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Re: (TV) covers

I'm glad to see the XTC "All Along the Watchtower," Husker Du "Eight Miles High" and TV "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" in peoples' lists. (The _Last Time_ version of "Knockin'" is the one that takes it for me.)

Some other faves:
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: "Rite of Spring" (yup, Stravinsky) and "The Theme from Rocky and Bullwinkle"...on the same album. Brilliant! They've also done some amazing versions of Eno's "Sombre Reptiles" over the years, with two different versions released: an early one on _The Fossil Record_ and a later one on _Pyroclastics_. Amazing.

Of course, there's some other classics that overshadowed the originals, like Aretha's "Respect" (compare to the Otis Redding original), or Wilson Pickett's "Land of a Thousand Dances" (compare to Chris Kenner's original). Hey, the Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie" seriously rocked up the original, which was more croony.

I'm fond, also, of Jandek's cover of "House of the Rising Sun," a shambling, tuneless lament, as if delivered by the narrator as he dazedly wanders the back alleys of New Orleans after everything has been taken from him, including his mind.

It probably wouldn't be a message from me if I didn't put in a word for some of the Phelps covers--an excellent version of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" (slow solo piano lament) on _The Downer Trio_ EP (as well as an enjoyable cover of Dramarama's "The Emerald City"), and a fine version of the Comsat Angels' "Lost Continent" on the new one, _Blackbird_.

What else? How can I possibly forget Naked City's deconstruction of "A Shot in the Dark" on their first CD? They torture the tune for about a minute before kicking into it in recognizable form. Somewhat related is Zorn's one-off Spy vs. Spy project, (with him and Tim Berne on duelling altos, two drummers, too) which covered Ornette Coleman tunes...in quadruple time.

The Volcano Suns did a fine sing-along cover of Eno's "Needles in the Camel's Eye" on their _Thing of Beauty_ CD, as well as "Kick Out the Jams" and Devo's "Red-Eye." (What is it with these Mission of Burma-related bands and Eno covers?)

The Horseflies did an enjoyable cover of the Cramps' "Human Fly" on their LP? of the same name. There were also some great traditional tunes covered there as well--this was in their middle period, when they were changing from a bluegrass band into a new wave band, and this LP catches them in the middle.

I could go on and on (I already have), but I'll end by noting the Lounge Lizards' fine version of "Harlem Nocturne" on their debut.

Maurice Rickard                  | GreenMarketplace.com: Natural Products
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