Reason #182: Such Great Heights
In the mid-2000s, “Such Great Heights” arrived as one of the coolest songs in indie rock, made all the cooler for the two versions of it making the rounds—The Postal Service’s raucous original, and Iron and Wine’s stripped down, slowed down re-imagining that was featured in Garden State.
I’m probably over-dramatizing a smidge, but once I had heard both versions of the song, they each felt incomplete—the original felt devoid of the emotional heart of the Iron and Wine version; the cover didn’t have that pulsing energy that makes the original so infectious. So what more could we hope for than a combination of the two?
All-Night Yahtzee gifted exactly this song to us all. In 2007, the group was on the top of its game, amidst a string of ICCA Finals appearances, and positively electrified the crowd with a version of the song that started as the Iron and Wine cover, then picked up into something much closer to the Postal Service original. This was the kind of performance that exhibits the potential for a cappella to put all manner of control and creativity into a skilled group’s hands, to not only reproduce popular music but rather take what’s already there, and truly make it the group’s own.
I love it!