Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Originals vs covers: Up the Junction
South London Music
Nell Dunn moved to Battersea in 1959, an area of South London that would provide the inspiration for her future work, the most famous example of which is undoubtedly her 1963 book Up the Junction; the ‘junction’ being a reference to Clapham Junction, which is actually in Battersea, but there you go.
The book, which described the South London working class life around Battersea and Clapham was adapted for a 1965 Ken Loach-directed TV production, and a Manfred Mann-soundtracked 1968 film starring Susan George, Dennis Waterman and Maureen Lipman.
However, it’s perhaps the Squeeze single from 1979 that is the highest profile use of the title:
Me and the girl from Clapham
The third single from Squeeze‘s second album Cool for Cats, Up the Junction made it all the way to number 2 in the UK charts, not bad for a story-telling song that doesn’t have a chorus!
Despite being recorded in 1978 -before Pro Tools, before most people knew what ‘digital audio’ actually was, but, interestingly, the same year that Genelec, makers of some fine pro-audio monitor speakers, was founded- the production still sounds quite fresh today.
Actually, on the subject of pro audio recording and 1978, that was also the year that Solid State Logic (SSL) designed their A series console, which began quite a lineage of consoles through the iconic E and G series desks up to their more recent products such as the Matrix and SSL Nucleus. But I digress, SSL are from Oxfordshire, not South London, so I’ll try and get back on topic…
Not your West End audio…
With its gritty aesthetic, Up the Junction presented an interesting social commentary, the sort of iconic story-telling song that makes it such a good song to cover. Which is why it has been, by quite a few:
Interestingly, other than perhaps some tempo changes, most of the covers remain remarkably true to the original. The sign of getting it right first time…?