A while back I posted an article about those cover versions by artists who should have known better & left them alone. I was thinking today about cover versions that I actually enjoy & think are better than the originals. This train of thought led me naturally to thinking about those songs that have been covered by bands I have played in & which of those covers I enjoyed performing live. So here in no particular order; with as much back story as I feel is required, is a selection of five songs I have enjoyed borrowing from the original artists for a little while.
Apologies if any of these seem obscure, who can tell what is going through the minds of a bunch of musicians when they get together in a bar to rehearse.
1. Dancing cheek to cheek.
Yes, THAT dancing cheek to cheek, we stole it just about bar for bar from a performance by the Sensational Alex Harvey band. Surprisingly it proved a popular number at gigs, even if we did not have the luxury of a chorus line of leggy girls for the finale. Heaven Oh I'm in heaven......
2. Senses working overtime XTC
This version was cut in the studio on a visit to Melbourne to visit my old friend Lindon. It was a mutual song from our shared past & it was the suggestion of his drummer that we play it in a fast punk style. The arrangement worked remarkably well, it has also become a firm favourite of my daughter.
3. I'm so bored with the USA The Clash
Always loved tearing in to this live circa 1980 back in Leeds with the band I was then with. As full of energy today as it was then & a wonderful sentiment of the time.
4. Ships in the night Be bop deluxe.
When I joined the last band I played live with in Scarborough, this was top of my list of covers to try. I was lucky that the guys I worked with were all excellent musicians & the fact that we had no keyboard player for live work. or a saxophonist for that matter, did not phase them one bit.
5. Perfect Day Lou Reed
Recorded as a favour for the sound engineer we worked with, who wanted a version for his girl. We recorded with a wonderful choir of girls from the local music college. The recording was to be placed as a suprise last track on our planned album. Sadly I emmigrated to Godzone before that could be mastered & released. However, I still have it & love the way we approached that track.
More when I can remember them, leave a list of your own favourite covers if you so desire.