When You Gonna Learn

July 22, 2011

I love finding a song that really grows on you. So much so you end up playing it 3 times in a row. With each play getting better and better. This happened for me today with Beverley Knight’s version of the classic Jamiroquai track ‘When You Gonna Learn’ on the way home from London in the car with my mum. We had a brilliant sing-along session.

When I came home a couple of weeks ago, I had seen quite a lot of press, interviews and tweets about Beverley Knight’s new album ‘Soul UK.’ After hearing the tracks that have made it on the album I bought it as a ‘just-cos’ present for my mum… I wish I had bought it for myself now however.

Now, Jamiroquai are one of my all time favourite bands. Ever. They are one of the few artists I have gone out and bought every single album. I even remember seeing them play on the TV when I was about 4 or 5 and how crazy my mum used to go for some song of theirs (turned out to be ‘Too Young to Die’) Over time I got to love their music and in particular, today’s song ‘When You Gonna Learn.’ Its just such a brilliant song, not only for its social and politically conscious lyrics (which still apply today nearly 20 years later!) but the groove, Jay Kay’s vocals and overall feel of this song can’t help but give me that feeling of ‘… I love music…’ everytime I hear it!

Knight’s version of the song initially seems more chilled and relaxed and I wasn’t sure that I quite liked this take on the song. However I gave it another listen, and another and bloody hell, WHAT a vocal delivery, its so powerful and just gets me thinking HOW is Beverley Knight still so underrated in the British Music Industry? (Listening to the whole album infact is just a masterclass in soul vocals and how it should be done. Properly!) I really think that this version is a grower and has its own sound and feel that honours the original but has its own life also. 

I bought my first Beverley Knight album ‘Prodigal Sista’  when I was about 11 years old in a tiny record shop and fell in love with her voice and it really gave my first listen to some modern soul. I’m pretty sure ‘Greatest Day’ was my song of the summer that year. For a few years I haven’t really listened to her stuff all that much really and its a shame. ‘Soul UK’ has definitely reminded me of what a talented artist Beverley Knight is and that she deserves all the recognition she has received over the years for her contribution to British Soul and that its possible to make your way in this industry by SINGing your heart and soul out and doing what you love.

Here’s a live version of Beverley Knight performing ‘When You Gonna Learn’ at Porchester Hall. Amazing Band. Amazing Song. Amazing Voice. (I wonder if she needs a 4th Background Vocalist…? I Wish!)

And here’s the original version to compare and contrast!

I’ve got a Jamiroquai piano book floating around somewhere… I think I’m gonna have to dig it out and see what I can come up with myself!

Alex x 🙂