Conversations On A Barstool - a recorded version *does* exist!

Laura Griffin ([email protected])
Sun, 16 Aug 1998 18:16:32 -0500 (CDT)

Heya Wire-

Decided to come out of my last six months of lurkdom to let you know
that I made an interesting discovery at the CD store today. I've been
looking for a version of the song that Bono & The Edge wrote for Marianne
Faithfull entitled 'Conversation on a Barstool' for quite some time. It
was once believed that Marianne recorded a version of the song on her
'Blazing Away' album, but that ended up being just a rumor. Well - today,
I was scanning over the soundtracks at a local used CD store and ran
across the soundtrack for "Short Cuts," a famous robert altman film from
1993. The film is based on a book by the author Raymond Carver... one of
Bono's favorites that has inspired many of his lyrics (I think Bono was
really getting into Raymond's stuff around Achtung Baby). Well - to make a
long story short, I turned the CD over to discover that track number two
is the infamous 'Conversations on a Barstool.'

This version is not performed by Marianne Faithfull - it is performed by
the woman who stars as the lounge singer in the film, the cellist's mother
(for those of you who have seen it.) But the liner notes give the
following explanation:

"2.) "Conversation on a Barstool" by Bono & The Edge - performed by Annie
Ross & the Low Note Quintet - (5:46)
       This song was originally written for Marianne Faithfull by Bono &
The Edge. For various reasons, a recording never came of it though
Marianne has occasionally sung it live. We thought it would be a perfect
song for Annie to perform as one of the main music performances in "short
cuts". Being huge Altman fans, U2 and Marianne enthusiastically gave
their blessing. "Conversation" runs through a few sequences in the film,
beginning as a performance in the Low Note Club during which Earl (Tom
Waits) almost gets into a fight. The song continues switching effectively
from background music to live performance."

So there you have it - a recorded version of the song really *does* exist!


                        Laura Lee Griffin

        "I get up. I walk. I fall down.
                                But meanwhile... I keep dancing."

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