Allee Willis doesn't sugarcoat her thoughts on the banjo cover.
The songwriter for Earth, Wind & Fire's 1978 song 'September', Allee Willis, has lashed out at Taylor Swift's acoustic rendition of the song for leading streaming service Spotify. She certainly didn't mince her words as she spoke about the 'boring' cover during a recent music event in Michigan.
Taylor Swift at the Billboard Music Awards
Re-hashed as part of the 'Spotify Singles' series in April and recorded at The Tracking Room in Nashville, Taylor Swift's 'September' divided opinion with its banjo acoustics and down-played vocals. But it was the original songwriter for the song, which featured on 'The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1', who had the most to say about it.
During a Q&A event at Detroit's City Theatre on Friday (May 18th 2018), 70-year-old Willis accused 28-year-old Swift of cutting 'a very calm and somewhat boring take of one of the peppiest, happiest, most popular songs in history'. Ouch.
'I didn't really think she did a horrible job', she told the audience. 'Yes, I felt it was as lethargic as a drunk turtle dozing under a sunflower after ingesting a bottle of Valium, and I thought it had all the build of a one-story motel, but, I mean, the girl didn't kill anybody. She didn't run over your foot.'
Despite her opinion on the cover, she accepts that everyone 'has a right to do with a song what they please' and insisted that she felt 'honoured' to see the popstar doing the song. Though, how genuine the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee was about that was difficult to say.
'I'm honoured you'd choose to do my song and that it meant enough to you that you wanted to personalise it to the goddamn "28th night of September"', she continued. 'That you wanted to cover it with banjo, and that you changed the sacred ba-de-ya to the more Caucasian ah-ah-ah to make it sound more like a field of daffodils than a Soul Train line.'
Willis' sarcasm aside though, the song pleased a lot of Taylor fans who saw the cover as a brief return to her country roots in the midst of the electro-pop of her latest record 'Reputation'.
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