The Who: “The Kids Are Alright”

Posted: February 5, 2018 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “The Kids Are Alright” – The Who
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Dropkick Murphys vs. Flexie vs. Les Calamites

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


“People who are trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off – why should I?”

  Bob Marley




The Original

The Who:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Dropkick Murphys vs. Flexie vs. Les Calamites
Dropkick Murphys:


Les Calamites:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


  1. Cuspid says:

    Oh my. I thought the Dropkicks were an Irish pub punk band with more emphasis on pub than punk. Boy was I wrong. This is no contest. Flexie may have the distinction of performing the worst cover I ever heard. Maybe they recorded the tune at 45 RPMs and played it back at 33 RPMs. Whatever the reason, they were/are just awful. Les Calamites were certainly worthy. I like the gender reversal aspect of 3 women singing the song. But DM just blew me away. I might even like their version better than the original, and I really like the original.

  2. Kerry Black says:

    The curious thing about cover songs…we’re usually dealing with a song we like (or else why bother?), often by a musical act we hold in high esteem. The question then becomes, how closely should one adhere to the original, or how far afield should one wander? When I hear people perform a nearly exact replica, I wonder why they bothered. If you change it too much, you can lose the essence of what made it great in the first place.

    I liked the version by Dropkick Murphys and voted for them. Looks like Cuspid is now a big fan.

    I thought the version by Flexie was “lost at sea”, and was preparing to take a swipe at them. Cuspid beat me to it. So basically I agree with him today, although he is rather more emphatic.

  3. Pete Black says:

    To Kerry’s question of what/when to change elements in covering a song. To me, it depends on what defines or is essential to the song. When Hendrix listened to a mid tempo folk ballad with a slight and melancholy melody and gave us All Along The Watchtower, I say genius! Nothing essential to the song was destroyed and all profit. I think The Kids Are Alright is a classic power-pop song before anyone used that term. You could call Flexie ballsy or wrong or inept but they destroyed the heart of the song. Les Calamites kept the fine melody and were oh so cute with their sexy accents(Shonen Knife,’s) but they lacked the steam to bring it home. I have four Dropkick albums and have seen them live but wouldn’t have recognized this as them. They did have the power and the pop to do justice to this nugget. My favorite version is by The Queers from a double disc called “Joe Queer presents More Bounce To The Ounce on which The Muffs do a perfect cover of Costello’s No Action.

  4. RDubbs says:

    Well I am in the minority. The Dropkick Murphys were their usual frenetic superlative selves, as everybody has pretty much agreed. But I enjoyed Flexie’s interpretation. Hell if you’re setting out to just replicate a song then why bother? Even though the Dropkick Murphys probably deserved the vote I gave mine to the Las Calamites. I like girl bands.

  5. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I’m a sucker for bands that punk-ify a song, and the Dropkick Murphy’s did that, and did it really really well, so they got my vote. Flexie’s version wasn’t as bad as I was expecting (I made the cardinal mistake of reading the comments before listening myself), but it was just too lo-fi for me. I liked Las Calamités version, to the degree that I spent the extra four seconds required to put an accent on the e in their name while typing this comment. I agree with Pete about the Shonen Knife thing; they remind me of them, for sure.

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