Iconic Song: “Cry Me a River”

Michael Buble delivers one of my very favorite performances of “Cry Me a River”

Michael Buble’s dramatic interpretation of “Cry Me a River” put this song on my radar. In fact, it’s become one of my faves. Until tonight, though, I hadn’t realized that I like this song equally whether it’s performed by a female or male vocalist.

After sifting through at least two dozen versions, I landed on eight favorites. Please read on for a spectrum of interpretations!

When I add up all of the parts, this might be my favorite version. Smoky, velvety, aching, stunning, shimmering. Julie London circa 1964 must be one of the most sensual women of all time!

The guitar is truly special — it’s almost eerie. There’s something so forlorn and so breathtaking. There is nothing extraneous musically or vocally. Sparse, vulnerable, and utterly perfect!

An off-kilter, frenzied one-of-a-kind cover by Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen Band. Joe Cocker’s vocal careens along while the pleading back-up vocalists exuberantly join in. The organ and piano-playing (Chris Stainton and the legendary Leon Russell, respectively) are stellar.

The band is appropriately named — there is a mad, boisterous quality to this cover creating something that sounds unlike ANY other version!

Wow! Sweet, confident, and seething — now THAT is the way to sing this song! This was easily the 25th cover I listened to. Once again, my perseverance pays off: this is masterful!

I’d never heard of Linda Bennett before tonight, but she OWNS this. She vaguely channels Marilyn Monroe, a sexy vixen with the voice to back it up. I’m sure this will be sacrilegious, but I prefer her tone for this song over Ella’s, Dinah’s, and Etta’s.

Her vocal is outstanding — prepare to be blown away with the shift she makes beginning at 3:08. I did NOT see those notes coming!

I didn’t know Dakota Staton either before today. Holy smokes! Torch singing, indeed.

The musicians deserve a special shout-out for setting the tone for Ms. Staton’s version: dark, impassioned, and twisted.

I LOVE those angry notes. She holds onto them and then spits ’em right out. This is a unique, riveting, unforgettable interpretation!

I’ve been a Harry Connick, Jr. fan since the late 80’s. I’ve seen him in concert at least 4 times and even briefly met him while living in Charlotte (though it’s not a particularly happy story — not because of Mr. Connick but a “friend-who-turned-into-a-raving-bitch” that night).

Anyhoo, from the first notes I knew this was going to be good. This is the VERY best of what Harry does: combining the dirty, sultry N’awlins sound with the cleaner, more glamorous big band sound.

Vocally, Harry channels his When Harry Met Sally era and it REALLY works here. Some truly lovely notes at the end. The music is outstanding throughout.

I first heard flamenco music when I was in grad school in 1995. I was transfixed! And really turned on. It remains my kryptonite.

Even so, I kept my expectations low as I hit “play” on this version by vocalist Marisa Monte and guitarist Raphael Rabello. I was won over quickly. Obviously, I adore the guitar but I appreciate the entire vibe of this one.

Exceptionally pretty and sexy. Another surprise pick I’m so happy to have discovered today.

If Michael Buble can’t be an agent in the next Bond flick, can he at least be given the next Bond theme song gig? This performance appears to be an audition. If only I could make that call, he’d have the gig AND a cameo!

As much as I love the understated version by Julie London, I am ALL about the drama that Michael Buble hurls at us! Commanding, intense, and bombastic.

This is one of my very favorite songs by him and the version of “Cry Me a River” that I am most likely to seek out when I’m craving it. Absolutely smokin’ tune!

This instrumental by the Dexter Gordon Quartet makes me want to put on a red dress and head to some amazing dive jazz bar in NYC (or London…or Paris).

Just four guys on stage, that distinctive melody, and a quiet corner of some tucked away spot.

Every musician shines in this old school performance!

Honorable mentions to Ray Charles and Sam Cooke.

Thank you for reading this story

I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. You using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!

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