Good Morning Heartache
I didn't put this one on the list, but of the versions I have, I think I like Ol' Dirty Bastard's rendition of Good Morning Heartache best. There's a woman, Li'l Mo, singing the song, keeping it very close to Diana Ross' interpretation. She's the anchor. None of the rest would work if she weren't there. Behind her is sparse instrumentalization (is that a word? if it wasn't, it is now.) led by an electric bass and a drum. The woman and the bass kill it. There's a muted sax, a guitar,and a keyboard in the background, but they're way back. On top of this modern version of the standard goes Ol' Dirty, doing his thing. If he ever took it seriously, I think Ol' Dirty could probably carry a note. On this song, he plays it straight for about the first verse, then it's on to extended off-key riffs, spoken ad-libs, and some mush-mouth sob talk. It works though. I have 6 versions of the song, but Ol' Dirty is the only one who sounds like he's absolutely torn up inside. That, I think, was Ol' Dirty's greatest strength as an artist. I don't know what he's doing now that he's on Rocafella, but that first album, Return to the 36 Chambers - The Dirty Version was tight for the same reason that this song is tight: he manages to be a fool within the structure of making a good record. At the beginning, I thought of Dirty as somebody who knew exactly how to play the fool without actually becoming one. Later, he just fell off and became one. Or maybe he was a fool that was playing like he was a dope artist. Either way, on Good Morning Heartache, he represented.