The Roving Apatosaurus - Calypso - Stereo Stickman

The Roving Apatosaurus Calypso


For those who remember the wonderful artist and songwriter that was John Denver, this three-part video release from The Roving Apatosaurus is certain to offer a welcomed and beautiful ode to those memories and to a song that has such a powerful connection to history.

The song Calypso is arguably one of Denver’s most well loved, it’s a beautiful piece of music with a stunning string of poetic lyrics, and a mighty, uplifting chorus. The strings and the whole arrangement add to the power of the hook, and at its core, the song prompts us to consider and appreciate the ocean and its depths – as well as the lengths that Captain Jacques Cousteau and his crew went to in order for us to learn more about it.

Denver’s own affection for Calypso and indeed for the ocean and Cousteau himself is genuine and heartfelt, and this shows so strongly throughout the song. The Roving Apatosaurus’ take on such a classic is one that feels unique and authentic in its own right. It’s a slightly more modern recording, rightfully so, though still it holds true to the original, orchestral set-up, and to the joyful, colourful power of the song as it originally was. The band’s own connection to and appreciation for Calypso and for the ocean is made crystal clear throughout the 8-minute video – the latter third of which offers a purely instrumental version of the track; an ambiance fit to let the memories really start to emerge.

The leading vocal on this version offers slightly less impact as the chorus hits, presenting a smoother, perhaps less intense display of this moment – there’s not so much of a full choir ensemble to it. However, there’s a great benefit to this – it gives the song a new look, and it leaves room for the listener’s mind to wander off down memory lane. In addition, it keeps that thread of character within what is essentially an ode to Denver; delivering the essence of the song and all of its joy, with new levels of joy in fact, it’s a notably bright performance, but still keeping the accessible, almost Disney-like aura of The Roving Apatosaurus at the forefront. The arrangement and recording style, along with the accompanying video, make for the perfect piece to remind you of both the past and the still present importance of the ocean.

It’s a pleasure to be re-introduced to this song, and in fact – I was previously unaware of the history behind it, and of how it first came about. You can hear John Denver talk about this here. Stream the single on Spotify.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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