Rhino’s Got You Covered: Cliff Richard, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Percy Sledge, and more
It’s Wednesday, so it must be time to take another dip into the Rhino catalog and trot out a new... Wait a minute, this is more than just a quartet of cover songs that you may or may not have heard before!
Yes, that’s right: we’re following in the same mindset today as we were with yesterday’s installment of “Gone Digital,” which is to say that we know you’re stuck at home and therefore likely listening to more music than usual, so we didn’t want you to somehow run out of possibilities. As such, we’ve actually offered up eight covers this week.
Let’s get started, shall we?
• Cliff Richard, “Hang On to a Dream” (1967): If you caught yesterday’s installment of “You Oughta Know,” then you know that we just wrote about someone else who covered this Tim Hardin tune – that would be Françoise Hardy, in case you didn’t catch it – but since the song was still stuck in our head and we realized we hadn’t included a song by Sir Cliff in quite a few weeks, we decided to go with this version from his DON’T STOP ME NOW album.
• Emmylou Harris, “The Boxer” (1980): Make no mistake, Miz Harris has offered up more fantastic interpretations of other artists’ work that we’d ever want to try and count, but the harmonies on this Simon and Garfunkel tune put it in the upper echelon of her absolute best.
• Diesel Park West, “Memo from Turner” (1989): To give credit where credit is due, you see a lot of Rolling Stones covers, but you don’t see a lot of people putting their own spin on songs from Mick Jagger’s solo catalog. DPW included this as one of the additional tracks on their ”All the Myths on Sunday” single, but it subsequently ended up on their B-sides and rarities compilation, FLIPPED.
• The Jesus and Mary Chain, “My Girl” (Single Version) (1989): Recorded during a May 31, 1988 session for John Peel’s radio show, this Smokey Robinson / Ronald White composition was most famously a hit for The Temptations, but – like virtually every cover they’ve ever tackled – the Reid brothers very much made it their own. In turn, it ended up as one of the B-sides for their “Blues from a Gun” single.
• Yachts, “24 Hours from Tulsa” (1980): These UK power-poppers from the new wave era were in the last gasps of their career when they released this Gene Pitney classic as the B-side to their single “I.O.U. (In the Oddments Drawer).” It was an unlikely choice of tune for the post-punk / new wave era, but they really rocked it up nicely.
• Donna Fargo, “Happy Together” (1977): If you were listening to country music in the ‘70s, you would’ve had to try extremely hard to avoid hearing Fargo on a regular basis, given that she had #1 hits on the Country Singles chart with “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.,” “Funny Face,” “Superman,” “You Were Always There,” “You Can’t Be a Beacon If Your Light Don’t Shine,” and “That Was Yesterday.” We’re not sure why this Turtles cover wasn’t released as a single – maybe because it wasn’t sufficiently country? – but it sure is a lot of fun.
• Percy Sledge, “Spooky” (1968): A classic tune from the Classics IV – you remember them, right? – gets a soulful reading by the man who gave us “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
• The Dictators, “Search & Destroy” (1977): Tacked onto the end of their second album, MANIFEST DESTINY, this Stooges cover may create the illusion that it was actually recorded live, but we don’t believe it for a second. Not that it in any way damages our appreciation of it, mind you.