The Mother Hips “I Don’t Want To Drive You Away” – a great song is a great song

Photo: Andrew Quist

Thirty years into their career The Mother Hips have decided for the first time to cut a cover version in the studio and put it onto their new album ‘Glowing Lantern.‘  The song in question is, obviously, ‘I Don’t Want to Drive You Away‘ and it’s a great rollicking slice of rock, with bursts of guitar supporting powerful harmonised vocals.  Big song  – sounds great, but where did they get it from?  Greg Loiacono explained it all: “We came across an Anne Murray cassette tape in a truck stop some years back. The album cover was so fascinating to us that we decided to buy it. The music and recording blew us away. Her version of this song in particular with its groove, harmonies and far-out production really spoke to us, so we worked up our own version.”

That’s the story, but it seems almost out of some kind of embarrassment he added “It’s absurd in a way—a rock band covering an Anne Murray song. She’s mom music. We had no idea her first record was this weird countrypolitan, psychedelic record with Glen Campbell and all these LA hot shot musicians on it. We’d later realize it was written by David Wiffen whose songs have been recorded by artists like Roger McGuinn, The Cowboy Junkies, The Jayhawks and The Black Crowes, so all in all, it turned out to be a fitting choice for the first ever cover song on a Mother Hips record.”   And you see there’s really no need to semi-apologise.  Only a fool would turn up their nose at a great song because of the artist recording it – there are any number of artists that are truly terrible and yet had one magnificently great song to their name – you take that one artistic moment a band could create and forget the rest.  Which is not to tar Anne Murray’s early output in that way, but we can all think of examples, c’est vrai, non?

Anyway, we don’t usually do this but since it’s such an integral part of the story here’s the cut from Murray’s debut album ‘What About Me‘.  Totally different, but you can hear why The Mother Hips were attracted to it.


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About Jonathan Aird 1683 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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