Although summer is on the wane, the reigning king of the big summer sound — Sigala — has a great new song out…the boisterous “Just Got Paid” with Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana. Songs like that are just what you need as the sun sinks ever-lower in the sky and autumn beckons.
I’ve loved everything Sigala has put out since his very first big hit, “Easy Love”. I say “big hit”…it was a UK Number One record, but the song’s chart performance elsewhere in the world was more mixed. However, since its release in the late summer of 2015, “Easy Love” has come to be seen as a modern-day classic.
“Easy Love” is a brilliantly clever record, but it also causes a bit of a dilemma for me…as someone with an arguably slightly unhealthy level of interest in song lyrics, can you really take 90 or 95% of the lyrics out of a song and make it better? Stay tuned for the answer…
The genesis of “Easy Love” was the Jackson 5 hit “ABC”. Older readers will remember Michael Jackson as a young boy, brimming with talent and smiles, singing in front of his brothers.
The Jackson 5 were one of Motown’s powerhouse groups in their day. Their first four singles made it to Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, making the Jackson 5 the first group ever to do that.
Nowadays, memories of Michael Jackson are mostly from his “Thriller” era, and then from his very sad decline and untimely death.
“Thriller” was released in 1982 and until very recently, when it was overtaken by the Eagles “Greatest Hits”, was the best-selling album ever recorded. “Thriller” was a Number One album around the world and spawned single releases that did equally well… “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and of course the title track itself.
Together with legendary producer Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson made one of the best albums of all time. Its critical and commercial acclaim was well-deserved.
But long before his worldwide solo success Michael Jackson, as part of the Jackson 5, laid down the lead vocal to “ABC”, which reached the Number One in the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1970.
It was a big record at the time…knocking “Let It Be” by the Beatles off the top slot…and a favourite on oldies radio ever since. But not much happened with “ABC” for 45 years after it hit the top of the charts…at least until Bruce Fielder came along…
Better known under his stage name of Sigala, Bruce Fielder took that old Jackson 5 song and made it into a monster hit all over again.
This wasn’t a re-release or a tame cover, though. It was nothing less than a complete reinvention of one of Motown’s all-time classics. It was nothing less than a work of genius.
But here’s the thing…to make “Easy Love”, Sigala threw out 90 or 95% of the original lyrics, as well as reinvigorating the music.
Even writing those words makes me shudder inwardly, as that’s usually a good recipe for a complete disaster. Instead, Sigala created a phenomenal piece of music which is easily one of the best records of the 2010s in my book.
Pretty much the only bit of the original lyrics Sigala keeps is the section where the young Michael Jackson sings…
A B C it’s easy
It’s like counting up to 3
Sing a simple melody
That’s how easy love can be
On a personal note, I’ve always found that love is more like being asked to work out the cube root of 8,693,257 without a calculator, rather than counting up to 3…but, as with all good lyrics, we don’t need them to be factually accurate in every respect to admire them…
Out of that small section of a 45 year-old Jackson 5 song, Sigala constructs a completely brilliant toe-tapping, sing-along, dance-along song all of his own. He also keeps intact, and if anything enhances…quite how, I can’t put my finger on…all the joy in the original Michael Jackson vocal. However he’s made that happen, it’s just wonderful.
So, to answer the question I asked earlier…yes, I think “Easy Love” really is better than the original “ABC”, fantastic record though that was in its own right, even with 90 or 95% of the original lyrics missing.
The official video that goes with today’s song on YouTube has, for some reason, slightly insipid sound quality and it’s had a minute or so lopped off its normal running time for reasons I don’t quite understand…although it does have a tremendous dance performance on it by some very talented kids. You can see that video here… https://youtu.be/ozx898ADTxM
But if you want to hear Sigala’s brilliant re-interpretation of the Jackson 5’s “ABC” in all its glory, click on the version embedded below or check out the Spotify link instead. And turn those speakers up…you’re in for a real treat
If you’re not grooving along with “Easy Love” in 30 seconds or less, book yourself a check-up with the doctor as there’s clearly something amiss with your hearing…
As for me…I’m still trying to work out the cube root of 8,693,257 in my head. I’ll let you know how I get on…
While I do that, here’s Sigala with “Easy Love”…
The video is below or, if you prefer, you can enjoy the song on Spotify here…https://open.spotify.com/track/1dn1CQcTDnkmncHIKBaC6i
PS — just before we get to the video, if you enjoyed this article, please give it a “clap”…or even more than one if you’re feeling kind. You can also follow me on Medium (here) or Twitter (here) to get new articles as soon as they’re published.