Though Cover Wars generally publishes on a Tuesday, it occurred to me this week that by tomorrow Halloween will be in our rearview mirror and that I really wanted to write the Spooky Cover Wars this year. As you may know, Spooky was actually written by saxophonist Mike Sharpe but it was an instrumental. It was Classics IV that penned the lyrics and as such, for the purpose of this piece, will be referenced as the original.
Artist: Atlanta Rhythm Section
The Skinny: Atlanta Rhythm Section features some of the original members of Classics IV, including guitarist James Cobb who is credited with co-writing the original version of Spooky with lyrics.
Artist: Dusty Springfield
The Skinny: Dusty Springifleld’s smooth recording features a few lyric changes, notably – no reference to proposing on Halloween in the third verse. A number of other covers include the lyrics that Springifeld sings, I *think* she is the origin of the version.
Artist: The Golden Cups
The Skinny: Great cover here coming from a Japanese band popular in the late 1960’s.
Artist: Imogen Heap
The Skinny: This smooth take by Imogen Heap appears on the soundtrack for Just Like Heaven. Some cool female harmonies in this one.
The Skinny: On Phish’s tour during Spring ’93, the band wound two versions of You Enjoy Myself, exactly one month apart (3/14 and 4/14), into jams on Spooky. While the March 14 Spooky Jam didn’t contain lyrics, Page sang a verse on April 14. Phish went on to soundcheck Spooky later in the ’90s, most notably at Deer Creek in 1996. While Spooky was long thought to be forgotten by the quartet, a version of Ghost on Halloween 2010 in Atlantic City took a groovy turn into the cover tune. That night, Phish played their most complete version yet and even jammed on it for a bit.
Here is video of Spooky from Atlantic City 2010:
And why not, here’s the whole money shot:
And for good measure, the original version from Classics IV:
And the original instrumental rendition from Mike Sharpe: