There’s some irony that the second single from The Sundays’ debut album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic is often held as a prototype for dream pop, but actually doesn’t have many of the traits that would become the genre’s calling card. Chorused guitars? Only what you naturally get from David Gavurin’s 12-string acoustic (okay, maybe a little on the arpeggiated electric lines, but hardly a calling card). Hazy vocals wrapped in reverb? You couldn’t bury Harriet Wheeler’s soaring vocals even if you wanted to, and really – why would you want to?
Typical of songs from the era, only a smattering of live recordings have made it online. This undated performance of the band playing out a program on German television probably comes circa Reading in 1990 or 1991.
This clip comes from a 1993 show in Seattle while on tour for Blind:
The audio and video quality of this fan-shot one from the end of their career aren’t especially good, but considering it’s the final song of the main set of their last live show ever, at the Union Chapel in London in December 1997, I’ll allow it.
Covers! I have no idea who Tin Tin Out were. Apparently a late ’90s electronic production duo who had some success, including a UK top 10 single with their cover of the song that sounds very much like something a late ’90s electronic production duo would put out.
More interesting is this cover by Hong Kong singer/actress/dreampop ambassador Faye Wong, which appeared on her 1994 album 討好自己 (which translates to Please Yourself) under the title of “為非作歹”. No idea if the lyrics are the same, but given that it translates to “Being Criminal”, possibly not. But it sounds lovely.
Idahoan Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, recorded a very bedroom electro-pop version for a SiriusXM session back in 2015.
Maggie Rogers, on the other hand, slows it down – way down – and gets torchy for her version done for BBC Radio 1’s Piano Sessions in 2017.
And Beabadoobee just does what Bea does in her cover for SiriusXM earlier this Summer. Chocolate and peanut butter.