Blues Run The Game

I’ve posted this song previously with a bunch of Counting Crows rarities that pop up frequently on my mixes, it was they who introduced me to the song though I realized (as I more often do than not) that I had another version somewhere buried in my hard drive to which I hadn’t given more than a glance. I still find myself going back to the cover by the Crows, I wish they’d just put out an album of their covers, if you stumble across any of them you really should give them a listen. The song “Blues Run The Game” was written by Jackson C. Frank fittingly enough on a boat he had caught to England. The trip to England was paid for with Insurance money he received for injuries sustained in an Elementary School furnace explosion when he was 11, killing fifteen students and putting him in the hospital for seven months. He went into the studio once he arrived in England with Paul Simon as Producer. He was so nervous recording that he put up a sheet so nobody (Simon, Garfunkel, Al Stewart) could not see him play or sing. After recording his self-titled album in 1965 his mental health began to unravel. His life took some very sad turns – he was institutionalized at one point, had a son, though he died of Cystic Fibrosis, shot by some neighborhood kids indiscriminately with a pellet gun and blinded in one eye and, sadly he died in 1999 at the age of fifty-six.
The song itself is melancholy, but with such a beautifully folksy way about it that it really grabs me. I find the original achingly beautiful. I do love the harmonies that Simon & Garfunkel add to the tune, but to me this version is lacking the core soul of the song. The same is true of the Nick Drake version, though I love Drake and his voice, this one leaves me wanting either the Frank or Crows version. The Counting Crows version here is a live bonus track appearing on the Barnes & Noble release of the ‘New Amsterdam’ album, there’s a studio version out there if you look around a bit.

Blues Run The Game|Jackson C. Frank
Blues Run The Game|Simon & Garfunkel
Blues Run The Game|Nick Drake
Blues Run The Game|Counting Crows


Author: MusicalPirate

I am a digital media professional. I love photography, music, and design and pretty much all media.

One thought on “Blues Run The Game”

  1. Great song regardless of who sings it, but the Crows version is my favorite. I totally agree, a covers album is needed. They have so many!

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