Two pioneering artists with two classical hits. Steelberry Clones has made two electronic interpretations; one of Curtis Mayfield’s hit “Superfly” and one on Elvis Costello’s hit “Watching the Detectives”. Both tracks has been featured on the compilation albums by Electronically Yours, Superfly was present on the 70’s revisited album and Watching the Detectives was featured on the Electronically Yours goes punk record.
The 70’s record can be found on Spotify, but the Punk record is not available on any of the streaming channels. Therefore we decided to bring the Steelberry Clones titles to the SoundCloud platform for your enjoyment – both embedded below along with some information on the original track.
“Watching the Detectives” is a 1977 single by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. It was his first single that credited his backing band, the Attractions, and gave him his first UK hit single. The song featured on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at No. 354.
The song, with a lyric about a lover who would rather watch TV, sung over a simple reggae beat, was described by Rolling Stone as “a clever but furious burst of cynicism”, and they also described the song as “indisputably classic”. Allmusic’s Mark Deming described the song: “a skeletal minor-key melody that slowly but effectively wound itself into a solid knot of fierce emotional tension, pushing the bitter lyrical atmosphere further into the darkness”. Costello described how he wrote the song:
“I was in my flat in the suburbs of London before I was a professional musician, and I’d been up for thirty-six hours. I was actually listening to another inductee’s record, the Clash’s first album. When I first put it on, I thought it was just terrible. Then I played it again and I liked it better. By the end, I stayed up all night listening to it on headphones, and I thought it was great. Then I wrote “Watching the Detectives”.
Costello considers “Watching the Detectives” his favourite song from the first five years of his career. He later performed the song with a big bandarrangement, which he admitted was “a desecration to people who love the tenseness of the original recording”, but explained that “the story that’s going on, and the musical allusions in the original arrangements, relate very much to the realization of this song as an orchestral piece using the film music feeling and the swing rhythms of ’50s detective shows.
“Superfly” is a song by Curtis Mayfield, the title track from his 1972 soundtrack album for the film of the same name. It was the second single released from the album, following “Freddie’s Dead (Theme From Superfly)”, and reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics celebrate the craftiness and determination of the film’s main character. The song plays over the film’s closing credits.
The bassline and the rototom percussion break from the song’s introduction (performed by Joseph “Lucky” Scott and “Master” Henry Gibson, respectively) have repeatedly been sampled in songs including Beastie Boys’ “Egg Man”, The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ready to Die Intro”, and Nelly’s “Tilt Ya Head Back” featuring Christina Aguilera. Mayfield himself sampled the original song in “Superfly 1990”, a duet he recorded with rapper Ice-T.
The song appeared in the 2009 film Madea Goes to Jail. The song also appeared in the 2012 movie Dark Shadows.