Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne (1990)

 |   |  <1 min read

Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne (1990)

With Leonard Cohen much on our mind again with his new album Old Ideas, it was time to go to the vaults to find this version of his classic, as done by New Zealand's Straijacket Fits.

This treatment appeared on their Hail album (and was on the flipside of the Hail 12"), and was the line-up which many considered the most musically interesting, with guitarist-singer-writer Andrew Brough alongside Shayne Carter.

The popular and critical consensus was that Brough brought some folk-rock sweetness to the band alongside Carter's more vinegar-flavoured indie.rock tendencies. Maybe, maybe not. If the similar McCartney Vs Lennon divide doesn't always fall so easily in the Beatles, it's fair to say it also doesn't with Brough/Carter.

But at the time, this line-up of Straitjacket Fits -- with drummer John Collie who contributed their distinctive cover art, and bassist Dave Wood -- was the one which everyone agreed was a world beating combination.

After Brough left in '92 (and formed the short-lived, one album outfit Bike), Straitjackets took on a very different complexion.

You couldn't imagine the Broughless line-up doing a Leonard Cohen song.

(Incidentally, the backing vocals here are by Jan Hellriegel.) 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Michael Higgins - Feb 8, 2012

There was a Cohen tribute disc called 'I'm Your Fan' in the early 90s which had some nice moments (John Cale's 'Hallelujah', REM doing 'First We Take Manhattan' and Dead Famous People's 'True Love Leaves No Traces') but I always felt cheated that it was James doing 'Marianne' and not Straitjacket Fits.

Andrew Schmidt - Feb 9, 2012

A popular song to cover here. That would be the third version of So Long Marianne by a Kiwi act following Wellington band The Wedge's 1969 take for a HMV Records single and one by a female folk singer in the early 1970s. I haven't heard either, but they'd have to be pretty good to top this - which originally appeared on a single with Hail providing that classic pop and rock song coupling that a lot of great 1960s singles had. It was a Kiwi Top 20 hit in January 1989.

vicki - Feb 11, 2012

have you heard, its now on youtube and i, for one, am eternally grateful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49VQ3-PTr7k

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Eddie and the Hot Rods: Teenage Depression (1976)

Eddie and the Hot Rods: Teenage Depression (1976)

As their name suggests, Eddie and the Hot Rods were never really part of the UK punk scene although -- like fellow pub rockers Dr Feelgood -- they were often lumped in with it during the late... > Read more

Green Jelly: Three Little Pigs (1993)

Green Jelly: Three Little Pigs (1993)

There just aren't enough fairy tales at From the Vaults. Only the clip of Sam the Sham and the Pharoah's Little Red Riding Hood as far as I can recall. Time then to resurrect this from the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEATLES; THE TOURING YEARS (2016): So you still wanna be a rock'n'roll star?

THE BEATLES; THE TOURING YEARS (2016): So you still wanna be a rock'n'roll star?

Near the end of the Beatles' Anthology John Lennon – his voice from beyond the grave – says with a pithy reflection, the Beatles were a great little rock'n'roll band. If that... > Read more

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, WHAT GOES ON (BOX SET, 1993): The velvet blueprint

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, WHAT GOES ON (BOX SET, 1993): The velvet blueprint

Most reviewers of this well-packaged, 57-track, three-disc set can’t help but comment on the overwrought essay by Clinton Walker who starts with superlatives, then works up to a screech.... > Read more