Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fong Songs 101 All-Time Covers: #82 to 78

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.

The 80s Set
82. Jaded Heart - Easy Lover [originally by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins]
I love how 80s metal never really went away in Germany. Jaded Heart really go to town on this Philip/Phil 80s classic and-- I can hardly believe I'm saying this-- they also do a really great cover of The Backstreet Boys' Larger Than Life.

81. Harvey Danger - Save It for Later [originally by The English Beat]
As one of my favourite all-time bands, I knew I had to work some Harvey Danger into this list. Up until the last minute, I was debating between this and their rousing organ-led cover of Bowie's Oh! You Pretty Things. It's a toss-up, but I ultimately chose this one since it was one of the first Harvey Danger "rarities" I heard when I really started getting into the band. They were more or less tricked into recording the cover for the movie 200 Cigarettes. Asked to cover a 1981-82 era song, the band suggested Devo, Bowie, XTC, and Duran Duran, but the label insisted on an English Beat cover. They found out later that the label was re-releasing the English Beat catalogue and was using their cover as a sort of product placement in the movie. So they never played this cover live... except I DID actually get the privilege of hearing this live, once at their 10th Anniversary Show Spectacular (where I first heard this story) and also at their Last Show Ever. They also do a wicked cover of This Busy Monster's Underground on their second album King James Version (my fave), though I'm guessing very few of you know the original tune.

80. D-Sailors - We Built This City (feat. Wick Slick) [originally by Starship]
From the German cover compilation Punk Chartbusters, Volume 4, D-Sailors give Starship the ol' punk cover treatment without really any ironic winking and nudging, which I admire since I admittedly dig the original (gasp!). On Volume 5 of the same series, D-Sailors do an equally impressive take on Midnight Oil's Beds Are Burning.

79. Brad Roberts - Bette Davis Eyes [originally by Jackie DeShannon; as made famous by Kim Carnes]
If you've ever heard the original honky tonk country version by Jackie DeShannon, you know no one is actually covering that version, but rather Kim Carnes' 1981 reincarnation (punny!) of the song. Crash Test Dummies frontman Brad Roberts covered this acoustically on his live solo album Crash Test Dude in all his baritone glory. His voice is absurd.

78. Lowry - Africa [originally by Toto]
I'm always reluctant to declare a cover better than its original since I often get caught up in the whole paradox of the cover not being able to exist without the original source, yet this cover accomplished something pretty rare in my books. I absolutely LOVE it despite the fact I do not really like Toto's Africa at all. This is from Volume 2 of the Guilt By Association compilation.

Tomorrow the Fong Songs 101 countdown continues with covers of MJ, Cat Stevens, and The Postal Service (though probably not the song you're thinking of). Also, my favourite 3 Disney covers!

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