Pablo Picasso (song)
|Song by the Modern Lovers|
|from the album The Modern Lovers|
"Pablo Picasso" is a song written by Jonathan Richman for the proto punk group the Modern Lovers. The song was recorded in 1972 at Whitney Studios in Los Angeles, and produced by John Cale, but was not released until 1976, on the Modern Lovers' self-titled debut album. The recording featured Richman (lead guitar, vocals), Ernie Brooks (second guitar), Jerry Harrison (bass) and David Robinson (drums), with Cale playing the repetitive hammered piano part.
The central character of the song is the charismatic 20th century artist Pablo Picasso. With dry wit, the lyrics suggest that women never rejected Picasso's romantic advances, despite his short stature. "Well he was only five foot three but girls could not resist his stare / Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole / Not in New York". In a 1980 interview, Richman stated that the song was inspired by his own adolescent "self-consciousness" with women.
- 1972 – The Modern Lovers, not released until 1976 on The Modern Lovers
- 1975 – John Cale, on his album Helen of Troy (released before the original version)
- 1979 – Catholic Discipline on album "Underground Babylon" a collection of live recordings.
- 1984 – Burning Sensations on the Repo Man soundtrack
- 1991 – Phranc's version of the song substitutes Gertrude Stein as the central character; it appears on her album Positively Phranc
- 1998 – Television Personalities on Don't Cry Baby...It's Only a Movie
- 1999 - The Mentally Ill on the album Strike the Bottom Red
- 2003 – David Bowie, on his album Reality; a live version recorded at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London on 8 September 2003 was released on the 'Tour Edition' of Reality
- 2007 – Blue Peter, on their album Burning Bridges, recorded live in 1980
- 2007 – Four Year Beard on the album Hero: The Main Man Records Tribute to David Bowie (2007)
- 2012 – The Tellers on the album A Tribute to Repo Man
- 2018 – Jack White for a live Spotify Singles release
- Slingerland, Calum (April 25, 2018). "Jack White "Pablo Picasso" (Modern Lovers cover)". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
- Oshinsky, Matthew (April 25, 2018). "Jack White Covers The Modern Lovers' "Pablo Picasso"". Paste. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- "ASCAP, ACE Title Search". Accessed February 14, 2011
- Mitchell, Tim (1999). There’s Something About Jonathan. Peter Owen. p. 50. ISBN 0-7206-1076-1.
- Allmusic.com "Pablo Picasso" review. Accessed August 15, 2007.
- "Siouxsie - The Creatures with John Cale - Pablo Picasso". youtube. Retrieved 2 April 2015.