A&M Cover Versions 1965-70: "Wichita Lineman"

Which cover version is your favourite?

  • The Alan Copeland Singers

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • JJ Johnson & Kai Winding

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66

    Votes: 6 54.5%

  • Total voters
    11

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Vote for your favourite cover version and tell us a bit about why you made your selection. (The selections are listed in release order.)





To hear K & J, open the Track List and select B3a Wichita Lineman 25:05





 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Well out of these three I would pick Sergio, but there is really no substitute for the Glen Campbell version, it's pretty much the definitive version of this song.

I always thought it was sort of out of character lyrically for Brasil '66.... these exotic girl singers combined with a Brazilian band, doing lyrics about an electrical worker from Wichita, it just doesn't fit.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I listened to all three twice. I like all three for different reasons.

Copeland's arrangement is memorable; but the group's sound focuses on youthful, high male tenors -- which is just not my bag.

Sergio's version is a decent enough 45. (I think the success of Fool On The Hill is the root cause for what seemed to be a series of attempts to duplicate that kind of success. This is a bit of an odd single choice – for the same reasons as Dock Of The Bay: it’s a “male” song (although Lani sings it in the third person – well, some of it – immensely improving content believability) and in its original issue was yet another recent monster hit, although going from Otis Redding to Glen Campbell is nearly akin to switching from a vodka tonic to a glass of chocolate milk. I'm not a fan of this new “quasi-soulful-hip” Brasil '66 singing style; however. At least Grusin is much tamer here than on the Crystal Illusion LP singles.)

I went with K & JJ. I like the shear bottom-end power of two bones (or bone + tenor sax as in the Jazz Crusaders). Although you wouldn't know it from this commercial outing, K & JJ were two of the most impressive jazz bone players from the '50s / '60s: their back-and-forth improvisational excursions are legendary.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
First time that I heard "Wichita Lineman" NOT Glen Campbell but the late Ray Conniff & The Singers (from 1969 "I Love How You Love Me"). I heard the late Glen Campbell's version for the first time in 1978 when I was 13 years old during a PBS concert!!! Saw Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 during "The Music Scene" (on ABC back then) BUT on DVD (which is on Vol. 2) which I got back in 2003!!
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
The 2nd time that I heard that song was by the late trumpeter Al Hirt from 1969 (from RCA Victor 1972 compilation "America The Beautiful" 2 album set) which my late grandmother gave me for my birthday in 1972 when I was 7 years old!!!
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I voted For Sergio's version it was the first cover version I heard of Wichita Lineman and I loved the key and the arrangement he did this in I prefer this version to Glen Campbell's original version ( although I like Glen Campbell and his music) for some reason I like The Brasil 66 arrangement more
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Oh my. That YouTube version of J & K's "Wichita Lineman" sounds absolutely dreadful. It sounds so much better on the original LP. Meanwhile, Sergio's version is slathered with CSG processing - and I've just figured out that a 60° phase shift makes that track sound so much better. Maybe I'll upload both to help out the voters on this thread.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I gave my nod to Brasil'66. I heard them on a music show back in early 1970. They performed Wichita Lineman and YeMeLe.
I do like Glen Campbell's version as well. His is a bit more tempered with subdued background arrangement but I like the more orchestrated feel of Brasil'66.
 

LPJim

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Voted for J&K not only for their fine trombone work but the guitar parts, which compliment them so well.

JB
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
...Al Hirt from 1969 (from RCA Victor 1972 compilation "America The Beautiful" 2 album set) which my late grandmother gave me for my birthday in 1972 when I was 7 years old!!!
That was an Excellent birthday gift!
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
None of these are particularly appealing to me, especially since (as someone mentioned) Campbell's IS the definitive version. The tune doesn't mesh well with Sergio's sound IMHO and this is one of the extremely rare occasions where I disagree with LP Jim in that I find the guitar parts in K&K's version very distracting and even out of place. I went with the Alan Copeland Singers, even though it's probably the poorest cut on the LP.

--Mr Bill
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
This one's a mixed bag--I probably would pick the J&K version due to not having vocals. I like the arrangement of the Brasil '66 version but the lyrics do not make sense with the vocalists, which makes it too awkward. Glen Campbell's version of course is the standard by which others are compared, and rightfully so.
 
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