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SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 69)

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King Biscuit Time is the name under which Steve Mason of The Beta Band released his solo material.  The No Style EP is typical of what one writer described as “a combination transmogrified of Psychedelic, House, Dancehall, Pop, Folk, Hip-Hop and electronics into Mason’s his wide-screen, surround-sound international around-the-world-in-a-day Dada pop that exists in isolation to everything outside his own planet.”

The lead-off track is quite magnificent and dancey while the other two vocal tracks are quite lovely and soppy.  The instrumental track (Untitled) is just a wee bit too noodly for my liking though but overall it’ll be a well worthy 15 minutes of your to take a listen:-

mp3 :King Biscuit Time – I Walk The Earth

mp3 : King Biscuit Time – Untitled

mp3 : King Biscuit Time – I Love You

mp3 : King Biscuit Time – Time To Get Up

CD single released in 2000 by Regal Recordings.

IT’S COVERS WEEK ON T(n)VV : DAY 5

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John-Peel

Lots of bands used John Peel sessions to record cover versions.  Many of these would later appear on b-sides under license from the BBC but in recent years there’s been a trend towards some of the bands most frequently invited into the studio to release all such material on CD album or within boxsets – The Fall, The Wedding Present, PJ Harvey and Magazine all spring to mind.  As do this lot:-

mp3 : The Delgados – Mr Blue Sky

mp3 : The Delgados – California Uber Alles

mp3 : The Delgados – Matthew and Son

mp3 : The Delgados – Last Rose of Summer

Stewart Henderson used the sleeve notes of the CD release to explain:-

The next session was scheduled to coincide with the release of ‘Hate’ and was recorded on 15 September 2002. This on was going to be a departure from previous sessions because we had decided to do four cover versions – we would choose three and John would be allowed to pick the fourth. John’s choice was ‘Last Rose of Summer’ by a Jamaican vocal group called The Symbols (also known as The Masters). This was a really enjoyable session to do although we all had individual problems with the songs that were chosen – Alun hated’Mr Blue Sky’ from the beginning and it took us forever to work out the outro; Paul had a nightmare doing the drums on ‘California Uber Alles’ and ‘Matthew and Son’ was a pain in the arse for me to play but overall the versions came out really well (for Alun’s sins we ended all our ‘Hate’ shows with ‘Mr Blue Sky’)

Oh and I’m with Alun Woodward on this.  I really hate the song Mr Blue Sky…..ok, I hate the original ELP version…The Delgados make it more than listenable.  And it’s a really good take on the Dead Kennedys classis as well.

Enjoy.

IT’S COVERS WEEK ON T(n)VV : DAY 4

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S-WC outlined all sorts of reasons why cover versions are recorded.  As he mentioned, sometimes it can be for a tribute album.  From wiki:-

The Smiths Is Dead is a tribute album to the 1980s’ English alternative rock band The Smiths, released in 1996. It was compiled by the French cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles and released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of 1986’s The Queen Is Dead. The album was released at the height of the Britpop phenomenon and contained covers by many popular Britpop acts such as The Boo Radleys, Supergrass, Bis and Placebo.

It’s very much a mixed bag and I think it’s accurate to say that none of the covers improve at all on the originals, but that would have been a near impossibility to begin with. The other biggest problems are that too many of the tracks fail to digress all that much from how The Smiths themselves recorded the songs or that the band asked to do the cover do so in a way that even Morrissey’s backing band would have been embarassed by the efforts.  However, an honourable mention must go to Boo Radleys for what is a hugely different take on the title track…..one that too me many years to really appreciate but nowadays is the only one I have on the i-pod :-

mp3 : Boo Radleys – The Queen Is Dead
mp3 : The High Llamas – Frankly, Mr. Shankly
mp3 : The Trash Can Sinatras – I Know It’s Over
mp3 : Billy Bragg – Never Had No One Ever
mp3 : The Frank & Walters – Cemetry Gates
mp3  : Placebo – Bigmouth Strikes Again
mp3 : Bis – The Boy with the Thorn in His Side
mp3 : Therapy? – Vicar in a Tutu
mp3 : The Divine Comedy – There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
mp3 : Supergrass – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Enjoy.

IT’S COVERS WEEK ON T(n)VV : DAY 3

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With thanks to SWC for mentioning these yesterday.  Covers of songs that are so well-known that I can be lazy and not provide background notes:-

mp3 : China Drum – Wuthering Heights

mp3 : Futureheads – Hounds Of Love

mp3 : Oasis – I Am The Walrus

mp3 : The Streets – Your Song

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Umbrella

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Back For Good

Enjoy.

FROM THE SOUTH-WEST CORRESPONDENT….WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX (10)

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It’s still covers week on T(n) VV:-

Whats in Your Box Part 10

Stanford Prison Experiment – ‘Cansado EP’

In reality this is a cover version special, but first a little word about Stanford Prison Experiment as their CD inspires today words.  Stanford Prison Experiment were a hardcore/punk band from California who released a couple of albums in the mid 90s. They were signed to World Domination Records (see Part 6 for more on that) and were led by a certain Mario Jiminez. Their second album The Gato Hunch was supposed to be their breakthrough record but they split soon after its release.

Cansado is taken from that album and to be honest it’s a bit forgettable and for the first time I haven’t posted the main song of the CD. It is standard American punk in the vein of but not as good as Fugazi and Black Flag. What stands this EP out from the rest of the crowd is its selection of B sides. All of them are cover versions. I have included one as the posting , which I have cunningly disguised to see if anyone out there can guess which song it is. Remember this is an LA Punk Band who were around in 1995. A bit of the clue, the song features on an Album which JC included in his recent 50 at 50 series (I think, or was it over at 17 Seconds, I forget). Anyway, cover versions. Everyone loves a good cover.

