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Friday, 24 October 2014

The S4L Top 50 Cover Versions Part Three 30-21



Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys spent 15 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts with the original release of the song back in 1952. Status Quo's version was released in December of 1976 and peaked at #9 in the UK Singles Chart.

In 1985 Vice Squad covered this classic tune from the glam era of the 1970's taking it into the Indie Chart and peaking at #44. Beki Bondage had left the band after touring the US and Canada following the release of their second album 'Stand Strong Stand Proud'. Beki would go on to form Ligotage and later on Beki and the Bombshells. With new singer Lia they didn't last long releasing three singles and an album and with poor sales the band called it a day. Beki would breath new life into Vice Squad in 1997 and they have continued to this day touring and releasing new music.
The Original 'Teenage Rampage' was released in 1974 and was a massive hit for them, their 7th Top Ten Hit reaching #2. At present there are two bands touring under the banner of Sweet: Andy Scott's Sweet (1985 to Present) and Steve Priest's Sweet (2008 to Present), and at one time between 1984-97 even vocalist Brian Connolly had a band called New Sweet! But the original band were one of my favourites when I was a kid, along with Slade.

8th April 1977 was a pivitol day as it was the release date of the debut album by The Clash. We had the debut single 'White Riot' since mid March but the album was what we wanted. Mark Perry had declared that punk died when The Clash signed to CBS so it was of great interest to see and hear if that was really true or not.
Middle of Side Two this song explodes from the speakers with the kind of fury the original lacked (but the fury was actually there, just masked by the gentleness of the tune and exceptional vocal style of Junior Murvin)! This remains one of my favourites to this day.
The Junior Murvin version was first released in the UK on Island Records in 1976 (it had been released in Jamaica beforehand to great success).

27. Nostalgia - Penetration.
This fantastic cover was on the debut album 'Moving Targets' from October 1978 on Virgin Records. Penetration had been out on the road with Buzzcocks on the 'Entertaining Friends Tour' and it's quite possible that's where they came across the song. It's funny because the original version by Buzzcocks was only released the same year in September on their second album 'Love Bites'.

26. Free Money - Penetration.
Another cover from Penetration that I love also features on 'Moving Targets'. The original by Patti Smith appeared on her debut album 'Horses' from 1975 on Arista Records. That album is considered one of the best albums ever recorded.

25. Pressure Drop - The Clash.
B-Side to the 1979 single 'English Civil War' and yet another cover by The Clash of a reggae tune done in their own style rather than reggae. The original by The Maytals was recorded in 1969 and released as a single in 1970, it also gave Toots and The Maytals a real boost when the song was included on the 1972 Soundtrack for the film 'The Harder They Come', which is where I first heard the song.

24. If I Should Fall Behind - Dion.
I love how Dion D'Mucci turned this into a Doo Wop tune, most unexpected when first listening to his album 'Dream On Fire' that was released in 1999. The original written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen was featured on his 1992 album 'Lucky Town'.

23. No Surrender - Holly Williams.
Only released this year on an album called 'Dead Man's Town: A Tribute to Born in the USA' - there's a few on the album that are worthy covers but this one is fantastic. I did struggle whether to choose this version by Holly or the excellent version by Kevin Montgomery.
Originally released by Bruce Springsteen on 'Born in the USA' (1984).

22. I'm Not Sayin' - The Primitives.
From the exceptional 'Echoes and Rhymes' album (2012). The Primitives proved on that album that they could take even obscure songs, aprinkle their magic dust on them and make them sound like an original song! I love this one a lot, almost a JAMC treatement with Paul Court on the vocals.
The song was written by Gordon Lightfoot and recorded and released by him in 1965 and then by Nico the same year (her single was produced by Brian Jones of Rolling Stones).

21. The Green Fields of France - The Men They Couldn't Hang.
The first single in 1984 from a band who were set to become a great band. A #1 on the UK Indie Chart.
The song, originally called 'No Man's Land' but given the title 'The Green Fields of France' by The Fureys when they released it in 1979. The song was written by Scottish Born Folk Singer Eric Bogle who also wrote 'And The Band Played Waltzing Maltilda' (which would be covered successfully by The Pogues).
 
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