We’re not in love anymore :: Under the Covers

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I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) (live) :: Laura Jane Grace

“Hey, I know that it’s hard for you,
to say the things we both know are true.
But tell me how come I keep forgettin’,
we’re not in love anymore?”

The A.V. Club’s cover project is one of my favorites to check in to when I’m craving a new cover song to fall head over musical ears for. This morning the first one that I came upon was one of my favorite band’s lead singer’s, Against Me! Laura Jane Grace’s, cover of Michael McDonald’s early 80’s adult contemporary “break-up/heartache” song, that I remember all too well playing on the radio when I was in junior high, I Keep Forgettin’ (mixed with a bit of drums via The Cure’s Close to Me). Laura’s rendition of this song takes it to such a different place, and brings the sentiments of the lyrics into a more painful and raw place. There is anger and hurt that come across in Laura’s interpretation that turn this song into one of those heartbreak songs that feel too much like the most painful split I’ve ever been a part of, the ones that was so hard to forget about, the one that felt near impossible to believe is over.

Listening now, on repeat, I feel as if this is the first time I’ve ever heard this song. Isn’t that what makes the perfect cover song?

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I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) (also known as I Keep Forgettin’) is a song by American singer-songwriter Michael McDonald, from his debut album If That’s What It Takes. It was written by McDonald and Ed Sanford. Its similarity to the earlier song I Keep Forgettin’, by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, recorded by Chuck Jackson resulted in Leiber and Stoller also being given a songwriting credit.

Michael McDonald recorded it, with his sister Maureen providing background vocals. It was featured on If That’s What It Takes, his first solo album away from The Doobie Brothers. Released as a single, it peaked at # 4 on the Billboard Pop Singles charts, and # 7 on the Billboard R&B chart. Greg Phillinganes, Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro of the band Toto played the clavinet, guitar and drums respectively. Noted bassist Louis Johnson laid down the song’s pronounced bassline.

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What do you think of Laura Jane Grace’s cover? Do you know of any other covers of this song that you enjoy? Are there any other Michael McDonald, or The Doobie Brothers’ covers that you would recommend?

I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near) :: Michael McDonald

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