Have ever fantasized about putting together an album of cover songs that would represent something about where you’re coming from musically, spiritually, or whateverly My close personal friend, Townsman andyr, and I have long joked about recording a “solo” album of covers that mean a lot to us but that we could not realistically see convincing our bandmates rallying behind. We’ve had some success in getting our bandmates to cover songs that would fit the model, such as R.B. Greaves‘ “Take a Letter Maria,” but bandmate chickenfrank, in particular, quickly catches onto how corny a path we would lead the whole band, if we had our druthers. That’s cool.
These songs we joke about adding to that album have never been set in stone, but they share core musical values from our AM radio-informed youth, especially an abundance of chooglin’ rhythms and quick I-IV-I chord progressions, such as the hook in the chorus of The Box Tops‘ “Soul Deep” (and Nick Lowe’s “Skin Deep,” for that matter). Billy Swan‘s “I Can Help” definitely makes the track list. We have never formally discussed what would be on our joint solo album, but I’m pretty sure it would be done in the slavish manner of Dave Edmunds‘ Subtle as a Flying Mallet.
For us, mind you, this covers album would not necessarily be a collection of our favorite songs but a representation of a particular aspect of our collective tastes. (Other musical influences we might cover would be left to another project, such as the equally long-discussed Clash cover band, The Magnificent Seven, which would play exclusively a rotating set of 7 Clash covers.) Your personal covers album can be organized according to whatever principles your heart desires.
So think about it – and andyr and I will too, in the course of this thread: What 10 songs would make up your personal covers album?
By the way, check out the pictures on the wall behind Greaves, at the 1:36 mark in this video: do I see the RTH Townsman and Townswoman?
andyr, to kick this off, if we’re going to nail down our solo-duo covers album we’re in agreement on “Soul Deep” and “I Can Help,” right? Where do you stand on Maxine Nightengale’s “Right Back Where We Started From” and The Four Seasons’ “Let’s Hang On”? Do they make the cut for the solo-duo covers album, or do they need to go on my actual solo covers album? What about The Doors’ “Land Ho”? Should I save that for a covers album with chickenfrank? If you’re into that one I think we need to keep toying with the idea of doing it as the full band – I don’t want to cut chick out of that action.
We definitely reach on “Soul Deep” “I Can Help” and “Let’s Hang On”
I’ll need to think a little more on “Right back”/ I love the song but maybe we should do an actual motown song
I’ll do “Land Ho” anytime/anywhere
Yeah, I just don’t want to cheat chickenfrank out of the joy of “Land Ho.” Let’s see if we can convince the band to do that one.
For Motown songs your offlist suggestion of “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” is a KEEPER! That’s my favorite Motown song. Can we stop at one Motown track, or do we need to also get working on our follow-up solo-duo album, in which we re-create a Temptations vs Supremes showdown album? Think of all those stomping Supremes songs that have been shot down in our band. Bastards!
Suddenly Last Summer-The Motels
Nights on Broadway-Bee Gees
Enjoy The Silence-Depeche Mode
The Endless Sea-Iggy Pop
Go To The Mirror Boy-The Who
Romeo’s Distress-Christian Death
The Stranger-Billy Joel
I Am The Resurrection-Stone Roses
I have covered all of these songs live, and they will make a fine album one day.
Go, kilroy! THAT’S what I’m talking about, Townspeople.
Go To The Mirror is an EXCELLENT name for that project.
This is without regard to how many times these songs may have been covered or to my ability to pull these songs off. They are also not necessarily my favorite songs but rather songs that I think could sound cool as covers and songs that represent my current musical world view.
