Saturday, February 24, 2018

I Saw Her Standing There

I actually find the Who—despite being one of the five greatest bands in rock history—a bit hit or miss when it comes to their covers. When they're on, they're phenomenal but, for some reason, many of their covers are just kinda okay. And when you're dealing with a band of their stature and ability, just okay is not something that really passes muster.

But this...this is pretty damn glorious. And its tossed-off character makes it clear that had they practiced it even a tiny bit and then given a damn about the final performance—meaning, if any three of them, much less all four of them were sober—it could literally have been the greatest cover of any Beatles song ever. And that is a high damn bar to clear.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ray of Light

Thanks to this Rolling Stone article, I discovered that this big and great Madonna hit was a cover. Who knew? Obviously, many, but not I.

But as I read elsewhere, it's not so much a cover as a reimagining, really. Not a deconstruction, but a dramatic reinterpretation, not only changing its setting from its folky original to a new and insanely propulsive dance beat, but also moving it from a dark, minor-inflected feel to the upbeat version that's best known today.

It's worth noting that the track features future Attractions bassist Bruce Thomas, but (sadly) not former Bodast bandmate Steve Howe. Ah, well. Such is life.

Of course, great as the original is, and Madge's reinvention, the finest version remains the phenomenal Sex Pistols mashup.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Ray of Gob

One of the first and still the single greatest mashup I've ever heard. What we have here is no less than one of the truly great supergroups ever, in itself an extreme rarity: two disparate yet tremendously important artists, Madonna (perennially underrated by rock and roll fans due to her choices of genres and her gender) and the Sex Pistols (perhaps the most underrated famous band ever), coming together to create something unique and brilliant. In other words, it's two great tastes that taste great together. It's a shame that they never actually existed in reality.

It's worth remembering that Madonna came out of the underground, and something of a street urchin, the kind of poor, struggling artist which many of the early middle-class punks could only wish they were. Stripping away the original's dance beat and replacing it with the incisive, searing guitar of Steve Jones and the feral, punishing drums of Pete Cook works so much better than it should. And yet if you didn't know any of the original tracks, you'd have no idea this was a mashup. It takes two (or, really, three) brilliant recordings and manages to create an entire new and equally brilliant piece of art by mashing them together. This isn't why the internet was created, but it should have been.

Madge should really do a short run of club dates backed by only a small punk combo.

And I feel like I just got home

Monday, February 19, 2018


So how on earth did I miss this? It is awesome and very nearly rock and roll happiness personified:

I am incapable of hearing that song without thinking about how staggeringly homoerotic it is and how delightful it is that it literally doesn't seem to have ever occurred to the lads, and once it finally did, in the 00s, Ringo was all, "the hell with it—I'm Ringo: I do what I want."

To which I can only say: damn skippy. Rock on, Ringo.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Smells Like Teen Spirit

I'm obviously engaging in hyperbole when I say this is approaching war crime territory...but not by much.