I’ve always been intrigued by cover versions. Sometimes they tell you something interesting about an artist and their influences, sometimes they make you listen to a song with fresh ears.
Most of these tracks were introduced to me by radio DJs. John Peel and Andy Kershaw of course, but also Roger Scott on Capital who championed Johnny Allen (and Jonathan Richman’s Roadrunner) back in the 70s. It was a couple of years before someone (my brother?) alerted me to the fact that Take Me To The River was a soul classic and not the work of David Byrne, et al. Then there are the bands you love who suddenly record a cracking cover. I never thought I’d hear anyone cover one of my favourite King Crimson songs, and then along come The Unthanks. And then there’s the Rebel Dream Team of Cash, Strummer & Marley, what can I say? I hope you enjoy them.
1. Kids In America – Lawnmower Deth (Kim Wilde)2. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) – The Wedding Present (Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel)3. Promised Land – Johnny Allen (Chuck Berry)4. Burning Down The House – The Cardigans & Tom Jones (Talking Heads)5. Take Me To The River – Talking Heads (Al Green)6. Hey Joe – Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation (Jimi Hendrix)7. Starless – The Unthanks (King Crimson)8. Redemption Song – Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer (Bob Marley & The Wailers)9. Uptown Top Ranking – Dub Colossus (Althea & Donna)10. Steppin’ Stone – The Farm (The Monkees)