This is the 18th post in a weekly, yearlong series. Read around it here and check out the list of previous songs here. A brand-new post around a various song will certainly be posted every Monday transparent 2016. You can listen to the song in a Spotify playlist.

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After safety what he referred to as “a night in hell,” songwriter Mickey Newbury claimed he wrote “Just reduce In” in the mid-to-late ’60s together a warning of the risks of LSD. “It was a drug song telling people of the horrors that drugs will execute to you,” Newbury to be quoted as saying in Joe Zimmer’s “Mickey Newbury: decision & Stone.” “Some people jumped the end of buildings… That tune was about a country boy’s attitude to a poor acid trip. There to be so plenty of pro-acid songs then that I thought someone candlestick to show the other side.”

The song indicated Newbury’s ability to repaint a picture with words:I pushed my spirit in a deep dark hole and then I followed it inI watched myself crawlin’ out together I to be crawlin’ inI gained up so tight i couldn’t unwindI witnessed so lot I damaged my mindI simply dropped in to see what problem my condition was in

After writing the song, Newbury common it backstage in ~ a concert with a friend of his from his indigenous high school: Kenny Rogers. Rogers, performing with the new Christy Minstrels at the time, want to record “Just to reduce In.” Rogers claimed he asked Newbury multiple times if he can make his very own version, but “ said, ‘I can’t give it come you since Sammy Davis, Jr. Has it on hold.’ Boy, I’d have practically loved to have actually heard that song.”

Davis never ever recorded the song, however Kenny Rogers eventually did. Yet a few others win him come it.

The very first recording of the song, title “I simply Dropped in (To view What problem My problem Was In),” to be by Teddy Hill & The southerly Soul, and also released in October 1967. The expression “southern soul” right the group, and particularly this track, i m sorry smartly linked soul elements of horns with twangy, country vocals. It to be a seminal recording for Rice Records, i m sorry previously had only recorded country and also pop songs. The vocals had that bluesy balance in between R&B and also country, conveying the pain and frustration that those category cover therefore well.


In a issue of months, Jerry Lee Lewis videotaped his very own version. Indigenous the opening bars in which Lewis play a “Cool Jerk”-like piano riff, everything around his variation was peppier than the Teddy Hill & The Southern soul version. Lewis sounded too unfazed, singing as if he were recounting a trip to the beach, quite than the story of drug-induced misery. The upbeat percussion and horn parts also belied the trauma the Newbury’s lyrics, sounding favor something one could hear in ~ a Blues brothers revue.


By the time Rogers taped “Just to reduce In (To see What condition My condition Was In),” he to be no much longer with The new Christy Minstrels, however The an initial Edition. I ordered it by producer Mike Post and also featuring a trippy backward etc intro by valley Campbell, The first Edition’s variation sounded choose the kind of psychedelic drug suffer the tune described. “This is as close come a 1967 mountain flashback as you’ll get,” Rogers called one audience.


When Newbury videotaped his version for his 1968 album, “Harlequin Melodies,” the an initial Edition’s version was making its means up the Billboard hot 100 (it peaked in ~ Number 5). Due to the fact that of the popular of The very first Edition’s “Just dropped In (To watch What problem My condition Was In),” RCA pressured Newbury to design his version after that one. Newbury claimed he constantly thought the track should have actually been sad and bluesy, yet the variation on the album featured a psychedelic guitar production, per RCA’s wishes.


Bettye LaVette taped her own version the the track “about two days after ~ did.” LaVette’s “What problem My condition Is In” recast the tune as quick soul song. The horn components were given an ext space come breathe, structure on the soulful structure of Teddy Hill & The southerly Soul’s version. Yet the centerpiece was LaVette’s commanding voice, i beg your pardon Kenny Rogers favored so lot that he carried it to the fist of his brother, producer Lelan Rogers. V that introduction, Lelan Rogers and also LaVette would ultimately record her optimal 40 hit, “He do A Woman the end Of Me.”


The luxurious edition the LaVette’s album “Worthy” consisted of an interview in i beg your pardon LaVette played a slower piano variation of the song.

Experimental German post-punk band die Haut recorded a version of “Just dropped in (To watch What problem My problem Was In)” through Nick cave on vocals because that its album, “Headless human body In Topless Bar.” The track, through its hiccupy starts and starts, slowly developed into a noisy chaos of guitars, drums, and distortion, sounding choose the perfect late-’80s update of The very first Edition’s psychedelic take on the song.


The Raymen played brand of absent that merged the pace of punk, the vocals of rockabilly, the quirky guitars that surf rock, and also the manufacturing value the garage rock. The band’s “Just dropped In,” showing up on a repertoire of rare and unreleased tracks called “Garbaged, Littered & entirely Destroyed,” sounded like a cross in between a moody cramps song and a dance-y B-52s track. There’s a spooky Halloween high quality to the song, i beg your pardon dovetails well with the story called by the lyrics.


Using the moniker Mojo Nixon and The 2nd Edition, psychobilly singer Mojo Nixon tape-recorded “Just reduce In To check out What condition My condition Was In.” His bombastic version of the song supplied the line “Yeah, yeah, oh yeah/What problem my problem was in” transparent the song. In between those instances, Nixon screamed bits and also pieces that the initial lyrics, the end of order, when also adding bits around Dolly Parton and also others. At the end, over a last drum solo, Nixon yelled, “Ya know, what condition is Kenny Rogers’ liposuction in best now? God dang it!”


