Tune du Jour: “I Am A Rock” – Simon & Garfunkel
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Church vs. The Coolies
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

Okay here’s one that until today I did not know. I Am A Rock was originally released in August 1965 on a Paul Simon solo album, The Paul Simon Songbook. The album, which was not a commercial success, was only released in the United Kingdom and was not available in the United States until 1981. Simon supposedly hated the album, The Paul Simon Songbook, but I cannot honestly state that I ever personally heard him say so.

The version of I Am A Rock that we all have come to know and love was released in January 1966 on Simon & Garfunkel’s second album, Sounds of Silence. Simon & Garfunkel’s I Am A Rock was released as a single in May 1966 and became an immediate hit reaching number #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also a hit in Sweden (#10), Netherlands (#10), United Kingdom (#17), Australia (#20), Canada (#22), and Germany (#35).

In the late ’90s, after years of research, a team of forensic scientists came to the unequivocal conclusion that Paul Simon, “in fact, is not nor ever has been an island”. Their report did leave open the possibility that “he may have been somewhat of an isthmus for a short period of time” in his late teens. The inevitable ‘but what of the rock’ question was strangely absent from the study. 

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The Original

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Paul Simon:

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The Most Popular

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Simon & Garfunkel:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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The Church vs. The Coolies

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The Church:

The Coolies:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Laugh At Me” – Sonny Bono
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Mott the Hoople vs Pete Stride and John Plain
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny …
Cover Me Impressed!

Laugh At Me, released as single in 1965, was Sonny Bono’s only hit as a solo artist. The song  reached number #10 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 and number #9 in the United Kingdom on the Pop Singles Chart. Laugh At Me reached #1 in Canada on the RPM national singles chart, ironically to eventually be overtaken by Sonny & Cher’s Baby Don’t Go.

Sonny wrote Laugh At Me in angst after being refused service at a Los Angeles restaurant for wearing what the owner considered to be “hippie attire”. He was not happy about it!

Sonny has often been the butt of jokes, many times deservedly so, yet the guy actually had some talent and could write a decent song every now and then. I would submit that this is one of them.

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The Original

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Sonny Bono:

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This is an alternate version. The sound quality is not nearly as good but it’s worth checking out just to see the controlled rage Sonny seems to be in as he belts out the lyrics.

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Mott the Hoople vs Pete Stride and John Plain
Mott the Hoople:

Mott the Hoople holds the distinction of being CMI’s Reigning Exultant Virtuosic Performer of Laugh At Me. Additionally, Mott the Hoople is also a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni-Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold gold!

Mott the Hoople’s triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

11/17/2013 – “Laugh At Me” (Sonny Bono) – Mott the Hoople (93%) thrash Otis Ball (7%)

You don’t suppose Ian Hunter could have related to these lyrics, possibly turning a few heads every now and then with his look? He obviously really dug the song though. He recorded it with his band, Mott the Hoople, and again during his solo career.  And he must have played it live a lot. Laugh At Me appears on no less than five Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter live albums.

Pete Stride and John Plain:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Pots-Pourris du Jour: “Miss Otis Regrets / Just One Of Those Things” – Cole Porter; 
and “Misty Mountain Hop / The Elephant Walk” – Led Zeppelin / Henry Mancini
THE CLASH of Cover Medleys: Kirsty MacColl & The Pogues vs Hot Joe
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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I've been a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Poet, a Broccoli Man ...

I’ve been a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Poet, a Broccoli Man …

Official Cover Me Impressed Medley Definitions:

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For our purposes we will rely on medley standards as outlined at the 2012 Institute of Chartered Music Listeners Music-Medley Symposium, which identified and defined the following categories of Music Medleys:

The Meager-Medley – a musical composition comprised of parts from two independent songs.

The Mini-Medley – a musical composition comprised of parts from three independent songs.

The Medial-Medley – a musical composition comprised of parts from four independent songs.

The Mega-Medley – a musical composition comprised of parts from five or more independent songs.

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THE CLASH of Cover Medleys

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Kirsty MacColl & The Pogues vs. Hot Joe
Kirsty MacColl & The Pogues:

The Pogues are a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni-Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold orange!

The Pogues’ triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

12/5/2013 – “Redemption Song” (Bob Marley) – The Pogues (60%) stymie Bob Lyons (40%)

Kirsty MacColl & The Pogues – “Miss Otis Regrets / Just One Of Those Things” (Cole Porter):

Hot Joe:
Hot Joe – “Misty Mountain Hop / The Elephant Walk” (Led Zeppelin / Henry Mancini):

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

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Tune du Jour: “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” – The Offspring
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Curtis Suburban vs. Manic Hispanic
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny …
Cover Me Impressed!

Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated) was the song that launched The Offspring from small potatoes to really, really big potatoes. The song appeared on the band’s third album, Smash, which was released in August 1994. Come Out And Play reached number 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Track charts. For quite sometime it was about the only thing you could hear on the radio.

Despite sounding like a run-of-the-mill, fast-driven, chaotic, party-rocker, the lyrics of Come Out And Play are actually quite insightful, pertaining to the very real and growing problem of inner city youth gangs, wanton violence and the prevalence of easily gotten handguns.

I had a girlfriend who thought The Offspring was the greatest band ever. And with that I’ve written just about everything I could possibly think of on the song Come Out And Play and the band The Offspring.

The Original

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The Offspring:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Curtis Suburban vs. Manic Hispanic

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Curtis Suburban:

Manic Hispanic:

Manic Hispanic is a farcical Chicano punk band comprised of current and former members of Californian punk bands The Adolescents, The Grabbers, Punk Rock Karaoke, The X-Members, 22 Jacks, Final Conflict, Agent Orange, Death by Stereo and The Cadillac Tramps. Apparently all, or at least many, of the members were to some extent afoul of the law as the band was formed on the advice of a probation officer in order to keep the guys out of further trouble.

