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Stay with Me [Baby] (Best Cover Versions for Music Monday)

Stay with Me [Baby] (Best Cover Versions for Music Monday)
Original Artist: Lorraine Ellison
Cover Version by: Duffy

Giving some grandeur in a poignant broken heart song is not an easy thing, but "Stay with Me (Baby)"—in this case both versions—nails it perfectly. You can hear them sing and weep their hearts out you almost “hear” the tears, yet the music feels so huge and soothing you just wanna stay in that melancholy.

In 1966, the first artist to record this song was Lorraine Ellison, a soul singer and a songwriter who reached the peak of her relatively short-lived career as a performer in mid-sixties. Her vocal is simply beautiful in this number. Every time she sings that “stay” and “please”…gosh, what a voice! Sounds unpretentious and natural, as if she’s really on the brink of breaking into crying. Especially in the final chorus, where she sounds like trying to scream everything she has inside. A vintage classic.

Original Version by Lorraine Ellison

Aimée Ann Duffy, or widely known simply as Duffy, recorded her version of "Stay with Me (Baby)" in 2009 for the soundtrack of The Boat that Rocked. She has a huge vocal with a noticeable, strong vibration, which made her “kicked out” form her school choir because her voice was “too big.” Though her version doesn’t have the rawness of Lorraine Ellison’s singing, her unique vocal tone suits the more modern music arrangement perfectly. With the same poignancy, Duffy’s version is indeed a bit “softer,” but the majestic sound and composition make it really special.

Cover Version by Duffy

*PS I’ve also tried Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge’s versions of this song. However, as much as I love their awesome voice (I really, really do love them singing blues), it feels like their versions lack something that makes the song. Dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

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