Posts Tagged ‘Billy Bragg’

Tune du Jour: “All of You Fascists Bound to Lose” – Woody Guthrie
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Bad Movies vs. The Deadly Gentlemen vs. Rude & The Lickshots
VOTE, COMMENT, then READ A NEWSPAPER
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California is a garden of Eden, A paradise to live in or see. But believe it or not, You won't find it so hot, If you ain't got the broccoli

California is a garden of Eden,
A paradise to live in or see.
But believe it or not,
You won’t find it so hot,
If you ain’t got the broccoli

During the spring of 1995, Woody Guthrie’s daughter Nora contacted British urban folk troubadour Billy Bragg about writing music for a selection of completed Guthrie lyrics. This was no minor task – Guthrie left behind over a thousand sets of complete lyrics written between 1939 and 1967 that had no music other than a vague stylistic notation. Bragg chose a number of songs to finish, as did Jeff Tweedy of the alt-country band Wilco (often with bandmate Jay Bennett). Nora impressed a common goal upon them: Rather than recreating Guthrie tunes, they should write as if they were collaborating with Woody, creating new, vital music for the lyrics. Both artists completed more songs than could fit on Mermaid Avenue, which is neatly split between Bragg and Wilco, with Bragg taking lead on eight of the 15 songs. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine – AllMusic)

As stated, Bragg and Tweedy completed more songs than they could fit on Mermaid Avenue, released in June 1998 to very favorable reviews and public acceptance. Thus, a sequel, Mermaid Avenue Vol. 2, was released in May 2000. All You Fascists was included on the Vol. 2 release (the title of the song was shortened on the album).

It’s actually odd that All You Fascists was included in the project. Woody not only put music to the lyrics but also released a recording of it on a radio broadcast in 1944. I suspect Bragg just could not help himself from recording his own version.

 

The Original

 

Woody Guthrie with Alan Lomax and Sonny Terry:

Unfortunately a very timely song. Then again, sadly, at what time in history would it not have been? 

 

The Mermaid Avenue Version

 

Billy Bragg & Wilco:

 

THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

 

Bad Movies vs. The Deadly Gentlemen vs. Rude & The Lickshots
Bad Movies:

The Deadly Gentlemen:

Rude & The Lickshots:

SPACE

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?!!? 

 

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

Tune du Jour: “A Change Is Gonna Come” – Sam Cook
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Billy Bragg vs. Mike Farris & Roseland Rhythm Review vs. The Gits
VOTE, COMMENT, then CHANT A PSALM
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Sam Cooke wrote A Change Is Gonna Come in December 1963. Cooke’s previous work had been in gospel music and, later, soulful pop songs that were sentimental and, at times, satirical in nature. A Change Is Gonna Come was markedly different from anything Cooke had ever composed before. The song is defiant in nature, emphatic that a change for long-suffering African Americans “is gonna come”. Cooke wrote A Change Is Gonna Come in response to an ugly incident he endured in October 1963. Cooke and his band were touring the south and had reservations at a Holiday Inn in Shreveport, Louisiana. When they arrived they were told that no rooms were available; it was obvious that the hotel had rooms available but was a whites-only establishment, which was the real reason Cooke’s reservations would not be honored. Cooke was furious and let the manager know it. When Cooke drove off in search of another hotel, a police car followed and arrested him for disturbing the peace. Not surprisingly he was traumatized by the overtly racist treatment. Another inspiration in Cooke writing such a blunt song about racial inequality was his admiration for Bob Dylan’s masterpiece, Blowin’ In The Wind, which was released in August 1963. Cooke was captivated by the song’s frank admonishment of racism and was said to be a bit ashamed that a white man was speaking out for the black community while he had yet to make any statement at all. Indeed, Cooke told his producer, J.W. Alexander, that he hoped A Change Is Gonna Come would make his father proud. 

Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny …
Cover Me Impressed!

Sam Cooke debuted A Change Is Gonna Come on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson on February 7, 1964. It would be the only time he ever performed the song. The musical accompaniment was complex and its essence foreboding and somewhat frightening. After hearing it on The Tonight Show, Cooke’s friend and protege, Bobby Womack, told him that the song sounded “like death.” Cooke responded, “Man, that’s kind of how it sounds like to me. That’s why I’m never going to play it in public.” Womack clarified his thoughts, that it wasn’t deathly, but rather “spooky,” but Cooke never performed the song again.

A Change Is Gonna Come was released on December 22, 1964. Tragically, under circumstances that to this day are still mysterious, Sam Cooke had been shot and killed on December 11, 1964, at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. He was but 33 years of age at the time.

Though only a moderate success in terms of sales, A Change Is Gonna Come is widely recognized as Sam Cooke’s seminal work. Not surprisingly the song became a staple for the country’s rising civil rights movement.

