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Archive for September, 2011

Nice Sectional

Monday, September 26th, 2011

It may be hard for most to recall but New Order weren’t the only pioneering post-punk electricians coming out of Manchester during the early 80s. Languishing under their shadow were fellow Factory records label mates Section 25 and their, now considered classic, electro track Looking From A Hilltop; 4 and some change minutes of haunting vocals and unrelenting modulating synths over a Kraftwerk inspired beat (produced by New Order’s Bernard Sumner no less).
20 years later, and shortly before their rather sad demise, Glasgow indie power pop trio BIS paid homage to Section 25 (as well as Factory records as a whole) with a stunning electro cover of Hilltop.

Bis – Looking From A Hilltop


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub not hip to what FAC 108 is, got the original and a nice little bonus track on the wall for you…


Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

With so many covers at the Versions G, it’s kinda hard bein LEO P O L D.
OK, lame attempt at rap I know, I’m way too middle class white Jew-boy to have any kind of flow. (Oh hey that rhymes!)
But here’s something that’s certainly less lame; 4 fun covers of Snoop Doggy Dogg classic Gin & Juice.
Rolling down the street smoking collie weed is the reggae/dub antics of Prince Fatty (with Jamaican legend Winston Francis on vocal duties).
Next is Sissy Bar, and I dunno about you but there’s something kind of hot about a bunch of indie pop girls singing ‘I got bitches in the living room getting it on’.
Perennial Versions fave, Richard Cheese hams it up with his lounge rendition. And lastly, enlightening us that complex and often time contradictory social issues aren’t just endemic to urban locales but can have equal and resounding ramifications when introduced into rural agrarian settings, is The Gourds with a country-fried Dixie version.

Prince Fatty – Gin and Juice
Sissy Bar – Gin and Juice
Richard Cheese – Gin and Juice
The Gourds – Gin and Juice


Style Conscious

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Wall Street losin’ dough on every share
They’re blamin’ it on longer hair
Big men smokin’ in their easy chair
On a fat cigar without a care.

People Make The World Go Round, The Stylistics haunting slice of Philly soul eerily rings as true today as did back in 1972. More interesting however is the odd bit of resigned wisdom that follows:

But that’s what makes the world go round
The ups and downs, a carousel
Changing people’s heads around
Go underground young man.

While the falsetto chorus advises that there’s not much you can do to change it, it’s all part of life, deal with it best as you can; it’s the contrasting upbeat arrangement that unspokenly seems to whisper but it can’t take away your dignity.
Not surprisingly an impoverished 70s Jamaica understood these sentiments quite well and have always poured that soul and pride into music, chiefly reggae. Funny enough my first exposure to People Make The World Go Round wasn’t the Stylistics cut, but rather the Hortense Ellis‘ (sister of Alton) sublime reggae/rocksteady version; easily one of my personal top ten favorite reggae cuts. My close second picks are three classic versions from The Chosen Few, The Now Generation (FYI more Jamaican soul than straight reggae) and The Tamlins. Following those are an 80s UK lover’s rock cut from The Cool Notes as well as a poppy Sly & Robby-produced dancehall number from Ruddy Thomas.

Hortense Ellis – People Make The World Go Round
The Chosen Few – People Make The World Go Round
The Now Generation – People Make The World Go Round
The Tamlins – People Make The World Go Round
The Cool Notes – People Make The World Go Round
Ruddy Thomas – People Make The World Go Round



21st Century Boy

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Been dying to feature 70s glam groover 20th Century Boy, by T Rex, for some time now. One would think there would be a virtual velvet goldmine’s worth of amazing covers, yet instead my ears have been bored by the tepid lot of note-for-notes out there. Determined not to pack away the eyeliner just yet, I dug deeper and found a trio of Versions worthy versions.
Leading with a personal fave is eclectic UK trio Belleruche. No strangers to VG they pack more mojo into their simple sultry lo-fi, guitar & kick drum cut than any of the lavish production, feather boa wanna-bees out there.
Quite a screamer is a rare, early B-side from Siouxsie & The Banshees, who like most late 70s excess-rejecting punks, still had a hard time parting with their platforms.
And lastly translating the glam quite swingingly is (sadly MIA) rockabilly sextet Big 6.

Belleruche – 20th Century Boy
Big 6 – 20th Century Boy
Siouxsie And The Banshees – 20th Century Boy


PS For all the young dudes (and dude-ettes) of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub not familiar, got the original on the wall for you…

Up To Scruff

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Musician. Illustrator. Professional tea brewer. Mr. Scruff is no doubt Manchester’s quirkiest renaissance man. And dilettante he is not. Prolific creator of jazzy breakbeats he’s got no less than 6 albums (5 of which on the mighty Ninja Tune label),  numerous singles and countless mixes under his belt. He’s no slouch in the drawing department either. Besides branding himself with his signature badly drawn jazztastic potatoes (gander here and here) his illustrations also routinely turn up in fancy coffee table books like Booth Clibborn’s who’s who of street art tome Scrawl. He’s also gotten in the awesome habit of bringing his cheeky cartoons to life for his music videos (try not to break out in a grin we dare you). Then next he did the only logical thing a pie and Earl Grey obsessed dj could; make TEA, which he has done in a rather organic fashion via his Make Us A Brew company.
Now that I’ve completely sold you on his royal Scruffiness,  here’s The Quantic Soul Orchestra‘s even funkier cover of his ubiquitous jazzy downtempo ‘hit’ Get A Move On (which to be fair the original is constructed from hefty doses of the blind avant-jazz viking Moondog track Lament I, “Bird’s Lament”)

The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Get A Move On


PS Original and Moondog’s ‘prequel’ version for those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub…

Flashback Friday:House Music All Night Long

Friday, September 2nd, 2011



Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! I was able to scare up two more covers of our original post on Happy House by Siouxsie & The Banshees for Flashback Friday. Two electro-disco-pop numbers from Belgium’s Shindu (on prodigious Franco hipster label Kitsuné) and the other from Marseille’s Celluloide. Heureux! Heureux! Joie! Joie!

Shindu – Happy House
Celluloide – Happy House

Check out the original post here…