Cover's Paradise

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Riding With The King



John Hiatt - Riding With The King - Buy

Eric Clapton & B.B. King - Riding With The King - Buy


How can a song called Riding With The King sung by the one and only B.B. King (together with Eric Clapton) be anything but a King original??
Maybe that's what I thought, because I needed some time to realize that this was actually a John Hiatt song. Nevertheless it seems like it has been written for Clapton and King as it marks - in my opinion - the best track of their 2000 collaboration album. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Piece Of My Heart

Erma Franklin

Erma Franklin - Piece Of My Heart

Big Brother & The Holding Company [vocals by Janis Joplin] - Piece Of My Heart

The King - Piece Of My Heart


Originally performed by Erma Franklin, this is (once and for all) not a Janis Joplin song. There was a post on moistworks about Piece Of My Heart just recently but I knew that I had to do one too since I had heard Erma Franklin's version on Soul Sides Volume One some weeks before.
There are some great versions of this song, so don't get me wrong: Joplin did a great job covering it. However, I still think Erma's version is (by far) the best. Anyway, listen to the samples and find your own favourite(s)!

The third version today comes from an Irish singer named James Brown (sic!). Calling himself The King he covers songs originally or famously sung by artists, who have already passed away - performed in an Elvis style. And guess what: his first album is titled Gravelands. Nice concept (for a short time career), good music: The King.

Some more versions (including one by Dusty Springfield) are still online at moistworks. The "original" post comes from O-Dub and dates back to May 2004 featuring two songs that made it on the first Soul Sides sampler nearly two years later.

Happy birthday, Bob

Today is Bob Dylan's 65th birthday. Nothing more to be said.



Monday, May 22, 2006

Dylan Covers - Vol. Two

Fairpoint Convention - Unhalfbricking (1969)

Fairpoint Convention - Si Tu Dois Partir - Buy

Fairpoint Convention - Million Dollar Bash - Buy

Bob Dylan - Million Dollar Bash [live] - Info


Fairpoint Convention were the number one British folk rock band at the end of the 60s. They covered a few Dylan songs including Jack O'Diamonds, I'll Keep It With Mine and Percy's Song. The following tracks were taken from their 1969 Unhalfbricking longplayer.

The first one is a great French cover version of If You Gotta Go, Go Now called Si Tu Dois Partir (the Dylan version was released in 1985 on Biograph). The second track is a cover of Million Dollar Bash. Dylan's original version of that song was released on The Basement Tapes in 1975 and it took 30 years before he finally played it live on stage. This performance (London, November 21 2005) is today's bonus track. Hope you enjoy it. Please leave a comment.

All the best &
have a great week!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Great Balls Of Fire

Jerry Lee Lewis (photo: Folke Myrvang)
photo: Folke Myrvang

Elton John - Great Balls Of Fire [live]

Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls Of Fire ['vaudeville' version]


The audio samples were taken from archive.org and The Last Rock'N'Roll Wildman.

In 2002 Elton John shared stage with singer-songwriter Ryan Adams in Nashville during a taping for CMT Crossroads. During the show they played a variety of songs, including Adams' material as well as some classics. Before closing the concert with a great version of Rocket Man, Elton John took the lead on one of the greatest piano rocking tunes of all time: Great Balls Of Fire, which was made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis back in the 1950s.

By the way, you can get the whole (great) show at archive.org. A review can be found at CMT.com.

The second pick today is not really a cover, but an alternate (rare) version of Great Balls Of Fire from Jerry Lee himself recorded in 1975 and sometimes referred to as the 'vaudeville' version. Quite different but still great.

further information:
Jerry Lee Lewis
Elton John

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hurt

I found a few YouTube videos on some of my favourite blogs just recently (two great ones on soul-sides for example) and so I decided to do a video post myself. It's truely one of the best cover versions ever and it has a tremendously powerful video clip to go along with.

Ladies and gentleman, the one and only: Johnny Cash.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret Agent Man (Spoofe Artwork)
Spoofe Artwork

Mel Tormé - Secret Agent Man - Buy

The Ventures - Secret Agent Man - Buy


It's spy time on Cover's Paradise. The theme to the television thriller Secret Agent Man (written by P.F. Sloan and S. Barri) was probably Johnny Rivers' biggest hit and Sloan's simple, yet extremely effective guitar riff has quickly developed into a rock standard. Today, I'd like to put your attention on two out of the uncountable cover versions of this song, both from the 1960s.

The first one comes from jazz-pop vocalist Mel Tormé. Born 1925 in Chicago, he released his first album at the end of the 40s. From that on Tormé (nicknamed "The Velvet Fog") managed to keep his career succesfully going for 5 decades releasing albums and offering powerful live performances until the mid 90s.
The first song I heard from Tormé was his brilliant Right Now featured on the dancefloor jazz vol. 11 sampler, which has been released by the Mojo, a club on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, Germany. Some time later I discovered his great version of Secret Agent Man on yet another sampler, which also originated from a club, the Soulsugar in Vienna. They released a CD called recovered including various cover versions of popular songs in soulful cover versions.

