A Cover You Can’t Refuse
A few years ago, back when I was a designer at some big electronic music rag, I used to share my office with the reviews editor, and stellar music journalist overall, Ron. Around the same age, Ron, like me, also had an almost autistic knowledge of arcane music trivia of the 70s, 80s and 90s. So while we were busy ‘working’, our desks in the office facing back to back, we used flex our music nerd credentials by playing a running game of Name That Obscure, Go Nowhere, Often-Found-In-The-Cut-Out-Bin, 80s Band. The game pretty much lasted the entire duration of our time there and consisted of nothing more than one upping each other by blurting out loudly the name of some band only the Trouser Press Record Guide could love and it went something like this:
Me:The Stockholm Monsters
Ron:Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
Me:Sad Lovers & Giants
Ron:And Also The Trees
Ron:That Petrol Emotion
Ron:Cactus World News
Me:Jean Paul Sartre Experience
Ron:Half Man Half Biscuit
Ron:Head Of David
Me:(Aprapo of nothing, 2 hours later) The Connells…
Ron:(10 minutes later) Eyeless In Gaza
Me: Microdisney, motherfucker.
Ron:(1 week later) Hey Leopold here’s the latest edits to the cover feature. Oh and by the way, The Comsat Angels.
Me:Dammnit! Uh, um…China Crisis?
Etc etc ad inifinitum….
One band that invariably came up was 80s, one semi-“hit” wonder,
The Godfathers. Ever heard of them? No? Chances are if you’re under 35 the answer is usually a resounding NoFuckingClueMate, however they did leave behind one great cynical sing-a-long, the anthemic Birth, School, Work, Death. There were a few covers floating around but only Manhead, from Trevor Jackson’s late great Output label, manages to both outdo and almost out-’80s’ the original with their electronic/disco version.
PS For those Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub under 35, got the original on the wall for you…
PPS Oh and hey Ron, Spear Of Destiny.