Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sweeping The Nation Covermount 6: You Probably Think This Song Is About You

The sixth in our occasional but monthly at the moment series of mixtapes (Sendspace, ZIP file, you know by now) is a single download, which is good for us as much as it is for you. It's also simpler to explain than last month's, as those of you who voted for it in our snap poll a couple of weeks back will appreciate. It's songs about or named after other artists, whether in tribute or to prove an auxiliary point. Got that? Good...

You Probably Think This Song Is About You

Dexys Midnight Runners - Geno [Searching For The Young Soul Rebels]
We open with Kevin Rowland's effusive tribute to the man, and the Ram Jam Band, he skipped school to see live in 1968, only to at the end caution that he himself is now the bigger star. Which is hardly a glowing conclusion

Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music [Sweet Soul Music]
Mind you, some were paying tribute to the soul legends while they were still at their height, this released in 1967 by Otis Redding's protege

Van Morrison - Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile) [Saint Dominic's Preview]
The legendarily grumpy Van The Man fancies himself as a soul man every so often. What Wilson said long before his plasticine internment was that it was Reet Petite. How writer Berry Gordy Jnr picked up on Geordie dialect isn't known.

Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Sweet Gene Vincent [New Boots And Panties!!]
Like the hero worshipping Dury, rockabilly pioneer Vincent was struck down by a withered leg, in his case a motorcycle accident while stationed with the US Navy, but overcame it with only a similar in both cases mike stance to suggest the problem

Heinz - Just Like Eddie [Just Like Eddie: The Anthology]
Gene Vincent was injured in the taxi crash in Chippenham that claimed fellow rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran's life. Three years later Heinz Burt, scion (and for a short time boyfriend) of Joe Meek and former member of the Tornados, took him back into the top five

Johnny Cash - The Night Hank Williams Came To Town [Johnny Cash Is Coming To Town]
Lots of songs reference Hank - The The brought out an entire covers album entitled Hanky Panky - but Cash, not in a great place within the Nashville orthodoxy at the time, nails the place and time particularly well

The Replacements - Alex Chilton [Pleased To Meet Me]
The great drunken Minneapolis blues-punk anthemists hail their Big Star-leading hero on their lesser, one member down penultimate album. Chilton hated it, apparently

Robyn Hitchcock - Listening To The Higsons [Invisible Hitchcock]
Obscurities at work here - not so much Hitchcock, whose Barrettesque British pastoral whimsy with the Soft Boys and solo is high in its field, but the superior but small selling Norwich high-energy punk-funkers led by Switch, real name Charlie Higson (the famous comedy one, yes)

The Fall - I Am Damo Suzuki [This Nation's Saving Grace]
Mark, Damo Suzuki was a Jehovah's Witness ex-busker whose mantras took Can through the prime of their Krautrock lives, and you are a drunk poet from Salford. And you've ripped off Oh Yeah from Can's Tago Mago for this too

Television Personalities - I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives [...And Don't The Kids Just Love It]
Cambridge, apparently - indeed it's claimed the TVPs were once invited to support Pink Floyd and earned Roger Waters' disgust by actually revealing the supposed address mid-song. Dan Treacy has been about as well as Syd of late too

Devendra Banhart - The Beatles [Cripple Crow]
Gah, those pesky freak folkers, eh? Where Donovan, Marc Bolan and Six Organs Of Admittance's Ben Chasny come into the Spanglish equation we're not so sure

Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson [Gordon]
Covered by Wilson at some of his early 00s comeback gigs, which given it's about his own post-Smile depression and withdrawl is good of him

Chris T-T - Eminem Is Gay [single]
Literate socio-political acoustic singer-songwriter compared to William Blake by the Sunday Times poses a "what if...?" poser that's unlikely to have gone down well round Shady way on past evidence

Jonathan Richman - Velvet Underground [I, Jonathan]
Richman actually hung out at the Factory aged eighteen and often cited them as his primary musical influence - witness the use of Sister Ray keyboards in his work. For his own part laughing boy Lou Reed once said "I will not be held responsible for Jonathan Richman"

Pavement - Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence [Crooked Rain Crooked Rain (Special Edition)]
Being Pavement, and this being their default position, it's hard to tell whether this 1994 tribute to REM originally on charity compilation No Alternative given Malkmus seems to suggest they had a part to play in the American Civil War

Minutemen - Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing [Double Nickels On The Dime]
No lyrical connection to Michael Jackson at all, we just wanted to put some Minutemen on a Covermount

The Period Pains - Spice Girls (Who Do You Think You Are?) [single]
Four 15 year olds apparently from Reading inspired by X-Ray Spex and Bikini Kill to make noisy, satirical, sassy teen-C punk circa 1997, and this was the closest they came to a hit. Mel C was a fan, allegedly. Inevitably. Less inevitably, singer Chloe Alper is now in proggers Pure Reason Revolution

My Robot Friend - We're The Pet Shop Boys [Hot Action!]
Spot-on pastiche from New York performance artists-cum-electronica turn. Excellently, the Pet Shop Boys covered it on the B-side of 2003 single Miracles. Less excellently, Robbie Williams then had a go on Rudebox with Neil and Chris on production and BVs

The French - Gabriel In The Airport [Local Information]
Here's a song we were set fair on getting onto this Covermount whatever happened. The French was a one album project by Darren Hayman and John Morrison after Hefner's split, although a Hefner version is on their rarities album Catfight. We may well bore you rigid about Hayman some day

The Auteurs - The Rubettes [How I Learned To Love The Bootboys]
Denim - The Osmonds [Back In Denim]
And to finish two songs by great British curmudgeons of the nineties, Luke Haines and Lawrence Hayward, that use paragons of 70s glam to take a production-wise similar but distinctly non-rose tinted, easy uncritically nostalgic look back at as much as they can think of from that decade. Does that make sense?

5 comments:

Mr Rossy said...

OMG, i can't believe you've included Period Pains, blast from the past !!!
Rx

Mr Rossy said...

Super uplifting mix, i bunked off work yesterday and listened !!

Super good, love Television Personalities track and Chris TT.

All the other tracks are obviously classic to !!

Good work
rx

Mr Rossy said...

Super uplifting mix, i bunked off work yesterday and listened !!

Super good, love Television Personalities track and Chris TT.

All the other tracks are obviously classic to !!

Good work
rx

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