And I am not just including this because it is from Rosemary's Baby, my very favourite film of all time. Well, maybe I am a little - the opening credits where Polanski guides us over the rooftops of the Bramford while Mia murmurs her "la la la"s sets up perfectly the movie heaven that is to come.
Actors usually make a hash of singing (and, of course, vice versa - Bjork is great in Dancer In The Dark but that's all I can come up with), although I've heard that Cybil Shepherd makes a decent stab. But Mia can't fail to impress with her innocent singing voice, keeping in the character of Rosemary even though she doesn't speak a word in this song. Komeda maintains his usual atmospheric wonder, with the sort of piano based joy that gave such a fruitful relationship with Polanski's films.
Lots of others have had a pop at this, usually with some degree of success as the melody is so strong (discounting a dodgy metal version of it by some chancers whose name escapes me). My favourites are Hugo Montenegro's (on Good Vibrations) and Claudine Longet's lyric-added version, Sleep Safe And Warm.
from Rosemary's Baby (Dot DLP 25875), available on CD (Tsunami)
03 Dec 05 ·Swinging London: I love this too! It seems to pull the whole movie into a class of it's own.
I've been trying to find the Claudine Longet version for years!
Since I've been recommending on this site for a while, I came up with a new idea in January. A lot of my all time favourites are on here now, so what I thought I would do now is to recommend a track every week that has had most resonance for me over the past seven days.
A bit of background: I've been having an unhappy time at work lately. I sometimes work shifts and don't get in until 11pm. As I have been so stressed with my daily grind, I've been finding it very difficult to wind down at the end of the day.
This song, this week, is suddenly making sense to me. It's calmed the jumble in my head every night by understanding that the world isn't an ordered place. I've been coaxed out of my rigid state by these 17 minutes. It's not my favourite Velvet Underground song - that would be The Murder Mystery - but after years of always thinking Sister Ray was a self-indulgent filler, I think I finally grasp what its purpose is. Or, at least, I now know there are only certain, bloody awful, weeks in which I can find the beautiful oyster inside this track.
I will return to normal service next week with my usual gay disco or girl group love.
from White Light / White Heat (Verve V/V6-5046), available on CD
03 Feb 05 ·stupidwall: i always thought sister ray was one of their most overrated songs. it mostly just sounds like nonsense. i guess i'll just wait till im unhappy or just in the right mood. 26 Sep 06 ·n-jeff: Sounds like a fairly straight description of some sailors having a heroin and sex orgy with a bunch of transvestites to me.
If such a thing can be said to be straight....