How To Do A Cover Version

First things first: sorry it’s been a bit quiet round these parts this week. I had some broadband issues last week (by which I mean, I had no broadband last weekend) which meant I wasn’t able to write the usual splurge of posts to last a week that I normally do on a Friday night.

It also meant that, as I’m working from home at the moment, I wasn’t able to do that either. And rather than take the time I was off-grid as unpaid or annual leave, it was agreed I could just make up the time, which is what I’ve been doing for the rest of the week.

Anyway, normality restored (I haven’t made up all the time yet, but there are fewer hours for me to claw back), I wanted to start off with a specific apology to my old mate, Martin.

Regular readers may recall that, having left Wales over ten years ago now, I reconnected with Martin at Llŷr’s memorial service (Note: NOT a wake) last year, and I’ve mentioned before how happy I was that that had happened.

It’s a funny thing, as without really thinking about it, I think he and I viewed each other in much the same way: as Llŷr’s mate. But we’ve both come to realise since Llŷr passed that we have an awful lot in common, to the point where I regret that we didn’t spend more time in each others’ company before geography became an issue.

See, I think Martin and I are cut from the same cloth (and thinking about it, that’s probably why Llŷr was friends with both of us): we share a sense of humour; we both support (different) football teams who are constant only in their delivery of disappointment; we like (mostly) the same records and now happily swap recommendations; we both like a drink (generally my Friday night writing is…interrupted isn’t the right word…enhanced by a message from Martin in the wee small hours, as under the influence as me, leading to a text conversation about the merits of anything from Withnail & I to the use of the slide guitar in country records).

So while my broadband was playing funny buggers last weekend, I got a message from Martin, with a link to a song which he described as “a guilty pleasure”. This one:

Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind

Now. Regular readers will know just how much the phrase “guilty pleasure” grinds my gears, and so my response was, on reflection, a tad on the brusque, dismissive side:

“Nowt wrong with that. Johnny Cash covered it!”

(Over at Charity Chic’s place he used to do a series which discussed the various Cash covers. I imagine this one came up, but I’ll leave you to go and investigate.)

Here’s The Man in Black’s version, from (of course) the American Recordings series, specifically Volume 5 A Hundred Highways:

Johnny Cash – If You Could Read My Mind

If I were to be really pushed, I’d probably plump for Cash’s version, but that is probably down to the context of the recording, the scratchy vocal, like he felt compelled to get the songs featured in the American Recordings series out while he still had time, the breath and the capability to do so.

But it’s a really close call.

Anyway, Martin: sorry if my response seemed a little curt. It certainly wasn’t meant to be.

As an aside, there’s something about If I Could Read Your Mind which always reminds me of this next song. I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on it, but I think that somewhere there must be a snatchette of melody which corresponds between the two:

Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

Of course, there’s nothing funny about the Coronavirus.

There is something rather delicious about the first diagnosed cases in the UK occuring on the same day as we leave the EU, though.

*Shakes fist at the sky* “Grrrr, bloody foreign viruses, coming over here and doing a much more effective job than our good, hard-working, decent British viruses.”

I can’t be the only person, of a certain age, who hears the word Coronavirus and immediately thinks of this:

I should show some respect and refer to it by it’s full name: the Wuhan Coronavirus.

But that’s no good either, because it just makes me think of this bunch of effing and jeffing bad-asses:

Wu-Tang Clan – Gravel Pit

You say Wuhan, and I say Wu-Tang. Wuhan. Wu-Tang. Wu-Tang, Wuhan. Let’s call the whole thing off.

Here’s a cheerful website you can use, just in case you want to check just how worried you should be: Coronavirus Death Rate Want to know how many people have been diagnosed with the virus, and how many of those have died so far? Just click the link! Hours of endless fun for the whole family.

