Behold the answers to Friday’s Fiver…now with VIDEO!
Track 1: Super Freak Cover – Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs
Now, folks…listen to these two back to back – original first, then cover. Regardless whether you LIKE the bluegrass version, you have GOT to give credit where credit is due. The arrangement on the cover is MASTERFUL. Holy crap in a basket!
Of course, I love Rick James as much as any coke snortin’, video dancin’ hoochie , and his version definitely has its place. But if I’m going to listen to this song, it will be the Hornsby/Skaggs version every time. Bruce is a good ol’ Virginia boy and practically family since he’s from the Burg right down the road – (that’d be Williamsburg) – and I’ve loved him since the Range days and “Scenes from the Southside”.
I hadn’t listened to much any Skaggs before this, but I fell for him by the the first lick of “The Dreaded Spoon” on this collaborative CD. Hunt it down and have a listen – great song!
Original: Rick James
Track 2: Pure Imagination Cover: Smoking Popes
I just can’t call this one – I can’t. I love them both for totally different reasons.
I adore Gene Wilder and of course his version is poignant and wistful and brings back memories of snuggling with Mom in the godawful baby blue recliner (yes, honestly – it was baby blue) and watching Willie Wonka on TV. When I hear this version, I can *almost* remember what Mom’s hair smelled like. Wait – that may be the reason I can’t ever get all the way through this version…
I love the Smoking Popes cover because I can actually enjoy the song and the lyrics without being deluged by a flood of memories. And, it’s a beautiful song. I think the Popes make it more joyful, and that makes me happy. Okay, I lied – I can call it.
Track 3: Dead Flowers Cover: Deer Tick
Okay, FIRST of all… I want credit for restraining myself and not posting Townes Van Zandt’s cover of this, which I hold more dear than all others. But if I had to pick a second it would be Deer Tick’s – mainly because this kid (John McCauley) just tickles me. He’s one of those new artists with an old soul. If you haven’t checked his band out, you should. He first hooked me with Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin) and sealed the deal with Cake and Eggs.
(Plus…I adore his website. Go look – you’ll see why. 😉 )
Oh, and the Stones? Well – they’re the Stones. Meh.
Original: The Rolling Stones
Track 4: Sunday Morning Cover: Beck and Friends
If you haven’t heard about Beck’s Record Club yet…well, you’re just going to have to click the link and do the research yourself. I can’t explain Beck – I just enjoy him.
Again – tie on these two for me. Can’t and won’t choose, so there.
(And I’m NOT just saying that because I’m writing this at 3:22 am and I REALLY want to go to bed. I swear.)
(crosses arms, stamps foot, glares belligerently)
Original: Velvet Underground
Track 5: Jolene Cover: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Well – first of all, it’s a Dolly Parton song, so Dolly wins. Dolly is AHHHHmazing and no one can ever sing her songs better. Now, many covers of her songs are very, very good – but that’s because she’s an incredibly talented songwriter.
Having SAID that, I gotta say that I do love me some Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. They just flat out rock, and it’s fun to listen to them. I love it when folks don’t take themselves too seriously – and these dudes could NEVER be accused of that.
Both are for the win.
Original: Dolly Parton
Sooooo. Now that you can hear them all side by side…(or back to back…or on top of each other – whatever.) What say you now? Any new opinions?