How To Do A Cover Version

Having started off the month with a post a day, it had been my plan to continue in that vein for the whole of September.

Unfortunately, I’ve had really unbearably bad lower back pain all week, which has made it impossible to sit at either my desk to do actual work, or at my coffee table to write blog stuff.

I get back pain quite a lot; I’m one of those people who when at work, in an actual office, has a special chair and various other contraptions to ease my condition. Working from home, however, is a different kettle of fish, for whilst my employers had kindly arranged for my chair to be delivered home, and I had all the other paraphernalia, I’m still working at a laptop (a smaller one than my own personal one) rather than using a monitor and keyboard.

I’m not saying that’s definitely the cause, but it would seem to be the most likely.

Ordinarily, I’d manage the pain by using extra strength paracetamol, and, ordinarily, that works just fine. But not this week: they just didn’t seem to be having any effect whatsoever.

And then on Friday evening, having exhausted my supplies, and with neither the will nor the energy to travel to my local supermarket to stock up, I went to my local convenience store, which obviously didn’t stock the same supermarket own-brand I normally purchase, so I had to pick up a well-known brand instead.

I don’t normally bother with the name brands of things, not through any tightness, but because in the mid-1990s I worked for Boots the Chemist, where we were told that there was no point in buying brand names if there was an alternative on option, for they were all made in the same factory, with the same ingredients, and then just packaged differently. I’ve no idea if that was true, or just their way of getting us to flog more of the Boots own-brand stuff, but that little nugget stuck in my noggin to this day, some twenty-five years later.

Imagine my delight, then, when after quaffing a couple of the brand painkillers, I felt able to move without discomfort in a way I’d not been able to all week.

Now, I don’t want to overdo things, so I’m going to keep everything I post for the next few days brief (which is a shame, for a week of watching the news has given me much to rant about) and I’ve already gone on a lot longer than I intended to, so I’ll whizz on to some tunes sharpish before I do myself any damage.

******

In my teenage years, as I began to explore music which existed outside of my Quo-bubble, I borrowed a couple of Elton John’s Greatest Hits albums from a mate. I realise it isn’t fashionable to like John’s output these days, and I can’t really say I’ve been fond of anything he’s released since 1983’s Too Low For Zero album. But I loved all of those 1970s hits, mostly all of the singles which were lifted from his 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

And it is to the title track of said album we’re turning to this morning:

In 2018 came one of those tribute albums, which are historically very hit-and-miss affairs. This may sound an obvious thing to say, but the quality of these albums very much depends on the artists selected to record a cover version, and which one they’ve been permitted to record.

Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin is no different; I have a copy but must admit to having only skipped through it. I have no desire to hear Coldplay, Mumford & Sons or Ed Sheeran at all, let alone bastardising songs I like.

But there are a couple of peaches on there, not least today’s cover version.

Which leads me on today’s lesson: sometimes, it’s absolutely fine to just do a faithful cover version.

Especially if you happen to be Josh Homme:

More soon (back allowing).