This summer, The Coral will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their self-titled debut LP with an expansive tour and a reissue campaign for an expanded version of the album. Among a crowded field of new indie rock bands, The Coral represented something different: more jaunty, more intrinsically English than the litany of bands who imitated The Strokes. You’d sooner hear traces of The La’s or Donovan than Nirvana or The Velvet Underground in The Coral’s music.
That was immediately clear from the folky hit single ‘Dreaming of You’, which rose to the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart in late 2002. Complete with plastic organ, bouncy tuba, and doo-wop backing vocals, ‘Dreaming of You’ had little of the aggressive attack, detached cool, or guitar-heavy lurch that defined the nascent indie rock scene. Instead, the song was light, bubbly, and instantly memorable.
The song is almost custom-made for a stripped-back acoustic rendition, which the band gamely strummed out, back in 2002. Taken straight from home video footage of the band, this acoustic rendition of ‘Dreaming of You’ loses some of its most memorable flourishes from the studio version, instead highlighting the simplicity and charm of the song’s simple construction. With just some strummed chords and some light percussion, the acoustic version of ‘Dreaming of You’ is just as infectious as its more well known electric counterpart.
Strangely enough, it appears as though this version is slightly unfinished. The second verse is cut in half, without the “From this pain I just can’t disguise / It’s gonna hurt but I’ll have to say goodbye” lines. Even though the song still works without it, those lines become essential in the final version of the track. They highlight the fact that ‘Dreaming of You’ isn’t actually a love song: it’s a song about bittersweet longing. That only becomes clear once the full second verse is sung, but it appears that this early version doesn’t yet have it.
Even still, this acoustic rendition is filled with easy enjoyment. The stakes are so low that they’re basically non-existent: here’s an unknown band strumming out a two-minute song on the floor of their house. Things would get a lot more hectic for the band after this particular song went into the mainstream, but here we see an early look at a pre-fame The Coral strumming out what would eventually become their signature song with their entire careers still ahead of them.
Check out the acoustic version of ‘Dreaming of You’ down below.