The Original

Sam Cooke:

 

THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

 

Billy Bragg vs. Mike Farris & Roseland Rhythm Review vs. The Gits
Billy Bragg:

Mike Farris & Roseland Rhythm Review:

The Gits:

SPACE

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?!!? 

 

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

Tune du Jour: “A New England” – Billy Bragg
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Across the Border vs. The King Blues vs. Too Much Joy
VOTE, COMMENT, then PUSH A PRAM
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Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

 

 

The Original

 

 

Billy Bragg:

 

In Memoriam

Kirsty MacColl:

While not a huge fan of most of her work, it’s impossible not to admire Kirsty MacColl. Hell, any musician worthy of working with Billy Bragg, Talking Heads, The Smiths and, most of all, The Pogues, has earned my respect. And while on stage she always looked to be having a grand time, a sentiment that is foreign to many “important” musicians. Fairytale of New York” is an enduring masterpiece and, of course, it is MacColl who expertly croons and trades barbs with Shane MacGowan in the song. If that were her only musical accomplishment then I’d still consider her a special talent for contributing to a pitch-perfect, raucous, yet sentimental ballad.

Billy Bragg’s “A New England” is far superior to any cover I’ve heard of the song. Still, it is worth noting that Kirsty MacColl actually enjoyed the most commercial success from the song. A year after Bragg included “A New England” on his 1983 album, Life’s A Riot With Spy vs. Spy, MacColl released it as a single. She obviously had Bragg’s blessing in that, at her behest, he wrote additional verses for her, which she consolidated into one closing verse. “A New England” became MacColl’s biggest hit, reaching number 7 in the UK Singles Chart and number 8 in the Irish Singles Chart. In 2000, MacColl tragically died while saving the life of her son during a boating accident. In tribute to Kirsty MacColl, Bragg subsequently began including the additional verse during performances of the song.

 

THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

 

Across the Border vs. The King Blues vs. Too Much Joy
Across the Border:

The King Blues:

Too Much Joy:

SPACE

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?!!? 

 

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

Tune du Jour: “Garageland” – The Clash
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Billy Bragg, The Neurotic & Attila the Stockbroker vs. Bruzckos featuring Argies vs. Still Little Punks
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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SPACE

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 …

SPACE

The Original

SPACE

The Clash:

Nice Puppets!

SPACE

THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

SPACE

Billy Bragg, The Neurotics & Attila the Stockbroker vs. Bruzckos featuring Argies vs. Stiff Little Punks

SPACE

Billy Bragg, The Neurotics & Attila the Stockbroker:

Bruzckos featuring Argies:

Stiff Little Punks:

Yes, yes, a big reason I selected this cover is the very cool homage of a name!

SPACE

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?!!? 

SPACE

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

SPACE

Tune du Jour: “Waiting for the Great Leap Forward” – Billy Bragg
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Barnyard Fury vs. Discount vs. The GO Set
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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SPACE

Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!

SPACE

The Original

SPACE

Billy Bragg:

Nice acoustic version (Austin 3/14/2013):

SPACE

THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

SPACE

Barnyard Fury vs. Discount vs. The GO Set

SPACE

Barnyard Fury:

Discount:

The GO Set:

SPACE

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?!!? 

SPACE

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

SPACE

A Tribute to David Bowie (1947 – 2016)
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spa

Oh Look Out You Rock ‘n’ Rollers, Pretty Soon You’re Gonna Get Older…

What could you say? Last night we lost an icon, innovator, genius. David Bowie will surely be long remembered as one of the most talented, creative and bizarre musicians of our lifetime!

Enjoy a bevy of tributes to David Bowie. The styles and genres of these cover songs are as diverse as the man himself.

Absolute Beginners

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Carla Bruni:

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Ashes to Ashes

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Paul Dempsey:

Hezekiah Jones:

Happy Rhodes:

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All the Young Dudes

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Billy Bragg & Jill Sobule:

World Party:

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Changes

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Echo and the Bunnymen with Sharleen Spiteri:

The Illinois State University’s Clef Hangers:

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Heroes

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Magnetic Fields:

The Coal Porters:

Nico:

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It Ain’t Easy

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Hazel:

Kelly Hogan & Robbie Fulks:

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Jean Genie

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Camp Freddy:

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Kooks

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Brett Smiley:

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Life on Mars

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Robyn Hitchcock:

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:

And of course it would not be a proper tribute without … ABBA!!!:

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Moonage Daydream

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J. Hell:

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Oh You Pretty Things

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Jun Jun Clinic:

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Rebel Rebel

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Iggy Pop & Lenny Kravitz:

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Sound and Vision

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Beck:

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Space Oddity

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Real-Life Astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield:

(Shatner cannot be happy over this infringement of his territory!)