Supergrass videotaped the song as a B-side to its solitary “Alright.” The song also appeared top top the 20th anniversary version of the band’s debut album, “I need to Coco.” The variation was heavily informed by The an initial Edition’s, starting with the exact same “Yeah, yeah, five yeah/What problem my problem was in” line. Less psychedelic than The first Edition’s version, Supergrass’ “Just dropped in (To view What condition My problem Was In)” featured jangly guitars and peppy pianos that defined the remainder of the album (and much of mid-’90s Britpop).


Just together “My best Friend’s Wedding” introduced “I speak A tiny Prayer” come a new generation in 1997, The Coen Brothers’ “The huge Lebowski” revived “Just dropped In (To watch What problem My problem Was In)” when the movie come out in 1998. The very first Edition’s variation of the song served as the backdrop because that The Dude’s drug-fueled hallucination, cut specifically come go through the song, in i m sorry The Dude (Jeff Bridges) encountered Saddam Hussein as a bowling alley cashier before women dressed together bowling pins formed circles approximately him in some kind of Busby Berkeley dance sequence. By the time that part of the movie happened, sufficient what-the-fuck-ery had unfolded such the this to be no big deal.


Willie Nelson has actually recorded 2 versions. The first appeared on his 2001 album, “Rainbow Connection,” and had a laid-back lounge feel through its border guitars, bongos, and harmonicas. Together he to be able to through his variation of “Always On mine Mind,” Nelson sang “Just reduce In (To see What problem My condition Was In)” in an earnest way that revealed the woe of the story.


By virtue the the fact that Nelson’s second version had electric guitar and more drums, it sounded an ext forceful, also a bit angrier, 보다 his first cover of the song. Showing up on 2002’s “Great Divide,” had actually a fuller sound, including back-up singers for the occasional “ooh” or “what condition my condition was in.” Nelson’s vocals still sounded poignant, however he didn’t sound sad so much as prefer a male who had a yes, really weird story to tell.


Funk/soul revivalists Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings released a covering of “I simply Dropped In (To see What problem My condition Was In)” the fleshed the end the song’s funk potential the LaVette had explored in she version. Jones, among the best soul singers the the critical 20 years, sang together if she had actually shared the “night in hell” that inspired Newbury to create the song, and the horn solos and also faster north in the Dap-Kings version just bolstered the sense of frenzy.


Jeff Walker, the singer and also bassist that the English steel band Carcass, exit a solo alum in 2006, under the surname Jeff walker und dice Fluffers. “Welcome come Carcass Cuntry” was a nation metal album that featured greatly covers. Walker’s “I simply Dropped In (To watch What problem My problem Was In)” lurched and sputtered, slowing the song down to a heavy, guitar-laden track. Walker’s maniacal vocals argued not only that he had been top top a harrowing and scary journey, yet that he was still top top it and also might not ever stop.


With irradiate percussion and minimal guitar, Tom Jones’ “Just to reduce In” was a slow-moving burn that never completely erupted. The tune featured unmistakable Jones phrasings and also vocal flourishes, but for a man who made over-the-top remakes, this monitor felt sparse, virtually muted. But even if Jones didn’t deliver the cautionary tale Newbury did, the border Jones still regulate to convey a bewildered and cryptic tone.


Americana singer Paula Nelson covered “Just reduce In” for her 2014 album, “Under The Influence.” Her stable voice, the perfect mix of nation twang and bluesy swagger, was got an ext commanding, together if every word she sang was a flashback come her bad trip. The psychedelic elements that appeared in The very first Edition version (and thus numerous subsequent versions) to be absent, enabling the vocals to be the main attraction.


White Denim taped a cover because that the 2nd season that the TV present “Fargo,” based on the Coen Brothers’ movie of the same name. That season was collection in 1979, and White Denim’s “Just dropped In (To check out What condition My problem Was In)” as necessary borrowed a lot in layout from the late ’70s: spooky percussion elements, funky guitars, and disco keyboards.


A few times before, we’ve discussed a songwriter that wrote a song and recorded a variation after one more artist had currently recorded it. Michael McDonald co-wrote “What A stupid Believes” with Kenny Loggins to show up on a Doobie brother album, yet Loggins’ version was exit first. In that post, we conceded that McDonald can not cover a track he helped write. We used that very same logic applies with Carole king recording that “Locomotion,” in the it was one more version that the song, however not a cover.

But Newbury’s variation of “Just to reduce In (To watch What condition My problem Was In)” was, against his wishes, heavily influenced through The an initial Edition’s version. So then can Newbury’s variation be a sheathe of the version? Could any kind of version be thought about a cover of the very first Edition version, also though that variation was not the an initial recording? In other words, deserve to you covering a track that chin is not the original? In the very same vein, could any kind of version the “Tainted Love” that counts on Soft Cell’s iconic key-boards be considered a Soft cabinet cover, also though the original was by Gloria Jones?

These questions obtain at the love of what a sheathe is. If a sheathe is simply a recording of a song motivated or influenced by a ahead version, climate not just is Newbury’s variation a sheathe of the very first Edition version, but so are numerous of the versions out there. Yet that only speaks to the recording, not the writing. In i m sorry case, “I to speak A small Prayer” would exclusively be a Dionne Warwick song. Or would certainly it? Anyone’s variation of a song might be thought about an initial as long as someone rather subsequently taped a version that sounded choose that previously version.

To quote Walter Sobchek the “The big Lebowski,” “This isn’t Vietnam, Dude. There space rules.” and a line need to be attracted in the sand: you can’t covering a tune that itself is a covering of an additional song. Yet even this is a squishy rule, one which might be challenged soon when we look at songs the are much more than samples but aren’t exactly covers.

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You can listen to these songs and also previously discussed cover songs in a Spotify playlist.