Hearing "You Know I'm No Good" on one of those ineffective adult rock stations in 2007 sure jolted me, and gave box store radio its last gasp of cred--as if they suddenly woke up and started playing music that's real and hard-hitting, like Bettye LaVette or Marianne Faithfull. Of course, music without fluff isn't logical fare for pop stations--even Winehouse's offbeat, creative stuff couldn't keep those cutesy myspace (you remember myspace) artists from taking over the AAA (Adult Album Alternative) airwaves in the last few years.
But I loved Back to Black and have Frank (released December 2003) coming from my local library; I'm not gonna fake being hip and pretend that I've heard Frank. There have already been many Amy Winehouse covers, Wanda Jackson and the Jolly Boys among them. And next week, Amy's idol Ronnie Spector will release a fine version of "Back to Black" (Ronnie has performed it in her live show for the last few years), with profits benefitting the Daytop Village substance abuse program.
Of all the music folks weighing in on Winehouse's death, I most appreciated Rob Thomas' commentary on the endless, self-appointed pundits who chose to follow the demons surrounding Winehouse rather than her remarkable music. "So many people say it's not a surprise that Amy Winehouse passed, (or) it's not sad," wrote Thomas. "I hope you have more compassion for friends."