Monday, August 10, 2009

Under the Covers: The Bedroom Files

The idea of doing an Under the Covers post for the Bedroom files was a gag too poor for me to ignore, so here it is.

It does at least help that, among the hundreds of singles hiding under my bed, there are one or two absolutely stonkin' cover versions on the B-sides.

So, before we put this whole thing to bed (further apologies), here they are...

Paul Weller - I Shall Be Released (Out of the Sinking, 1994)

Weller was always a fan of the odd cover on the b-sides of his singles (before going full-bore with the Studio 150 project) and none was better than this version of the Dylan classic, which he makes sound like his own even though we've all heard it a million times before.

Supergrass - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (Alright/Time, 1995)

Odd to think that this was my first introduction to a song the original of which I would come to count among my all-time favourites. When I first heard this as a musically-ignorant indie kid, I'd no idea that within a few years I'd have become a country nerd with a whole Kenny Rogers sub-section in the record collection. This being something of a country-funk song, it's ideal for Supergrass, who predictably nail it on what was their first big-label release.

Hole - Credit In The Straight World (Live) (Doll Parts, 1994)

I've never really made my mind up about Hole. It seems every time I listen to them, I love them, but something stops me from being an actual fan. Ah well. We won't worry about that. Either way, the Doll Parts single was one of the first CDs I bought (I can still remember the days when I had about 30 of them, and they were actually kept in order of acquisition - the mind boggles at trying to do that now). On it was this, a fine version of the track from the Young Marble Giants, Welsh post-punkers from the early 80s.

Kula Shaker - Hush (Hush, 1999)

Kula Shaker were one of those talented bands that ended up being all too short-lived in their careers because, well, they just didn't seem quite geniune enough. So faithfully did they echo late 60s psychedelia that it never really seemed much more than a novelty. It's a shame, because some of their stuff, not least Grateful When You're Dead, was fantastic. In the only one of these covers to be anything more than a B-side, here they tackle the Joe South-penned Deep Purple classic Hush with typical gusto.

Manic Street Preachers - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (Australia, 1996)

In some ways, this sounds as though the Manics just tossed it off at the end of a recording session, but when the original material is this strong, you can only go so far wrong. Originally recorded by Frankie Valli in 1967 but nailed by Andy Williams a year later, this song has now been covered more times than the cracks in Madonna's make-up.

And with that, we'll close the door on my old room. Until the next time...

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