A Hazy Shade of Winter was originally released by American folk duo Simon & Garfunkel in 1966.
It reached no.30 in the UK charts and no.13 in the US charts. It featured on their Bookends album.
As you’d expect from Simon & Garfunkel their version is a gentle rendition, but still contains the steady rock beat that we hear in the Bangles version. However, it is not a song that one would “rock out” to.
The Bangles version, drops the “A” in the title and reached no.2 in the US and no.11 in the UK. The Bangles recorded their version of the song for the Less Than Zero soundtrack back in 1987. It starts slowly and almost eerily, but soon the familiar beat kicks in.
The tempo is similar to the Simon & Garfunkel version, but has much stronger guitars in it. This creates a much harder-edged rockier version of the song. The vocals sound more choral too as the song features the vocals of all four Bangles.
The most obvious difference between these two versions is that one features female vocals and the other male. So whilst, there are a lot similarities between the two, there is also a very clear distinction.
But, which version is best?
I have a lot time for the Simon & Garfunkel version, but for me the clear winner is the Bangles. I’ll never get bored of this short, sharp, shock version of a fantastic tune.
What do you think? How does this cover version live up to the original?
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