A while back, I made an all-cover-songs compilation CD for some pals. Here's a .zip file of the whole thing
(90 mb zip) (I like .7z and .rar, but, hey, compatibility--plus .mp3s are already compressed, so no algorithm will make a huge difference, it doesn't seem). Questions, comments, opinions, suggestions--I'd love to hear 'em.
And here's a tracklisting:
Ella Fitzgerald - Sunshine of Your Love
Originally by Cream. The big band backing is okay, but I wish Ginger Baker was in it.
Lonnie Smith - Think
A live B3 soul-jazz version of the Aretha Franklin song, livened up by a couple extra percussionists.
Bobby Byrd - Signed Sealed Delivered (I'm Yours)
Byrd's one of those high-energy kinds of singers, and the JB's band is at least as energetic.
A Darker Shade of Black - Ball of Confusion
Totally one of the best psychedelic soul songs ever written. Originally by the Norman Whitfield-era Temptations, though I suspect that the roughly-contemporary version by the Undisputed Truth better reflects Norman Connors' intent.
The Meters - Sing a Simple Song
Originally by Sly and the Family Stone, but this is one of those 'All Along the Watchtower' situations. Holy shit. The Breakestra covers this version, but it's not nearly this good.
The Neapolitans - Crosstown Traffic
It's a Jimi Hendrix song (with a great video from the very early days of same), but I don't know much of anything about the folks who are playing this cover version (beyond that it appears on a mixtape from NYCTrust DJ E's E). Love the organ, though. Little mixing at the end of the track.
Kenny & the Beach Boys - Big Payback
Not those Beach Boys. Bahamians.
Al Green - I Want To Hold Your Hand
Maybe you've heard the original version.
Aretha Franklin - Eleanor Rigby
Quite different from her version on This Girl's In Love With You
, this song is from the Live at the Filmore West
The Israelites - Come Together
Jamaicans. And yeah, three Beatles covers in a row. And mixing.
Jackson 5 - Ain't No Sunshine
Most of the songs these guys sang were done first by somebody else, so why pick this one? Well, because I think it's a really good song, and a mildly well-known hip-hop sample source. And let's just say there might be a reason that Mikejack songs don't have a lot of spoken introductions in 'em. He's no Bill Withers, that's for sure. Of course, Bill Withers is no Michael Jackson, either.
Horace Andy - Ain't No Sunshine
Yeah, it's the same song, twice in a row. Did I mention that I think it's a really good song? Plus, Horace Andy, fairly late in his life, had that great Massive Attack connection.
Carol Cool - Upside Down
Here's a Jamaican version of Diana Ross' 1980 disco classic 'Upside Down' (I was really, really fond of this song when I was a little kid). Pick up the LP version of the Diana
album for gatefold cheesecake, or the CD deluxe edition for ridiculous extras, including the alternate version of the album--Motown rejected the first version that Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers submitted.
Irish Man - Part Time Lover
Half the goddamn lines in this song end with the words 'part time lover.' It's like Stevie is a lazy mc.
Gang Do Tagarella - Melo Da Tagarella
I was going to follow R's lead, and not include any mix/mashup/re-interpretation kinda things, and I could've even done a decent job at it. But it's hard. Realness, authenticity, they're problematic. Take this song--It's a bunch of Brazilians playing a cover of 'Rapper's Delight,' a greedhead studio creation which depends heavily on, by which I mean totally bites, the bassline from Chic's disco classic 'Good Times.' And this is a cover of a rap song, but there's no rapping in it.
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Express Yourself
Lee was like the Jamaican Don Ho or something. Here he plays 'Express Yourself,' as originally performed by Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Watts Rhythm Band, and probably made most famous by NWA.
Laura Lee - What A Man
Originally performed by Linda Lyndell, and a big successful hit for Salt 'n' Pepa and En Vogue in the '90s.
El Michels Affair - C.R.E.A.M.
Here's another cover of a rap song, but without any rapping in it. These soul/retro guys' covers of Wu-Tang songs are so good that they later released an EP with Raekwon and played a show as the Wu's backing band. Stay awake to the ways of the world--that shit is deep.
Ananda Shankar - Can't Help Falling In Love
Apparently, there was an Indian Elvis tribute album, released shortly after he died. My man Ananda Shankar, always crossover-minded, was totally down.
Last Exit - Big Boss Man
A quick, loose cover from this all-star team of jazz weirdos. Chuck Eddy likes these guys.
Jerry Granelli and Jamie Saft - Don't Stop
A quick, loose cover from this all-star team of jazz weirdos. Granelli's highest-profile gig was probably on a few Vince Guaraldi albums. Saft's highest-profile gig might be his trio album of Bob Dylan covers.
Youngblood Brass Band - Human Nature, Pt. 2
This is really becoming one of my favorite Mikejack songs. He didn't write it, though. In any case, I think they should play Nas' 'It Ain't Hard to Tell,' perhaps as part of some Jay-Z/Roots-ish MTV thing.
Shirley Ellis - Stagger Lee
I could've made a whole CD of 'Stagger Lee' versions. This one, from the lady who sang 'The Name Game,' is probably more upbeat than most. (I can think of at least two pretty good Stackolee books, btw.)
Slim Harpo - When The Saints Go Marching In (live)
This was recorded at an Alabama frat party in the early '60s. Despite all that, man, I would love to have been at this show. Those folks are having one hell of a good time.