Speaking of the Old Songs . . .
I was supposed to go back to Book Blogging this week (because that is where
So after totally throwing off my Book Blogging momentum with last week's halfhearted, if Haim-centric Horror week, and starting off this week with a Writing Diary Entry and a Tutor Tale which both had no more to do with reading than the vague vituperation of a local History textbook, I'm going to reveal that I haven't quite learned my lesson yet by publishing a musical post.
This post--and its siblings--have actually been cooking for quite a while, and were what inspired last week's metaphor about the writing of one's history being the singing of old songs in new ways.
My Top 5 Rock Covers
1) I Am the Walrus by Oasis
I really can't think of a band that covers the Beatles better. Indulgent guitar solo and all. Noel Gallagher has said that he likes I Am the Walrus because it is Nonsensical Lennon rather than Confessional Lennon--and I think that's a good point. It's easier to cover nonsense on the basis of a shared sense of humour than to cover personal confessions on the basis of a presumed deeper connection. And that's why this cover works so well.
(Listen to The Beatles.)
2) I Fought the Law by The Clash
Just like that, they turned a repentant Pop ditty into a rebellious Punk anthem. Decades later, when Green Day did their own version, they weren't doing a cover as much as paying proper Punk homage to The Clash.
(Listen to The Crickets. Sigh! Bobby Fuller did it so much better that I thought he had done it first.)
3) Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka by The Eraserheads
I may just be limited by my generation, but I think the E-heads' version is the best. Sometimes it really does take power chords to bring out the passion in a tender love song.
(I can't find Basil Valdez's original rendition.)
4) Nakapagtataka by Sponge Cola
Can you tell I have a weakness for love songs that are covered as power ballads? This one is one of my favourite love songs of all time, even if it is about a histrionic woman and the poor fellow who loves her. Such a beautiful melody at the service of such a dysfunctional relationship . . . I am reminded of Gustave Flaubert's gorgeous prose in Madame Bovary. I suppose one could adapt his novel to a contemporary Rock and Roll setting and get the same effect that Sponge Cola achieves here.
(Listen to the original by the Apo Hiking Society. My father worked on that, by the way.)
5) You Belong with Me by I Hate My Ex
Oh, man! I just love this! They did an excellent job at making a recent song that has received so much airplay sound new again.
(Listen--one more time, if you please--to Taylor Swift.)