Friday, July 29, 2011

The Soul Corner - "You're No Good"

The Soul Corner's following is small but loyal. And we aim to please. One of our most enthusiastic readers, a Notre Dame grad of course, told me just today about liking earlier posts with rich context, as when we unearth unheralded original versions or present overshadowed siblings.

So this week in a shameless effort to please our favorite fan, the Soul Corner presents both - an unheralded original version by an overshadowed sibling.

I'm guessing that few of you know the original version of "You're No Good" by Dee Dee Warwick. (Did Dee Dee Ramone take his name from her? I have no idea but it would be cool if he did). Yes, Dee Dee is Dionne's sister. That's a tough break right there. Good luck naming 5 better 60's R&B singers than Dionne Warwick.

Dee Dee's potential hit song was produced by the great team of Leiber and Stoller. It seemed to have it all going on.

But somehow the more pleasant and jazzy version by Betty Everett climbed higher on the R&B charts just months after Dee Dee's release in 1963.

Of course the mega-hit version was in 1974 by Linda Ronstandt. You know it and love it. And let's be clear here - Linda Ronstandt is a truly great singer. As good as it gets - Dionne Warwick good.

The song was later covered by Elvis Costello, Reba McEntire, Ike and Tina Turner, Van Halen, Michael Bolton and many others.

But Dee Dee Warwick's version was first, and not to be forgotten. When she proclaims "you're no good" or says "left a scar", there is no doubt she means it. And that whole party line of "feeling better now that we're through"? I'm not buying that.

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