Music

John Wesley Harding Gives Us His Take on George Harrison's "Wah Wah" (premiere)

Photo: Shervin Lainez

John Wesley Harding puts his own stamp on the iconic George Harrison tune, all while paying respects to its legendary original artist.

More than 20 albums and collections into his career, accomplished singer-songwriter Wesley Stace — best known by his stage name, John Wesley Harding — is letting his original writing take a backseat on the latest to hit airwaves. Aptly titled Greatest Other Peoples' Hits, Harding is tackling a heap of tunes written and made famous by other artists. As to be expected of the venerable musician, Harding isn't just taking these songs on head-on, but giving them his own artistic stamp along the way.

Take George Harrison's "Wah Wah", for instance, from All Things Must Pass. Harding ditches the reverb so prominent on Harrison's original, bringing backup singers, horns, and an electrifying rock ensemble in the form of the Universal Thump with him along the way. The arrangement is largely kept respectably similar, albeit its delivery is patently livening. Harding's take provides ample room to pay the legendary original artist respect while still giving listeners a reason to pay both of their renditions an ear.

Greatest Other Peoples' Hits is set to be released on 18 May via Omnivore. On the album, Stace says, "you can write quite as good and accurate a narrative of a musical career through the covers sung as the songs written. Often, I've found people like the covers more, which may speak for itself, but I've always found it a compliment: covers are my strong suit."

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