New York-based musician, singer-songwriter and best known as founding member/guitarist of alternative rock group Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo recently shared his previously recorded John Lennon cover “Isolation.” According to a press release, “Lee Ranaldo is making his 1998 album Amarillo Ramp (for Robert Smithson) available on his newly-created Bandcamp page where he is releasing all manner of rarities. Check it out here. In tandem with this release, he is also sharing a new video for his cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation” which can be found on the album. The video features clips submitted from friends and fans around the world documenting their lives during lockdown.”
Ranaldo’s 1998 cover of John Lennon’s original 1970’s song “Isolation” pays homage, as it is faithful to its source material. The songs both share the same striking piano melody, though Lennon’s more subdued soft rock approach varies slightly with Ranaldo’s heavily reverbed guitar strings. To Ranaldo’s credit even his vocals complements well with Lennon’s and that is a respectful feat not easily achieved. The accompanying music video for “Isolation” recently released from Ranaldo, speaks volumes to the various communities globally effected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and how fittingly relevant to the song’s overall message. To listen to Lee Ranaldo’s “Isolation” cover, stream below via YouTube.
As previously reported in Spin, “Additionally, Sonic Youth continue to plow ahead by releasing live shows from their archive on Bandcamp as well, which Ranaldo told us would happen in our interview with him in February.” Ranaldo spoke in regards to his latest re-released John Lennon “Isolation” cover and the current state of affairs facing everyone globally, saying:
“During this time of enforced global confinement – the ‘planetary pause’, as I’ve been calling it, I’ve been sorting thru some old releases, and came across my version of John Lennon’s ‘Isolation’, which was recorded back in 1991 and released on the 1995 album Amarillo Ramp (for Robert Smithson). Our dear, departed friend Epic Soundtracks (Swell Maps, These Immortal Souls, Crime and the City Solution) played drums on the track, and I’ve always loved both the original and the version of the song we made, almost 30 years ago now… I thought it could be timely to re-present this track as relevant to our current moment. For video accompaniment I sent a request to friends far and wide around the globe, asking for brief personal video clips of the confinement from wherever they were – what they saw out on their streets, in their living spaces; whatever subjective view on our current situation they wanted to send me. I cut them all together to the song as a sort of informal, intimate record of this moment.”
To listen to John Lennon’s original 1970’s version of “Isolation” which was released off Lennon’s solo debut studio album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, stream below via YouTube.