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Earlier this week, we discovered that Robert Downey, Jr. isn’t just a singer, but a pretty damn good one to boot. Video of his 2011 “Driven To Tears” performance with Sting surfaced and after a little digging we came across not just a few songs here and there but an entire album of material released in 2004 that showcases one of Downey’s more hidden talents, eventually leading us to a fantastic cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River”.
Originally written and recorded by Mitchell in the early seventies, Downey’s cover of “River” wasn’t featured on his 2004 album The Futurist but it was, however, featured in an emotionally charged scene in the hit 90s show Ally McBeal where Downey, playing love interest Larry Paul, can be seen sadly playing away at a piano while singing the song to himself.
Though these days Robert Downey, Jr. is reveling in one of the most stunning career comebacks we’ve ever seen and wholeheartedly embracing the once in a lifetime second chance that life offered up at the turn of the century, the central theme of regret in “River” brings Downey’s difficult past into sharp focus, coloring his words and making it impossibly easy to believe his performance. Check it out in the audio below – it’s definitely worth a listen or two!