The release of the song “Valerie” was a real breakthrough for the rock band The Zutons. Only now, most music lovers remember the composition performed by the incomparable Amy Winehouse, considering the original one of the many cover versions. The Liverpool musicians say they are not bothered by the confusion, although there are some dissatisfied notes in the interviews. Let’s hope that our article will help restore justice.
The five members of the band are officially considered co-authors of the track, but the idea for the song was born by Dave McCabe. He recalled the history of the composition “Valerie”:
I could tell you that inspiration came when I was gazing at Mercay or walking past McKee’s old house. [Пола Маккартни], but the truth is that the idea originated in a taxi on the way to my mother. By the time I got there, the whole song had been written – in about twenty minutes, no more.
The Scotsman, 2008
Sean Payne said that the song “Valerie” is dedicated to an acquaintance of McCabe:
She was having trouble driving while drunk. She was Dave’s girlfriend, whom he met in the US. This is his musical card for her, saying that he is going through a difficult period, and if she will come to see him.
The song was recorded at London’s Townhouse Studios. Produced by Stephen Street.
In June 2006 “Valerie” was released as the second single from the album “Tired of Hanging Around”. It climbed to number nine on the UK charts.
The music video for “Valerie” was directed by Scott Lyon. In the video, the musicians are trying to escape from prison.
Mark Ronson recalled how the idea to cover “Valerie” featuring Amy Winehouse came about:
I’m glad it’s a Liverpool song. I think Liverpool has the best musical history, probably in the whole world. But I have to admit that I didn’t know the song that well before we performed it. I just finished Amy’s album [Back to Black]and almost finished [Version]and I really wanted her to sing a song for me. I kept asking her if she knew any new songs. I explained to her that they were soul covers of guitar records. She only listens to pre-1967 stuff and was not familiar with indie songs at all.
One day she showed up and said, “I love The Zutons’ Valerie.” Then I couldn’t hear her voice singing it in my head. I wasn’t sure how it would work, but she went into the studio and tried it out. I really liked it.
In October 2007, the song was released as the third single from the album “Version”. It rose to number two on the UK Singles Chart and spent thirty-six consecutive weeks on the chart.
The video for “Valerie” by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse was filmed in London by Robert Hales.
The first version of “Valerie” is different from the version that was included in the album. Let’s hear from Mark:
When we started working on the song, the arrangement was in the 60s Curtis Mayfield style… It’s a bit more jazzy and incredibly soulful. I still like the original better, and when you listened to it live, it’s much closer to that arrangement.
Let’s watch the music video “Valerie” from the concert of Amy Winehouse (DVD I Told You I Was Trouble).
- The Zutons’ “Valerie” is another confusion. Music lovers sometimes confuse it with the song of the same name by Steve Winwood, recorded in 1982.
The ZutonsValerie lyrics
The ZutonsWell sometimes I go out by myself
And I look across the water
And I think of all the things, what you’re doing
And in my head I make a picture
And I look at the water
I think about everything you do
And imagine the picture in my head Chorus
Cause since I’ve come on home,
Well my body’s been a mess
And I’ve missed your ginger hair
And the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over
Stop making a fool out of me
Why won’t you come on over Valerie?
‘Cause ever since I came home
My health was in trouble
And I missed your red hair
And the way you dress
Would you like to come?
Stop making a fool out of me
Why don’t you come Valerie
put your house on up for sale
Did you get a good lawyer?
I hope you didn’t catch a tan
I hope you find the right man
Who’ll fix it for you
Putting a house up for sale?
Did you have a good lawyer?
I hope you don’t get burned
I hope you found a man
Who will solve your problem Are you shopping anywhere
Changed the color of your hair
Are you busy?
And did you have to pay the fine
You were dodging all the time
Are you still dizzy?
Did you dye your hair?
Are you busy?
Did you have to pay a fine?
You always dodged
Are you still shocked?ChorusChorusVerse 1Verse 1ChorusChorus
I think it’s considered an Amy Winehouse song… I don’t care.
Dave McCabe, NME
Definitely, sometimes I have to try really hard not to think about “Valerie”. On days when it’s in my head, I have to put down the guitar and just forget about writing.