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A Tough Two Minutes
November 3, 2007 11:04 PM   Subscribe

Some performers like to add quite a bit of their own style, while others keep it strictly operatic. Some prefer to keep it simple, while others pull out all the stops. Some performers don't even sing it, and some really belt it out. And now, please rise! All links YouTube.
posted by fandango_matt (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Someone else can make the obligatory links to performances by Jimi Hendrix, Roseanne Barr, and Michael Bolton, but it won't be me.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:09 PM on November 3, 2007


The Gaye version would've been much better without the backing music. I generally prefer with it without the music.

The best version I've ever heard is still the performance by one of my high school substitute teachers. This dude was a sub in our guitar class and he was a dick (we deserved it--this was a class full of stoners and various apathetics who spent more time destroying the crappy guitars than they did playing them). About a day or two after that I was attended an NHL hockey game and I'm shocked when I hear this guy's name announced over the PA. Sure enough it's the same guy. He strolls out on to the ice and belts out a fucking perfect performance of the national anthem. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
posted by mullacc at 11:34 PM on November 3, 2007


Mormons,
posted by hortense at 11:43 PM on November 3, 2007


I've always loved that Marvin Gaye version. He made it into a love song! It's really something special, and the audience reaction is great as well.

If that performance took place in today's era instead of 1983, he would probably be condemned as an America-hater, and O'Reilly would be throwing a complete shit fit about it.
posted by First Post at 11:47 PM on November 3, 2007


Wow, I haven't heard that Marvin Gaye version in ages, and now it sounds like one long double entrendre to me. From now on on going to refer to my lady place as "the home of the brave" in his honor.
posted by maryh at 11:59 PM on November 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh, I know it's corny, but everytime I hear the anthem this is playing back at barely audible levels in some lizardy corner of my brain. Now if only I could find audio for that infamous Bobby Vinton in Pittsburgh version...
posted by maryh at 1:10 AM on November 4, 2007


Is there anything more ugly than the way that the national anthem is usually sung before sports games? It seems like the norm is treacly showboating full of ditsy tremolos and nonsense melodic interpretations.
posted by painquale at 1:30 AM on November 4, 2007


"Hey, it's Enrico Palazzo!" Yes indeed, that's a classic.

Also worth noting: the version from SCTV featuring Rick Moranis as Mel Torme.
posted by First Post at 2:14 AM on November 4, 2007


Ha! Marvin's phrasing is a trip! I think that's about the best you could do with that stupid, unwieldy tune: just ignore the timing of the original phrases (as written) and stretch it out a bit. It's still an incredibly unsoulful (and I mean that in every sense, not just that it's not "soul" music) melody, and even the great Marvin Gaye can't entirely rescue it from its hopeless clunkiness.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:02 AM on November 4, 2007


By the way, here's a really interesting (but unfortunately, too brief) clip of Jose Feliciano's version of the song from 1968: what little we hear of it would appear to be one of the best versions ever, what with the way he makes a more singable, soulful variation on the melody. Anyway, check out what he has to say about his performance of the song and the ramifications it had on his career.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:12 AM on November 4, 2007


What a shame, flapjax, that his career suffered so much, but also that there isn't a decent clip of the performance! If he was the first guy to take those sorts of liberties with the anthem, I'd really like to hear it. What little is there under the interview sounds pretty compelling.
posted by maryh at 3:25 AM on November 4, 2007


Hehe that Rick Moranis bit is ripe. Good stuff.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:03 AM on November 4, 2007


Hot damn. I'm not from the US, but I had a patriotic lump in my throat by the end of the Marvin Gaye version anyway. What an incredible musician that guy was.
posted by imbecile at 4:24 AM on November 4, 2007


Star Wars Spangled Banner
posted by hal9k at 6:03 AM on November 4, 2007


R. Kelly's version is pretty...uh...unique.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:35 AM on November 4, 2007


I hadn't heard the Marvin Gaye version before. It's not surprising that he did an awesome rendition of a so-so song.
posted by deborah at 5:06 PM on November 4, 2007


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