Dec 18 2008

The Left Banke – “Walk Away Renée”

Published by at 2:48 pm under Covers,MP3's


The 1960’s “baroque-pop” group The Left Banke is one of those bands that gets some recognition, but for the most part is underexposed. Although their music isn’t nearly as groundbreaking as the Beatles and Beach Boys, there are definitely similarities in their sound. Their hit song “Walk Away Renée” is ranked #220 on Rolling Stones list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The lead singer of the band, Michael Brown, wrote the song when he was 16 years old, and it was about fellow band member Tom Finn’s girlfriend, who he fell in love with. He says when they went to record the song “My hands were shaking when I tried to play, because she was right there in the control room. There was no way I could do it with her around, so I came back and did it later.”

The New York band formed in 1965 by members Michael Brown, George Camron, Tom Finn, Warren David, and Steve Martin. There were some tensions in the band from pretty much the beginning of their formation, and over several years some members were replaced, and the group took breaks here and there. At one point the band even split, and there were two Left Banke’s, which as you might suspect, brought confusion among radio stations and fans. Here is a site where you can learn more about the band, and download some b-sides (Leftbankeisms Vol 1) and music from other projects band members did (Leftbankeisms Vol 2).

“Pretty Ballerina”:

The Left Banke – Pretty Ballerina

The Eels – Pretty Ballerina (The Left Banke Cover)

“Walk Away Renée”:

The Left Banke РWalk Away Ren̩e

Left Banke Cover’s:

The Four Tops – “Walk Away Renée

Elliott Smith – “Walk Away Renée”

Billy Bragg – “Walk Away Renée”

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “The Left Banke – “Walk Away Renée””

  1. podeon 19 Dec 2008 at 10:07 am

    one word…classic

  2. Jackon 01 Jan 2009 at 6:41 am

    Great post, and one of my favorite bands! I enjoyed the Elliott Smith cover.

    I did want to make one correction, though: Michael Brown was the band’s leader, pianist and songwriter, but the lead vocalist on the bulk of their material (including all of their first album) was Steve Martin (aka Steve Martin Caro).

  3. Charlemangeon 18 Jan 2009 at 1:53 am

    Thanks for linking to my site. In addition to Leftbankeisms 1&2, you might want to check out the Dress Rehearsal collection I have on the site as well.

  4. The Daily Discon 29 Jan 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I have a special reason to like this song too – read more at

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