Just joining us?
I'm counting down 101 of my all-time favourite covers before packing this blog away in the attic.
Read my countdown preamble here.
When covering Zeppelin, it's best to stray far from the original since any carbon copy cover just comes off as pathetic and wanky, particularly if you're a guitarist attempting to imitate Jimmy Page. Seriously, why bother?
24. Goldbug - Whole Lotta Love [originally by Led Zeppelin]
This bizarro electro dance version actually hit the #3 spot on the UK charts for a few weeks in 1996. I used to think it sampled part of the instrumental break from the Richard Harris rendition of MacArthur Park, but I've since learned it's actually the theme song from the UK cinema advertising company Pearl & Dean. Suspiciously, MacArthur Park and the remarkably similar sounding theme song (known as Asteroid by composer Pete Moore) were both released in 1968... but my whirlwind research cannot determine which came first.
23. Dread Zeppelin - Viva Las Vegas [originally performed by Elvis Presley]
Dread Zeppelin is my favourite reggae Zeppelin tribute band with an Elvis impersonator for a lead singer and hey, it's Robert Plant's too. You wouldn't think there's anything subtle about this band, but they have a way of weaving in Page's riffs into even non-Zeppelin covers that are easy to miss if you're not paying close attention. This Elvis/Custard Pie/Godzilla mash-up is my favourite. As is (sadly) the case with many tribute bands, they've actually been active a lot longer than the band they're paying tribute to. Since 1989 and they're still performing!
22. Rasputina - Rock and Roll [originally by Led Zeppelin]
Rasputina's gothic cello makeover of Rock & Roll. Gothic Cello Makeover, need I say more?
21. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) [originally by The Everly Brothers]
The 2007 Led Zeppelin reunion was somehow both unlikely yet inevitable. Naturally, everyone demanded if not expected a follow-up tour, but guess what? Robert Plant done moved on. His collaboration with Alison Krauss Raising Sand went five for five at last year's Grammys including Album of the Year and his new album Band of Joy due in a couple weeks makes it clear that he's not done making new and exciting music... with an album full of covers!
20. Led Zeppelin - Hello Mary Lou [originally performed by Ricky Nelson]
During their epic live shows, Whole Lotta Love would often be used as a jumping off point for a set of R&B and blues covers. This treat comes from the How the West Was Won live album, culled from two 1972 California gigs, but you gotta wonder what other pristine goodies Jimmy Page has in his recording vault that will never be released.
Tomorrow the Fong Songs 101 countdown continues with some Songs of Love.