Saturday, October 04, 2008

80s Cover Weekend

Lately I've been resting on my laurels, so to speak. By laurels, I mean couch. By resting, I mean playing my new X-Box. I also feel that lately I've been posting too much Ben Folds this, Amanda Palmer that, and White Stripes blah. So it's back to basics with some regular Fong Songs cover content. Right now I'm in the middle of an 80's kick, so let's make it an All 80's Cover Weekend! Ah, the eighties... a whole decade of guilty pleasures. But why feel guilty about it? These are awesome songs.

The Dan Band - Gloria/Mickey [originally by Umberto Tozzi/Toni Basil]
When collecting music became a bit of an obsession, it was a challenge to dig up songs heard on childhood camping trips based on half-remembered lyrics embedded in my head. In retrospect, many of the songs came from the Footloose and Flashdance soundtracks, but it took me years to figure that out. One song that particularly bugged me for a long time was about "some girl named Gloria and a telephone". Turns out it was Laura Branigan's 1982 hit Gloria, which I just learned is a cover itself! The original is in Italian by Umberto Tozzi released in 1979. This cover is by the Dan Band who you may know from their appearance in Old School singing a profanity laden cover of Total Eclipse of the Heart. Their debut album The Dan Band LIVE! includes that and lots of similarly incongruous boy-sings-girl covers.

B.A. Baracus Band - Total Eclipse of the Heart [originally by Bonnie Tyler]
The B.A. Baracus Band is a cover band from Ontario that cover 80s TV themes and hit singles "using only a guitar, djembe, solid harmonies and kazoos". Active since 1997, I got one of their albums on CD Baby and if you check the media/sounds section of their official site, you may just find a full live album for download.

Shawn Mullins - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go [originally by Wham!]
A popular cassette with my sister and I back in the day was the Minipops, basically an 80s version of Kidz Bop: children's covers of sometimes inappropriate adult hit songs. But cover songs are an alien concept when you're little, and to your young inexperienced ears the original and the cover are basically interchangeable. When I think about it now I'm sure the Minipops were my introduction to Wham! In fact, this is the exact album we owned. No doubt, my first exposure to Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Tears for Fears too!

Katy Perry - Head Over Heels [originally by Tears for Fears]
Katy "Kissed a Girl" Perry was on BBC 2's Dermot O'Leary show last weekend playing an acoustic version of her hit song and this Tears for Fears cover. Not too shabby. Today, Canadian rocker Sam Roberts is the scheduled guest and I can't wait to find out what cover he pulls out!

Danni Carlos - Sowing the Seeds of Love [originally by Tears for Fears]
A nice bossa cover from Brazilian artist Danni Carlos.

Jaded Heart - Easy Lover [originally by Phil Collins & Philip Bailey]
A Swedish German glam metal band. Sweet.

D-Sailors - Beds are Burning [originally by Midnight Oil]
D-Sailors - We Built This City (feat. Wick Slick) [originally by Starship]
We Built This City has been maligned as one of the worst songs in history for its hypocritical anti-corporate message. Not to mention for a song about building a city on rock and roll, it decidedly does not rock nor roll. Marconi plays the mamba? Add in the radio announcer bit and you've got a full scale disaster, right? All that aside, I love this song. Seriously. Unironically. Then again, I love MacArthur Park too. D-Sailors are a German punk band who contributed these two awesome covers to the Punk Chartbusters series. In fact, these are two of my favourite all-time punk covers. Fun factoid: We Built This City was co-written by Bernie Taupin, long-time songwriting partner of Elton John.

Inspection 12 - St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) [originally performed by John Parr]
Another 80s classic, written by David Foster for Rick Hansen's legendary Man in Motion tour. It was also on the soundtrack of the film of the same name.

Glen Phillips - I Want a New Drug [originally by Huey Lewis & The News]
Atta Boy Skip - Ghostbusters [originally by Ray Parker, Jr.]
Huey Lewis successfully sued Ray Parker, Jr. for plagiarizing I Want a New Drug with Ghostbusters. Somewhat hilariously, a few years ago Parker counter-sued after Lewis breached his confidentiality agreement by discussing the lawsuit on a VH1 special. Oops!


disapprhere said...

I was hesitant at first, then I realized I really am this old. This has been the best twenty minutes of grinning I've had in days. Thank you for sharing these rather unique covers. Wicked.

legbamel said...

Thank you so much for gathering these in one place. I'm a cover-junkie and these are fantastic, especially the Shawn Mullins cover of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, which I think is better than the original.

boyhowdy said...

Gorgeous. Had totally forgotten about that exquisite Glen Phillips cover; the Mullins is fun, too.

Welcome back to the coverfold, Fong.

Fongolia said...

Well, I never really left... :) I just became overly self-conscious of the narrow focus of my posts in the past month. More 80s covers on the way soon! I forgot a bunch I meant to include.

John Anealio said...

That cover of "Easy Lover" is fantastic. I always loved that song, and I've always loved 80's metal, so that cover really hits the spot. The singer sound a bit like Joe Lynn Turner of Yngwie Malmsteen fame. Thanks for the post.

Agnes said...

Haven't listened to 'Easy Lover' yet, but I'm already feeling tingles of anticipation! It's gonna be good, I just know it...

Anonymous said...

Please reup Katy Perry's "Head over Heels" THANKS

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