When You Were Mine – Prince
Change Reaction – Robert Hazard and the Heros
Capital Radio – The Clash
Magnet and Steel – Walter Egan
Gypsies Tramps and Thieves – Cher
Two Winters Long – Irma Thomas
Mercy, Mercy – Don Covey
Any Way You Want It – Dave Clark 5
Just Like Romeo and Juliet – Mike and the Messengers
Either Hush or Now by the Plimsouls
Kick Out The Jams – MC5
Cry for Love – Iggy Pop
As an aside, Mod, I listen to the Head’s version of Take a Letter fairly often, and I’m a big fan of that Maxine Nightingale song (and many other early 70’s, WIFI 92 style, disposable pop songs). Let me know if I can be of service when you and the Velvet Foghorn start recording your project.
DUDE! Cry for Love is on my list of songs to cover in the future. It’s awful 1986 production can not obscure what a great song it is at it’s core.
i forgot these bonus tracks:
Eyes Without a Face-Billy Idol
You Are Always On My Mind-Elvis
Maneater-Hall & Oates
New Dawn Fades-Joy Division
Teenage Riot/L.A. Woman medley
andyr and I have been doing a lot of work offlist. This is a highly personal covers album we’ve got in the works, and you don’t need to see the Two Virgins-like discussions better left on the cutting-room floor.
So far we’ve agreed on the following:
Soul Deep (Box Tops)
I Can Help (Billy Swan)
Let’s Hang On (The Four Seasons)
Too Busy Thinking ’bout My Baby (Marvin Gaye)
Red Rubber Ball (The Cyrkle) – lot of history between us on this number!
Sookie, Sookie (Steppenwolf’s version)
Lonely Too Long (The Rascals)
Three more slots left. Lately we’ve been trying to determine which song from the American Grafitti soundtrack gets included. More to come.
Amen, shawnkilroy! That is an unfairly maligned song. But I don’t think you can say enough bad things about the production.
I’ve got to admit, I’ve never understood the affection for I Can Help. Is it the sentiment of the song, admittedly admirable, that people love so much? The production always seemed kind of weedy to me.
My tracklist comes from songs I’ve already recorded cover versions of. There are more, but I’ve cut it down to album size.
Harold Dorman, Mountain of Love
Bob Dylan, Quit Your Lowdown Ways
Beach Boys, Angel Come Home
Randy Newman, Golden Gridiron Boy
Nick Lowe, Heart
Kinks, Till the End of the Day
King’s X, Looking for Love
Catherine Wheel, Fizzy Love
Capt. Beefheart, Yellow Brick Road
Richard Thompson, A Heart Needs a Home
Traditional, The House Carpenter
Lulu, To Sir with Love
shawnkilroy, this one’s for you:
Land Ho would be a blast to play. It has a great guitar sound. You guys forget that so many mid to late period Doors songs have one of those “indian eggshell mind” slow speaking middle breaks that would be impossible to pull off without laughing. Land Ho has a slow break that is dreamy and silly. Damn Poets!
I can’t believe you and AndyR didn’t list Magic Mountain by Eric Burdon!?! Is that too perfect to ruin? I will not be playing that with you. I’ll be in the audience dancing in a B.O. reeking dashiki.
i love it!
I’m thankful we still have 3 spots left. chickenfrank, you’re right, “Magic Mountain” needs to be the centerpiece of our “solo” album. Pull out your dashiki!
The jazz-poetry breaks in so many of those fat-era Mr Mojo Risin’ Doors songs we talk about covering are problematic.
Robin Gibbs’ skin-tone ensemble in that clip you provided misterioso is PRICELESS!
Yes, it really is something to see. But the amazing thing to me is seeing the Bee Gees, about to metamorphose permanently into something else altogether, functioning as a real, and good, band. Very impressive.
Good call on Harold Dorman’s “Mountain of Love” BigSteve. I’ve been trying to get a friend of mine to play that for years, along with Eugene Church’s “Pretty Girls Everywhere”.
Oh, gosh. I’m afraid my list of must-do covers would extend across multiple discs. Still, here it is — along with my fan club-only special Kinks covers CD. Which, come to think of it, would not be recorded or issued on disc. Rather, Phish-style, it would only be performed once, in a trampled corn field in rural Vermont, and become the stuff of rumor and legend.
