Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Torn" by Ednaswap

"My conversation has run dry, that's what's going on, nothing's fine I'm" this Natalie Imbruglia adjective

The category was "1990s Music," in the "Double Jeopardy!" round of the 2013 Tournament of Champions finals, game 1 (Monday, February 25, 2013). (Thanks to J! Archive for the log.) For $1200, eventual tournament winner Colby Burnett buzzed in the correct answer: "Torn."

Although "Torn" was made famous by Natalie Imbruglia's chart-topping 1997 cover, it was originally written by Anne Preven and Scott Cutler (members of the alternative rock band Ednaswap) and Phil Thornalley. Here's Ednaswap's version off their 1995 self-titled debut album (uploaded to YouTube by user Zeruhur):

Not long after, Ednaswap extensively reworked it into an even harder, grungier arrangement, which they would use for their live performances thereafter. Subsequently, Thornalley was contracted to produce some songs for Australian soap star Natalie Imbruglia, and the rest is history (or at least, sixteen years later, a Jeopardy! clue).

Even compared to Ednaswap's first version, Imbruglia's cover has been called a wimpy take, although, let's be honest, Preven's lyrics were always kind of melodramatic and a natural fit for Top 40 radio. Whereas Preven's raw vocals and the harsh guitars of the Ednaswap version convey the wounded and bitter tone of the lyrics, I feel Imbruglia's more delicate, pop-y performance better reflects the immature naiveté of a young woman facing the disenchanted end of her first serious relationship with an older man. I think they're each effective in different ways. If I were doing the music videos, I'd have Imbruglia's version playing quasi-ironically over a grainy or sepia-toned camcorder montage of a charming couple—a young Imbruglia stand-in with some Richard Gere-looking gentleman—enjoying shallow happy moments (prancing around on the beach, taking bites out of one another's ice cream cones, etc.). And, for the Ednaswap version, I'd use the exact same footage of the young Imbruglia, but pristine instead of sepia-toned, and intercut with clips of Anne Preven performing the song, either in the studio or alone in some random loft. If it needs more, maybe close with a shot of a torn photo in Preven's wastebasket of her and the Richard Gere? Yes, the actual Natalie Imbruglia video is probably much better than anything I could envision.

Amazon Affiliate links:

Ednaswap - Ednaswap's debut album, not available in MP3 unfortunately

Wacko Magneto - Ednaswap's 1997 album, featuring their reworked version of "Torn"

Left of the Middle - Natalie Imbruglia's album, with her cover of "Torn"

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