VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Smile” Mixtape

MP3 03 Smile Mixtape.mp3 (75.53 MB)

"Smile" is a song written by Charlie Chaplin and used as an instrumental theme in his 1936 movie Modern Times. In 1954 John Turner and Geodfrey Parsons added lyrics and it was first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1954. It is one of the ultimate “message” songs of pop music and has been covered by literally hundreds of singers and musicians.

When I heard Janelle Monáe’s version, Djavan’s version immediately popped to mind, which in turn inspired me to do what I initially thought was going to be six or seven versions. I grossly under-estimated the song and was surprised to find so many versions that I liked.

Here are nineteen, all of them with their own twist on a classic tune. While, as always, I have my own favorites, I’ll refrain from stating my preferences and encourage our audience to check out all of these versions especially the one by…

—Kalamu ya Salaam

Smile Mixtape Playlist

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01 Metropolis: The Chase Suite - Janelle Monae

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02 Blue - Diana Ross

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03 Mood Indigo - Jimmy Scott

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04 Smile - Jacky Terrasson

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05 Smile - Lina Nyberg

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06 Almost Like Being In Jazz - Hugh Masekela

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07 Malasia - Djavan

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08 Lush Life - Jacintha

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09 Etta - Etta Cameron

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10 Live - Take 6

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11 Live in Marciac - Bireli Lagrene

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12 French Kiss - Donald Brown

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13 You Don't Know Me - Ruth Brown

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14 Centerpiece - Milt Jackson

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15 Greatest Hits, Part Two - Jerry Butler

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16 Sunup To Sundown - Kenny Burrell

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17 Terra - Mariza

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18 Portrait Of Sonny Criss - Sonny Criss

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19 Nuclear War - Sun Ra

This entry was posted on Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 8:10 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Smile” Mixtape”

Q Says:
June 1st, 2010 at 10:47 am

Wow…Hugh Maskela’s version was enough for me. Still, there are so many other versions that could’ve been added. Including Michael Jackson’s.

ralston Says:
June 4th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

looking forward to hearing this, thanks! original concept…yeah, i echo what Q said about MJ’s version…i had never heard the song until jermaine jackson said it was MJ’s favorite song in the world and sang an incredible cover of it at his funeral…

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