Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Alvin Lives in Leeds

Back in March I posted something with a track off this album, and after yesterday's covers episode I found myself in the mood for more of the same. On the subject of which those of you that like cover versions, and I know there are a lot of you, could do worse than visiting the blog of reference Copy Right, where you should find enough to keep you happy. The album I am featuring today is another various artist benefit from 1990 that was intended to raise funds for the Can't Pay Won't Pay campaign. Their reason to be was to fight the Thatcher led Conservative government's new tax laws , which basically was a new tax on people where they lived that gave them the right to vote, obvious this was little more than a way of deterring the poor from having their say.
In terms of music it is a 100% covers album with several name bands and as usual a whole load of lesser known names, but the music is as worthy as the cause was.
Cud - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Indeed a reprise of the Queen song that everyone bought a copy of way back and then spent the rest of their lives denying it. Don't forget that this was the song that kick started the idea of pop videos. Cud themselves have recently reformed to give their career a second chance, and their version bares little resemblance to the original. Note that the 10 seconds of silence around the 90 second mark was indeed intended.
Wedding Present - 'Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)'. The original being for me Steve Harley's finest moment and the song where he gets the closest to sounding like his hero Bob Dylan, it was also the song that gave him his biggest hit. Again rather different from the original, I'm never quite sure whether David Gedge actually likes the song as he seems to be in rather a hurry to get to the end of it. Cover versions were obviously important to Gedge as in it was in the mid nineties that the Weddoes released a single a month for a year containing other peoples songs
The 14 Iced Bears - 'Summer Nights'. Another song that no one will own up to having purchased though someone must have as it was a big hit taken from the film Grease and interpreted by the films two stars Olivia Newton John and john Travolta. At the time I hated the song and my sister who is eighteen months younger me loved it. As for the band with the childish name I know nothing about them except that were linked to the C86 movement but were a lot less jangly than other bands having a penchant for a fuzzy proto-punk sound as displayed here.
Crocodile Ride - 'I Feel Love'. Yes the Donna Summer song that helped to launch disco and managed to make your parents feel awkward. The band I know nothing at all about though I do like their stomping guitar led reading of the song.
Robyn Hitchcock - 'Kung Fu Fighting'. The original was a big novelty hit for Carl Douglas that very quickly got on your nerves, I have vague memories of him performing this on TOTP complete with, yes, kung fu moves. Despite having little time for Robyn Hitchcock, but that's a long story from a long time ago, I do like this version that is delivered accapella style.
The Perfect Disaster - 'Wandrin' Star'. My favorite from the album and for very personal reasons. The original was performed by the actor Lee Marvin who it must be said was certainly no singer, and is from the soundtrack of the film Paint Your Wagon. The film must be from the late sixties or early seventies, so I was still a boy, I can remember that my parents had gone to see it. The result was that my father who is also a non singer and has no sense of rhythm refused to stop singing this around the house much to the chagrin of my mother. Again a band I don't know, but they do manage to stay true to the original and they put a smile on my face.

Comments:
Intriguing LP. I finally tracked down a copy a few years ago and my main reason for grabbing it was Lush's version of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep which was originally preformed by "Middle of The Road"

Thanks to You Tube there are now some "Middle of the Road" videoclips to watch which reminds me I should track down some Lush footage.
 
You have NO idea how happy you have made me! I have the awesome Cud version of BR on tape (very worn, very knackered, and much shared). The sound of listening to it on my computer is just brilliant (and the silence is fabulous!!! It cracked me up when I first heard it!)
 
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