That’s What You Get For Messing With the Steel Claw

Tina Turner’s Private Dancer is a good album, but overrated.  The singles are terrific, but that’s pretty much all you get, unless you want to hear respectable but won’t-make-you-forget-the-original versions of “Let’s Stay Together” and “Help.”

There is, however, one major exception.

“Steel Claw” was written and originally performed by Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady, on his 1986 album True for You.  (Bonnie Raitt also covers a song from this album, “Not the Only One.”)

“Steel Claw” really is a lost classic.  The lyrics are superb:

The politicians have forgotten this place,
Except for a flying visit in a black Mercedes,
At election time
They cross the line
And everybody runs to watch the pantomime.

Tina wisely copies Brady’s arrangement nearly exactly.  Why this wasn’t a single, I’ll never know.

I love this song.  Love it.

Paul Brady:

Tina Turner:

(Sound quality is a bit iffy, but I’m not about to risk the wrath of the copyright police by posting it myself.)

Dave Edmunds also covered this song.  His version is a slightly inferior version of Paul Brady’s, which means it’s still pretty great (and it does add some bad-ass guitar).  If you’d like to hear it, it’s here.

“It doesn’t really matter when you’re crawling in the gutter.”


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