Acoustic Afternoons

Back in 2001, The Cure released a Greatest Hits album, which came with a bonus CD featuring all 18 songs performed acoustically.

Obviously, that means there’s quite a few to choose from, so we’ll be returning here again at some point.

But for now, here’s one of my favourite of the re-workings, a song title which is not said to me on a daily basis with anything like sufficient regularity:


The Cure – Why Can’t I Be You? (Acoustic)

Inevitably, more soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

A little while ago, Jack White, he of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather fame, was kind enough to help me out with this series by releasing an album called “Acoustic Recordings 1998 – 2016”.

Today’s choice, the original of which was the track that brought The White Stripes to most people’s attention for the first time, and therefore needs no further introduction:


Jack White – Hotel Yorba

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Ahh, Evan Dando and the Lemonheads. About time they cropped up here, for I have quite a few tunes of theirs performed acoustically.

See, old Evan I think sees himself as quite the troubadour, travelling around the land armed only with an acoustic guitar and a plaid shirt, tossing off unplugged versions of some of his finer moments for his adoring fans, of which, just so there’s no confusion, I am most definitely one of them.

In fact, the first time I ever saw Dando play live, it was without the Lemonheads, an acoustic gig, upstairs in Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach, and it was a wonderfully sing-a-long affair, as you would expect.

Here’s an acoustic version of a track from their “Come On Feel The Lemonheads”, which cropped up as an extra track on one of the singles released from the album:

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The Lemonheads – Down About It (Acoustic)

Aficionados of the original version will know that backing vocals were provided, as they often were on Lemonheads records, by Juliana Hatfield (I’m not entirely sure if it’s her that crops up at the end of that acoustic version). Coincidentally, Juliana released an album of acoustic cover versions in 2012, and here she is performing one of Led Zeppelin’s finest moments:


Juliana Hatfield – Rock And Roll

And to round things off here for today, I’m going to take you back to Evan. Last night I watched the Nick Broomfield documentary about Whitney Houston, which leads me to this:

ificouldtalkcoverThe Lemonheads – How Will I Know?

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Now, I know when I started this series, I said I would try to avoid just posting stuff from MTV’s behemoth “Unplugged” series, but sometimes I have to go there, because the some of the songs posted are just too darn good to ignore.

Such is the case with Eric Clapton’s appearance on the show.

I know it’s not exactly cool to like Clapton, but as regular readers will have noticed, that’s not a factor I really ever take into consideration when posting stuff here.

See, Clapton’s “Unplugged” album is pretty much perfect, featuring not only acoustic versions of some of his better known tracks, but also a whole host of covers of old folk and blues records which have influenced him. And, of course, it’s technically quite breath-taking.

So I’m going to widen this series out to include not only artists performing acoustic versions of their own records, but acoustic versions of other people’s songs, because, frankly, some of these are just too good to miss out on a technicality.

Here, then, is Slowhand performing a version of perhaps his best known song (although he didn’t record it under his own name originally, and, sadly, he forgoes the extended piano heavy play-out from the original album here) and one originally by Jesse Fuller.

I imagine you’ll be able to tell which is which:


Eric Clapton – Layla

Eric Clapton – San Francisco Bay Blues

Budding guitar players: the second tune is a great one to play along to.

Kazoo players, budding or otherwise: that goes for you too.

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Back to the Acoustic Tent now, and a band who I imagine many would not expect to find performing here.


If memory serves, this first surfaced in an advert for some beer or other; thankfully it got a commercial release shortly afterwards.

It’s surprisingly good, Lemmy’s grizzled voice really works accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a harmonica.


Motörhead – Ace of Spades (Acoustic Version)

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Not sure what this is doing here.

“Oi, Chrissy! You’re early. No, you’re not supposed to be here today. Sunday afternoon, that’s when we do the acoustic stuff. Not Wednesdays. What do you mean you were told to turn up on today? Who told you that?? Ah well, you’re here now. You may as well go ahead.”


Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang

“And will you make you mind up whether your band name has a “The” at the start of it or not please?”

That’ll do. Can’t imagine anyone reading anything into me posting this… 


Acoustic Afternoons

Back in 1997, a friend of mine popped round to my house in Cardiff. The talk turned to the edition of Top of the Pops which had been on the night before. I had enjoyed the show because Teenage Fanclub had made a rare appearance on it.

My friend launched into a diatribe about one particular band who had appeared on the show who he felt were boring and derivative. He couldn’t remember their name, and as he banged on about how much he disliked them, it suddenly occurred to me that he was talking about Teenage Fanclub.

I put the record in question on and asked if this was the song he meant. It was.

We have not spoken since.

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Teenage Fanclub – Ain’t That Enough (T.O.T.P. Acoustic Version)

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Sometimes I’m greatly assisted in writing this series by a band or artist I love releasing an album or EP featuring acoustic versions of some of their finer moments. Such is the case with today’s pick.

In 2011, The Charlatans released the “Warmer Sounds” EP, where they not only performed  songs from their back catalogue, they radically reworked them too. This led to me realising I’d been getting the words wrong to this one since it came out in 1990. Oopsies.


The Charlatans – The Only One I Know (Acoustic)

Researching this (by which I mean checking what year the EP came out), I was staggered to learn that The Charlatans haven’t had a Top 40 hit single in the UK since 2006, or a Top 10 hit since 1997. For a band still releasing great albums (this year’s “Different Days” is a fine example), that’s astounding. Sort it out, UK!

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

And now to a band who I never think get enough credit. I’ve seen them compared to R.E.M. before, which I don’t think is either fair or accurate. Any band is going to wilt in comparison to the boys from Athens, Georgia (up to a point, obviously).

Anyway, here’s Idlewild, and something which I think has never seen a commercial release.

I was lucky enough to see them play an acoustic set at Bristol’s Colston Hall ten years or so ago, a wonderful venue which is just perfect for an acoustic set such as they did that night, and I’m surprised that, having done a tour playing acoustic versions of their own songs, nothing became of it: no live album followed in the tour’s wake, as far as I know. I’d be delighted if someone told me I was wrong about that.


Idlewild – When I Argue, I See Shapes

What’s especially wonderful about that is, if you know the original, you could not possibly conceive that it might work as an acoustic track.

Does, though, doesn’t it?

More soon.