Category Archives: cover albums

Today in Duran History – Newer Wave 2.0

On today’s date in 1998, a new wave compilation album, entitled “Newer Wave 2.0” was released.  Included on this album was a cover of Planet Earth by the band Hate.

If you’re curious like me, here’s the cover of Planet Earth:

What do you think of it?  Considering the album it was included on – is it what you would have expected?

The CD cover:

Newer Wave 2.0 cover
Do you own this?

 

 

 

 

-R

Last minute weekend double delight – Girls On Film (Soko) & Late Bar (Barbarians) Making Patterns Rhyme Tribute Album

Taking a break from vacation unpacking and laundry (yes, I’m back!!) to listen to the newest sneak peaks from the upcoming Making Patterns Rhyme album (August 2014).

Up first is Soko’s version of Girls on Film. According to Paul Beahan (Manimal), this version is “downbeat and goth-y”.  I definitely get that “slightly The Cure” flavor from the very beginning, and I have to admit – the song is quickly growing on me.  I like the subdued nature of the melody – it’s not quite as frenetic as the original, and my feet definitely start finding the beat during the chorus.  My ears are happy.  It’s different, but recognizable.  I think this is liable to become one of my favorites off of the album.

Love for Girls on Film aside, I will openly admit I’m having a lot more trouble with Barbarian’s Late Bar.  Here’s the real deal: the song is one of my all time favorites from the band, and I really love that the original is dark and obscure.  It’s tough to hear it done more upbeat…and up to date.  That said, even here, I can find things I really like, such as the middle 8 (between verses).  I think the one attribute I like least is that they’ve changed the rhythm of the song. It may grow on me, but right now I just want to grab the drumsticks out of the hands of the drummer, take the microphone away…and teach them how it should be done. I’m starting to sound like an old woman yelling at the kids to stop playing ball on my lawn, which is never good. I don’t want to completely pan the work, because let’s face it – this probably has far more to do with what I’m used to as a fan than it does the song. I’m curious to hear what others think.

This is the last day to take a listen…so hurry and check it out, then shoot me a comment with your thoughts!

Back to unpacking for me….

-R

American Science – Austra (Making Patterns Rhyme)

Today is Tuesday, and I bring you a review of new music, freshly released by Manimal Records.  American Science by Austra was leaked out last week and I listened, but I waited to review it until it had been put up on Soundcloud so that I could properly share.

American Science is a beloved song for many DD fans.  I was curious as to what Austra might do with it to make it her own.  I really liked the intro – in some ways it reminded me of the simplicity of a heartbeat. Her vocals are almost ghostly, backed by subtle synth loops that really allow for her voice to be the star. The song feels so existential to me, ethereal…other worldly even. I think it makes an effective statement without being at all “in your face” about it. I’m not sure that it makes the same type of impact as the band’s original, but then, that’s really not the point, is it? Austra is telling the story from her own point of view, and I am happy to sit back and listen.

I turn it over to you. What do you think?  Shoot me a line here or on Twitter or Facebook!

This marks my last blog post for a couple of weeks because it’s Family Vacation time for me and my family.  Don’t get too jealous – we’re going camping. If you happen to see a blue truck pulling an RV up the highway in California, wave…because it just might be my family!

-R

 

Do You Believe In Shame – Halo Circus (Making Patterns Rhyme Tribute)

Today we’re finding new music from Halo Circus in the form of Do You Believe In Shame.

I loved the deep bass line as the intro, and hearing Alison Iraheta’s vocals with the addition of a different musical element throughout the first verse was particularly effective, bringing the song to a full crescendo. Once again, just as I settled in for the ride, I was dropped head first into the full power of the chorus.

There is a lot I really like about this cover. The simplicity of adding the musical elements throughout the verses really works for me. I’ve always liked the message of this song, and the power of her vocals really brings that home and enhances what was already a very strong song. I am not quite so crazy about the wall-of-noise that seems to hit me in the chorus, like everything is turned up to “10”, but I can forgive that for the new journey this cover carves for the listener.

As always, I look forward to seeing what you think!
-R

Hungry Like the Wolf – Covers!

I’m a day behind with my weekly post on Duran Duran covers, and I apologize. I could lie and say that I was really busy yesterday afternoon, but the truth is that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday until far too late in the evening to even try putting something together. Yes, that really IS what happens when you’re at home with the kids all summer. I live and breathe by the texts asking me to take them/pick them up from somewhere, and that’s about it!  After today, I’m going to take a two-week break from my blogs on DD covers, and so look for one again the week of July 28th!