Perhaps they could have done away with the Accept Cookies “Got It” button on the website though…

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

Ever since I posted that Charlie Rich song on Sunday Morning, I’ve had this on my brain (yes, I know it’s a Prince parody, but since when did earworms have to make complete sense?), which has some of the funniest lyrics outside of a Half Man Half Biscuit record:

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Flight of the Conchords – The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

Incoming controversial statement.

I rather like a single by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Although, it sounds to me like what would happen if The Vaccines happened to cover a certain record by Ricky Martin.

Here’s the evidence:

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The Vaccines – If You Wanna

+

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Ricky Martin – She Bangs

=

Am I right, or am I right?

More soon.

 

 

Which Reminds Me…

“Ruby Tuesday”, as mentioned in my last post, was covered by Melanie:

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Melanie – Ruby Tuesday

…who is probably better known for this:

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Melanie – Brand New Key

…which, well lookie here, who’d have thunk it, was “comedy” covered by….

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The Wurzels – The Combine Harvester

See how this all links together? It’s almost like I planned it…

Happy Holidays, George!

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More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

Two things I mentioned in that last post reminded me of songs, one of which I posted before, over a year ago, so it’s due having the dust blown off of it again:

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The Dickies – Banana Splits (The Tra La La Song)

The other is a song I’ve been meaning to post for absolutely ages, a song which, as with the above and The Monkees theme from the last post, takes me right back to those summer holidays and the old re-runs of shows from the 60s and 70s. It features a gorgeous, evocative sample from one of those shows, and that sample in turn provides the title of the song. Readers of a certain age will know exactly what I mean.

This is my favourite song by the band that happened in between the two phases of The Wedding Present, and I’ve always thought it to be exactly the sort of song that David Gedge split up the band to give himself the freedom to record:

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Cinerama – Crusoe

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

After digging out that Foo Fighters acoustic album I featured in the last post, I found myself thinking of this, a tune that featured in The Chain quite some time ago, so the link’s probably dead by now.

So, I make no apologies for re-posting this, the opening track from one of my favourite albums. See, it’s a gorgeous song from a gorgeous album, which is just about perfect for rounding off the weekend. Certainly better than watching Ed Sheeran, anyway.

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The Sunday – Skin & Bones

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

Late last night I posted a thing about Primal Scream, which mentioned “Loaded”, the first single to be lifted from their ground-breaking/seminal/pretty bloody spectacular album “Screamadelica”.

“Loaded”, of course starts with a sample of Peter Fonda, taken from Roger Corman’s 1966 biker movie “The Wild Angels” (released three years before the much better known “Easy Rider”, from which many mistakenly think the sample originates):

We wanna be free, we wanna be free to do what we wanna do
And we wanna get loaded and we wanna have a good time
And, that’s what we’re gonna do, (no way, baby, let’s go!)
We’re gonna have a good time, we’re gonna have a party,” Our Pete says on the sample.

Actually, if we’re being strictly accurate, what he actually says in the film is:

When Primal Scream released “Loaded” in 1990, many were surprised by the change in direction, by the use of samples, loops and other electro-trickery more often associated with dance music, and of course, we have the likes of Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley to thank for this.

But The Scream weren’t the first band to use this sample.

Here, from 1988, is a band who you equally wouldn’t expect to be found using samples, let alone the very same one which resurfaced two years later. For here are Sub-Pop grunge godfathers Mudhoney:

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Mudhoney – In ‘n’ Out Of Grace

And if that doesn’t wake you up on a grey Tuesday morning, nothing will.

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

And so this is where we’ve been heading all day, unbeknownst to any of us, least of all me.

Earlier, I mentioned Morrissey. Just now I mentioned Girls Aloud and a tune with a vaguely Rockabilly sound.

And so to this:

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Morrissey – Pregnant For The Last Time

Wedding party DJs of the world rejoice, for if you play that and the Girls Aloud tune next to each other, you will see which fills the floor more and work out where to go from there.

(PS – It’ll be the Girls Aloud one. Nobody likes the mention of a pregnancy at a wedding.)

More soon!