Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Under the covers

I think I defected from Radio 1 to 2 around the same time as Mark and Lard did. However, I was gratified last week when Mark Radcliffe was sitting in for Steve Wright on the afternoon show. He had a feature called ‘CD CV’ where a listener sends in songs that chart their lives from the first single they bought to the song that reminds them of their mates.

It’s better than Steve Wright’s oldies, which I do enjoy, but like the little girl with the curl, they can be very, very good - or they're horrid. The other day, someone chose Melanie’s version of Ruby Tuesday, a song I love – when it’s sung by Mick Jagger. I’d forgotten how bad the Melanie version was. It was so bad, I had to turn the radio off.

Bad music offends me. At the moment, I’m turning off the radio when that awful Jamelia effort that mashes up The Strangler’s Golden Brown comes on. I’m not overly keen on what I consider classic songs being mixed into modern rubbish, but my biggest bugbear is the bad cover version of a song I love.

Some blokes are currently crucifying The Smiths’ Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One before. I was also upset by the BBC’s mass-voiced effort of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day (the switch off point on that one was Heather-I’m-singing-through-my-nose Small). Similarly, there was no need for Sheryl Crowe to cover The First Cut Is the Deepest (I love the PP Arnold version). Anyone who messes around with The Doors’ Riders on the Storm also earns my ire.

Occasionally someone will cover a song I love and actually do it well: Siouxsie and the Banshees’ version of Dear Prudence, Japan doing All Tomorrow's Parties, The Scissor Sisters and Comfortably Numb, and staying with the Pink Floyd theme, David Bowie’s Arnold Layne. Bowie is such a hero he can even get away with a whole album of it.

And I must confess, that along with The Beatles’ A Day in the Life, I want Sid Vicious’ cover version of My Way played at my funeral …


Gill said...

Music is personal-like perfume- what one person considers lovely others find stinks of shit.

Anonymous said...

No, all the crap mash-ups are worth it to get a diamond like Kylie doing 'Can't get Blue Monday out of my head'.

Catch it now before YouTube have to wipe it...Brilliant.

mutterings and meanderings said...

No anon, that's wrong wrong wrong ...

Karen said...

Scissor Sisters version of Comfortably Numb is a crime against music and I'm not even into Pink Floyd in a big way.

I agree with what you said about The Doors M&M - Riders on the Storm is sacred. One of the worst covers ever is a Doors song - Light My Fire. Not only was Jose Feliciano's latin version bad enough, but then Will Young goes as does a cover of a cover. Hideous!

There are lots of covers I like though - Madeleine Peyroux's version of 'Between the Bars' (Elliott Smith), The Darkness' version of 'Street Spirit' (Radiohead), Futureheads' (or was it Maximo Park?) version of 'Hounds of Love (Kate Bush), and Jose Gonzalez's version of 'Heartbeats' (The Knife).

Also notable are Lemar's version of The Darkness' "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" (done acoustically) and Elbow's version of 'One Thing' originally done by some r'n'b lady.

Apparently Placebo have done a version of 'Running Up That Hill', also by Kate Bush. I'd love to hear that. Equally I'd love to hear Radiohead do Elvis Costello's 'Pump It Up' - they used to do this in the encore before they were fanous.

andy said...

The one of the moment for me is Brian Ferry does Bob Dylan - a whole bloody album..YUK YUK YUK!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Karen - no, no. no with waggly finger in the style of Amy Winehouse as regards Scissor Sisters!!

Andy - I think Mr Dylan is doing a good job of sending himself up at the moment - have you heard the trailers for his "Themetiem Radio" - or for that matter, his new single?