Episode 16: Sluka: A New Twist On A Classic Track “Tonight You Belong to Me”
Today on the podcast we are featuring the San Diego, California musician Sluka. He offers intellectual alternative rock and puts a new twist on an old classic. Learn more about him and listen to his version of the song “Tonight You Belong To Me.”
Show Notes and Full Show Transcript
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Hey everyone! Welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe podcast where we love talking about new music we are digging now.
My name is Jeanette and I am your host. Today I’m talking about the San Diego, artist and musician Sluka.
Christopher Sluka is the man behind the music. He is a singer, songwriter, musician, and performer. He has recorded 11 studio albums and has had a continent-spanning fanbase.
Born near Seattle, he had the pleasure of moving around a lot as a child. This multinatuation upbrining was a big influence on him and his music.
The start of his career saw him playing in New York City. He was on the scene among artists including Tears For Fears, INXS, Talk Talk and Simple Minds.
From there he recorded a single in Los Angeles which propelled a fanbase in Japan. There he went on to release two additional albums. His music has also recieved critical acclaims
He is also known for his enthralling “live” performances around the globe.
In addition to music, Christopher is a globally renowned visual artists. His surrealistc oil paintings have graced the walls of galleries from New York to San Diego, and Tokyo to Milan.
For anyone who is wondering what he sounds like he has been likened to artists including David Bowie, The Beatles, Coldplay, The Killers, Radio Head, and Sigur Ros.
The latest release from Sluka is the 1926 song “Tonight You Belong to Me.”
You may be thinking, “why did someone cover a song from 1926?” But surprisingly this song has been covered many times throughout history.
The song was originally written by composer Lee David and lyricist Billy Rose.
The first ever recording was made by Irving Kaufman in 1926 on Banner Records.
A year later in 1927 the “crooner” singer and songwriter Gene Austin recorded it and made it a hit.
A few years went by and then the song picked up steam again when it was revived by Frankie Laine in 1952.
According to Wikipedia the song was covered about 20 times since it was written in 1926.
The version you may be more familiar with is the 1956 version by Patient and Prudence. This track reached #4 on the Billboard charts.
The song was then recorded again in 1958 by both two different artist duos: Lawrence Welk with the Lennon Sister and Karen Chandler and Jimmy Wakely.
Then Patience and Prudence recorded it again in 1964. That year it was also covered by actor and musician George Maharis in a sweet swing style.
The 70’s saw a new host of covers of the song by country singer Dottie West in 1977. Her version was released as a single and also as a track on her album “When It’s Just You and Me. As a single it peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart that August.
Most people may know the version featuring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters in the 1979 movie The Jerk. This version includes playing a ukelele on the beach.
This seems to be the most ubiquitous version I’ve seen across most people when they’ve been covering it. If you go to Youtube and you put the title of the song you’ll typically see a man and a woman strumming a ukelele in the vein of “The Jerk” version.
It’s amazing how popular this song is. If you google the title there are countless blog articles talking about it.
An article on mentalfloss.com showed this song is a pretty popular track for closing live performances among many musical genres. They also had some videos and I can leave a link to that in the show notes if you want to check it out.
The summer of 2019 saw a resurgence of this tune. Vulture wrote about how it sparked a trend on the video social media platform TikTok.
According to the article, people were singing it alone, in groups, and teaching others how to harmonize to get the tune just right. The hashtag #tonightyoubelongtome had been used about 25 million times.
According to Wikipedia I counted about 20 different version that were done. But that probably isn’t all of them. But there were so many covers of this song.
After researching the track, I found out the Patience and Prudence version was also used in an Ebay commercial which after thinking about it I remembered that commercial and I could see it it in my mind and I was “ok, now this song is ringing some bells.”
It’s always interested to see an artist’s take on a song. A lot of the songs that I found were similar to “The Jerk” version. But the thing that is interesting about Sluka is that he kind of has a darker take on this song where you know it’s starts out sweet and innnocent and lovely but then it gets dark and explosive and there’s like “rawh” different noises and thunder.
There is actually even a video kind of that goes along with it. That shows the dark imagery and it’s kind of a cool contrast because when you think of the song originally it’s a really sweet and lovely song. So it kind of shows more of a negative connotation.
Lyrically speaking the song’s meaning is a little unclear. Some have said it’s about a last affair with an old lover while others say that it could be detailing a dream.
When you look at the lyrics of the chorus. It goes “my honey I know with the dawn/ That you will be gone /But tonight you belong to me.” And this could indicate either the last night of a love affair or it could indicate you know someone who’s dreaming and they say by the dawn you know when you wake up in the morning that person’s gonna be gone because it was basically just a dream.
So it’s kind of interesting to see. And it also seems like a little forceful too like you know. The version Sluka is interesting because they do have this holding something against someone’s will.
And it’s an interesting concept to incorporate into the song where most times it’s like a sweet lovely song. So this is an interesting version to have has a polar opposite of that.
If you’re wondering what this version sounds like I’ll now play the track for your listening pleasure.
We would love to know what you think of this version of the song. You can tell us in a comment on our web page or audio comment in the episode summary.
For more information on Sluka check out his official website at www.sluka.com. You can also follow him on social media. Find him on Instagram and Twitter at the handle slukamusic. On Facebook, he is at the handle Slukaband.
If you’re looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast, see our other podcast episodes as well as our musice features on our website at www.EatSleepBreatheMusic.com.
Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!
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