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Listen to David Byrne’s joyous cover of Paramore’s ‘Hard Times’

David Byrne has shared his cover of Paramore’s ‘Hard Times’, ahead of its exclusive Record Store Day vinyl release – listen to the track below.

The track will be available as an “extremely limited” 12” vinyl release for Record Store Day 2024, with Paramore’s version of Talking Heads’ ‘Burning Down the House’ on the B-side.

The cover was first announced last month by the pop-punk band themselves, who are serving as this year’s Record Store Day Ambassadors, and are also releasing their 2023 “almost” remix album ‘Re: This Is Why’ on vinyl for the first time for the event. That album will be available on 2LP Ruby + Bone vinyl and single black vinyl.

Listen to Byrne’s take on ‘Hard Times’ here:

This year’s Record Store Day takes place tomorrow (April 20) at all participating shops – visit here for more information.

Speaking about his involvement with the track, Byrne has said: “The band told me that their song Hard Times was inspired by Talking Heads, so I learned it and recorded my version of their great song with a horn section. This was fun!”

‘Hard Times’ first appeared as the opening track on Paramore’s 2017 album ‘After Laughter’. Speaking about Byrne’s version, the band’s frontwoman Hayley Williams has written on Instagram: “Crazy to hear the guy who inspired the cadence and tone of these verses, singing them the way only he could.”

“Talking Heads and the Stop Making Sense film drip-fed inspiration into the best moments of After Laughter which, for now, remains my favourite child (I know we’re not supposed to say those kinds of things),” she added.

Williams first hinted at Byrne covering one of their tracks last year during an in-conversation event for The New Yorker Festival.

“There was someone that you mentioned who was going to be on this record but we’re saving it for something,” she said.

“So, all I’m going to say is it’s fucking insane. It’s incredible. It’s unreal. And hopefully, it won’t be too long before we get to share it. But we decided it was too special and we needed to wait and there’s more to that story and you’ll know all about it as soon as we’re able to share.”

The Talking Heads frontman appears to be a fan of Paramore, having attended their show at Madison Square Garden in New York early last year. He was also photographed backstage with the band before the show.

Record Store Day celebrates independent record stores around the world, giving fans the chance to buy special one-off collectable releases on vinyl, cassette and more from hundreds of artists.

Artists involved this year include The 1975, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Talking Heads, Blur, Lily Allen, Gorillaz, Elton John and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. See the full list of releases here.

This year marks the 17th edition of the event, and it comes after the news that vinyl sales rose by nearly 15 per cent in the first nine months of 2023, despite the ongoing dominance of streaming services.

Last year, the event proved to be highly successful, helping vinyl sales to soar by 122 per cent in the week that it took place. According to Official Charts Company data, 190,000 vinyl records were sold in the seven-day period, surpassing CD sales. Overall, physical sales were up 37.2 per cent week-on-week as well.

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