Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend Listomania (Special Sincerest Form of Flattery Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental nafkeh gentleman's gentleman Hop-Sing and I are off to Galveston, TX, for the First Annual Republican Let Them Eat Vouchers Flood Relief Festival. Lee Greenwood may be the featured entertainment, so obviously all's right with the world.

In any case, as a result, posting by moi will necessarily be somewhat fitful for a few days.

But until then, as always, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:

Best Post-Elvis Record That You Could Swear is By Somebody Other Than It Actually Is!!!

Look, I'm old and senile, so I'm pretty sure that I've done this one before, but screw it -- I want to try it again if only to see if I can find a way to sneak Billy Corgan's pretentious bald noggin into the mix.

Okay, that said, here's my totally top of my head Top Eleven...

11. Fontella Bass -- Rescue Me

Best Aretha Franklin record Aretha Franklin never recorded.

10. Terry Stafford -- Suspicion

Not Elvis But an Incredible Simulation. God, this has the cheesiest echo in history, doesn't it?

9. Smashing Pumpkins -- Disarm

I realize that it's an article of faith for Pumpkins fans that they're an utterly original group that doesn't owe a debt to anybody (oh wait -- that's an article of faith for Billy Corgan. My bad.) but this sounds like vintage Beatles "White Album" to me.

8. Ronnie and the Daytonas - Little GTO

The Beach Boys, obviously.

7. B. J. Thomas -- Rock and Roll Lullaby

Again, the Beach Boys, obviously. Also Duane Eddy, although unlike the Beach Boys, he actually is on this record.

6. Mouse and the Traps -- A Public Execution

Vintage Blonde on Blonde era Dylan, anyone?

5. Shadows of Knight -- Oh Yeah

Best Yardbirds rip-off ever, and I say that knowing full well that the late sainted Lester Bangs would have given that honor to the Count 5's "Psychotic Reaction.

4. Coldplay -- Viva la Vida

U2 without the warmth? Spandau Ballet without the sense of humor? God, these guys suck.

3. Creed -- With Arms Wide Open

Eddie Vedder choking on Michael McDonald's beard? God, these guys really sucked.

2. Bonnie Tyler -- It's a Heartache

Rod Stewart with bigger boobs.

And the number one song that isn't by who you think it's by because it sounds ridiculously like somebody else -- it's so obvious that if you dare to even suggest another one and I'll harm you -- is...

1. The Knickerbockers -- Lies

Everything about this one is pure Beatles -- the dead-on Lennon lead vocal, the Merseybeat harmonies, the melody, and, perhaps most of all, the guitar sound, which is pure "Revolver" era. Just astounding...

Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania (Surrealism Edition!) is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way over there to leave a comment, an angel gets its wings.]


dSmith said...

Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" sounds like Hendrix.

TJWood said...

How about "I'm Truckin'", from the 1969 album Clear by Spirit. The song sound like an obvious Grateful Dead hommage, complete with a Pigpen-like vocal by either Randy California or Jay Ferguson. It apparently made enough of an impression on the Dead that they would use the second word of the title for a very famous song for their 1970 album, American Beauty

Mike said...

I suppose America's Horse With No Name and Stealer's Wheel Stuck In The Middle With You are the classic examples (Neil Young and Dylan, respectively).

Every time the Boomtown Rats song Rat Trap starts playing on my iPod, I swear I'm listening to the Springsteen playlist.

Anything Klaatu did, but most notably Sub Rosa Subway, as an incredible Beatles simulation.

CovetedNOPrizeWinnerWithOakLeafCluster said...

The Knickerbockers -- Lies. You said what I would have said.

Mister Pleasant said...

Wow Steve, this is the first Listomania in a while wherein many of the songs suck out loud! Though I have a real soft spot for Fontella Bass and Rescue Me.

You could have completed this entire Listomania edition with Roy Wood, except for the fact that there are no videos I know of for the following:

Get On Down Home - 1st half Andrews Sisters, 2nd half Tina Turner
Why Does a Pretty Girl Sing Those Sad Songs - Beach Boys with dead-on Carl Wilson lead vocal
Crazy Jeans - Gene Vincent
Come Back Karen - Neil Sedaka
Everyday I Wonder - Del Shannon songwriting style as sung by the Beach Boys
This Is the Story of My Love - Ronettes as if sung by Frankie Valli.

dporreca said...

Alive 'N Kickin' -- "Tighter, Tighter"

For the longest time I thought this was an early song by Big Brother and the Holding Company. The female singer has always reminded me of Janis Joplin and "Piece of My Heart" when she hits the chorus: "Hold on, just a little bit tighter now, baby."

dave™© said...

Waitaminnit, I thought the Beach Boys were on "Rock and Roll Lullabye"...

Speaking of Beach Boys, you could have also thrown in Henry Gross' "Shannon," but I think you've done that one before.

"Lies" really is amazing. A top 40 DJ who was around at the time once told me that, when it came out, lots of stations put it on as a new Beatles cut - and believed it!

steve simels said...

dave™© said...
Waitaminnit, I thought the Beach Boys were on "Rock and Roll Lullabye"...

No, I had the album back in the day so I know the credits, and no -- they're not on it. Actually, I just checked..the Chiffons are, and some LA studio singers. But nary a Beach Boy. That is Duane Eddy playing the twangy guitar on the intro, however.

steves said...

When they first came out, I thought both "Stuck in the Middle With You" and "Sultans of Swing" were new Dylan songs.

