One Song, Two Takes: “Kiteflyer’s Hill”

My pal (and musician and songwriter) Mark Nevin wrote a song called “Kiteflyer’s Hill” for Eddi Reader, with whom he had been in the band Fairground Attraction, for her solo album Angels and Electricity. He’s recently also done a version of it for his own solo album Beautiful Guitars, which will be out in the next week or so. I have the album, and it’s well worth getting if you’re a fan of genuinely lovely songwriting, and why wouldn’t you be.

“Kiteflyer’s Hill” is simply one of my favorite songs ever — it’s beautiful and wistful and gorgeous and captures what it’s like to remember a love of long ago — and I thought it would be fun to share the song done both by Mark and by Eddi, as a way to contrast how two takes of the same song can have an effect on the feel of the thing. I like them both: Mark’s is low-key, comfortable and lived-in, while Eddi’s soars up like, well, a kite, as it would with her matchless set of pipes. I hope you enjoy both.

First Mark’s version:

And now Eddi’s (note: video is slightly out of sync):

8 Comments on “One Song, Two Takes: “Kiteflyer’s Hill””

  1. I didn’t know you’d been in “Fairground Attraction”, John? (i.e. the “we” in the first sentence should be “he” ;-)

    I remember “Perfect” as an annoyingly catchy tune which I liked despite my preferences leaning towards the heavier end of the spectrum: it’s amazing how many songs of that type have turned out to be “classics” which still raise the spirits and get the feet tapping. I like the different approaches to this one, although neither version is nearly such an earworm!

  2. Much prefer Mark’s version. Nothing against Eddi who has fantastic vocals, of course. Listening to the two Mark’s comes across much more wistful. Jazzy even. I love the space in it. Like the sky.

  3. Reader has a lovely voice, but it’s a little too dramatic for the song, at least in that performance, so I like Mark’s version a bit better. It’s a beautiful song.

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