So, LCD Soundsystem's protracted farewell at Terminal 5 begins this week. I'm going this evening, although I'm starting to worry that it's going to be something of a logistical clusterfuck. To avoid the scalping hassle that plagued their originally-scheduled farewell gig at Madison Square Garden, these shows are will-call only, which means crazy-long lines. Part of me is kinda dreading it, to be honest. But, when I saw them last summer, they put on an amazing show, so hopefully it'll all be worth it.
In any case, presumably in anticipation of same, Pitchfork ran a comprehensive round-up of LCD's output. What I didn't realize was that James Murphy & Co. recorded a cover of Harry Nilsson's rocktastic "Jump Into the Fire" (a favorite song of mine) as the b-side of their "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" 7". I immediately scoured the `Net to hear it.
I first heard the Nilsson original during the denouement of Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas." The trouble was, the official soundtrack of same did not feature the song. I didn't even know who sang it for the longest time (I believe I first believed it to be an obscure MC5 track). I finally tracked it down some time later. This involved watching the VHS tape in slow motion for the credits (this was way before the era of IMDB).
I didn't have much of a clue who Harry Nilsson was before that, other than he was wrote the mellow "Everbody's Talking" from the score of "Midnight Cowboy" and that he partook in the infamous "lost weekend" with John Lennon in the late 70s. I had no idea he was capable of credibly rocking. Regardless, I prized a copy of Nilsson Schmilsson shortly afterwards and got on with my life.
It's odd that LCD Soundsystem chose to cover this. A number of years ago, when my friend Tod from Firewater was amassing tracks for a cover album called Songs We Should Have Written, I suggested covering "Jump Into the Fire." Suffice to say, Tod wasn't into it (although he did heed my suggestion to take a bash through the Beatles' "Hey Bulldog.") LCD's take on the Nilsson track is fairly straightforward and faithful. If, like me, you too haven't heard it, click right here to do so.
Below, meanwhile, is the Nilsson original. Enjoy.