Song of the Week, 2/9/2019

Today’s song of the week comes in six parts, the first of which dates to 1969, when a Belgian pop-rock group called the Wallace Collection recorded a song called “Daydream” (not to be confused with the contemporaneous Lovin’ Spoonful hit of the same name):

According to Ye Olde Wikipedia,

The song was a hit in mainland Europe, though popularity didn’t make it to English speaking countries, despite its use of English lyrics.

Apparently some of the melody was lifted from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, which would take this history all the way back to 1876. But Philistine that I am, I will leave the classical stuff to those with longer attention spans.

Later that year French pop star Claude François released his version, which he called “Reveries”:

In 1970 “Daydream” was covered by German ensemble the Günter Kallmann Choir. This version became a minor hit and was included on a best-selling album of easy listening music:

Now fast-forward to 2001, when Scottish oddballs the Beta Band released their album Hot Shots II, the first track of which sampled the Günter Kallmann record:

And that was where I came in. Hot Shots II was one of my fave albums of that era, and I played “Squares” a bunch of times on my KALX radio show. At the time I had no idea of the history; in fact I was not aware of any of this until I heard I Monster’s 2003 track “Daydream in Blue” on the radio this week:

That prompted me to go down this rabbit hole, which appears to be for all intents and purposes bottomless. There are plenty more versions and samples out there. But I’ll leave off with one last one, Lupe Fiasco’s 2006 “Daydreaming,” because I like the idea of going from Tchaikovsky to hip-hop via Belgium, France, Germany, and Scotland. Enjoy, and keep on daydreaming.

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