Daily Dirt: Some of those remakes were better, some were not … remembering Kobe Buffalomeat … and bring back ‘Cold Case’

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Daily Dirt for Jan. 6, 2022

In thought No. 2 today, the name of Fabian Assman might rekindle memories of a particular “Seinfeld” episode … welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 178 of the Daily Dirt.

1. When a hit song gets re-made by a different artist, is the second time around naturally better — or worse — than the original?

I started thinking about that earlier this week when I heard “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” a 1966 instrumental by the legendary Cannonball Adderley. “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” was also a 1967 hit song by the Buckinghams, albeit with words.Personally, I loved both of those efforts, and even purchased the Buckinghams’ version. But if I had to choose all of these years later, I might lean toward Cannonball Adderley’s jazzy, soulful (and wordless) take.

But what about other some other original and remakes? Here’s a look at three of them:

The original was better: “The Sound of Silence” from Simon and Garfunkel still strikes a nerve today, from both its acoustic feel and social commentary. The remake by by Disturbed, featuring the haunting vocals of David Draiman, approached the song in an entirely different — and almost frightening? — fashion. For me, both are excellent presentations, but I think the softer venture from Simon Garfunkel works as well today as it did in 1964.

The remake was better: “I Will Always Love You” was originally a tremendous song in its own right by Dolly Parton, but Whitney Houston’s remake was simply incredible, one of the finest pop songs in history. 

They are both equally great: I’m never sure whether to applaud both artists — or the song itself — when a remake is as equally convincing as as the original. In the case of “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” by the Bee Gees and later Al Green, we are given the same song with entirely different interpretations. And both are amazing. The Bee Gees’ smooth — and oh so sad — version is an effective compliment to Green’s more intense — yet mellow — remake. When you are emotionally worn down by both songs at their conclusion, it’s impossible to pick a favorite.

2. Five of my favorite sports names:

Fabian Assman, Argentine soccer player.

No, not this guy. Seinfeld (1995) NBC and Columbia Pictures Television

Kobe Buffalomeat, former offensive lineman at Illinois State.

Exree Hipp, former Maryland basketball player.

Creedence Clearwater Cuoto, Brazilian soccer player.

Johnny Moustache, former captain of the Seychelles national soccer team.

For the record, We’ll be returning to this subject in the coming days. 

3. Five TV programs I wish would be brought back:

“Cold Case” (2003-10): Some of the best endings ever of any TV program ever. Some you would make you smile, some may bring a tear — or two. And Kathryn Morris was tremendous in her role as a police investigator. 

“ALF” (1986-90): Paul Fusco was the voice of ALF (Alien Life Form), a.k.a. Gordon Shumway. I think “ALF” was ahead of its time, and might have been an even bigger hit in today’s world.

“King of the Hill” (1997-2010): Mike Judge, who created “Beavis and Butt-Head,” was also the man behind this animated comedy classic. The show followed the Hill family, with much attention paid to dad Hank and son Bobby. 

“Third Rock from the Sun” (1997-2001): John Lithgow, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and French Stewart headlined a perfect ensemble that this sitcom about a family from space must-seer TV for five years. Throw in a little irreverent humor you had the stuff of legends.

“The Larry Sanders Show” (1992-98): Another sitcom classic, Garry Shandling starred as a fictional late-night talk show host. An incredible supporting cast included Jeffrey Tambor, Jeremy Piven and Janeane Garofalo. (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Garry Shandling died in 2016. JRG)

Steve Fact O’ The Day Steve’s first favorite MLB player was outfielder Vic Davalillo of the Cleveland Indians. Chuck Essegian was a close second.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He likes his Ravioli Salsa Rosa hot.

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