Of Montreal Covers The Chordettes Live on KCRW

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Of Montreal by Gregg Lewis

When Of Montreal returned to KCRW, it was a pretty quiet Veteran’s Day around the studios. The kids from Athens provided us with a lighthearted set that was fun and bouncy without being grandiose. You could tell frontman Kevin Barnes was having fun, often times joking on mic and generally keeping it easy going.

At the very end of the set, Barnes introduced the last song as a cover of The Chordettes, although he wasn’t too sure.

In my hasty research to mark it down for this blog, I realized that the song “All My Sorrows” is one of those rare songs. Rare because there’s a pretty robust list of artists who have covered this song –some in different titles, others taking some liberties with the verses–but rare because the debate over to whom it should be attributed to.

The answer is not very clear.

Glenn Yarbrough gets credit sometimes for writing it. The Searchers and Kingston Trio get credit for popularizing it (even then Lindsey Buckingham gets a lot of the credit as well) but, to me,  the real story is how a relatively obscure song makes its way through the passage of time with no real owner or connection.

What lives on through all the versions and artists is the essence of a very sad song masked behind that signature 50’s pop glow.

This time around, Of Montreal were able to strip away the veneer and get to the pain behind the bubble gum.

Perhaps setting it up for yet another decade down the road of new interpretations.

Of Montreal Covers “All My Sorrows” Live on KCRW

Find the full session in the archives here and check out another highlight, “Fugitive Air”, below.

Of Montreal Live on KCRW Set List

Raindrop in My Skull
Fugitive Air
Hegira Emigre
She Ain’t Speakin’ Now
Triumph Of Disintegration
All My Sorrows