The other day Vipin and I were discussing about how we have been writing about too many rock songs under this section and thus making this section quite monotonous. And when I was watching an episode â€œThat â€˜70s Showâ€, one of my favourite TV shows Gloria Gaynor made a special appearance in that episode with the disco hit â€œI Will Surviveâ€, I thought that this could be a perfect song to write about as disco and rock have often been considered diametrically opposite musical styles. I guess that most of you, like me, are not a big fan of the disco genre of music. Heck, the song was even listed at #9 on George Carlinâ€™s list of â€œ10 Most Embarrassing Songs of All Timeâ€. However, when a song becomes as popular as this one, it is bound to show up in other musical genres as well as popular cultures and cannot be ignored and while researching on the song I found that some of my favourite bands such as Cake and R.E.M. have also covered it.
The original song performed by Gloria Gaynor was written by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris. The lyrics of the song are about a woman trying to get over her breakup. No wonder that it has been used for female empowerment and other awareness campaigns. The song sounds nice for the first 25 seconds with a decent arrangement of piano, percussion and bass with the bluesy voice of Gloria. However, the moment the disco beats set in. As disco has been often accused, the beats leave a little scope for variation in the music and hence it becomes repetitive. Nevertheless, the song has made it to Rolling Stones magazines â€œThe 500 Greatest Songs of All Timeâ€.
So for people who do not appreciate the original version, I recommend the cover version by the alternative rock band Cake. Although not nearly as good as there other songs such as â€œComfort Eagleâ€ or â€œShort Skirt, Long Jacketâ€, it has definitely got a funky bass-line and some decent guitar solos. Plus, the use of brass instrument towards the end adds a jazzy edge to the song. R.E.M., another alternative rock band, has also given an acoustic rendering of the song. Done in a simple style with acoustic guitars and some synthesizers in the background, the song does not come out nearly as nice as the version by Cake.
If you are thinking that I am biased towards rock music, cheer up! Watch this amazing comical version of the song by â€œIgudesman & Jooâ€. Besides these there are a lot of other covers of the song and it has been used extensively in other media as well as is evident from its wiki page. However, to keep this article short, I will sign off here with the words of Cake frontman John McCrea,â€œIt is only right to leave you with a little bit of false hope!â€
Gloria Gaynor performing live
Cake’s Version of the song
Igudesman & Joo
- A Song A Day – Hey Joe
- A.Song.A.Day – Turn The Page
- A.Song.A.Day – Money For Nothing
- A.Song.A.Day – Piano Man
- A Song A Day – The Maid Freed From The Gallows
- A Song A Day – Misirlou
- Parikrama Fires Up a Freezing Hell!
- A Song A Day – Born To Be Wild
- An interview with Sanjeev Thomas
- A Song A Day – Wish You Were Here