Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cover Concerns? Call Casey (867-5309)

Geoff Trainor

Back in high school, Casey and I used to spend hours downloading punk covers. It was probably a bit excessive. A lot of the songs were pretty awful, but many were actually quite good. Recently I'd been thinking of doing a theme list based around pop punk covers, but the idea got pushed to the back of my mind.

Fortunately or unfortunately, as was driving to work yesterday morning and Tommy Tutone's Jenny (867-5309) came on the radio. This being one of my favourite covers, the idea came back. Unfortunately, some of the best punk covers are of the worst songs, so I will not include the original versions this time out. Another problem is that pop punk covers are so inaccurately labeled, but I've done my best to find out who the band is that covered them. Of course, many are obvious from simply listening.

Fraggles Try Their Hand At Allister's Cover

20) Allister - Fraggle Rock (MP3)
This is one of the best theme covers I've heard. I used to love Fraggle Rock, so this cover automatically gets points with me. I've played this for a couple people at work on a mix CD and always get good reactions.

19) Social Distortion - Ring Of Fire (MP3)
I'm not so much a fan of Social Distortion fan, but I love Johnny Cash. Usually I would be against a Cash cover as he is known for his voice, and it would be a big undertaking to try and get it right without pissing off a lot of fans. They manage to pull it off nicely though.

18) Adolescents - House of the Rising Sun (MP3)
I once played this song for a friend from work, Steve. You see, he likes the Animals' original song quite a bit. The song starts off with the familiar whine from the guitar and his face lit up...and then the singing started. He was just absolutely disgusted with this scratchy voiced punk ruining one of his favourite songs. I don't know, I love it.

17) Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons (MP3)
I can't believe it. I almost finished the list without including this song. I used to listen to Stomping Ground almost religiously back in my limited CD collection days. A lot of my favourite Goldfinger songs to this day, come from that CD. 99 Red Balloons is one of those songs.

16) Blink 182 - Jenny (867-5309) (MP3)
Some of you might start to think I'm a huge Blink fan now after having two themed lists inspired by them. You can't help buy like this cover. Blink 182, once kings of catchy pop-punk hooks, make me tolerate having this song stuck in my head a lot more. Update: The band behind this one is Bracket, not Blink as it has been labeled.

15) MXPX - Summer of '69 (MP3)
Bryan Adams used to be alright, back in the 80's. This song, from his '84 album, Reckless, is from that era. Cheese but lovable cheese. MXPX do the original justice and then some. I'm not really overly enthusiastic about MXPX, but their covers are always entertaining. Maybe they should take Me First's job.

14) Gob - Paint It Black (MP3)
These guys were sort of the Canadian punk celebrities on Much Music back before the whole pop punk craze with Sum 41. Then they slowly faded into the background. They only released two solid albums, but along the way they have done some great songs.

The Vandals - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (MP3)
I'm a fan of Sherry Bobbins and The Vandals, so this song is just a fun little addition. If you thought that was a hard word to say, try saying it sped up to punk standards.

12) Green Day - My Generation (MP3)
This cover of The Who's classic comes from Green Day's 1992 album Kerplunk. You know, before there was a Dookie? This is a fun cover from a time when Green Day was awesome. Don't get me wrong, the new album is the best one they've put out in years, but this is the real Green Day.

The Unseen - Beat It (MP3)
I like Michael Jackson's Thriller album. I admit it. I used to own it on tape, and I've been meaning to get around to buying it on CD. The cover however turns me off a bit. The Unseen's cover is better than the original, which isn't too hard. Some speculate that their name is derived from their low opinion of themselves after creating this cover. Or maybe not.

10) Dropkick Murphys - Amazing Grace (MP3)
I love Dropkick Murphys. These guys are just simply amazing. This is a purely instrumental cover of Amazing Grace using Dropkick's signature bagpipe/guitar combo. Everytime I listen to them I feel ashamed that I still have none of their albums. That's it, I'm going out and buying one tomorrow.

9) Pennywise - Stand By Me (MP3)
For me, Pennywise have always been a lesser Bad Religion. Well, at least until they released From the Ashes (which they tried to recreate with their follow-up, Fuse). With that said, this cover is one of the best I've heard. I've never liked the original song up until hearing this cover. They build it up nicely, and then just let loose with a great solo by guitarist Fletcher Dragge.

8) No Use For A Name - Turning Japanese (MP3)
Everyone likes the Vapors' classic Turning Japanese. Add a faster tempo and some overdrive and you have No Use For A Name's cover. This track is often mistakenly labeled as being Incubus. How anyone could confuse this for Incubus is beyond me.

Lagwagon - Kids In America (MP3)
I know Casey doesn't like this version one as much as the one on the Clueless soundtrack (Yeah, we both own it. Check out the songlist and tell me it's bad, I dare ya!), which is also a cover, but I always have had a fondness for it. Both are better than the Kim Wilde original.

6) Me First & The Gimme Gimmes - Science Fiction Double Feature (MP3)
Anyone who is a fan of pop punk probably knows of this of punk cover supergroup. Composed of members from Lagwagon, NoFX, No Use For A Name, Swingin' Utters and Foo Fighters, Me First has always been a staple of my psuedo-punk collection. These guys sound great together. I would really like to see them release some original material as their punk cover albums have been growing stale. Still, can't beat the cover of the Rocky Horror classic from Are a Drag.

Geoff Is To Be Stoned To Death
Okay, I Get It. Beatles Are Great...No Really...Put That Down

5) 88 Fingers Louie - Help! (MP3)
Clocking at under two minutes, loud guitar and quick drumming is what makes this cover. The singing is alright, but the instrumentals are great. I''m asking for a rock to the head, but I actually enjoy this more than the Beatles' original. I love the Beatles, but this is one of my least favourite Beatles song. No Rocky Raccoon or Eleanor Rigby.

