I’m a bit of a sucker for a good cover version. I think it’s that, as my musical taste has evolved and expanded over time, I really appreciate the different treatments that a song can receive and still sound great. Recently I heard three cool versions of ‘Real Wild Child (Wild One)’ for instance – I came across them in reverse order – I only knew Iggy’s for many years and it always sounds good. Then I recently heard the cover by Jet Harris from 1962 and that in itself was a surprise – like the Shadows turned bad boys – which prompted me to check out the original by Australian rocker Johnny O’Keefe from 1958. I love all three of these and each one so distinctive from the other. Same song, different angle.
Of course there are more examples of this than I have room to write about… and probably whole blogs devoted just to this subject alone (don’t even get me started on ‘I Put A Spell On You’…) but while I’m here I want to share another with you. Being written by Ray Davies already suggests that it’s going to be pretty good – but it was one of those songs that the Kinks never officially released, although it was at least recorded in the studio for a BBC session.
Dave Berry recorded it in 1965 and gave it something haunting and atmospheric. Then in 1998 it was released as a single by Hooverphonic, the Belgian trip-hop/rock/electro-pop/whatever-you-want-to-call-it band (genre names can be so limiting!) This is such a different version, characteristically electronic with wistful vocals. I hope you’ll like these two: one male, one female, many years apart, but side by side here.