The cover of Lucinda Williams (1988)

A couple weeks ago I DJed a Friday-night party before a friend’s wedding the following day. Even though I played various funk, disco, hip-hop, R&B, indie rock, and new wave, the song that got the most people excited and dancing was Lucinda Williams‘s 1988 song “Passionate Kisses,” from her self-titled album. That’s because it’s one of the best songs ever made, at least in its original version. In the early 90s Mary Chapin Carpenter covered the song and it landed on the Billboard Hot 100 (at number 57) and Hot Country Songs (at number four) charts, but her version is dumb. It lacks Williams’s scratchy voice and audible energy, not to mention the ramshackle appeal of the original performance. Honestly, if you prefer Carpenter’s version then your opinion on anything is not to be trusted. The original, better version is today’s 12 O’Clock Track. Oh yeah, and Williams plays City Winery on Wednesday and Thursday; both shows are sold out, but rest assured that you can always just play “Passionate Kisses” over and over while you dance around the room and it will approximate the experience.