The Flamingos version of I Only Have Eyes For You (Dames) is, without a doubt, in the winning half of my top 10 songs of all time list…a.k.a. my top 5 songs of all time.
To cover this song is the equivalent of trying to copy the Mona Lisa – there is no way of authentically replicating the eyes that follow you around the room short of putting real people behind eye-cutouts in the painting in humanly-possible shifts to actually follow you around the room with their eyes.
The dreamy harmonies and genuine innocence of this particular version is yet to be fully captured by anyone else.
I think it was @CitizenMeh who first brought the Summer Camp version to my attention indirectly on twitter a few months back. My instinctive reaction was “it’s good, but nowhere near the original” and then I pretty much forgot about it until I heard another version, by North Atlantic Oscillation (who will get their own post next week).
They seemed to be a little bit secretive when the Guardian approached them in January, and only have a MySpace to their name, but the brief entry on their Last.fm page reveals a first single is due out on Moshi Moshi at the end of March before an appearance at SXSW.
Back to the cover – they’ve managed to maintain dreamy and innocent but take the song to a far off galaxy at some point in the distant future. The background riff sounds like the “alternate ending” motif from Wayne’s World (just before 7min) and is the main reason I keep going back to the track, along with the final female vocal that kicks in about 30s from the end.
And….it’s a good cover, and I think the unpolished, I-made-this-music-with-my-mates-in-my-parents’-garage style of their sound in general will do well. Particularly with the air of mystery…
That’s my 2p.