approach to “I Don’t Remember”:
“I realized that the tempo, the groove and the catchy chorus might be perfect for an uplifting clubby treatment — which would give a nice spin on the lyrics. In the original, the vibe is quite dark, paranoid even… I thought the falsetto vocal and club groove would make the alienation and amnesia subject pleasant — almost desirable. I thought my version might imply a willing sublime surrender to memory loss.”
Gabriel originally had hoped to release a companion album along with Scratch My Back featuring the artists he covered covering him; because it wasn’t finished in time, he’s instead releasing double A-side singles digitally via iTunes. So far, Magnetic Fields, Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Elbow and Lou Reed have contributed.
Hear David Byrne’s cover of “I Don’t Remember” after the jump…
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS:
- Milestones: David Byrne is 58 today; watch ‘Music for the Knee Plays’ live
- David Byrne concert film ‘Ride, Rise, Roar’ to premiere at South By Southwest
- New releases: New Peter Gabriel, Nitzer Ebb; live Pet Shop Boys
- David Byrne and Fatboy Slim ready ‘Here Lies Love’ concept album
- Video: David Byrne on ‘The Colbert Report’