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Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

It's that time for the down-tempo segment I call "Second Sunday Slowly!" And while I've been waiting to do this entry for a couple months, by odd coincidence, for the past two weeks every time I put my car radio on scan mode some station seems to be playing the original version of this track:

Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)

Eagles released Hotel California, their fifth and best-selling album, in December 1976. The title track was its second single, released in February 1977. The track earned a Grammy in 1978 and has been hailed as having one of the best guitar solos in rock history. Which is all pretty interesting given the unique and darker direction the band took with the sound and lyrical content of it, quite different for most of their general catalog.
The song's original working title was Mexican Reggae owing to its Latin, bolero, and reggae influences. The band has said that they wrote the song based on a drive into Los Angeles and their initial experiences in California. In a cinematic fashion, they wanted it "to open like an episode of the Twilight Zone," where before long the song's protagonist enters "a weird world peopled by freaky characters, and is quickly spooked by the claustrophobic feeling of being caught in a disturbing web from which he may never escape."
The track's meaning and content has been much debated. As one point evangelists claimed it was depicting the hotel Anton Levy used for his Church of Satan. On other occasions there were various claims that the song was about a psychiatric asylum, drug addition, and even cannibalism. The band maintained however that it was simply about "a journey from innocence to experience" with diametric symbolism relevant to American life in general terms.
The song has had significant cultural impact and has been used and referenced throughout popular media. As recently a last year, the song was used on the soundtrack of the premiere episode of American Horror Story: Hotel which was also set in L.A. and had many themes that seemed heavily influenced by the imagery of the song.

Noblesse Oblige, an artsy dark synth-pop duo made up of German producer/musician Sebastian Lee Philipp and French performer/songstress Valerie Renay, released their fourth album, Affair of the Heart, in May 2013. The album features their suspenseful and ominous version of Hotel California.

While the original has a classic rock style that would sound entirely appropriate on an episode of Supernatural, Noblesse Oblige's version simply sounds like it IS supernatural! Renay dramatically presents the lyrics in a breathy half-whispered/half-sung style, in part reminiscent of Elvira if devoid of her campy manner. Philipp backs her with a cold ethereal interpretation of the melodies set on a down-tempo rhythm that further enhances its eerie and disquieting tone. It is such pure mystique that it could be heaven... or it could be hell:

The Cover:

The Original:

Next week:
Keeping with this month's west coast theme, after escaping through the doors of this L.A. hotel we were told we could never leave, we'll follow a course taken by some lost boys on their trek from Laurel Canyon to Santa Carla with next week's Third Sunday Throwback.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next in western Massachusetts this Friday. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 07 - Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)
July 31 - Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)
July 24 - Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)
July 17 - Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)
July 10 - Portishead - SOS (ABBA)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies


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DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

October 2017

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