4) Ten Foot Pole - Joy to the World (MP3)
This song makes me giggle . . . or at the very least crack a smile. This cover appeared on the band's '93 album Swill. Sadly, I own one Ten Foot Pole album and it's not that one. Great band, great cover.

3) Wise Crack - Come Undone (MP3)
I'm not a big fan of mainstream 80's music, but I like Duran Duran. Wise Crack do an excellent job with this song. It ended up an almost every playlist I made back in grade 12. Sadly, the band disbanded. I remember looking up info on this band during CO-OP class. I suppose they had a point when they said I wasn't using my time efficiently.

2) Screeching Weasel - You Are My Sunshine (MP3)
I love Ben Weasel's voice, I always have. The right combination of nasal and scratchy. Mix in some group singing and a simple yet effective guitar solo, and you've got the making of a great cover. In fact it has always been one of my favourite covers, and likely always will be.

1) Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World (MP3)
There was no debating this. Taken from Joey Ramone's solo album, Don't Worry About Me, this is the obvious choice for number one. "Don't Worry..." was Joey's last recording before he died of lymphoma in 2001. His cover of Louis Armstrong's classic is a fitting end to an impressive career.

And so ends yet another Mocking Music list. I was only planning on doing a small list this time out, but everytime I thought I was done, I would add another song. This major difference with this list is that the theme is tied to a genre. Mind you, it is a genre with a multitude of sub-genres and offshoots. Still, this could cause for a very hit or miss theme. Still, I enjoyed it, and am already working on two more lists. Don't worry, they are more open to different genres.

Feel free to comment and tell me if you think I've mis-identified any of the artists. The same goes if you think I've credited the original song to the wrong person. I will comment back and tell you that you are wrong, unless you are right of course. In that case I will likely still say you are wrong, but will do it with less cocky superiority.

Allister - Fraggle Rock (Theme)
Social Distortion - Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
Adolescents - House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons (Nena)
Blink 182 - Jenny (867-5309) (Tommy Tutone)
MXPX - Summer of '69 (Bryan Adams)
Gob - Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones)
The Vandals - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins)
Green Day - My Generation (The Who)
Unseen - Beat It (Michael Jackson)
Dropkick Murphys - Amazing Grace (John Newton)
Pennywise - Stand By Me (Ben E. King)
No Use For A Name - Turning Japanese (The Vapors)
Lagwagon - Kids In America (Kim Wilde)
Me First & The Gimme Gimmes - Science Fiction Double Feature (Rocky Horror)
88 Fingers Louie - Help! (The Beatles)
Ten Foot Pole - Joy to the World (Three Dog Night)
Wise Crack - Come Undone (Duran Duran)
Screaching Weasel - You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis)
Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

Green Day - Kerplunk
Me First & The Gimme Gimmes - Are a Drag
Ten Foot Pole - Swill
Goldfinger - Stomping Ground
Dropkick Murphys - Sing Loud, Sing Proud
Joey Ramone - Don't Worry About Me

Can I Have That On The Side, Please?
Songs In The Key Of M
This Is A Long Song For Someone With Nothing To Think About
Sunny Days...
Who Are You Calling A Narcissist?
Jesus, Mocking Music Loves You Too
Yes, But Is It Heart?
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
No Pan Troglodyte Business Here
Everything Is Automatic

Comments on "Cover Concerns? Call Casey (867-5309)"


Anonymous Adam said ... (16/5/06 7:40 pm) : 

That's a band called Bracket that plays 867-5309, not Blink 182. The song appeared on a compilation called "before you were punk."


Anonymous mike said ... (16/5/06 9:25 pm) : 

"Ring of Fire" should be number 1!


Blogger Geoff Trainor said ... (17/5/06 12:05 am) : 

Thanks, I really didn't think it was Blink, since it doesn't sound much like thme vocally, but I could never find out who it is. It's always labeled as Blink.


Blogger Alisa said ... (17/5/06 1:38 am) : 

Love it, love it, love it!

Is there a "Cover Concerns? vol II" in the works?


Blogger Geoff Trainor said ... (17/5/06 2:27 am) : 

It is definately a possibility, but I have other projects I'm currently working on first.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (17/5/06 5:46 am) : 

Thanks for the covers!


Anonymous Jamie said ... (17/5/06 10:18 am) : 

That's a great list of punk covers! I totally agree with #1. I'd like to submit for your next covers list: anything from the Less Than Jake Greesed album- tracks from the musical "Grease" covered by my favorite punk/ska band.


Anonymous Bronwyn said ... (17/5/06 12:25 pm) : 

I'm pretty sure that "House of the Rising Sun" is a traditional folk song, and didn't originate with the Animals. Even Bob Dylan sang someone else's arrangement of it (can't remember his name at the moment).


Blogger Geoff Trainor said ... (17/5/06 1:01 pm) : 

Thanks, after looking into further, this is what I found.



Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (17/5/06 3:07 pm) : 

Yeah, I actually have Before You Were Punk Vol. 1 and 2 - the first one is definately worth getting.

And House of Rising Sun is trad - I assume that's what the link says.


Blogger Culley said ... (17/5/06 6:27 pm) : 

A Fraggle Rock cover! Sweet deal!


Blogger Martin said ... (18/5/06 9:23 pm) : 

Right on the mark with that Green Day comment.. kids nowadays and their 'American Idiot'... tsk tsk


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