Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Cover me, I'm going in [Version]

As regular readers of Vicious Imagery will know, I have an unhealthy interest in dodgy cover versions. Desecrate a classic and I'm there, applauding with inane enthusiasm. iTunes has proven quite a boon in searching out the outrageous, by virtue of its search facility and the capacity to hear 30 seconds extracts before purchase. No need to buy whole albums to get a single track anymore, kids - now you can pick and choose. Aces.

So, what gems of vinyl solution have I uncovered in my quest for the unlikely and the unruly this week? Well, I've definitely fallen in love with the dubious delights of lounge singer Richard Cheese [Dick to his friends]. He wins prizes for his album titles alone - Aperitif For Destruction, anyone? - but his iconoclastic approach to holy bovines deserves applause too, such as pricking the pomposity balloon of U2.

Richard Chesse's Mambo take on Sunday Bloody Sunday has to be heard to be believed, while there's something breathtaking about his kitsch cover of Do They Know It's Christmas? Perversely, Beat It sounds much better as a torch song, even with tongue planted firmly in cheek. If you want to lounge against the machine, I also recommend recent efforts by Paul Anka. Quirky.

There's a long tradition of reggae artists offering some easy skankin' versions of tracks from other musical genres. If you haven't already sampled the genius of Easy Star All-Stars, you're missing a trick. Not much of a Pink Floyd fan myself, so their dub-steady dissection of Dark Side of the Moon don't mean much to me, but their Radiodread riff on OK Computer is class in a glass.

Now you can add The Dynamics to the playlist, thanks to their album Version Excursion. There you can savour Prince's Girls & Boys getting lively up itself, while the Rolling Stones' Miss You gets the reggae groove it always deserved. Of course, The Dynamics are not to be confused with Dynamics, an acapella ensemble from an American university that also goes cover-crazy. Breakfast At Tiffany's anyone?

2 comments:

Lucy said...

RU insane? I think you actually are. Good lord, as if there isn't enough crap in the world without evil peeps like you BUYING it! For shame David, listen to some real music and whip yourself 50 times with a thorny branch whilst naked, you naughty naughty man.

Oli said...

I did the opposite last night, downloading the original versions of songs made famous by covers: Heard It Through the Grapevine by Gladys Knight & The Pips, and Tainted Love by Gloria Jones. Mmmmmm... soul.