Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special Remake/Remodel Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental testicular adjustment engineer scheduling czarina Fah Lo Suee and I will be attending the Weekend Ice Tea Bagging Protests in Fairbanks, Alaska (they get everything late up there) along with the suddenly single Levi Johnson, formerly of the comedy team of Olsen and Johnson the comedy team of Palin and Johnson.

As a result, posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a few days.

But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:

Post-Elvis Pop or Rock Song or Record You'd Most Like to See Covered!!!!

Self-explanatory, I think, so no arbitrary rules this time. You're welcome.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is:

5. My Best Friend's Girl -- The Cars

Strip away the po-mo irony and the icy synthesizer veneer from this and what you're left with is a fantastic Buddy Holly-ish pop gem. I've been saying for years that some smart alt-country or Americana band should do a remake of this one pronto, and I see no reason to change that opinion.

4. Here Comes My Baby -- The Tremeloes

The Cat Stevens song, of course, and like the Cars above, chanelling Buddy Holly as well. The Trems version is vastly superior to its composer's gentle version, but lordy, this one just cries out for a high energy run through with loud contemporary guitars. My 80s skinny tie band did a killer version, with 12-string, but alas no recorded artifact of it survives.

3. Bits and Pieces -- The Dave Clark Five

My word...can't you just imagine Led Zeppelin stomping through this one?

2. It's Love, Come What May -- Bobby Fuller Four

Cool guitar riffage, winsome vocals, a bridge so good you could plotz...just a perfect pop confection, and vastly overlooked. I think Marshall Crenshaw could do this one justice, don't you?

And the number one song you'd most want to hear transmogrified to a fare-the-well, and who can argue with this, is obviously --

1. Theme From Perry Mason -- Fred Steiner

While Googling this, I discovered to my surprise that Steiner wrote it before the show as a stand alone piece, and that its original title was "Park Avenue Beat." In any case, it's a great sleazy rock-and-roll song, right up there with "Harlem Nocturne" or Mancini's "Peter Gunn." The Blues Brothers mangled it, and the Pixies did an homage, but can you imagine, say, Jeff Beck getting his noisy little mitts on it? Wow!!!!!

Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: Best work by a victim of the Hollywood Blacklist -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to going over there and posting a comment, thus justifying my humongous freelance fee to management, I'd be your best friend. Thanks!]


Brooklyn Girl said...

Well, since you mentioned Jeff Beck ... I want to hear him do James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag".

danny1959 said...

Would Beck's version of Perry Mason sound anything like Montrose's version of "Town Without Pity?"

Feral said...

I've always wanted to hear someone cover "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" as straight-up gospel.

And maybe you wouldn't want it to actually happen, but I once did a genre crossing mash-up of Who tunes (in my own, limited talent way) including "I Can't Explain" a la Devo, a total lounge-lizard spin on "Bellboy", and "Pinball Wizard", Shattner style.

The Phantom Creep said...

Didn't John Mellencamp do Richard Thompson's "Shoot Out the Lights?"

I could imagine him doing "When I Get to the Border"....

Anonymous said...

Violinistt,Jerry Goodman did a devastating live recordingn of "Perry Mason Theme"My remakes are of they R'n'B variety(sorry) "My Pledge of Love" by The Joe Jeffreys Group and "Misty Blue" by Dorothy Moore

Gummo said...

I once home-recorded a very nice reggae version of All Along the Watchtower that would sound really good done by someone with some actual talent.

And as long as we were talking about The Beatles' Beatles For Sale album below, one of their underrated songs from that album that's ripe for rediscovery is "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party."

I've always thought of it as one of their first 'grown-up' songs. The resignation in the singer's voice hinting at a realization that he's REALLY fucked up this time, is miles beyond the juvenalia of I Wanna Hold Your Hand.

Anonymous said...

I have stated previously that Matthew Sweet should do a whole album of Neil Young covers. He's a retro-minded artist, and the extant covers of "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and "Cortez The Killer" are both sublime.
Other than that, dunno. Harry Dean Stanton sings Dylan? Guy Clark sings Gene Clark? A reggae version of Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps?" (Try it...) - bill buckner

Noam Sane said...

I'd like to hear R.E.M. cover Western Union, the Five Americans tune.

Noam Sane said...

Since Jeff Beck seems to be a topic of conversation...I never really thought of him covering Led Zep's "Immigrant Song" - but geez louis, did you see him on the R&R Hall of Fame broadcast?

He just gave a taste, but it was amazing. Such fun to watch him and Page go at it.

Anonymous said...

Joan Osborne doing River deep mountain high ---

Dutch Canuck said...

I think The Tubes covered the Perry Mason theme in the "Crime Medley" segment of their live album.

My crap ex-band did a punk cover of The Sesame Street Theme back in the 80s. On the other hand, all our covers sounded punk, because we were no damn good.

The Killers did an outstanding cover of "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town". I'd like to hear them tackle the Neil Diamond songbook next.

ms. rosa said...

I'd love to hear Bruce Springsteen cover "Rich Daddy" by The Dicks. I mean, he did cover Suicide so my request isn't completely out of left field, right? The Boss is the only man I can think of who could do Gary Floyd justice...(sorry couldn't find a youtooby of that song).

Kid Charlemagne said...


The Brit powerpop group The Jags did a killer cover of "Here comes my Baby" way back in the early 80s.

Unknown said...

I used to do "The Kids Are Alright" as a piano power-ballad. It would be great to hear someone give it the full Eric Carmen treatment.

There's an outtake version of Hank Williams's "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow" done by Little Feat in their patented funky half-time feel. I've always wanted to hear Johnny Cash's "Wreck of the Old 97" done the same way.

And, perverse as it sounds, I would love to hear the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun" done as a one of those morbid country waltzes. It works, I've tried it.

And my son does a beautiful version of Richard Manuel's "Lonesome Suzie" off Music From Big Pink as a piece of sloppy slacker folk.

MBowen said...

Sadly, they've all gone their separate ways, but I would have killed to hear Graham Parker & The Rumour's version of "Build Me Up, Buttercup".

There are about a half-dozen Amy Rigby songs that sound to me like big country hits; Gretchen Wilson could fit "20 Questions" into her persona easily.

steve simels said...

Peter said...
I used to do "The Kids Are Alright" as a piano power-ballad. It would be great to hear someone give it the full Eric Carmen treatment.

Wow. What an idea...

dave porreca said...

Back in '85, at the peak of their "Psychocandy" feedback phase, I longed for the Jesus and Mary Chain to do a slowed-down, fuzztone-drenched cover of Led Zep's "Good Times, Bad Times." I still think they could have pulled it off.

dave™© said...

I've always wanted to hear Springsteen cover "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon." It fits his persona to a "T".

And speaking of great Buddy Holly covers, the Greg Kihn Band's version of "Love's Made a Fool of You" is absolutely stellar!

Gwen De Marco said...

I think Bruce could do a killer version of U2's "Pride" ...

And I'd love to hear Tom Waits do "Mama Told Me Not To Come"!

steves said...

All through the Chimp Era, I kept wishing someone would do a scorched-earth, edited version of "Gimme Some Truth." Joe Strummer would have been my first choice.