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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 364
Tues, Jan 15, 2013

“Temptation”
Moby

2005

“♫ From
time to time/
I find I lost
some meaning/
that was urgent
to myself/
I do
believe
♫”

I’ve always had this strange connection to the 1987 Substance remake to this brilliant New Order classic of a song. New Order’s original was pondering getting wet with temptation while “singing in the rain.” With my walkman, I would take this long walks, pondering my inexperienced romantic life, somehow always connecting to the introspective yearning of Bernard Sumner’s lyrics.

In 2005, Moby accomplished what Ryan Adams did with Noel Gallagher’s “Wonderwall,” the artist formally born as Richard M. Hall surpassed Bernard Sumner’s original with his stunning cover of “Temptation.” In 2005, Sumner praised Moby’s version to the New York Times when he said.

“[Moby] just recorded a version of New Order’s song “Temptation” for his new album, “Hotel” (V2/BMG), which he sent us for approval. The original is an up-tempo, almost danceable track, but it’s got a really emotive quality to the lyrics. (Don’t ask me what they’re about; it’s been so long.) I think it’s one of our best songs live, and I’d go so far as to say it’s my favorite New Order track of all time. I’m really glad Moby did a version of it. He slowed the track down and stripped it to its basic elements, and I think it really works. It displays the words and the melody in all their wonderful nakedness.”

What makes Moby’s “Temptation” so memorable is the hushed chanteuse vocal stylings of Laura Dawn. Moby talked about why he recorded this incredible cover of New Order’s “Temptation” when he explained, “Anyway, I heard ‘Temptation’ being played in the vegetarian tea-shop I own with my ex-girlfriend and was struck by how poignant and romantic the lyrics are. The original kind of obscures that with its anthemic chorus, so I stripped it down and got a female friend of mine, Laura Dawn, to sing it. She moved to the city to become a rock star and ended up getting involved in a progressive organization Move On.org.” Before becoming Move On.org’s National Creative Director, Dawn turned Sumner’s once bravado anthem into a delicate midnight musings of a lover pondering sonic temptations.

Bernard Sumner the original songwriter of “Temptation” cannot be wrong. Laura and Moby’s melodious attraction goes beyond skin deep. I urge you to give in to Dawn’s beautiful rhythmic indiscretions. Be prepared to be seduced; Hotel’s “Temptation” has never sounded this enticing.

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