Thursday, August 17, 2006


A Freight Train Running Through My Head

Some continuity with yesterdays post, today I will be featuring cover versions of a song written by a main stream artist, that also has a penchant for covering his fellow artists, who despite his mass popularity doesn't mind annoying his public if necessary, he wrote one of the best Vietnam fallout songs ever and has also done his bit for aids awareness. So who am I talking about? Bruce that's who the author of one the most punk but then again un punk songs that I know which was part of the soundtrack to my teenage years, though I will admit it took me a lot longer to get into the album of the same name, probably not before the late eighties! The 'Born To Run Single' I had bought on 7" vinyl and despite the 'Future of Rock 'n' Roll' tag that hung above his head I was not amongst the audience of his Hammersmith Odeon gigs. I can remember that at the time of its release I found 'The River' to be a big disappointment. At about the same period I caught the Pointer Sisters on Top Of The Pops performing 'Fire' a song given to them by Bruce, now this was more like it a big upfront slice of sultry sexy pop music, and obviously I was not the only person that liked it.
The song that is being featured today is none other than 'I'm On Fire' that contains the classic line that gives today's post its title, from the first time that I heard these lines I loved them, the image of it really said something to me (too many hangovers maybe). The song originally featured on his breakthroughugh album 'Born In The USA' that turned him into one of the biggest pulls on the worlds stages and has proven to be a firm favorite having been rerecorded by numerous artists including the three that I have chosen today, Big Country with alive version recorded at one of London's more intimate venues Dingwalls that is half country and half hillbilly jig. Another live take on the song, comes from long time favorite signer songwriter of mine Heather Nova, that for my ears does the song more than justice. The last of today's trio is the only cover from an American artist Tom Russell, a pleasing enough straight country run through. Russell himself is a talented songwriter whose compositions have been covered my many big names including Johnny Cash and K.D. Lang. As already mentioned there are cover version available of 'I'm On Fire' by artists as wide ranging as P.J. Proby, Tory Amos, Guana Batz and Little Milton though it should come as no surprise to you that song also turned up in the ever capable hands of Johnny Cash.

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