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They didn’t write that?: Hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs (Part Two)
09.01.2015
05:59 am

Topics:
Music
One-hit wonders

Tags:
cover version


 
This is the second part of a continuing series. Part One can be found HERE.

Recently a friend hipped me to a song that I had NO IDEA existed, having thought for decades that the COVER of it by an ‘80s one-hit-wonder band was the original and only version that was ever recorded. This led to a conversation about hit songs that we didn’t at first realize were covers—sometimes not discovering the original versions until many years after the fact. A few friends joined in and at the end of the conversation I had a list of nearly 50 songs that were “surprise” cover versions.

As a public service to Dangerous Minds readers, I’m sharing this list so that you can wow your friends at parties with your vast musical knowledge. Granted, our readership is a smart and savvy bunch, so undoubtedly you’ll come across songs on this list and say “I already knew about that.” Of course you did, but indulge the rest of us. Hopefully, though, something here will surprise you.

We’ll be rolling this list out in parts over the next few weeks. In no particular order, this is Part Two of Dangerous Minds’ list of hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs.
 

 
The song: “Cum On Feel The Noize”

You know it from: Quiet Riot

But it was done first by: Slade

Quiet Riot’s massive 1983 hit was a cover of a 1973 number one UK single by Slade. Quiet Riot’s cover took their Metal Health LP to the top of Billboard album chart, making it the first American heavy metal debut album to ever reach number one in the United States. It also helped to belatedly “break” Slade in the U.S. where they had some minor success with their single “Run Runaway.” Quiet Riot’s good fortune with “Cum on Feel the Noize” led to them doing a second Slade cover, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” on their follow-up album. The second dip into the Slade song-pool did not prove as successful.
 

 

 

 
The song: “Bette Davis Eyes”

You know it from: Kim Carnes

But it was done first by: Jackie DeShannon

Kim Carnes’ 1981 recording of “Bette Davis Eyes” spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Billboard‍ ’​s biggest hit of that year. It was originally recorded in 1974 on Jackie DeShannon’s album New Arrangement. The original version is drastically different from Carnes’ new-wavey cover. DeShannon’s recording is straight up honky-tonk.
 

 
Many more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
They didn’t write that?: Hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs (Part One)
08.24.2015
07:22 am

Topics:
Music
One-hit wonders

Tags:
cover version


 
Recently I had a friend hip me to a song that I had no idea existed, having thought for decades that the later cover of it by an ‘80s one-hit-wonder band was the original and only version ever recorded. This epiphany led to a conversation about hit songs that we didn’t at first realize were covers—sometimes not discovering the existence of the original versions until many years after the fact. A few friends joined in, and at the end of the conversation I was sitting on a list of nearly 50 well-known hit songs that were “surprise” cover versions.

As a public service to Dangerous Minds readers, I’m going to share this list so that you too can wow your friends at parties with your vast musical knowledge. Granted, our readership is a smart and savvy bunch, so undoubtedly you’ll come across songs on this list and you’ll say “I already knew about that.” Yes, of course you did, but do indulge the rest of us, won’t you? Hopefully, though, there’s something here to surprise even you.

We’ll be rolling this list out in parts over the next few weeks. In no particular order, this is Part One of Dangerous Minds’ list of hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs.
 

 
The song: “Obsession”
You know it from: Animotion
But it was done first by: Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight

“Obsession” was a 1984 smash for one-hit-wonders Animotion, but it was originally recorded a year earlier in 1983 by Silverhead and Detective lead singer Michael Des Barres and Grammy-winning songwriter, Holly Knight. Incidentally, this is the song that started the conversation that resulted in this entire list.
 

 

 

 
The song: “King of the Nighttime World”
You know it from: KISS
But it was done first by: Kim Fowley and the Hollywood Stars

“King of the Nighttime World” appeared on KISS’ 1976 platinum album Destroyer, but it was originally recorded in 1974 by producer, performer, and Runaways’ Svengali, Kim Fowley. Fowley’s version has slightly different lyrics and a more laid-back groove.
 

 

 

 
The song: “Wild in the Streets”
You know it from: The Circle Jerks
But it was done first by: Garland Jeffreys

“Wild in the Streets,” one of The Circle Jerks’ signature tunes, was the title track from their second album. Most punks in 1983 probably didn’t know that the song was actually a cover of a 1973 number written by Garland Jeffreys after hearing about a pre-teen rape and murder in the Bronx.
 

 

 

 
The song: “Gloria”
You know it from: Laura Branigan
But it was done first by: Umberto Tozzi

Laura Branigan’s signature song, her 1982 hit, “Gloria,” was on the Billboard chart for 36 weeks—but prior to that it was a huge 1979 hit in Italy for Umberto Tozzi.
 