Also, I recall at some point a Beatle's bootleg, which had a song on it called "L.S. Bumble Bee," that was actually a prank pulled by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Gummo said...

"Lies" and "Public Execution" - I was introduced to both of those by the Nuggets collection, still love'em today-- great choices.

Mike, I always thought "Stuck in the Middle with You" sounded most like a lost solo John Lennon song!

Speaking of which, Julian Lennon's only hit, Much Too Late or whatever, sure sounded like Dad.

And someone whose name I won't mention - *coughMrs.Gummocough* - told me she thought for years that "Lay Lady Lay" was a Mac Davis song.

And didn't Dylan once say that "Heart of Gold" was Neil Young doing Dylan?

And there was a group called "Flash" made up of some ex-Yes members whose first album is indistinguishable from early era Yes.

TMink said...

Rod is playing on my iPod as I type this, and man he sounds like Sam Cooke. Even when he is not singing a Sam Cooke song!

Like our typical coveted prize winner, when I saw the topic I was thinking Lies. In some ways, it is better than the Beatles because it is such strong powerpop. I mean, Lies rocks harder than And Your Bird Can Sing.


steve simels said...

I mean, Lies rocks harder than And Your Bird Can Sing.


9/19/2008 9:28 AM

Hmm...not sure I concur on that one.

The Kenosha Kid said...

"Bohannon's Beat" by Bohannon is the best song that the Talking Heads never recorded for More Songs About Buildings and Food.

David said...

Just about anything by John Wesley Harding sounds like an audition tape for an Elvis Costello tribute band. Several tracks on Robyn Hitchcock's I Often Dream of Trains could pass for what Syd Barrett might have sounded like if some of his sanity had returned to him during The Madcap Laughs sessions. Wire's "Ahead" from The Ideal Copy could pass as the great lost New Order single.
And Steve, I have to quibble with the Pumpkins song. It's not that they don't have musical antecedents, it's just that it's hard to hear the Beatles or much of anything else when Billy's signature adenoidal petulance is front and center. You can acknowledge the influence of the Beatles (and Sabbath) when you hear the SPs, but it doesn't jump out at you the same way as when you hear Rod Stewart in Bonnie Tyler or Aretha in Fontella Bass or even Van Morrison in that guy from Counting Crows. (And what about Meatloaf's uncanny impersonation of Phil Rizzuto?)

FeralLiberal said...

"Dark Side" by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band - the most blatant Springsteen ripoff ever.

Anonymous said...


Kid Charlemagne said...

The Hollies - Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress

Jellyfish - Joining a Fan Club

MJConroy said...

Soul Survivors "Expressway to Your Heart" sounding like the Rascals

Ides of March "Vehicle" sounding like B, S & T.

But Lies is the best! My favorite song on Nuggets!

Noam Sane said...

This Time I'm In It For Love by Player. Kind of obscure 70's hit. Dead ringer for the same-period Steely Dan, at least until it gets to the ultra-lame chorus.

TMink said...

DOH! The Ruttles!


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

In the day, Little Boy Sad -- with an actual riff & all -- surprised me when it turned out to be by the boys who did Henry VIII. Although as I think it was Simels who pointed out earlier, No Milk Today actually showed HH was lots more capable of sounding like a rock band than one might have thought.

Anonymous said...

The Who - Bucket T (Jan & Dean, who may have done the original)

The Kinks - Wicked Annabella (The Who)

The Jam - In The City (The Who)

Donavan - Catch The Wind (Dylan)

Springsteen - E Street Shuffle (James Brown)

Arthur Conely - Sweet Soul Music (Otis Redding)

The Hounds - It's A Crime (Jefferson Airplane)


preznit said...

Bruce Springsteen- "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" could be a Magnetic Fields song

Cliff said...

"The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" by Guided By Voices, featuring an uncanny John Cale impression by Robert Pollard.

There was a midwestern band called Starcastle that for all intents and purposes was a Yes tribute band.

And then there were The Goo Goo Dolls, whose whole schtick was Westerberg-lite.

Kid Charlemagne said...

Come to think of it Cliff, the GvB song "A Portrait Destroyed by Fire" from "Devil Between My Toes" is a killer Wire rip.

dave™© said...

Actually, the first few times I heard "Reeling in the Years," I thought it was by (wait for it) -- Chicago!

Honest to God!

morbid puritan said...

Arcade Fire's anthemic "Keep the Car Running" sounds like it could have been written by Springsteen:

Apparently, Springsteen thought so himself:

steve simels said...

Noam Sane said...
This Time I'm In It For Love by Player. Kind of obscure 70's hit. Dead ringer for the same-period Steely Dan, at least until it gets to the ultra-lame chorus.

Don't now that one but it sounds interesting.

And of course whoever said the Goo-Goo Dolls. "Long Way Down" sounds EXACTLY like the Replacements...

Noam Sane said...

Player's big hit was "Baby Come Back".

Cliff - I saw Starcastle open for Boston in 1977. (Steve - I'm old too!) They were, indeed, very Yes-like, but on a budget...their big lighting effect was: a mirror ball. No shit.

dave™© said...

Player's big hit was "Baby Come Back".

Which was a dead ringer for Hall and Oates.

Brooklyn Girl said...

dave™© said...
Actually, the first few times I heard "Reeling in the Years," I thought it was by (wait for it) -- Chicago!

Honest to God!

I can get that ...

Anonymous said...

"Crazy On You" by Heart is one of the better Led Zep songs ...