Feb 5, 2023Liked by Jennifer Whiteford

I remember feeling obligated to hate the Tiffany version when it came out because it was all pop and I was busy being serious and depressed listening to Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses and The Smiths. Maybe if I’d had a more secure sense of self it could have been like what Sarah Vowell called “the pink of goth” for me, but I just couldn’t with it at the time. I heard it again much later on and realized it had grown on me while I wasn’t paying attention, like a lot of songs I heard a million times and thought I didn’t like but which took up residence in my brain anyway and seem to have become features of my historical musical landscape.

I really enjoyed how they used the Tiffany version in the first season of Umbrella Academy, all dancing to it alone in their rooms at the same time as adults when they come back to the house where they grew up. A few years ago I heard a version by The Birthday Massacre at the grocery store and I think that might actually have become my favourite now.

Expand full comment

One thing I learned from author Tom Robbins is that both Tommy James and Albert Einstein were redheads. Ditto Tiffany. Gingers and songs go hand in hand. When I was younger I was a total music snob. Not so much of late. But I do prefer the Tommy James’ version of I Think We’re Alone Now if only for a very sweet New Years Eve slow dance once, where she and I held tight and sang along in harmony, some 20 or so years ago. I really enjoy your writing. Thanks for these clever Zine-like items. Keep it up. Yer Pal Shanker

Expand full comment

I love this idea that music can be forever new, regardless of its release date. I admit when Running Up The Hill blew up this summer, I initially giggled at everyone discovering Kate Bush for the first time (Let alone The Cramps cover on Wednesday). But I quickly remembered how wonderful music discovery is and how great it was for Kate Bush to have her genius resurrected for a new generation.

I also went down the frightening rabbit hole looking at the math: a twenty year old discovering Kate Bush in 2022 would be like me, at twenty, discovering an artist from the very early 50s. And I thought The Beatles were old!

The version of I Think We're Alone Now that I love is by UK band Snuff. One of the main reasons was it was the first time I heard a punk band blast through a cover at a million miles an hour, while still keeping the pop sensibilities. That was around '89, so I guess they were taking the piss out of Tiffany's cover at the time, not sure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw_U6UfKVeM

I really enjoyed this piece and look forward to more from your Substack!

Expand full comment