 
Many more cover versions that you didn’t know were cover versions after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
60-piece male voice choir covers ‘Blue Monday’


 
I know it’s Thursday, but every day could do with a rendition of New Order’s “Blue Monday” at some point.

As if the electro-pop classic wasn’t epic and brooding enough, here it is performed by the 60-piece Brythoniad Male Voice Choir, commissioned for the UK’s Festival Number 6.

To celebrate New Order headlining the first year of the UK’s newest festival, the Brythoniad Male Voice Choir were commissioned by Festival No.6 to record their own unique version of Blue Monday.

The 60 members of the Brythoniad Male Voice Choir, formed in 1964 in Blaenau Ffestiniog, recorded their interpretation of the seminal track in the studio, then filmed the video on location at the stunning Portmeirion, location for Festival No.6 .

Surely the most unique setting for a festival the UK has ever seen?

There is more information on Festival Number 6, headlined by New Order, Primal Scream and Spiritualized and taking place in Portmerion, Wales on the 14th, 15th and 16th of September, on the festival’s website.

Brythoniad Male Voice Choir “Blue Monday”
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The Better Beatles - better than the Beatles (FACT!)


 
If, like me, you get just a bit tired of The Cult Of Beatles (™) then consider this the perfect antidote.

The Better Beatles were a post-punk outfit from Nebraska who released one 7” single in 1981 and quickly disappeared without trace. The Better Beatles did to the Beatles what The Residents did to Elvis, and what the Flying Lizards did to Barrett Strong (which was quite distinct from what the Beatles did to Barrett Strong.). The original songs were just creaky old foundation blocks that they destroyed, then re-built on top of. Often with wondefully misshapen new forms.

Was this a joke? No. It was deadly serious, a reverse hex aimed at tearing down an overbearing edifice. From the Better Beatles Wikipedia page:

Dave Nordin [synthesizer] has stated that he considered the Beatles “an oppressive influence,” and Jean pSmith [vocals] has said their goal was to “[strip] the songs of their sacred status.”[3] After a handful of shows, they recorded an album’s worth of material in late 1981. They broke up shortly before their debut single “Penny Lane”/“I’m Down” was released on Woodgrain Records, leaving the bulk of their music unreleased.

Unreleased until five years ago, that is, when Hook Or Crook Records released the complete works of the Better Beatles as an album called Mercy Beat (available to buy here, where you will also find lots more info on the band.)

Who knows, maybe some Beatles fans can even appreciate the genius of The Better Bealtes? (Probably not, though. Po-faced plonkers!)

The Better Beatles “Penny Lane”
 

 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Dance music classics turned into jazz songs by 3iO


3iO’s Robert Mitchell
 
Music that has a sense of humor tends to get a hard time among people who consider themselves “serious” music fans. Why is this? Is it because music itself has to be seen to be serious? That the music makers have to mean it (maaan) and it’s impossible to wear your heart on your sleeve if it’s matched by a raised eyebrow and a smirk?

3iO are an acoustic jazz band who last year released an album called Back To New Roots, which features jazz-style covers of a host of big dance tunes from the last 15 years. LOL!! Right? Or is this an acceptable style of guffaw on a par with coffee table favourites Nouvelle Vague? Here’s a bit of info on the band via the Soundcloud page of their excellently named record label Hell Yeah

Let’s keep it simple, this dance meets jazz concept started as a joke: take a bunch of friends, discover that they are highly talented jazz musicians and propose them to do something a bit different, play and perform your favourite E-dance / alternative hits / chill out timeless classics into their contemporary jazz style…. shake it as it was your cocktail of choice and you have Serotonin Fuelled Jazz Covers.

3iO are Richard Maggioni (piano), Juan Manuel Moretti (double bass) Matteo Giordani (drums), they are not newcomers in the italian jazz circuit, they have already two albums on their back and with BACK TO NEW ROOTS they challenge themself with a new repertoire: Fat Boy Slim, Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, Royskopp, Underworld, Spiller, DJ Shadow… just as you never heard them before.

So is this “serious” music? Or is it just a big joke that can be easily dismissed as not being worthy of much attention? While there is definitely a smirking knowingness about this project, the lol-factor is not all that great and I think some of this album actually sounds really good. But I will leave it up to you to decide whether this is “real” music or not (bearing in mind that we’re big fans of both Zappa and Sparks here, two acts who feel no fear of adding humor to their work): 
 
3iO “Right Here Right Now” (original by Fat Boy Slim)
 

 
 
3iO “Born Slippy (nuxx)” (original by Underworld)
 

 
 
3iO “Organ Donor” (original by DJ Shadow)
 

 
 
You can hear (and purchase) 3iO’s album Back To New Roots in full here.

Thanks Tara!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment