Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nature Boy

Nat King Cole

"Nature Boy" is one of my favorite songs of all-time.  It's a timeless song, written in 1947 by Eden Ahbez and first sang, and made popular, by Nat King Cole. 

 Since then it's been covered by many people over the years, from jazz guitarist George Benson, to power-pop icons Big Star, to psych-rock underground legends Gandalf.  I really love every version, because each are so different in their own right.  Besides the Nat King Cole and George Benson version, the next version I heard was by Big Star off of their Third/Sister Lovers album, when I was highly into anything Chilton-Bell-Big Star related back in college.  Alex Chilton sounds so lonely and cold on "Nature Boy", I remember playing it repeatedly when I was in college 15 years ago and being mesmorized by it.  
The George Benson version of "Nature Boy" may have been the first version that I heard, as I come out of the womb listening to Benson constantly in the first five years of my life.   It's got a funky-jazz feel, and I enjoy Benson's vocals on it. 
Lastly, this is the most recent version of "Nature Boy" that I've heard.  In the past six months, I bought Gandalf's self-titled album, and it has increasingly become one of my go-to favorite psych albums.  "Nature Boy" certainly gets the "Gandalf" treatment on this album.  Very psych.