Thursday, April 19, 2007

Classic Rock Revival

About 8 years ago I went into full-on classic rock mode for a few years. It was a semi-unconscious reactionary move against the perceived decline in radio airplay content, which was jammed with boy bands, girl bands, and Lou Bega. The state of rock music could be summed up in two words: Limp Bizkit. Around the same time I "discovered" Led Zeppelin for myself, started to actually like AC/DC, and listened non-stop to The Guess Who (and The Who too). Queen had always been a favourite band since elementary, but David Bowie was a new treat. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Like most of the classic rock canon, I had been exposed to Bowie and a lot of this music through my parents on long car rides to go camping when I was small. So listening to the classic rock radio station was like re-discovering old friends and finding new ones-- Pink Floyd, Rush, The Band, Elton John, Supertramp, Boston, Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Cream, Jethro Tull, ELO, CCR, the list goes on and on . . .

Anyway, here's a handful of classic rock covers that I particularly enjoy, which stray a fair bit from the originals.

Starlit - Modern Love [originally by David Bowie]
I've been meaning to post this one for a while. Kinda like Tim Burton's "re-imagining" of Planet of the Apes, but actually effective. Best described as gothic-cabaret/industrial-jazz? I honestly had no idea what I was listening to until I looked down at my iPod halfway through the song. This is from the double-disc 34 song Bowie tribute album .2 Contamination.

Choro Azul - Paint it Black [originally by the Rolling Stones]
Here's a longtime favourite with Japanese band Choro Azul doing a Brazilian-flavoured (!) take on the oft-covered Stones classic.

Soul Hooligan (feat. Diana King) - Evil Woman [originally by Electric Light Orchestra]
Movie soundtracks are havens (or wastelands) of random cover songs. This snazzy electro cover unexpectedly hails from the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack, which I found at the library booksale on the weekend.

Angélique Kidjo - Voodoo Child (Slight Return) [originally by The Jimi Hendrix Experience]
This has a cool a cappella intro in place of the distinctive wah-wah original. The whole cover is pretty sweet and is a complete departure from any other Hendrix cover.

Jun Jun Clinic - Oh! You Pretty Things [originally by David Bowie]
This one is deceptively simple yet effective. Though I've heard this many a time, it just occured to me that it only uses the original's chorus. Strange.

Killing Heidi - I Was Made for Loving You [originally by Kiss]
I'm not much of a Kiss fan. In fact, I can't stand Rock and Roll All Nite, which almost gives me a headache just thinking about it. This song's okay though.

Doro - Barracuda [originally by Heart]
Some people mistakingly think Rush did the original due to the Geddy Lee-like vocals. Oddly enough, the female vocalist of the German metal band Doro sounds even more like Geddy Lee.

Ella Fitzgerald - Sunshine of Your Love [originally by Cream]
Rockers Hi-Fi Meet Ella Fitzgerald - Sunshine of Your Love [originally by Cream]
I love Ella Fitzgerald's take on this Cream classic. Just wicked horns and electrifying vocals to match. The Rockers Hi-Fi remix is a super slowed down groove using Ella's vocal track.

Kurt Hoffman's Band of Weeds - The Ocean [originally by Led Zeppelin]
You probably haven't heard a Zeppelin cover quite like this one.

Elton John - Honky Tonk Woman [originally by the Rolling Stones]
From his early album, 11-17-70. You should really check this album out, it's definitely one of my favourite live albums with an unbelievable 18-minute piano jam medley on Burn Down the Mission.

Krank - I Looked at You [originally by The Doors]
From the all-female Doors cover album Love Her Madly, which you can still buy at a bargain basement price from Skipping Discs (ditto for the all-female Bowie cover album too!).

Widespread Panic - Chest Fever [originally by The Band]
From the fairly recent tribute album Endless Highway.


Anonymous said...

Very nice post. Thank you.

And really - if you aren't going to stray - what's the point of doing a cover? People will listen to the original if they like the original. Gimme something new.

TJ said...

check out my classic rock blog. tq.