Courtesy of the artist
The RZA. Courtesy of the artist
This is the story of one pop song, as it travels from '60s Memphis soul to Staten Island mid-'90s rap — and almost all the way back again.
The Charmels' 1967 single "As Long as I've Got You" was honored by a straight cover from another girl-group, then sampled almost 30 years later on The Wu-Tang Clan's debut album. The RZA's production on "C.R.E.A.M." turned the melody into something foreboding, and when The Wu-Tang Clan performed live with Brooklyn's El Michels Affair backing it in 2005, a fourth permutation was born. Since then, El Michels has released a full-length album of Wu-Tang covers and recorded with Raekwon.
Do these recordings constitute the 40-year life circle of one song? Or is this the latest step forward in an R&B progression? Listen and decide.