The second track today comes from the Ventures. Formed in 1959, they have been one of the most popular instrumental rock bands recording many songs that soon became classics. Until today they are releasing new records as well as performing live. So if you have the chance to see one of their (few) concerts, check them out!

further information:
Johnny Rivers
Mel Tormé
The Ventures

Mojo
Soul Sugar

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dylan Covers - Vol. One



Sophie Zelmani - Most Of The Time - Buy

Magnet & Gemma Hayes - Lay Lady Lay - Video - Buy


As I already mentioned in my last post, there are tons and tons (and tons) of cover versions of Bob Dylan songs and quite a few internet pages dedicated to list all (or at least some) of them. Of course (like mostly in the Dylan internet world) some of this pages have quite suitable names, which are either quotes from or the title of a Dylan song or album.
It would go too far to state that I know a huge part of the versions on this pages or that I'm a collector of Dylan covers. However, I know quite a few and decided to share some of my favourites with you from time to time.
As always, any feedback is highly appreciated. If you have suggestions for future posts in this series or want to point my attention at some specific cover version, just leave a comment or drop me a line since it's always a pleasure to hear from you!

Let's start things off with a female cover version. It's taken from the soundtrack of Masked And Anonymous (a 2003 movie starring Bob Dylan alongside names such as Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, John Goodman or Jessica Lange) and it's a very relaxed version of Most Of The Time.
By the way, Dylan's original version (released on the 1989 Lanois-produced Oh Mercy album) had also been used for a movie soundtrack.

The second song today comes from the British band Magnet featuring vocals by Gemma Hayes. It's a cool version of Dylan's Lay Lady Lay and to be honest I didn't know about this one until I found it on Liza's copy, right?-blog a few days ago (thanks for that!). And in my opinion it goes along just fine with the Zelmani track.

further research:
Dylan Cover Albums
It Ain’t Me, Babe
Everything They Could Steal - Greatest Dylan Covers
Rolling Stone Rare Trax 45

Sophie Zelmani
Magnet
Gemma Hayes

Still to come: Dylan Covers - Vol. Two featuring a great British band from the late 60s, early 70s. Any guesses can be posted in the comments section.

Have a nice day and enjoy the music!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Change Is Gonna Come

Deep Beneath The Waves Talk That Talk

Bob Dylan - A Change Is Gonna Come [live] - Info

Rick Vito - Change Is Gonna Come [instrumental] - Buy


Bob Dylan is probably better known for other people covering his songs (actually there are several internet pages on that huge subject). But this time it's just the other way 'round.
I first learned about A Change Is Gonna Come from Dylan's 2004 live version from the Apollo Theatre (released on the bootleg album Deep Beneath The Waves) and didn't care much about the original song by Sam Cooke at that time. Things changed however, after I read Marcus Greil's book Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan At The Crossroads, in which he also writes about the influence Sam Cooke had on Dylan's music. This very recommendable book made me listen to a lot of music and so I finally discovered the great work of Sam Cooke.
A few weeks ago former Fleetwood Mac-guitarist Rick Vito played at a small venue in my hometown. I haven't heard much about him before and really enjoyed the concert, bought myself his current CD and discovered a wonderful instrumental version of A Change Is Gonna Come. Hope you like it!

further reading:
http://www.samcooke.com
http://www.bobdylan.com
http://www.rickvito.com

Friday, May 12, 2006

Over The Rainbow

Facing Future La Scala

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow - What A Wonderful World - Buy
Keith Jarrett - Over The Rainbow - Buy

This song written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg was made famous by Judy Garland, who sang it in the 1939 film classic The Wizard Of Oz.

The song has been covered many many times by all kinds of artists from different musical directions (see this wikipedia article for a selection). One of my favourite versions comes from hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole from his 1993 album Facing Future. Beside being part of the soundtrack to Meet Joe Black and Finding Forrester this version was also used in various TV commercials and I'm sure lots of folks have heard it before. However the story and other music of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole seems far less known than this one song. The record is a medley including also a nice version of the Louis Armstrong-hit What A Wonderful World (George Weiss/Bob Thiele). Very simple arrangement but still one of my all-time favourites. So, don't misuse it for commercials!

Another great version of this song comes from jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. The track was recorded live at Teatro alla Scala, Milan in early 1995 and released on the La Scala album.
Although Jarrett's concerts are completely improvised there are some (more or less accurate) transcriptions of his concerts available. So, if you are into piano playing and you like Jarrett's music, take a look at keithjarrett.org.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_Rainbow
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Garland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Kamakawiwo'ole
http://www.keithjarrett.org