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Author Topic: The Left Banke  (Read 929 times)

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tkitna

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The Left Banke
« on: February 11, 2012, 01:52:10 PM »

I really love this band. Anybody else into them at all? They cut two albums that were both very good and later did another one (minus original members) later on, but I havent heard anything off of it.

Walk Away Renee - The big hit for them. Probably one of my least favorites though.
Walk Away Renee - The Left Banke


THE LEFT BANKE- " PRETTY BALLERINA" (W/ LYRICS)


Evening Gown - Left Banke


The Left Banke - Desiree (1967) (Embedding disabled, limit reached)

Left Banke - Lazy Day (Embedding disabled, limit reached)

tkitna

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 02:01:12 PM »

A little history behind 'Walk Away Renee'

The first hint of industry recognition came from Harry Lookofsky himself. "Mike's father used to come in late at night, on and off," says Cameron, "to check up on the boys and see what they were doing." The boys were doing a lot besides playing, I'll tell you that much! Mike went down one night and introduced 'Walk Away Renee' to us. Steve hated the song, of course. Tom and I thought it had possibilities. We played it and had Steve sing lead on it, and it started coming out pretty good. Mike's father heard it and said, 'Let's try to record it.' And bingo.

The song was inspired by Renee Fladen, a platinum blonde vision. Cameron: "Renee was Mike Brown's big love, and Tommy liked her a lot too. Tall, blonde, and quiet. Mike was like a little kid around her. He'd bring her up to the studio to hear his latest songs, and then we'd all come out and sing. She'd just sit there and listen and smile a lot."

Finn: "Most of the kids were half-runaways in those days. A bunch of teenagers got an apartment together- a crash pad- in Tin Pan Alley, around the Broadway area. Renee lived there part- time when she didn't live with her mother."

"I brought her over to the studio. For a kid of 16, or 17, she was free, liberal, open- minded, sexy- everything. She was just very different for that time, so she bowled Mike over."

Brown: "I met her through the newly formed Left Banke. They would run around, so to speak, because they knew a lot of people. I was hanging around with the group, and it was just in one of those chance encounters that I met her."

Discussing Renee, Brown refers to her in free-spirited terms like those used by Finn: "What people forget is that the main thing that was happening with everybody I was hanging around with- was a new era. That didn't last very long. The Reich was supposed to go for a thousand years, and this couldn't last 10. But whether you fell in love or anything else, everybody just sort of floated around."

Brown says that he wrote "Walk Away Renee" one month after he met Renee, in the winter of '65. He then wrote what became the Left Banke's second hit, "Pretty Ballerina" and "She May Call You Up Tonight" (on the Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina LP), both about the very same young woman.

Renee never went out with Brown, dated Finn briefly, and later went out with the group's original drummer, Warren David. "After that," says Finn, "using 60's lingo, she 'split the scene' because of all the different guys liking her. She felt very uncomfortable."

Brown describes his unrequited feelings for Renee: "I was just sort of mythologically in love, if you know what I mean," he says, "without having evidence in fact or in deed." As Brown says this he laughs softly. His laugh sounds like that of one who would rather laugh than cry.

"But I was as close as anybody could be to the real thing," he adds. "As a matter of fact, like in the Twilight Zone or something, if you cross over, you lose what you have. It's only because you're away from it that you can appreciate the beauty of it. Once you've become immersed in it, you can't see the sunlight coming through the window, because you're no longer doing that. You're in that light."


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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 10:51:35 PM »

^

Thanks for posting that, Todd. 

Ah yes.  Unrequited love.  Always a good basis for a song and Walk Away Renee is one of the standards.  I was 16 when I heard this song on its release.  Just the right age for those feelings.  Fortunately there were The Beatles' Rubber soul and Revolver albums around to offset Walk Away Renee.

I think I like The Left Banke's version of Walk Away Renee the best.  The author, Mike Brown, was the same age I was so we had being at a very tender age in common.  He played harpsichord on that one and together with the plaintiff lead vocal, the song evokes a very sad atmosphere.

The Four Tops had the most famous version of Walk Away Renee, but it was this original Left Banke version I heard first and like the most.
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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 11:03:33 PM »

Walk Away Renee


Left Banke - Walk Away Renée [Good(+) quality / No mpg4 resolution]



The Left Banke Walk Away Renee Music




 


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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 06:40:42 AM »

I didn't realize that "Pretty Ballerina" was theirs. It's a neat song that I haven't heard in a long time.
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Kelley

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tkitna

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 01:13:54 PM »

I think my dislike for 'Walk Away Renee' was the fact that a girl named Renee broke my heart in highschool and my friends (bastards) couldnt help but to play the song every chance they got.  ha2ha

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 06:20:59 PM »

I'm so used to hearing this by The Four Tops that,although the Left Banke''s version is the original and somewhat prettier, it just doesn't seem right to me!
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tkitna

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 05:44:26 PM »

I'm so used to hearing this by The Four Tops that,although the Left Banke''s version is the original and somewhat prettier, it just doesn't seem right to me!

I think i'm just the opposite. Our local oldies station always seems to play the original for some reason. I'm going to have to play the Four Tops version just to see if i'm familiar with it.

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 03:20:55 AM »

What always impresses me about Walk Away Renee is that Michael Brown was only sixteen years old when he wrote the song.  He created three of the saddest, and best, minutes in pop history.
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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 03:42:43 AM »

Some more baroque pop by The Left Banke...

Shadows Breaking Over My Head

The Left Banke - Shadows Breaking Over My Head (Live at The Bitter End)
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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 04:47:16 AM »

What always impresses me about Walk Away Renee is that Michael Brown was only sixteen years old when he wrote the song.  He created three of the saddest, and best, minutes in pop history.

Wow...that is impressive. That song (and Pretty Ballerina to a lesser extent) makes me feel like crying every time I hear it.

Quote
Some more baroque pop by The Left Banke...

I'm rather partial to baroque pop.  ;)
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Kelley

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tkitna

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 05:46:19 AM »

What always impresses me about Walk Away Renee is that Michael Brown was only sixteen years old when he wrote the song.  He created three of the saddest, and best, minutes in pop history.

Yeah, thats impressive. I sure as hell wasnt doing stuff like that when I was 16.

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 07:34:52 AM »

I think i'm just the opposite. Our local oldies station always seems to play the original for some reason. I'm going to have to play the Four Tops version just to see if i'm familiar with it.

Same here. I have heard The Four Tops version only for some reason I thought it was Tom Jones. What a dingbat I am.  roll:)
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Kelley

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zipp

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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 01:16:33 PM »

In the UK, where I was at the time, the Four Tops got to number three in the charts with this.

The Left Banke were not on the charts at all!

So most Brits think this is a Four Tops original and would be surprised to hear anything else. Even now it certainly never gets played on the radio.
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Re: The Left Banke
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 05:54:24 AM »

In the UK, where I was at the time, the Four Tops got to number three in the charts with this.

The Left Banke were not on the charts at all!

So most Brits think this is a Four Tops original and would be surprised to hear anything else. Even now it certainly never gets played on the radio.


Here in the northeastern United States it's the other way around.  They played The Left Banke's Walk Away Renee twice today on the radio.  It's been a while since I heard The Four Tops' version.


The Four Tops Walk Away Renee
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