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If you like a ukulele lady, a ukulele lady like-a you
January 31, 2008 10:07 AM   Subscribe

"Tained Love" on ukulele.

What's that you say - you want more ukulele covers? Okay, since you insisted.

What's that? You want to learn to play? Here's a good starting point for tabs and chords. Here's another. Here's another. And here are some tips on what to look for when buying a used uke (PDF). And to round out your experience, here's a fairly comprehensive history of the instrument.
posted by jbickers (62 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
What's that you say - you want more ukulele covers?

No. Not really.
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on January 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


I can't play ukulele, but I totally dominate Ukulele Hero.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:15 AM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


ukulele covers might work in hawaii, but you need double bass covers to keep you warm in michigan
posted by pyramid termite at 10:15 AM on January 31, 2008


Tainted love - oh for an edit facility
posted by A189Nut at 10:17 AM on January 31, 2008


I turned it off after about 7 seconds. It's hard to take somebody seriously when they release recordings where the audio sounds like it came through their laptop's built-in mic.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2008


Welp
posted by boo_radley at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2008


It's not Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." Gloria Jones' 1964 original Northern Soul classic. Ruth Swann's 1975 cover. Also, Spike Jones' 1997 Levi's commercial.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


The uke is adding nothing to jaaaaa's really good voice.
posted by DU at 10:20 AM on January 31, 2008


kirkaracha you beat me to it. In fact I was listening to Gloria Jones' recording this morning. So good!
posted by ob at 10:24 AM on January 31, 2008


Yeah, I was entertained for an average of about 7 sec for each video.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:25 AM on January 31, 2008


I turned it off after about 7 seconds. It's hard to take somebody seriously when they release recordings where the audio sounds like it came through their laptop's built-in mic.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great


I would take your comment more seriously if you weren't a talking taco.
posted by gtr at 10:26 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


kirkaracha: as explained in the video's comments. But well done, nonetheless.
posted by boo_radley at 10:33 AM on January 31, 2008


these are pretty sweet, no matter the riff raff
posted by milestogo at 10:34 AM on January 31, 2008


The faces the guy was pulling made me bail.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:36 AM on January 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like Coil's version better.
posted by everichon at 10:45 AM on January 31, 2008


I might have Metafilter clairvoyance: I was singing "Tainted Love" on the way back from lunch just now. I do not, however, own a ukulele. I did, on the other hand, really like this. You never expect overdubs in a YouTube clip. But there they are.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:47 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the heck does everybody have against ukuleles? Geez. Maybe if you don't like Teenage Youtubers, you'd like professional orchestras.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:
"Smells Like Teen Spirit"
"The Good, The Bad, The Ugly"
"Shaft"
"Ruby" with the Kaiser Chiefs

The Ukulele Orchestra of Wellington (featuring one guy from Flight of the Conchords):
"Hey Ya"
"Take on Me"

And a youtube teenager that actually keeps my attention (that may have been covered previously):
"Toxic"
posted by sarahnade at 10:54 AM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's not nearly as good as some of .
posted by tylermoody at 10:54 AM on January 31, 2008


damn.

... as good as some of the other uke covers on youtube.
posted by tylermoody at 10:55 AM on January 31, 2008


I dunno, I like the way the uke's harmonics resonate in that room. If you listen closely you almost hear phantom backup vocals.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:59 AM on January 31, 2008


I'm sure it's been mentioned before, probably in this post, but for me, ukelele covers begin and end with Jake Shimabukuro and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

Ignore if redundant.
posted by supercres at 11:01 AM on January 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


Dangit, everichon, you beat me to the Coil version. Slightly brighter version here. It seems a bit simplistic now, but in 1985 this was a powerful bit of AIDS art.
posted by Nelson at 11:01 AM on January 31, 2008


Rethinking that now, Coil's version isn't simplistic. It's direct and honest and an astonishingly powerful response to a community disaster. The video is bringing back a lot of unpleasant memories. (But don't watch the brightcove version I linked; the colour is better, but the sound is bad and the aspect ratio is wrong.)
posted by Nelson at 11:04 AM on January 31, 2008


...Spike Jones' 1997 Levi's commercial .

Sorry, that would be Spike Jonze. The other guy had departed by the time that was made, and I think he favored the banjo.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2008


Amanda Palmer does Radiohead's Creep.
posted by togdon at 11:11 AM on January 31, 2008


Serious uke action available at --> Midnight Ukulele Disco, which includes performances by those featured in ukulele documentary, Rock that Uke.

