Thanks to a person who can't use the White Pages, I am now unable to get to sleep - hence the unspeakable hour of this blog. However, since I'll be sending out my discs for Greg's CD exchange, I thought it best to give a "director's commentary" the disc. It's a collection of covers (avoiding selections from Lefty Brown's Mixed Bag 2 dual disc set) with a slightly Kids In the Hall-ish theme. As a note, the original artist/songwriter is in red print because I'm anal, er, I mean, "detail-oriented".
Bad Boy – Beatles (Larry Williams) - John Lennon was a big proponent of this artist's work, covering "Dizzy Miss Lizzie", "Slow Down", and this hidden gem. Just close your eyes and picture yourself in Hamburg. Classic moment - Lennon's falsetto on the word "hula hoop".
My Little Red Book – Love (Bacharach/David) - From February's Record You Should Own. Burt Bacharach reputedly hated this rocking version of his tune. Of course, Burt also wrote "Close to You", so there.
Louie Louie – Sonics (Richard Berry): Because no covers CD is complete without at least one version of Louie Louie.
Strange – REM (Wire): Originally a piece of punky moodiness, REM covers it and turns it into flat-out rawk for their first major commercial success.
Viva Las Vegas – Dead Kennedys (Elvis Presley): Get past the slapped-on intro from the movie it was featured in, you gotta love Jello Biafra, who is as close to Joe Strummer as Americans are gonna get.
Disguises– The Jam (The Who): A British band pays homage to one of its roots by covering a lesser-known tune. Great use of feedback, great drumming, and typical early 80's production.
My Sharona – Veruca Salt (The Knack): For some reason, I always have to take a shower after hearing this tune. A long, cold shower.
If I Can't Have You – Eve's Plum (Yvonne Elliman): You know, I hated the original, but love this rockin' cover. Maybe it's Colleen Fitzgerald's down-to-earth vocals that give it a little bite, or the monster guitar riff.
Temptation Eyes – Replacements (Grass Roots): Yes, I could have used the Blake Babies version; however, I like this take for Bob Stinson's guitar, which mixes country, metal, and blues into a potent cocktail.
Pipeline – Dick Dale & Stevie Ray Vaughn (Challengers) - Three minutes of two guitarists kicking ass on a killer song. And also check out the underappreciated movie that used it in its soundtrack.
Pretty in Pink – Social Distortion (Psychedelic Furs): You know, this may be a little too politically correct, so let's end the first "side" of this record with...
Eight Miles High – Husker Du (Byrds): Friends, you must crank your stereo's volume up as far as it will go for this one. This is an eardrum-bleeder you don't wanna miss.
Sir Simon, Master of Funk, testifies (or, if this were a vinyl album, you'd flip it over now)
I Want You Back – Graham Parker & the Rumor (Jackson 5): From January's Record You Should Own, Parker gives this song a little more of an edge, turning it from pre-adolescent longing to adult despair. Just buy the CD, will ya?
Girls Talk – Dave Edmunds (Elvis Costello): Costello's always been a little hit-or-miss, but I honestly believe that Edmunds is the second best person to take on Costello; this is a rockin' little number that takes a less-than-two-minute B-Side and pumps it up. Only Paul McCartney has done better by Declan.
Stairway to Gilligan's Island – Little Roger & the Goosebumps (Led Zeppelin): Adapts the lyrics to Gilligan's Island with the music of "Stairway to Heaven." And I only include this because I can't find the track that mixes "Purple Haze" with the "Green Acres" theme.
Can't Get Used to Losing You – English Beat (Andy Williams): Because I'm like that.
Absolutely Sweet Marie – Flamin Groovies (Bob Dylan): Wanted to stick in a Dylan cover that nobody thought of, so I stuck in the Groovies.
Walk Away Renee – Four Tops (Left Banke): The original is a baroque masterpiece; this track not only adds the soul, but only reinforces what I've been sayin' - Levi Stubbs is in the same league as Otis Redding and the late Wilson Pickett as a great soul singer.
King of the Road – Dean Martin (Roger Miller): Gotta love Dean, whose laid-back, relaxed version makes Roger Miller look like he was taking Ritalin when he recorded the original.
Begin the Begine – Sheryl Crow (Cole Porter): My personal favorite track from De-Lovely. Enjoy.
Our Lips are Sealed – Fun Boy Three (Go-Gos): Maybe technically this isn't a cover, since the lead singer co-wrote the song, but cha, ya know what...my mix CD. My rules. So there.
Cuban Pete – Jim Carrey (Desi Arnaz): Originally featured in The Mask, I just wanted to have a little piece of silliness. The disc was moving towards bummer city, and I wanted to break the mood a bit.
The Wind Cries Mary – Robyn Hitchcock (Jimi Hendrix): While you're buying Squeezing Out Sparks, please throw this DVD in - it's a great concert movie. Of course, this song isn't in the movie (but is present on the soundtrack CD), but don't let that stop you.
Out of Time – Ramones (Rolling Stones): Latter-day Ramones cover a relatively obscure Stones track; however, it's 99% stronger and harder than anything Mick & Keith have released in the past 10 years. Hard to believe three Ramones are gone.
In My Life – Johnny Cash (Beatles):We started the disc with the Beatles cover; we end with a legend covering the Beatles. If this song doesn't bring a lump to your throat, you are one cold cookie indeed.
If you're not part of the exchange, and would like a copy, please e-mail me at blogthispal (at) gmail dot com, and I'll send you a copy gratis. Music's meant to be shared.