Sometimes ye olde iPod simply lands on a song i feel like sharing. Today would be one of those days. Some time ago, i was given a copy of Ndidi Onukwulu’s The Contradictor to review. A few of the tracks jumped out at me, particularly a certain track called “He Needs Me.” i recognized the tune from somewhere, but couldn’t quite place it. As i had received a digital copy of the album, i had no liner notes to refer to, so i just placed it in my typically overflowing “Shit to Think About Later” pile and moved on with my life. Shortly thereafter, i’m watching the allegedly coke driven performance of Robin Williams in Popeye on cable, and what do you know, there’s Shelley Duvall singing the original. So then i knew, thereby completing half the battle.
In my quest to find the original version, i quickly find the original was penned by none other thanHarry Nilsson himself. Also, Robert Altman, of all folks, directed the flick. Of course, now i clearly need to see the movie again, so hopefully TiVo won’t let me down when i get home this evening. That didn’t do anything to help me get you cats the original version of the song, though, which i quickly learned never made it past vinyl. Thanks to the Google Gods, however, i found the wonderfully informative For the Love of Harry blog. Should you need to know anything about Mr. Nilsson, i cannot recommend enough you go check out that site. Not only did they have the original album in mp3s, but i’ll be damned if they didn’t also happen to have the original demos, too. So today, you get a cover, an original, a couple of demos and a version that i swear is slightly different, but i could be crazy. At the 1:33 mark in the Popeye version, you can hear an almost unintelligible Robin Williams mumble, “But I do.” In the Punch-Drunk Love version, i am positive that is Adam Sandler’s voice overdubbed. Of course, i take a lot of drugs, so i could be off on this one.