Manic Hispanic plays punk standards, altering the lyrics to reflect the perspective of disadvantaged Hispanics. Their songs aim to be comical while also drawing attention to real structural difficulties that Hispanics have to cope with on a day-to-day basis. A few characteristics that typify Manic Hispanic’s creations are that the lyrics are going to be witty; the songs are going to be played with much expertise; and the songs they select to parody are going to be among the best of the punk/hardcore genre.

Come Out And Play (Get Them Immigrated):

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)” – Woody Guthrie / Martin Hoffman
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Black River Republic vs. Joe Ely & Los Super Seven
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Memorial Service, September 2, 2013

On January 28, 1948 a plane chartered by U.S. Immigration Services crashed in Los Gatos Canyon, California. The plane was carrying 4 American crew members and 28 migrant workers deported from California back to Mexico. Many were part of the “bracero program” and had finished their government-sponsored work contracts. A ride home was part of the deal. Others had entered the country illegally.

There were no survivors from the crash. It was one of the worst aviation disasters of the era and was widely reported. The 28 migrant workers went mostly unidentified and were all buried in a cemetery in Fresno, California, in one mass grave.

Woody Guthrie was living in New York City at the time. The day after the crash the New York Times reported on the tragedy, providing the names of the 4 dead Americans while noting that the 28 other passengers were simply “deportees”. Woody was disgusted by the news coverage in general, which he felt consistently memorialized the 4 dead Americans while marginalizing the deaths of the 28 migrant workers.

Woody wrote a poem about the plane crash. According to Woody’s biographer, Joe Klein, “It was the last great song he would write, a memorial to the nameless migrants ‘all scattered like dry leaves’ in Los Gatos Canyon, where the plane crashed… The song, as he wrote it, was virtually without music – Woody chanted the words – and wasn’t performed publicly until a decade later when a schoolteacher named Martin Hoffman added a beautiful melody and Pete Seeger began singing it in concerts.” The song’s title varies from “Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)” to “Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportees)” to simply “Deportee”.

On September 2, 2013 a memorial service was held at the mass grave for the 28 migrant workers. A monument was unveiled to serve as the grave’s permanent headstone. The $14,000 for the monument and ceremony was raised largely by donations of less than $20 from individuals, including Woody Guthrie devotees and families of farmworkers. The monument is etched with 32 falling leaves, four of them bearing the initials of the Americans who died on the flight. In the center are the full names of the 28 migrant workers.

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Popular Version

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Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie:

Geez, I grew up listening to this 2-album set practically on a nightly basis. And it still sounds great today.

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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The Black River Republic vs. Joe Ely & Los Super Seven

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The Black River Republic:

Joe Ely & Los Super Seven:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Love Song” – The Damned
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Melt-Banana vs. The London Punkharmonic Orchestra
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Oh No! There Ain't No Broccoli Sauce...

Oh No!
There Ain’t No Broccoli Sauce…

Love Song by The Damned was first released as a single in April 1979 and appeared again in December 1979 on the band’s third and much ballyhooed release, Machine Gun EtiquetteLove Song was The Damned’s first hit, reaching number 20 on the UK Singles chart and earning the band a coveted appearance on Top of the Pops.

The Original

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The Damned:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Melt-Banana vs. The London Punkharmonic Orchestra
Melt-Banana:

The London Punkharmonic Orchestra:

The London Punkharmonic Orchestra hold the distinction of being CMI’s Reigning Exultant Virtuosic Performer of “Love Song“. Additionally, The London Punkharmonic Orchestra is a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold gold!

The London Punkharmonic Orchestra’s triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

10/15/2013 – “Love Song” (The Damned) – The London Punkharmonic Orchestra (60%) edge Red Letter Day (40%)

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Get Ready” – The Temptations
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Delroy Wilson vs. Giant Sand
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles ... Oh Yeah!

Broccoli For Miles
And Miles And Miles
And Miles And Miles …
Oh Yeah!

Remember that dance craze called The Duck of the early 60’s, which coincidentally enough was inspired by a song called The Duck? You don’t? Well me neither. But trust me, there was a hit song called The Duck that people apparently were ducking around to in the early 60’s by the droves. Motown execs took notice and enlisted Smokey Robinson to knock out a soulful dance tune, “pronto”, that would be eminently duckable. And so Smokey did just that, writing and producing Get Ready for The Temptations. Released as a single in February 1966, Get Ready was a moderate success enticing spry rug-burners to tune-in to get their duck off. It peaked at number 29 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and hit number one on the Billboard Hot R&B Song chart. The song initially did not do well in the UK; however, in 1969 Get Ready was reissued in the UK and wound up reaching number 10 on the UK pop singles chart.

I found out two interesting facts while researching this song. First of all, while I was aware that Rare Earth had covered Get Ready, I had no idea just how successful their version turned out to be. In 1969, Rare Earth released a rendition of Get Ready on their first album of the same title.  The album version of Get Ready was a 21-minute extravaganza, encompassing the entire second side of the lp. An edited version of the song, pared down to around 3-minutes, was released as a single. Rare Earth’s Get Ready outperformed The Temptations’ version, reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold in excess of a million US copies, earning a Gold certification from the RIAA.

Oh, and second thing I learned? In 1969, Rare Earth became the first band signed to Motown’s new rock subsidiary, Rare Earth Records. Again, what are the odds of such coincidences…

 

The Original

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The Temptations:

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More Popular (NOT Better, Mind You, Just More Popular)

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Rare Earth:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Delroy Wilson vs. Giant Sand

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Delroy Wilson:

Giant Sand:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.