Friday, September 19, 2008

Torn Covers

Quilt by Lisa Visser, photo borrowed from here

Yes, yes, I know I'm late again. My excuse this time is that I'm nursing a cold. Forget rats or mosquitoes, kids are without a doubt THE most efficient disease vectors...

Anyway, I'd still like to draw your attention to the Contrast Podcast, which this week dove back under the covers to bring you a slew of cover versions that are very different from the original. In fact there was so much coverage that Dearest Young Tim only managed to bring us half this week; the rest will be forthcoming this coming Tuesday. Download it here, vent yourself here.

What's lurking beneath the covers:

Polysics - My Sharona
Tim from The face of today

(03:41) Hands on Heads - School
Ross from Just gimme indie rock

(05:02) Erroll Garner - (They want to be) close to you
Chris from

(10:45) Rats with wings - Hungry like the wolf
Matthew from Song by Toad

(16:34) Cake - I will survive
JC aka The Vinyl Villian

(26:13) Jill Sobule - Hot in herre
Agnes from It all started with carbon monoxide

(29:56) La Perversita - (I can’t get no) satisfaction
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

(32:57) The Cardigans - Iron man
Greer from A Sweet Unrest

(37:41) The Postal Service - Against all odds
Andy from Circles of Concrete

(42:28) Giant Bear - Head like a hole
Natalie from Mini-Obs

(47:05) TV on the Radio - Mr Grieves
Bob from Gimme Tinnitus

(51:33) The Secret Machines - Money (that’s what I want)
The In Crowd from I’m Learning to Share!

My contribution is coming up next week, so I'll wait until then to share with you what almost made the cut. But while perusing my covers collection I remarked how many versions of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" I seem to have amassed. Indeed, if "Yesterday" by The Beatles is the most covered song in history (as the Guinness Book of World Records tells us), then I think "LWTUA" must be hot on its mawkish heels. Now plenty of others in the blogosphere have remarked upon this, so this ain't no big revelation. But truth be told, I think the original meets John Peel's definition of the perfect song: "There's nothing you could add to it or subtract from it that would improve it." And that, Dearest Friends, is why I didn't consider submitting any covers of it for the CP.

But that won't stop me sharing a wodge of them with you tonight...

Vitamin String Quartet - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here or e-here)
A stringy version performed by Vitamin Records' anonymous house quartet. From The Gothic Wedding Collection, but I recxkon that if you're playing this at your nuptials then you're pretty much doomed from the start...

Rebecca Hancock & The Prison Wives - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy e-here)
A sorta acoustic, C&W, folky take by Aussie singer-songwriter Hancock. Wouldn't be out of place on your local honky tonk's jukebox.

P.J. Proby - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy e-here)
Oh my, here the vintage Texas crooner/friend of Elvis/JD-swiller/ex-shepherd takes stab at it. Surely it should have been Love Will Tear My Trousers Apart Again?? No, please, hold your applause till the end of the show, folks...

Paul Young - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here)
A fairly characteristic version by the eighties white soul boy. I always thought he sounded a bit like a strangled bullfrog.

Bis - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here)
The now-separated Scottish DIY rascals give it the electro-indie treatment.

Tiger Baby - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here)
Less bleep, more ambient electronica and breathiness from these dishy Danes.

Boy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart (from the Zick Zack Records sampler "Bis Auf Weiteres eine Demonstration - Geräusche Für Den Tag Danach" which I have no idea where to find)
No, this isn't queercore. Boy Division are a shouty trash-pop-spielart cover band from Hamburg, Germany whose singer is given to broadcasting his vocals via megaphone.

The Cure - Love Will Tear Us Apart (don't think there's a versh to buy, but correct me if I'm wrong...)
Does exactly what it says on the tin.

The Shanes - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here or e-here)
Ye gods, another German cover version, this time in a Poguesian, Eastern European, squeezbox stylee. Recorded live in Serbia, apparently.

Calexico - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here)
A fine, motoring interpretation from Arizona's finest collective.

Albert Kuvezin & Yat Kha - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here or e-here)
Oh yeah, a Tuvan throat-singing version. This sort of mix-n-match gets my juices flowing...

Swans - Love Will Tear Us Apart (buy here or e-here)
Seminal NYC noiseniks have a go, with The Living Jarboe on vocals.

Oh, there are more, but that's all you get right now...


Anonymous said...

the only version of lwtua i have is by jose gonzales . . . which is kind of sad, when you think about it. :(

FiL said...

Dearest Marcy, I left that one off the list cos I figured EVERYONE must already have it. You've just vindicated my decision... :)

So you don't have the original??

Unknown said...

Ah....the spirit of Liz lives on.

FiL said...

Dearest JC, indeed it does. She's one of the "plenty of others..."

Unknown said...

Wow. That PJ Proby version is amazing. That's a real "is this what I think it is?" type of song, if you heard it in a pub or something.

You missed off the rather sweet Susanna & The Magic Orchestra version, btw. Also, Nouvelle Vague, but I assume most people will have heard that.

Anonymous said...

Incroyable, jamais je n'aurai cru que tant de gens avaient repris ce merveilleux titre de Joy Division. La version de PJ Proby est délicieusement et curieusement décadente je trouve.

Au fait as tu eu le temps de passer jouer au blind test chez moi ? J'attends avec impatience ton encyclopédique connaissance de la pop l'ami.

A bientôt

Anonymous said...

I've heard that Tuvan throat-singing version on the radio - pretty trippy! If you ever round up collections of covers of 'Isolation' please be sure to mention the one Chris n., Alex G. and I did at the talent show in 12th grade!

Ta Biche

a Tart said...

Many thanks dearest xoxoxo! And how did you know I adore Tuvan throat-singing?, seriously!