One of my favorite covers - Duran Duran's Rio.
posted by rokabiri at 11:12 AM on January 31, 2008


Man, I just caught Don Ho’s version of NIN’s “Hurt” - blew me away.

‘I hurt myself today, brah
To see ifa-I- stilla-feel
I focus on the pain, brudder
The only thing that's real’
*strinka-strink strinka-strink*

‘Da needle tears a hole, brah
The old familia sting
Try to killitdall away
But -brudda - I remember everyting’
posted by Smedleyman at 11:16 AM on January 31, 2008


"'Tained Love' on ukulele."

I'm at work and I can't watch the video right now. But since those are the sweetest four words ever written, can I proclaim this the best post ever before I get to see it?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:16 AM on January 31, 2008


Also, I shouldn't tell you this but I totally rock on the fipilele
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:17 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I loves me some uke. Thanks!

Quick self-aggrandizing uke story: I went to the second and third Bonnaroo concerts, and paid for my tickets and other consumables by selling homemade ceramic stash jars. Having had some experience on Shakedown Street, I carried along my uke and wore a funny hat while I peddled my wares to get a small crowd to gather around and pull out their wallets. I sold all my jars out easily on the first two days and spent the rest of the weekend soaking up sun and listening to music. The interesting part for me was how many of the taper crowd would wander by and record me playing, for atmosphere or filler or something, I'm not sure. Anyway, I got used to people shoving mics in my face and was a little surprised when after one performance, one guy put a clipboard under my nose and asked me to sign a form of some sort. Of course this made me nervous, so I asked him what was up, he told me he worked for XM Radio and this was a performance release. I didn't know anyone who had XM at the time, and I can't be sure it was ever actually broadcast, but I can say there is a high probability that at least once on XM Radio an only marginally in-tune uke cover of San Francisco Bay Blues was broadcast, and this is my only contribution to uke culture, but I'm proud of it, nonetheless.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


'Taint Love'?
posted by Flashman at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2008


Someone once told me that male-pattern baldness was a result of hair folicles on the scalp becoming 'scorched' by nerve impulses in the brain. This same person insisted that there was a greater risk of baldness, "the more you thought." He went on to explain that the smarter you were the more likely it was that you'd go bald ('cause of the extra thoughts, see). This sounded like a great justification for sexism to me (and also made no sense), so I called bullshit. This person and I no longer speak to one another.

Also, Einstein.
Also, these uke guys.
posted by Pecinpah at 11:36 AM on January 31, 2008


I was at a concert a month or so ago where the opener played "Stayin' Alive" on ukulele, a mellow, wistful version. Awesome.

I'm a beginning guitar player. When the MrsMoonPie and I went to Hawaii, I got my own uke as a souvenier. I've found that just about anything I can play on guitar I can play (with more ease) on uke, though some songs translate better--"Me and Bobby McGee," for instance, sounds good, while "Sin City" just sounds silly. Reminds me what Steve Martin said about how it's impossible to play sad songs on a banjo.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2008


Oh, man, just watched the Sexual Healing video, and looked it up on chordie--I think I can do that!
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2008


I sound like a broken record, but damn the Internet Police and their youtube blockage!

But the tab sites are good. So I'll throw in a couple more I've found; Ukulele Boogaloo and Brook Adams. Oh, and don't forget Mefi's own tmcw - I'll give you his Projects link, so you can vote for it...

And ditto Jake Shimabukuro. He rocks!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 12:51 PM on January 31, 2008


I do love (and play) the uke, but I'm often dismayed by how many covers are boring "look-its-cool-because-I'm-playing-a-teeny-guitar" versions. The good covers (many listed above) of course make up for those.

I can't play the Tainted Love video at work (no headphones and no desire to annoy everyone) but I already know exactly how I would do it, and I look forward to seeing if this version lines up.
posted by davejay at 12:57 PM on January 31, 2008


Oh, and: a good ukulele chordfinder, one responsible for making me realize a chord I play in almost all of my originals doesn't technically exist, forcing me to relearn the chord with the proper fingering across all four strings.
posted by davejay at 12:59 PM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


This cover of "Moving In Stero" is pretty awesome. Except, it's not really a cover, seeing as the composer is playing it.
posted by alikins at 12:59 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's Petty Booka doing Itsy-bitsy Teeny-weeny Yellow Polka-dot Bikini. They've also covered Material Girl, but I can't dig that up.