There are I think, five types of cover version and I will do my best to demonstrate my theory here.

Number One – The make the song your own – Best example I can think of is Wuthering Heights by China Drum. A cover version so good, that I now associate that song with them, rather than with Kate Bush. See also I suppose Hounds of Love by The Futureheads and I am The Walrus by Oasis.

Number Two – Do it for a Film – Difficult because its either going to be ironic, terrible or a cover of a great song. The best example I can think of here is Love Will Tear Us Apart by Honeyroot from film Red Road. Already a brilliant song and few would dare to cover it, but Honeyroot took it and stripped it bare and wrung every last inch of emotion and heatbreak out of It, making it even more beautiful and if you’ve watched the film, you’ll know why. It is in my opinion ‘The Best cover version Ever’. Heck, I thought I’d post it as well as it is so great, but if you don’t already own it, shame on you.

mp3 : Honeyroot – Love Will Tear Us Apart

Number Three – The Radio One/Aren’t we wacky/Tribute Album – You are in a ‘Live Lounge’ and you have to do a cover. So you do something awful and make it slightly less awful. Nearly every cover version recorded in Radio One’s Live Lounge is terrible. The only exceptions I have ever heard are Your Song by The Streets (which I put in category 1 now) and The Manic Street Preachers doing Umbrella. Other radio stations are not immune from this (I’m looking at you Six Music, although you are forgiven for The Wedding Present‘s version of Back for Good). See also ironic covers of crap songs by Punk Bands and almost anything on a tribute album.

Number Four – The Why Bother – You do a song and IT SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE THE ORIGINAL. Pointless. I was listening a few weeks ago to Handwritten by The Gaslight Anthem and after track 12 or something Sliver by Nirvana came on. I assumed the album had finished and had gone into a random shuffle. It took me a full half and hour to realise it was a cover version. It is EXACTLY the same as the original and if you don’t believe me I’ve posted it in all its pointless glory.

mp3 : The Gaslight Anthem – Sliver

Which brings us to Number Five – The Was that what I thought it was – Cover versions that you listen to and go – hang on that was such and such wasn’t it and you have to play it again to make sure. I have an ambient version of Michael Jackson’s Stranger in Moscow that bears no resemblance to the original what so ever. This is where Stanford Prison Experiment come in. So what do you think they have covered – post in the comments section your answers and how long it took to guess, no googling the answer either. It took me to one minute 45 on the second play. JC will get it after 45 seconds or something but good luck.

mp3 : Sssh…..what is it

Have a good week one and all.

JC Update

After 30 seconds….I thought it was a particular song….after 45 seconds I changed my mind as it then reminded of something else….after 65 seconds I went back to my original thought….after 75 seconds yup….I stuck with my original thought and was duly rewarded.

It was SW-C’s post that got me thinking about doing a full week of covers so big thanks to him.

IT’S COVERS WEEK ON T(n)VV : DAY 1

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Edwyn+Collins+2

I’ve never hidden my love of a good cover version.  The old place used to have the occasional week’s worth of postings that were all about cover versions.  I thought I’d so similar here in my new abode.

One of the things that I think makes a particularly good cover is when a singer or band take a song and do it in their own inimitable style so that unless you knew the original version you’d be hard pushed to realise it is not an original you’re listening to.  Edwyn Collins has managed this on a couple of occasions:-

mp3 : Edwyn Collins – Ding a Dong

mp3 : Edwyn Collins – The Witch Queen Of New Orleans

The first of these is a cover of the winning entry in the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest.  The original was by a band called Teach In who were from the Netherlands and on its release as a single in the UK, Ding a Dong reached #13 . Although would be their only success in the UK, Teach In were well-known in their native land – indeed their participation in Eurovision came after a number of hit singles in 1974 – and released 5 LPs and around 20 singles in the 70s.

The second song dates from 1971 and was written and recorded by Redbone, an American band that enjoyed a fair bit of critical and commercial success in the States in the 70s.  The Witch Queen of New Orleans was also a hit in the UK, reaching #2 in October 1971, a position it kept for four successive weeks but kept off the top spot by Rod Stewart singing Maggie May. Given that Edwyn would have been 12 years old at the time, I’m guessing his love for Witch Queen stems from him watching Top of The Pops and wishing that somehow the song would get boring old Rod off the show for at least one week….

Enjoy.

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Parts 66-68)

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In which I finally catch up with all the entries in this long-running series……

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(66) Josef K – Chance Meeting b/w Pictures : Postcard Records 7″ (1981)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you David Weddell, Malcolm Ross, Paul Haig and Ronnie Torrance.  Collectively known as Josef K.  All you need to know can be found in here. It’s a fantastic website.

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(67) The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu – Whitney Joins The J.A.Ms : KLF Communications 12″ (1987)

OK. The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu are not completely Scottish. But one half of them is and as far as I’m concerned that’s good enough for this 1987 one sided single to be included in this long-running alphabetical series. Plenty more to come before we reach Zoey Van Goey ………..  Happy to accept that this track has not dated all that well but also willing to argue that it was ground-breaking in its day.

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(68) Kid Canaveral – Couldn’t Dance b/w Teenage Fanclub Song : Straight To Video Records (2008)

Kid Canaveral are an alternative pop group based in Edinburgh, and the indiepop poster children of the Fence Records roster. The band – David MacGregor (Guitars & Voice), Kate Lazda (Guitars & Voice), Rose McConnachie (Bass Guitar & Voice) and Scott McMaster (Drumkit) – formed in St Andrews, and after releasing their debut 7″ single ‘Smash Hits’ on their own label Straight to Video Records in 2007, they self-released a further 4 singles, an EP and their debut album Shouting at Wildlife, before signing to Fence Records in 2011.

Tune in next week for Part 69.

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