Aug 272020

Here’s a topic I have been thinking about for years, but that may never have made it to the Main Stage. I guess I’ve been thinking about this since Rock Town Hall first fizzled away.

KISS‘ “Hard Luck Woman” is such an obvious pastiche of mid-’70s Rod Stewart that it’s a wonder that Rod never covered it. (Or has he?) Some of you may recall how much I personally despise KISS, but I have to give it to them: they were rock solid as Rod Stewart imitators.

What’s the first thing anyone of my generation thought when first hearing the Stealer’s Wheel song “Stuck in the Middle With You”?

New Dylan tune? Cool!

Bob’s a proud man, but he’s got a devilish sense of humor. How has he gone all these years without covering that song? (Or has he?)

And here’s the tune that has most had me thinking about this topic for the last few years: David Bowie‘s “Diamond Dogs.” Maybe it was 5 years ago when it came on and I thought to myself, That is the greatest song the Exile-era Stones never recorded!

Can you hear it as a swaggering Stones song, with Jagger sashaying and laying into the word “brooch” the way Bowie so expertly does*; Mick Taylor and Keef doing their thing; E Pluribus Gergely‘s favorite saxophonist, Bobby Keys, honking away? Ever since that day the thought occurred to me, that’s all I can hear. Well, that and the way Bowie sings brooch. And the cool This ain’t rock ‘n roll; this is genocide intro.

So here’s my assignment:

Starting with the 3 songs I’ve noted (and dispute those nominations if you must), what would make the greatest collection of covers of pastiche songs by the original artists being imitated? Imagine, a revitalized, coke-and-brandy fueled Rod the Mod singing “Hard Luck Woman.” Bob Dylan and his most crack modern-day band rambling through “Stuck in the Middle With You.” The Rolling Fucking Stones coming back for just one more album and world tour, featuring their version of “Diamond Dogs.” Hell, the Stones promise 2000 Man a seat on the tour bus!

*Brooch is probably my favorite word in the English language, or at least a close second to penultimate, on the basis of the way Bowie pronounces it in “Diamond Dogs.” Somehow, Bowie made it sound dirty!


  15 Responses to “All-Pastiche Covers Album”

  1. diskojoe

    How about CCR, or at least John Forgarty, doing a version of “Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress”
    The Kinks doing their version of “Respectable Street”
    Kate Bush covering the Kinks’ “The Way Love Used to Be”
    Unfortunately, Gene Pitney is no longer w/us to do his version of “Black Is Black”

  2. Great suggestions, DJ!

  3. Happiness Stan

    The first time I heard Springsteen’s Girls in Their Summer Clothes I thought it was the Icicle Works, so that one for starters.

    And Pere Ubu could do Joy Division’s Shadowplay.

  4. A pastiche that already happened, Springsteen covering Waits’ Jersey Girl.

    I always thought Stuck in the Middle With You” had more of a solo Lennon number vibe, of course doing one of his Dylan pastiche songs.

    It’s too late now, but maybe the Beatles should have replaced “Mr. Moonlight” with lies by the Knickebockers. Hell, they probably could’ve just plugged in the original recording onto “Beatles for Sale” without attribution.

  5. 2000 Man

    I always thought The Stones should do Billy Thorpe’s Children of the Sun and cover I Know I’m Losing You so Mick can show Rod how it’s done. They should also release their cover of Drift Away.

  6. H. Munster

    I hope Neil Young never covers Horse With No Name.

  7. @H. Munster: FTW! Yes, it’s just as important that we steer artists away from poor decisions in this regard.

    @2K: I love the thought of The Stones reclaiming “I Know I’m Losing You.” This puts a spin on that legendary series, if I may call one of my own series of works such, comparing the output of The Stones vs The Faces/Rod Stewart solo during the ’70s.

    @Happiness Stan: Yes, re: Pere Ubu taking on that Joy Division pastiche. On a related note, I’d like to see Neu cover any one of the Joy Division songs that sound, to my ears, like a Neu instrumental given a set of lyrics.

  8. diskojoe

    There’s a song by the Birds, Ron Wood’s first band, called “No Good Without You Baby” that I think the Stones could do.

    Here’s another, the Rascals doing “Expressway to Your Heart” by the Soul Survivors, which was a Philly band, I think.

  9. BigSteve

    David Sylvian co-opted Bryan Ferry’s vocal style to such a degree that he should reunite the rest of Roxy Music for a cashin tour with him singing their songs and them playing his.

  10. Not exactly on topic but…

    …I went down a Brandy rabbit hole yesterday –

    Early “live” version complete with Kenny Rogers cameo –
    A recent house concert –
    And a very new one for the a cappella fans –

    I love them all. As I listened I was struck by the similarities to Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”

    Beautiful pure narrative short stories about ill-fated love.

    As far as I know, Thompson has never covered “Brandy”.

  11. hrrundivbakshi

    The most perfect Chuck Berry song not by Chuck Berry: “Get Out of Denver” by the one, the only…

  12. mockcarr

    Well, at least I learned that Roger McGuinn covered Tom Petty’s American Girl. Maybe Ray Davies has room in his set for Paul Welles’s Man In The Corner Shop from Sounds Affects.


  13. mockcarr

    I cannot type this crap on an iPad, I’m sorry.

  14. Dylan covers Public Execution by Mouse and the Traps

    The Stones cover How is the Air Up There by the La De Das

    Van Morrison covers Smoke of a Distant Fire.

  15. H. Munster

    Steppenwolf covers Did You See Her Eyes by the Illusion.

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