Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Listomania: Special You Can Call Me Ray Edition

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental Zous Bisou Bisou, the lovely Fah Lo Suee, and I are off to downtown Dakota Dunes, South Dakota to do a little consulting work for Beef Products, Inc., the good folks who make that pink slime beef additive you've been hearing about lately.

Our mission: To get pink slime into the American heartstream!

Which means that, barring the unforseen, things will probably be a little quiet around here for a couple of days.

That being the case, here's a fun little project that should help us wile away the idle hours until the premiere of that new Three Stooges movie (which actually looks pretty damned funny).

Best/Worst Extant Cover of a Kinks Song and/or One That Hasn't Actually Been Done Yet But That You'd Really Like to Hear!!!

And my totally top of my head Top Five is/are:

5. Mott the Hoople -- You Really Got Me

Re-imagined as an instrumental, for heaven's sake, which still strikes me as a hilarious and brilliant masterstroke. Of course these guys had a genius for oddball covers, as the same album's deadpan reading of Sonny Bono's "Laugh at Me" as an outtake from Blonde on Blonde made abundantly clear.

4. Herman's Hermits -- Dandy

Peter Noone and company may have been lightweights, but on record they did total justice to this gem from Face to Face, aka the Kinks first great album. This non lip-synched TV version doesn't make a case for them as a great live band, however.

3. Van Halen -- You Really Got Me

Bloated, smarmy and (for me) unlistenable, and don't give me that Edward Van Halen shit, because I don't want to know. Really, it makes me physically ill that an entire generation grew up thinking these putzes wrote the song.

2. Mark Lanegan -- Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' About That Girl

The Screaming Trees frontman's sepulchral take on the great nervous bohemian blues tune (originally from the Kinks third album in 1965) as heard on that 2006 MOJO tribute sampler I remarked on yesterday. Incidentally, I'd forgotten how much I loved this song until I saw Ray do it in concert earlier this year, but of course that show is a story unto itself.

And the all time Dedicated-Follower-of-Fashion recording ever simply has to be...

1. The Pretenders -- Stop Your Sobbing

C'mon, it's not even close. Seriously -- there are times I think the way Chrissie sings "Each little tear/that falls from your eye" is the single most spine-tingling moment in the history of rock 'n' roll.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?


Sal Nunziato said...

Can't argue with you about Chrissie.

My absolute fave is Oklahoma USA by Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris out of New Orleans. It's played straight, so no need to worry about tubas or funk. It's simply stunning.

steve simels said...

I saw her live once and she's a great singer, but I can't quite picture her doing that particular song (which I adore, BTW).

Sal Nunziato said...

It's coming your way. let me know what you think. (You get the FOW stuff?)

dave™© said...

I really got a kick out of the Van Halen cover until I realized they weren't a German group singing it phonetically.

David said...

Versus' cover of "Shangri-La" is totally rocked out and lovely.
The Fall's "Victoria" is pretty great too

TMink said...

Funny one Dave!


Mike said...

Remind me not to point you to the Halen's cover of Where Have All The Good Times Gone. :-)

Days - Kirsty MacColl
Waterloo Sunset - Elliott Smith
Muswell Hillbilly - Tim O'Brien
Gotta Get The First Plane Home - Young Fresh Fellows
Get Back In Line - Minus 5
No Return - Bebel Gilberto
See My Friends - The Records
Wicked Annabella - Jason Falkner

steve simels said...

I love the Records "See my Friends." And didn't the Young Fresh Fellows also do a real good cover of "Picture Book"? Perhaps I'm thinking of somebody else...

I should also note that I've got a clip of me singing "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" with my 80s skinny tie band somewhere. If "singing" is the precise word...

buzzbabyjesus said...

"Days" by Elvis Costello
"Where Have All The Goodtimes Gone?"
by David Bowie
"You Really Got Me" by 801 (live)
"Hold My Hand" by The Liquor Giants
"2,000 Man" by the Rolling Stones.

You are right about Herman's Hermit rendition of "Dandy". It's perfect, as is Chrissie's "Stop Your Sobbing".

"You Really Got Me"
I dislike strongly Mott The Hoople's version and fail to see how it's better than Van Halen's.
They are equally superfulous.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Shoot I forgot to mention Yo La Tengo's take on "Oklahoma USA".

Mike said...

The Fellows did indeed do a masterful cover of Picture Book:

John Fowler said...

How about Big Star/Alex Chilton's cover of 'Till the End of the Day' on Sister Lovers?

almost scary version that fits with most of the rest of that album...

Brooklyn Girl said...

Well, I feel obliged to mention the Terry Reid "Waterloo Sunset", which you wrote about a couple of years ago ...

JZ said...

I had mentioned this one in connection with the about bands song thread earlier this week. The Thoughts "All Night Stand". The Kinks evidently did a demo of this but I've never heard it. Released on Planet Records, Shel Talmy also produced this.

John Fowler said...

And fairly obvious, but The Jam's version of "David Watts" is great. Not as humorous as the original, but quite spirited.

buzzbabyjesus said...

John Fowler's right about the Big Star cover. I can't believe i forgot about it.

Anonymous said...

chocolate watchband: I'm Not Like Everybody Else

Peggy Lee: I Go to Sleep

Anonymous said...

I agree with Elvis Costello's version of Days, off of the Until the End of the World soundtrack. If you haven't heard it then you should.

The Kenosha Kid said...

Does Dandy even qualify as a cover? I was under the impression that Ray Davies wrote it specifically for Pete Noone.

Anyway, I'll just mention that The Lyres did a decent version of I'm Not Like Everybody Else, just because it's the only one that hasn't been mentioned yet.

senormedia said...

How about the Kinks covering themselves?

All Day And All Of The Night->Destroyer

Seven Years of College Down the Drain said...

Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom has a nice cover of "Waterloo Sunset" over at his site as a part of his Cover Of The Week project that he was doing for a while.