Jul 032013

Eugene Church and the Fellows

Eugene Church and the Fellows

Greetings once again, fellow seekers of the rare, the rockin’, and the rubbish-y! I come before you bearing two more dusty discs for your amusement, scrounged from the flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales in and around our nation’s capitol.

Over the years I’ve been buying my music this way, I’ve come across a number of tunes that were originally introduced to me through “cover versions” by artists I grew up with. Old, scratchy blues 45s and 78s show me what the Fabulous Thunderbirds were listening to back in the 70s, and there are any number of uptempo party/soul records that clearly had a treasured spot in the record collections of members of the J. Geils Band.

Every now and then, I run into singles that sound like they should have been covered by this or that band from my youth. I’m presenting two of them to you today.

The first is entitled “Good News,” by Eugene Church, and I think it coulda, shoulda, oughtta have been one of those foot-stomping party tunes cranked out by the J. Geils Band during their mid-70s heyday. I can hear Magic Dick and J. doubling down on the faux morse code intro, and Stephen Jo Bladd joining in on the “hoo… hoo”s during the verses. Of course, the thing would have been sped up and rockified like all their covers, but that’s okay.

01 Good News

Next up: a song called “We Need Love,” which I would have loved to hear by NRBQ, and sung by Big Al Anderson — who, quite frankly, already sounds like he stole a trick or two from the vocal playbook of Ray Scott, the artist you’ll hear here. I just love the enthusiasm Scott shows for the lyric, which he manages to transform into quite a lusty affair.

01 We Need Love

I hope you enjoy, and, as always, I look forward to your responses.



  2 Responses to “Thrifty Music: Covers That Never Were, but Should Have Been”

  1. diskojoe

    I always felt that the circa ’65 Stones should have covered a song by Gene Chandler called “(Gonna Be) Good Times”.

  2. Good stuff, HVB. I can definitely hear J. Geils Band on that first song. Although NRBQ makes sense covering the second track, it won’t surprise you that I suspect they would ruin it with sloppy drumming and just the thought of Terry Adams mugging from behind the piano.

    Not exactly related, but I like hearing my boys’ take on songs we hear during car rides. We were stuck in all kinds of traffic at the Delaware shore today with David Bowie playing on the iPod. I was reminded that my older son, the first time he heard “Boys Keep Swining,” thought it was the Undertones. It came on today and he said, “Don’t the Undertones even have a song where they sing ‘Boys!’ like that in the background?” He’s right: “Boys Will Be Boys.”

    Later “Young Americans” came on. My younger asked, “What came first, this song or the Jackson 5 songs? The music sounds like the Jackson 5.” Not bad!

    The boys also discussed the relationship between “Space Oddity” and “Ashes to Ashes.” This stuff made the traffic jam bearable. We finally made it to the outlets and bought new pants.

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