All of these songs are tunes I’ve either covered live, tried to, or desperately wanted to.
The Dirty Jobs – The Who
Day After Day – Badfinger
King Of the Night-time World – KISS
More Today Than Yesterday – Spiral Starecase
Did It In a Minute – Hall & Oates
Riff Raff – AC/DC
In My Own Time – Bee Gees
Lick and a Promise – Aerosmith
Against the Sun – Eggstone
Wah-Wah – George Harrison
Look Out Joe – Neil Young
Paperback Writer – Beatles
Behind Closed Doors – Charlie Rich
Neverland – Db’s
Woman from Tokyo – Deep Purple
The Shame Just Drained – Easybeats
Good Times – Easybeats
Jet – Wings
Clean Money – Elvis Costello
Let Yourself Go – Elvis Presley
Shine On – Humble Pie (with Nixon’s Head)
Hook Me Up – Johnny Guitar Watson
Makin’ Love – KISS
Your Number Or Your Name – Knack
My Feet Are Off the Ground – Knickerbockers
Misty Mountain Hop – Led Zeppelin
Compared to What – Les McCann & Eddie Harris
Help You Ann – Lyres
I See the Rain – Marmalade
Pleasant Valley Sunday – Monkees
Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue
Let’s Eat – Nick Lowe
I Want to Build a Jumbo Ark – Nick Lowe
I Want You Bad – NRBQ
My Love – Wings
Hi Hi Hi – Wings
Rocks Off – Rolling Stones
Street Fighting Man – Rolling Stones
Live With Me – Rolling Stones
Mr. Skin – Spirit
Mr. Window Pane – The Stairs
Loose – Stooges
Cowboy Song – Thin Lizzy
Love Parade – Undertones
Special Kinks Covers-only Performance
See My Friends
House In the Country
Sitting On My Sofa
Where Have All the Good Times Gone
Do You Remember Walter?
I Need You
Got To Be Free
I’m In Disgrace
Whoops — “Loose” should be “No Fun.”
Hey, Mod — I’m serious about wanting to do a cover of Humble Pie’s “Shine On” with you and the Nixon’s Head gang. You guys should road trip down here and we’ll lay it down!
That would be fun. Can we do the “Sad Tale of Shakey Jake” as the b-side?
No sir! No flabby jam songs allowed. I, and I alone, as executive producer of this session, will select the winning B-side for this project! Expect the unexpected!
Taking this as an exercise in What Are Your Favorite Songs and/or Songs In Your Mind at the Moment:
Loving Cup—The Rolling Stones
Candy and a Currant Bun-The Pink Floyd
Right Down the Line—Gerry Rafferty
She’s Your Lover Now—Bob Dylan
St. Dominic’s Preview-Van Morrison
Is That Love?—Squeeze
George McCrae-Rock Your Baby
The Whole of the Moon-Waterboys
How Many Friends—The Who
And Your Bird Can Sing-The Beatles
Stranger Song—Leonard Cohen
If You Really Love Me-Stevie Wonder
I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight-Boyce & Hart
This Is Where I Belong—The Kinks
What Goes On-Velvet Underground
I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody’s Got a Thing-Funkadelic
I’m on Fire—Dwight Twilley
Run To Me-Bee Gees
Poor Side of Town-Johnny Rivers
Lipstick Vogue—Elvis Costello
I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)-James Brown
I’ll Be Around—Spinners
Lady Friend-The Byrds
I Got a Line on You-Spirit
Run of the Mill—George Harrison
Gimme Some Truth—John Lennon
Back Off Boogaloo—Ringo Starr
Driver’s Seat—Sniff ‘n’ the Tears
I Got By In Time—The Jam
Someone Saved My Life Tonight—Elton John
damn! you guys are the coolest!
glad to know ya.