Tuesday, July 17, 2012

100 Cover Versions #71: 10,000 Maniacs cover 'More Than This' by Roxy Music

In 1997 10,000 Maniacs had their second highest hit single to date on the Billboard Hot 100 when their cover of More Than This by Roxy Music reached number 25 in the charts. It featured on their album Love Among the Ruins. The vocalist on More Than This was Mary Ramsay who had replaced Natalie Merchant as the group's lead singer. In 1997 More Than This was 15 years old as it had first featured on their Avalon album in 1982. The original version was never a hit in the US for Roxy Music but the 10,000 Maniacs version made it famous again.

Many of the songs on this list are songs that I haven't heard before. I'm sure I had heard the 10,000 Maniacs version before but never knew it was by them. It really is quite lovely.

Here is a live version by the band of More Than This recorded in Jamestown, New York in 2010. I can remember hearing the original song on the local radio in Kilkenny 30 years ago.

100 Cover Versions #70: Tina Turner covers 'I Can't Stand the Rain' by Ann Peebles

I Can't Stand the Rain was first recorded by Ann Peebles and released in 1973. It has been covered many times including the famous and wonderful disco version by Eruption which was a top ten hit in many countries including Ireland and the UK.

I love Eruption's version of I Can't Stand The Rain but a version that is just as fine is Tina Turner's cover which was one of the singles released from her Private Dancer album. It wasn't a hit in the UK and America but went top ten in the German and Austrian singles chart and was a number 2 hit in the French singles chart in 1985. 

Private Dancer was an album that perfectly blended the genres of pop and rock. The remixes of the singles were fantastic. I will post some of them in another post including Better Be Good To Me which is amazing.

Tina Turner is without a doubt one of the all time best live in concert performers in music history. Here is the extended remix of I Can't Stand The Rain.

The Slighest Touch (Shep Pettibone Remix) - Five Star

In 1987 The Slightest Touch was one of Five Star's biggest hits when it reached number 4 in the UK singles charts. It was one of seven singles that were released from their Silk and Steel album. The single edit and 12" were remixed by Shep Pettibone who also famously remixed many songs by the greatest music artists of the 1980s including several of Madonna's greatest singles in the mid to late 1980s. He also remixed several singles for Five Star including Rain or Shine, If I Say Yes, Find The Time and Somewhere Somebody.  

His remix of The Slightest Touch made a great pop song into a brilliant dance song. 

Stronger Than You and Me

Stronger Than You and Me is a mash up of three songs; Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson, Rhythm is A Dancer by Snap! and You and Me by Electric Lady Lab, the latter had used the Snap! song as a sample in their own single version. The audio mix is by Dan Mei and the video edit is by Panos T. As ever Panos T is extremely inventive in his editing as he adds in a very famous music video from the 1980s at the end of this edit. 

Dan Mei - Stronger Than You & Me (Panos T Video) from Dan Mei on Vimeo.

Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men

Little Talks by the Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men has been on release since last August and this week reached it's highest position to date on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart where it is currently number 66 after spending 14 weeks on the chart. 
Little Talks has already been a top ten hit in Austria, Germany, the Flanders chart in Belgium and was also a number one single on the American Alternative singles chart. I think if you like Arcade Fire you will love this song.

It's Time - Imagined Dragons

Here's a song that I really like on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at the moment. It's by Imagine Dragons and the song is It's Time. They have released four EPs since 2009 and It's Time featured on their third EP. It's Time has been in the American singles charts for 5 weeks now and it is currently at number 91 after reaching a peak of 89. 
They performed It's Time on The Jay Leno show this week and it also features in the trailer for the forthcoming film adaptation of the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower so I'm sure it will climb higher on the charts. So many songs in the American singles charts are slow burners nowadays so like Ellie Goulding's Lights if a good song takes months to make the top ten then so be it!

Here's the video for It's Time.

and the Jailbirds Remix.

Angel Eyes - Love and Theft

Angel Eyes by American country music duo Love and Theft is currently at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It is also number 9 on the American country music chart. Love and Theft are Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson. Their only previous Billboard Hot 100 hit was Runaway which got to number 65 in 2009. Runaway was also a number 10 hit on the country music chart and their biggest hit to date on that chart was Dancing in Circles which got to number 7. Both of those songs were from their debut album World Wide Open.

Love and Theft were originally a three piece band until Brian Bandas left the band. Angel Eyes is the first single from their second album which is the self titled Love and Theft. Just like the rap and hip hop genre of music that feature in the current American chart a lot of country songs all sound pretty much the same but Angel Eyes I think is pretty good. I guess it's all a matter of taste and what ever song clicks with you.

Here's the video for Angel Eyes.

Settle Down - the new No Doubt music video directed by Sophie Muller

No Doubt have released the video for their comeback single Settle Down which is featured on their forthcoming new studio album Push and Shove. The video is directed by Sophie Muller who has previously directed several music videos for No Doubt including Don't Speak, Excuse me Mr and Sunday Morning back in 1996. She also directed some of Gwen Stefani's best solo music videos including Wind it Up, 4 In The Morning and Early Winter. I love the gorgeous use of colour and light in the video which is perfectly No Doubt.

Settle Down was written by No Doubt and was produced by Diplo. I love that Gwen dosen't appear until 40 seconds into the video reminding us that this is definitely a No Doubt song and not another solo single. 

30 Minute Love Affair - Paloma Faith

30 Minute Love Affair is the second single released by Paloma Faith from her hugely successful album Fall to Grace. It was co-written by her with Chris Braide who recently worked with Lana Del Ray on Born to Die. It is also produced by Nellee Hooper so it is no wonder the album is pure class. 30 Minute Love Affair is released on download on August 10th here in Ireland and on the 12th in the UK. Paloma is appearing at music festivals in the UK this summer and starts her own solo UK and Ireland tour in Dublin's Vicar Street venue on the 21st January 2013. 

'Because the Night' performed by Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen and U2

Because the Night is one of Patti Smith's most iconic songs. It was co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti and featured on her Easter album. When it was released in 1978 it was a number 13 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts, it got to number 16 here in Ireland and had it's highest chart position worldwide when it got to number 5 in the UK singles chart.

If you live in Dublin Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band plays the RDS tonight July 17th and tomorrow the 18th. It is a venue that he has played many times over the years.

Here is a performance of Because the Night by Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and U2 which was performed at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert.

White Light - The new music video by George Michael featuring Kate Moss

George Michael has released the new music video for his single White Light which is released on August 10th here in Ireland and on the 12th in the UK. It is one of his most stylish videos to date. It's very cinematic and is full of various imagery depicting life hanging in the balance as George draws on his own life experience with his health scare from last year. Kate Moss of course is a major focus in the video but she doesn't dominate it. While George uses some vocoder in his vocals  at the beginning of the song there is less use of it as the song progresses.

George will resume his Symphonica tour again later this year which he had to cancel last year. 2012 is the 30th anniversary of the beginning of his music career with Andrew in Wham! and it is  so wonderful to hear new music from him.