The 2020 cover versions boom is a clear and definite side effect phenomenon of lock down. Elsewhere we’ve seen Iggy go disco, Mattiel go B-Boy and Bully go Grunge (actually they were pretty grunge already).
I spent a lot of the time at home relistening to old favourites, making meals with mashed potatoes and delving to the back of the drinks cabinet. It looks like many a musical hero went for comfort food too. My favourite type of cover is still recognisable to the original but with it’s frame twisted just enough that you’re not comparing the two. A good cover is it’s own master.
If I told you a Heavy Metal Band called Lucifer were covering a Tom Waits song you might get a mental image of a particular type of noise. If I added that the band had consisted of many European lifers of the genre in it’s short life span you might harden that vision. I’m talking about members of bands with names like Angel Witch, The Oath, The Entombed, Gandalf’s Staff and Cathedral (OK, fair’s fair, I did make one of those up). If I (then) pointed out to the uninitiated that Lucifer is basically Blonde Elvira alike Johanna Sadonis with her incredible 70’s rock voice and a revolving cast of Metalheads volunteering to be her backing band as tribute you might get a better idea of how Dirt In The Ground sounds.
This isn’t death to all but metal type metal. This is a Busman’s holiday of a track for all involved. Dirt In The Ground originally resided on Tom’s early 90’s return to form masterpiece Bone Machine. It feels a bit disingenuous typing that because Tom never really went off the boil. He was right on the moment with Bone Machine though. It put him in league with the Jane’s Addiction, Butthole Surfers and Beck shaped weirdos about to hit MTV (2?) and leave the 80’s well and truly behind us all.
If a heavy band was going to cover anything from that record you’d think Da Bruddas doing I Don’t Wanna Grow Up was the be all and end all.
The slow burner blues riff. The death rattle melody. Johanna’s luxurious voice. This. Is. A. Corker. Of a record. Lucifer’s Second Album brought us their last posts on SteveForTheDeaf. Since then they’ve released album number three and I have become a dyed in the wool fan of that voice. She’s a real rock and roll icon Johanna Sadonis. Listen to what she does here and tell me you disagree.
Because of what Lockdown has done to the Cover Version proliferation of tunes in 2020 and because usually around the 19th there is traditionally something like a Works Christmas Party, we’re going a little nuts on the posts today. To make way for the late entries in the Best of 2020 we’re going to have a multi-pack of covers in this 24 hour period. On the house. To thank you for your efforts this year. But let me be clear, no photocopying your ass cheeks after too much punch.