Outlaw songs are at least as old as popular music itself. The image of a gallant loner battling a rigid and unyielding legal establishment has proved irresistible for generations of songwriters. In 1959, Texan Sonny Curtis wrote one of the best, "I Fought The Law." Intended as a vehicle for himself and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets, their single went precisely nowhere.That is, until it was covered -- the first hit cover was by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then another major version came out 14 years later, from The Clash who revived the "oldie" into what is now a "punk anthem." From there, the covers start piling up.... [more inside]
Unlike most murder ballads, The Long Black Veil doesn't retell the story of an actual murder. Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin borrowed bits of stories about Valentino and a murdered priest and a Red Foley chorus and crafted their own story in 1959 to create what he hoped would be a folk song for the ages. [more inside]
Jazz group The Bad Plus play an appropriately discordant Karma Police, a slow-burn We Are The Champions, an tearfulfeariffic Everybody Wants To Rule The World, and also sort of smell like teen spirit.
Looking for something familiar with a twist? Best told from their About Us Page: Vitamin Records was formed in Los Angeles in 1999 to provide music lovers with high quality string quartet, lounge and electronic tributes to major pop and rock artists. Vitamin's mission is to offer fans exciting versions of their favorite songs performed in new musical contexts. [more inside]
The Story of Bohemian Rhapsody: Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. (From BBC Three.) Oh, and... [more inside]
Okay, first, take a look at this collection of 60's and 70's Asian Pop Record Covers. Cause they're just a helluvalotta of fun to look at. Now, if you find your musical appetite whetted, the same fellow who brought you those wonderful jackets has a Singapore and Asian 60's Pop Music MySpace page, where you can listen to his fabulous audio playlist, see video clips and more record jackets, and get more info on this very fertile period in Asian pop music history. [more inside]
Aside from the usual crap, YouTube has a great selection of one the most covered song of all time: All Along the Watchtower. Classics like Hendrix (live and studio), Neil Young (at DailyMotion with better sound) and U2--and some great contemporary versions like Keziah Jones' blazingly-fast version, Bradley Fish's 12-instrument (including Chinese Zither) version, Michael Hedges’ reason-to-be-excited cover, and even a quite good version of DMB's much-maligned cover. What doesn't really rank: Dylan's original.