When I first heard about the Making Patterns Rhyme tribute album, I’ll admit, I filed the information into the back of my head and went on my way. I didn’t know if I’d be that interested, because in the past, I hadn’t heard many covers that seemed worth my time. Like many, I felt that the only people qualified to do a Duran Duran song was, well, Duran Duran, so to hear someone else try – well, it almost always fell flat (for me). I’m really not sure when and where that really changed. It could have been when I first listened to Moby’s Rio. Now, don’t get me wrong – that song is about as far away from what I know to be Rio as possible, but I think when I started reading all of the negative and poison-filled comments, I recognized two things: 1. Fans can be very, very cruel. 2. I didn’t want to be negative.  I challenged myself to find at least one positive from every single cover on the album.  That doesn’t mean “Be fake and love it all”, it means “widen your effing ears and mind… and TRY.”  So I did. That doesn’t mean I’ve loved everything I’ve heard, but I can say that there have been elements within each song that I’ve enjoyed.

What really shocks me, and by now it probably shouldn’t…is what people will say directly TO the band (You think they’re not reading or noticing, and maybe you’d be wrong.). No, of course you don’t have to like what you hear, and I’m sure that various members of the band would agree.  There’s not really a lot of point in being flat-out mean, nor is there much point in listening to the first 10 seconds of a song, realizing that it’s not Simon singing and saying you hate it purely because it’s not Simon. We all get it: you’re loyal to this band. *I* am loyal to the band. Three decades as a fan would indicate that from all of us, yes! But it’s the band who is calling attention to these songs. It’s not hard to see this because they put the links up on their very own Facebook page, they tweet them out…and Patty Palazzo did the artwork for the album, for crying out loud. They’re proud of the fact that others are covering their music, and they should be! It’s OKAY.

So with that, let’s find some covers to listen and enjoy!

Let’s pick my favorite song this week…Hungry Like the Wolf.  (Heather, this is for you!) I was challenged to find one I like….let’s see if I can!  My challenge here is that there are about 50,000 covers of this song on YouTube.  It pains me to see that many, actually. (they DO have other songs, people…)  I trudge on…

I did hear that Dave Grohl did HLTW once.  I haven’t found it on YouTube. If you have it, send it!  Moving on…

Hungry Like the Wolf – Incubus

I smiled when I saw this on YouTube, because who would ever think – Incubus? Oh why the hell not?!?  They stick very close to the original (surprisingly), and while the song has a harder guitar than the original and the intro to the song goes on until the 2:10 mark…it’s not all that different. Huh.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Reel Big Fish

This one has been around for a long time now.  I’d come to the point where I could at least acknowledge it’s existence without needing therapy…a far cry from the days where I’d cover my ears and run screaming, but I pressed play with nervous trepidation.  I have to say, it’s not bad. I kinda like it even.  It’s very ska, and if you like ska – which I actually do – this might tickle your funny bone a bit.  If nothing else, applaud the musicianship, because they can play your face off.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Hole

 

I don’t really know what to say about this one…other than she doesn’t know the words much, and I am pretty sure it’s not the entire song (or else I phased out halfway through).  But hey, it’s acoustic.

Amaru – Hungry Like the Wolf

So this version is pretty true to the original, except for the mid-section.  Then they go all out on their own here.  I have to say that the sound of this band sounds very much like any other 90’s “hard rock” (not grunge) band I’ve heard.  It’s not awful, it’s just not very original.

Gothic Nights – Hungry Like the Wolf

This cover is proof that there really doesn’t seem to be a way to un-pop this song. I was truly expecting some crazy-ass metal with this one, but even here – it’s pop…like “The Nelsons” brand of pop (if you haven’t heard of them, Google!)  I’ve always wanted to hear the song without the “doo doo doo” and now I have.  *blinks* Funny how I didn’t think I’d miss it.  Until I did.  Damn.

Act as If – Hungry Like the Wolf

Talk about a surprise. It’s pretty much all electronic with a male singer and a female backup.  It’s a very different (yet similar) feel to the original…and after hearing Gothic Knights “nelson” this song to pieces…this isn’t half bad.  They keep the spirit of the original but play it in their own style, and it’s original.

As I said, there are thousands of covers out there. If you’ve got one that is incredibly different that I’ve got to hear (seriously, if you have that one of Dave Grohl, please send it!), definitely post it in the comments.  These are just a few that I found along the way.  In my quest, I found a jazz version (I would have posted it if I knew who was performing it – but there was no credit given.), an angry metal version (just…no.), and a TON of acoustic versions.  But one that I liked?!?

*sigh* this was a hard task, Heather…but Reel Big Fish might actually win that contest.

