Rock Line 3
I picked up this compilation for so cheap it was a shame to leave it there. I rescued it, really. Couldn’t find much about it, or even correct album art, for my iTunes.
It’s a fun mix. First up is Deep Purple covering Hush. What was that line in that shitty movie, ‘you had me at hello?’ Well this is a pretty damn fine introduction. Great tune. You knew that. Grand Funk Railroad is next with The Loco-motion. I don’t care who does this song, it’s pretty bad. Just a dumb song. I suppose this version is credible? Sure. Cheap Trick offers up a live version of Bo Diddley’s Ain’t That A Shame, complete with pounding drum intro and screaming girls. I mean, the intro is over 2 minutes long, guys. C’mon. Livin’ that rock ‘n’ roll dream, baby. Total bar band version. Fun. Next, Foghat kind of butchers Al Green’s Take Me To The River. Turns out, this is one of those songs where the original is best. All deference to Foghat, of course, but you’re up against the reverend. Ain’t gonna happen, Foghat.
Mott The Hoople speeds up and rocks out the Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane. Not nearly as pained or creepy as the original. Shame to take a great song and make it sound like local rawk radio fodder. Santana covers the Zombies’ She’s Not There as only Santana can. Every song he does sounds like him. Fair enough. I liked the instrumental sections where they just goes nut. And who the heck is that singing? The liner notes don’t say, and I can’t be arsed to look it up.
Rod Stewart covers the Temptations’ (I Know) I’m Losing You. At this point, anyone surprised that he did a cover tune has been living under a rock for so many decades they should just go back in there and forget about it. Wow, his vocals are really buried in this mix, especially at the beginning. A weird song, really. I’d need to hear the original to really get it, maybe. Electric Light Orchestra covers Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven by giving it a classical intro and then ripping away into a pdq version. Fun. Joe Cocker’s cover of the Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends is next. This is a pretty famous version, heard it many times over the years.
Peter Frampton funks up the Stones’ Jumping Jack Flash. I liked this version, it’s gritty and slinky. And it has trumpets. I like trumpets. It picks up speed a bit towards the end and has lots of guitar noodling. Cool. Beck, Bogert, Appice are next, doing a version of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. This I liked a lot. It’s groovy (how could anyone play this song otherwise?), but it’s bluesy and guitar-laden (of course). Very nice. Lynyrd Skynyrd does J.J. Cale’s Call Me The Breeze, another barrom brawl sort of a version that tries to capture Cale’s original slink but ends up sounding like Skynyrd. Lots of great soloing here. And more horns! Yay! I liked the piano part. Wish I could play like that. Go figure. The Stranglers run through ? And The Mysterians’ 96 Tears, which is certainly a distinctive tune that, in this band’s hands, becomes a fairly straight-on rocker. And more horns! I’m in heaven!
Greg Kihn does Roadrunner, a tune we all know was an original for Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. This is one of my faves on this disc. It’s a punk song, and I like it lots. Pat Travers absolutely tears through a live recording of Little Walter’s Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights). The audience participation part makes him sound like some really bad small town blues revue, but whatever. They make a credible job of this. It’s a horrible song, lyrically (and getting the crowd to shout “out go the lights!!” is just wrong, somehow… Anyway, it’s a blues classic. And the guitars here. Holy hell. Awesome. And lastly, to the surprise of no one, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s Little Wing. If anybody could credibly cover Hendrix and yet still make it sound like themselves, well, Stevie would be on that rare list. I could listen to Stevie play guitar all day. Wait, I have. And it was great!
You know what, for such a cheap disc and not really having much info about it other than what’s in the liner notes, this wasn’t a bad CD at all, definitely a worthwhile rescue.