Yes, I realize that Jason Mraz hasn’t qualified for “indie” status for a long, long time now. Still, he’s one of my favorite musicians, but not because of the songs that end up on his albums; Mraz is among my favorites because unlike so many pop musicians, whose talent is actually less than what it seems, his talent is far, far beyond what ends up on his albums and singles. I’ve always thought this having listened to many live versions of his songs, and seeing him live solidified it for me.
The latest example is the difference between his live performance of “I Won’t Give Up” and the video and studio version of the song that came out today.
I posted about Mraz’s performance of “I Won’t Give Up” exactly one month ago today, having no idea that it would be released as a single soon thereafter. But I did have several conversations with other folks about the song, and I guessed that it would a) be the first single off his next album and b) that the studio version would pale in comparison to this version (as did the studio version for “I’m Yours” in comparison to the sublime live version).
Here are both videos. I think you’ll agree that I was right.
Live Version of “I Won’t Give Up”
And here is the studio version of “I Won’t Give Up”, which is okay and provides decent visuals but contains none of the heart, soul, and feeling of the live version.
I love Jason Mraz, have since his first album came out; and I’ll buy tickets to his next concert in or near Dallas as soon as they go on sale, but I won’t be forking over the $1.29 on iTunes for the studio version of this song. I’ll continue listening to the live version I ripped from the YouTube video and then trimmed down. If you want it, here it is: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, live in Holland
And make sure you listen to the rest of the songs captured by YouTube user MsMariekeNL. I spent an entire afternoon ripping them off YouTube and trimming them down to create a great new live Mraz playlist. Happy to share with anyone who wants the audio files.