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Amy Winehouse’s Valerie cover ‘a gift from God’

Written by on February 24, 2024

The Zutons say Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’ cover was “a gift from God”.

‘Valerie’ featured on the English indie rock band’s second album ‘Tired of Hanging Around’ in 2006 but achieved worldwide success when it was covered by Mark Ronson, with lead vocals by Winehouse, in 2007.

And, frontman Dave McCabe said he is grateful the song kept his band relevant while they were on hiatus.

He told Radio X: “The way I see it, it was like a gift from God and I was there to receive it.

“The band was there to receive it… and some people are like, ‘Were you [annoyed] when she took your song?’ And I was like, ‘Well not really, because she just immortalised the whole thing.’ Do you know what I mean? Because it was a big song anyway, but that just took it to this whole new level.

“I think it’s in the Top 10 of karaoke songs. I’ve walked past boozers and you can hear people singing it and it’s like, we wrote that in that little room in town and here it is now. I don’t have any bad feeling about it. I did for a bit, because people would ask you about money all the time. […] That’s what I’d ask if I was in the other person’s shoes, so yeah it has made life easier and no it doesn’t do my head in.

“At the time it did my head in because we made a pretty weak third album after it and no one was asking about the songs on that, do you know what I mean? It’s just one of those songs though. It’s its own entity. It’s in the ether.”

Meanwhile, The Zutons announced their comeback in November, with their first album in 16 years, ‘The Big Decider’, set to be released on April 26, 2024.

The album is produced by studio wizard Nile Rodgers, and they have also reunited with original producer Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds.

It will mark the group’s first studio effort since 2008’s ‘You Can Do Anything’.

McCabe, said of working with the 71-year-old Chic legend: “Working with Nile was just an amazing experience, he gave me a confidence that I’ve never felt before making a record. He’s very laid-back as a person and a good listener. On the song ‘Disappear’, I wrote a spoken word piece about The Zutons travelling the stars and galaxies asking the most powerful question in the universe, ‘Why?’. I asked Nile if he’d read it out over the top of the end section of the song, thinking he’d just say no. But he jumped in the vocal booth with his chain around his neck and his sunglasses on and did about 20 different takes, all in different styles of himself. It was mind-blowing! It was as though he really does travel around the universe in some spaceship and just makes music in his spare time. He’s just one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.”

And on working with Ian he added: “It was great to reconnect with Ian Broudie on this record as well. He told me the demo of Big Decider brought a tear to his eye and that’s why he said yes to working with us again. It was one of the first songs we wrote for the album so getting that reaction from Ian made me feel like we were doing something right. The song spoke for itself.”


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