What say you?  Send in your favorite, even if it’s not listed here!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come Undone – Carina Round [Feat. Aidan Hawken] (Making Patterns Rhyme Tribute album)

Just when you’re bored to death watching the inevitable slow death of Germany Brazil…in a World Cup match…along comes an incredibly powerful and wonderfully shocking cover that you can’t WAIT to review.

When I hit “play”, I immediately decided it was way too slow. I was set to dislike.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I hear a male voice…and the song suddenly becomes interesting.  Just as I settle in and start paying attention, the music changes. It becomes ever so slightly angry – but quiet. Then the strongest female voice takes over the second verse.  Texture beyond words….and then we go back to the original style. Unreal. Unfucking real.

This is exactly what I’m talking about when I describe a song that has been allowed to keep it’s bones and even a piece of it’s spirit – but is changed and evolved into what the covering artist wishes to convey. At this point, it’s not a remake of a Duran Duran song, it is Come Undone BY Carina Round. Don’t be offended by that, embrace it as a fan. Be proud that our band gave someone else inspiration to use their music as a launch point. You don’t have to like the song, and you certainly don’t have to like what Carina Round chose to do with it, but you absolutely MUST applaud her courage and creativity.

And I really, really like it.  Well done.  Extremely well done.  This one is going on my iPhone for sure.

By the way, Ms. Patty Palazzo – you are brilliant. I love this cover. This is art that speaks to me, and if I could frame it and put it on my wall, I would.

-R

Anyone Out There – Service Bells (Making Patterns Rhyme Tribute album)

Today brings new music in the form of a newly released single from the upcoming Making Patterns Rhyme tribute, curated by Manimal records. Service Bells put their mark on “Anyone Out There”, and I took a listen before posting it on Facebook.

For the first thirty seconds, the music is pretty unrecognizable…and depending upon whether you like that sort of creativity or not will likely determine how you feel about the rest of the song. I think it’s slightly harder or rougher edged than the original, but on the same token there are certain sounds that remind me very much of some of the old remixes from that day or even of songs on Seven and the Ragged Tiger…but not as polished and glossy.  The same familiar guitar riff can be heard, but Service Bells doesn’t stop there. They take their liberties and make the song their own.

As always, give it a listen, see what you think and let me know!!

 

-R

 

Wednesday Covers – Rio!

We’re back looking at some cover versions of Duran songs, and on a whim I decided to see what might be out there for Rio.  If you haven’t had the chance to check out what Moby chose to do with Rio – you can find a blog on that here.

Additionally, I searched on YouTube and found a few to share.  Curiously, many of the covers I found out there were acoustic – and many isolated that incredible bass line that fans know and love.

Barenaked Ladies – Rio

So I couldn’t help but include this one because BNL is well…BNL. You either get them or you don’t, but you can’t deny that they can sing and harmonize.  Unfortunately this is another band that has split over the years, but I still love their old stuff…

Rogue Wave – Rio

I never quite know what I’m going to find on YouTube…and this is one of those kinds of covers.  This one is slower and more subdued than the original, but the spirit of the song is still there, and it reminds me very much of being on a boat…which is appropriate given the song and the video I’ve linked for this takes place on a boat!!

The Resistance – Rio

This one claims to be the rocking version.  I have to say that if they’re gonna claim something like that, they’re gonna need to rock a little harder than Duran Duran does when they play it live, and I’m not hearing that here…but a valiant effort nonetheless.  I’d have liked seeing what else they could do with it, but I sense this is one of those songs you don’t dare change too much.  Unless you’re Moby.  🙂

Rio – the heavy metal version

Ok, so I cheated.  One of the versions I found online was uploaded by  someone named Dam Breetai, and when I read that it’s the heavy metal version, I had to hear it.  I mean, what could they POSSIBLY have done to the song?  Turns out, it’s a remix (of sorts) of the original. A little turned up guitar (I actually think it’s an entirely new track), but Simon is still there to remind one where this song came from.  I don’t know how great this really is, but I had to include it just for kicks.

Mauri & Betto – Rio (Acoustic)

There are a ton of acoustic versions out there…and this is just one that I found.  I must give props for harmonization.

Eric Plancton – Rio

This version is the edgiest rock version I found.  It’s hard rock, and I have to say that musically – I like it. Vocals, in my opinion aren’t really that great, but he does do this whisper of “I’ll tell you something, I know what you’re thinking” before he launches into the chorus that is kind of cool. Instead of the typical saxophone solo we’re used to hearing, this one has heavy guitar and an even heavier short drum fill that makes it his own.

Check out the covers and let us know what you think. There are pages and pages of Rio cover versions on YouTube and I only chose a few… but if you’ve got one that we absolutely have to hear or post, send it or comment below with the link!

-R