John Otway:

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Starman

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of Montreal:

Arcadian Walnut:

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Under Pressure

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Flaming Lips:

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Watch that Man

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The Fur Ones:

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Ziggy Stardust

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Def Leppard:

Massacre:

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A Late Addition

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“Life on Mars” happens to be one of my favorite Bowie songs. So when I saw this interesting rendition, I just had to add it to the tribute. Reminds me of the classic Procol Harem church scene in “The Commitments”.

By the way, if anyone has a favorite Bowie cover that is not included then please let me know. If possible I will add it.
Nicholas Freestone (organ scholar at St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire):

The Commitments: Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) and Steven ‘Soul Surgeon’ Clifford (Michael Ahern):

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Another Late Addition

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This next video is proof-positive of just how cool David Bowie was. From The Cher Show, Bowie and Cher begin a set collaborating on Young Americans, which is weird enough. But things turn completely bizarre as Young Americans morphs into a very long medley of bad songs. Bowie had to be suppressing laughter throughout yet on the exterior appears way-cool to the nth degree. Now I ask you, how many musicians could have pulled this off without looking completely ridiculous?

David Bowie on The Cher Show (November 23rd 1975):

 

Tune du Jour: “A Change Is Gonna Come” – Sam Cooke
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Billy Bragg vs. Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
CoverMeImpressed.com     CoverMeImpressed.com     CoverMeImpressed.com

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Sam Cooke wrote A Change Is Gonna Come in December 1963. Cooke’s previous work had been in gospel music and, later, soulful pop songs that were sentimental and, at times, satirical in nature. A Change Is Gonna Come was markedly different from anything Cooke had ever composed before. The song is defiant in nature, emphatic that a change for long-suffering African Americans “is gonna come”. Cooke wrote A Change Is Gonna Come in response to an ugly incident he endured in October 1963. Cooke and his band were touring the south and had reservations at a Holiday Inn in Shreveport, Louisiana. When they arrived they were told that no rooms were available; it was obvious that the hotel had rooms available but was a whites-only establishment, which was the real reason Cooke’s reservations would not be honored. Cooke was furious and let the manager know it. When Cooke drove off in search of another hotel, a police car followed and arrested him for disturbing the peace. Not surprisingly he was traumatized by the overtly racist treatment. Another inspiration in Cooke writing such a blunt song about racial inequality was his admiration for Bob Dylan’s masterpiece, Blowin’ In The Wind, which was released in August 1963. Cooke was captivated by the song’s frank admonishment of racism and was said to be a bit ashamed that a white man was speaking out for the black community while he had yet to make any statement at all. Indeed, Cooke told his producer, J.W. Alexander, that he hoped A Change Is Gonna Come would make his father proud. 

Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny …
Cover Me Impressed!

Sam Cooke debuted A Change Is Gonna Come on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson on February 7, 1964. It would be the only time he ever performed the song. The musical accompaniment was complex and its essence foreboding and somewhat frightening. After hearing it on The Tonight Show, Cooke’s friend and protege, Bobby Womack, told him that the song sounded “like death.” Cooke responded, “Man, that’s kind of how it sounds like to me. That’s why I’m never going to play it in public.” Womack clarified his thoughts, that it wasn’t deathly, but rather “spooky,” but Cooke never performed the song again.

A Change Is Gonna Come was released on December 22, 1964. Tragically, under circumstances that to this day are still mysterious, Sam Cooke had been shot and killed on December 11, 1964, at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. He was but 33 years of age at the time.

Though only a moderate success in terms of sales, A Change Is Gonna Come is widely recognized as Sam Cooke’s seminal work. Not surprisingly the song became a staple for the country’s rising civil rights movement.

The Original

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Sam Cooke:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Billy Bragg vs. Mike Farris

I suppose it’s “been a long time coming” but this is a momentous first on Cover Me Impressed. Two Melodious Maximi squaring off against each other!!! May the Best Maximus Win…

Billy Bragg:

Billy Bragg is a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Bi 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!

Billy Bragg’s triumphal exploits in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competitions are detailed below:

12/26/2014 – “Fairytale of New York” (The Pogues) – Billy Bragg with Florence + the Machine (75%) thump Third Eye Blind (25%)

11/18/2013 – “Which Side Are You On?” (Almanac Singers) – Billy Bragg (57%) bests Dropkick Murphys (43%)

Mike Farris:

Mike Farris 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!

Mike Farris’ triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

1/11/2014 – “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” (The Carter Family) – Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue featuring the McCrary Sisters (86%) humiliate Ken Parker (14%)

I eschewed Farris’ studio version of A Change Is Gonna Come for this stompin’ live rendition with The Roseland Rhythm Revue:

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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.