Lodged in the charts for more than a year, selling half a million copies in the UK and picking up a Grammy along the way, Mercy was the song that made Welsh retro diva Duffy a household name. But soon after the super-catchy tune took on a whole new lease of life. A cover version by an unknown band from London called the Third Degree re-imagined and vastly improved.
Where Duffy’s original offered a glitzy, contemporary twist on Sixties soul, the Third Degree render Mercy in a vintage, near-purist northern soul style. The instrumentation and production was so authentic that it sounds like some long-lost R&B classic from 45 years ago. You’d almost believe that this was the original version.
Led by producer Sir Tristan Longworth, from Acid Jazz band Pleasure Beach, the band are not a struggling young combo but a collective of session musicians who have been matched up with a young singer named Jon Allen solely for the recording.With its pounding northern beat, swirling Hammond organ and blaring horns, Third Degree’s Mercy is a tune !
A long awaited follow-up, the Kylie classic, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, see's the same line-up giving a similar treatment to what was originally the throwaway ditty of a pop princess, reworked into a funky northern soul monster. Once again jumping aboard their musical time machine, dialing in 1968 and arriving at the Marquue club, leaving us to question whether this is actually a cover version in fact the long lost original.
Backed with a stonking remix by soul & jazz’s hottest remixer, Smoove, released by Acid Jazz records on limited seven inch vinyl and the obligitory download.
Nice arse !