That Jake Shimabukuro vid is way more awesome than it has any right to be.
posted by adamrice at 1:07 PM on January 31, 2008


Fun version of the timeless song sure to out live us all (at least according to the Doctor).

There's no song too serious it can't be played on a uke and made better.
posted by inthe80s at 1:26 PM on January 31, 2008


Ah, so that's what happened to Right Said Fred.
posted by afx237vi at 1:34 PM on January 31, 2008


Ukes are the new accordions.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:45 PM on January 31, 2008


What the heck does everybody have against ukuleles? Geez.

I've got nothing against ukuleles. Just that many of these YouTube clips have been posted a number of times before here.

...ukelele covers begin and end with Jake Shimabukuro and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".
Previous threads 1, 2 on Shimabukuro.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Previous thread on Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
Not to mention the many other previous ukele threads. Have at 'em! Enjoy!
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on January 31, 2008


Not covers, but great songs originally done in Ukulele by the band Beirut

Great post!

And this isn't primarily Ukulele, but it's wonderful.
posted by Corduroy at 2:11 PM on January 31, 2008


Yes, Shimabukuro is a talented man but when it comes to uke entertainment, give me George Formby [mp3 here] . What he lacks in dental hygiene he makes up for in showmanship!
posted by rokabiri at 2:17 PM on January 31, 2008


Holy smokes, that Toxic cover kicks ass! Great original too. I remember cruising with my buddies, the radio on, not having listened to any radio in a long time. Toxic came on. I asked "What's this awesomity?" -"Britney." Couldn't believe my ears. Almost bought the single.
posted by Anything at 2:24 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


First of all: Togdon, thank you for posting that Amanda Palmer video. Now I'm going to spend two hours watching everything she's posted.

Topic the Second: I'm pretty sure Tainted Love is the most covered song ever.
posted by Caduceus at 2:41 PM on January 31, 2008


Here's the point when I say that my nickname used to be The Ukulele King and everyone who migrated here from the Fametracker Forums freaks out.

I've been playing Yiddish songs on ukulele for the past few days. I'm enjoying it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:57 PM on January 31, 2008


Canadian grade-school ukulele orchestra goodness. Be sure to check out the cover of "Country Roads".
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:06 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


And holy shit, this is amazing!
posted by Corduroy at 3:06 PM on January 31, 2008


I just wanna give a shout out in here on behalf of my personal favorite YouTube Celebrity Ukelele-ist Type Person: Narciso Lobo. He plays other instruments too, but I'd like to bring your attention to Thank You For Leaving Me, which kicks ass.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:35 PM on January 31, 2008


video killed the ukulele star
posted by jdfalk at 4:35 PM on January 31, 2008


Totally loved that rendition of Tainted Love, thought they did a great job. Thanks for the fun post.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole does Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
posted by nickyskye at 4:37 PM on January 31, 2008


And holy shit, this is amazing!

That was the best part of this thread.
posted by humannaire at 5:12 PM on January 31, 2008


This cover of "Moving In Stero" is pretty awesome. Except, it's not really a cover, seeing as the composer is playing it.

Wait, I change my mind.
posted by humannaire at 5:15 PM on January 31, 2008


BTW, Tainted Love is one of the most irritating annoying pop tunes ever written. It was great in the (very) early-80's. But can we play something else now!?

[ Although, Marilyn Manson's version did re-ignite my rabid fervor for the tune for a while at the beginning of the 21st century. And that Northern Soul stuff above is pretty tasty, as well.]
posted by humannaire at 5:20 PM on January 31, 2008


"Tainted love's too fast to dance to..."
posted by shoepal at 6:29 PM on January 31, 2008


wow, those canadian kids ROCK! that was some seriously awesome uke playin'.
posted by CitizenD at 6:35 PM on January 31, 2008


Yeah, Spinning Wheel is great.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:01 PM on January 31, 2008


Junkie Brewster's version of Like a Prayer remains the most wonderful awful ukulele cover ever.
posted by moss at 8:42 PM on January 31, 2008


The Big Muffin Serious Band do Jimi B. Goode. I haven't actually heard this version, but live, the Hendrixian ukulele solo is awesome.
posted by Sparx at 2:53 AM on February 1, 2008


Junkie Brewster's version of Like a Prayer remains the most wonderful awful ukulele cover ever.

Thank you, this was indeed so incompetent it was both insanely awesome and extremely charming.
posted by jaduncan at 11:38 PM on February 1, 2008


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