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Posts Tagged ‘Versions Galore 4th Anniversary’

We’ve turned 4!

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s the 8th and final installment of Versions Galore’s 4th Anniversary Guest Cover Mix series…

HVW8, for the uninitiated, are an art collective made up of Gene Pendon, Tyler Gibney and Dan Buller who immoratlize their idols on canvas. Muhammad Ali, Fela, Stevie Wonder, Coxsonne Dodd, Serge Gainsbourg, Gil Scott Heron, Roy Ayers (to just scratch the surface) all get painted from a palette that is just as likely to include colors like funk, soul and afrobeat than just browns, oranges and blues. While they are in global demand, exhibiting anywhere from Parco (Tokyo) to Streetwise (London), HVW8 stay true to their musical roots by often painting in their natural environment; live music events. Indeed they can be found applying paint and pen soul alongside genre pushing luminaries like Bugz In The Attic, Gilles Peterson, Jazzanova and Roots Manuva. HVW8 are not afraid to share the limelight either. While hailing from Canada, they have established a firm base camp just off Melrose in Los Angeles in the form of the HVW8 Art + Design Gallery curating shows by the likes of Parra, Kevin Lyons, Ed Templeton, Geoff McFettridge and Michael Leon. And with that I’m excited and honored to pass today’s cover selector baton to HVW8’s Tyler Gibney.

Here is his mix:


And here is what he had to say:

Had a fun time pulling this together … and ended up with a lot or reggae versions. Always was a fan of Christine Lewis’s ‘Juicy Fruit’ along with Sly and Robbie covers. Tina Turner’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is a slept on version as is Grace Jones remake of Tom Petty’s ‘Breakdown’. So many great songs I didn’t include … could have went on an hour more!
Recorded it live at the HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles, Ca.

Fever – Susan Cadogan (Peggy Lee)
Whole Lotta Love – Tina Tuner (Led Zeppelin)
Light My Fire – Al Green (the Doors)
The Bed Too Big Without You – Shelia Hylton (the Police)
Southern Man – Merry Clayton (Neil Young)
Inner City Blues – Sly and Robbie (Marvin Gaye)
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough – Derrick Laro & Trinity (Michael Jackson)
Shimmy Shimmy – Prince Fatty (ODB)
Juicy Fruit – Christine Lewis (Mtume)
Between The Sheets – Soul Clap (the Isley Brothers)
Come As You Are – Lil Roy (Nirvana)
You Belong To Me – Michael McDonald (I thought it was actually Carly Simon that recorded it first, but it was the Doobie Brothers in 1977)
Trans Europe Express – Senor Coconut (Kraftwerk)
Billie Jean – Sly and Robbie (Michael Jackson)
Light My Fire – Jose Feliciano (the Doors)
Breakdown – Grace Jones (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Easy – Jimmy Lindsey (Commordores/Lionel Ritchie)
Walking on the Moon – Sly and Robbie (the Police)
Reasons – Seven Extension (Earth, Wind and Fire)
Summer Breeze – Jackie Mittoo (Seals and Crofts)
Roxanne – Okada with Ranking Roger (the Police)
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – Eddie Hazel (the Beatles)

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PS Just wanted to give a huge shout out to all our 4th Anniversary guest DJs:
Thanks a million again for pullin through with some quality covers…

Versions Galore will return to it’s regularly scheduled cover-age next week…

We’ve turned 4!

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Today’s entry is probably nepotism run amuck, but not without merit. I first mentioned my good friend Shockman last year, and how we both worked, some years ago, at a big electronic music rag. Two sarcastic Jews with an almost autistic knowledge of arcane music trivia cooped up in a tiny room 24/7 had all the trappings of a good sitcom.
While during the day Shockman is still the mild mannered but prolific music scribe, he is also known quite well in the Bay Area where he is the Don Gorgon at the crux of where reggae, bass, hiphop and electronic music meet. As a artist/producer he was creating dubstep as far back as 2001 and today still continues to push dub into new electronic frontiers (via the Voltage label). As a DJ he has been known to spin alongside such greats as Andrew Weatherall, Thievery Corporation, Jack Dangers, Fila Brazilia and DJ Z Trip as well as compiled albums for prodigious reggae label SelectCuts. I brought him into the fold for our 4th expecting a straightforward reggae cover versions comp, instead I got the inner wirings of the Shockman; a selector who truly knows how to flex his savvy with an eclectic covers mix of esoteric 80s, dark dub and other Jamaican niceties.

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

Jerusalem – Mark Stewart (William Blake/Sir Hubert Parry)
UK outer-dub producer Adrian Sherwood helps the Pop Group frontman destroy Parry’s Great War adaptation of mad free-loving mystic’s paen to England.

Kangaroo – This Mortal Coil (Big Star)
4AD supergroup peels the beats out of the Memphis proto-alt band’s dire mash note. “I saw you breathing/I saw you staring out in space”

Tainted Love – Coil (Gloria Jones)
The now-deceased queer-obscura pairing of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Geff “Jhon Balance” Burton dirges out Marc Bolan’s girlfriend’s Northern Soul classic as part of their debut 12″ EP, the first AIDS benefit music release.

Ring of Fire – Wall of Voodoo (Johnny Cash)
Two years before instant stardom via “Mexican Radio,” the L.A.-based quintet quotes the theme to Our Man Flint during their synthy take on the Man in Black’s ode to June’s ring.

Don’t Look Back – Busty Brown (The Temptations)
Clancy Eccles presages Peter Tosh’s take with Mick Jagger over a decade later by throwing Count Busty in front of the mic. “You can’t run, you can’t hide…”

Let it Be – Soulettes (The Beatles)
Coxone Dodd gets Bob Marley’s girl group to cha-cha their way through a rocksteady take on Paul’s reassuring vision of his Mom.

All You Need is Love – Echo & the Bunnymen (The Beatles)
While they’re at it, Mr. Echo and crew quote Elvis, Dylan, James Brown, and others in their stoney swing Live at Eric’s.

Cease to Exist – Red Cross (Charles Manson)
The McDonald bros of Hawthorne ably glam up Charlie’s tribute to never learning not to love.

Viva La Rock ‘n’ Roll – Savage Republic (Alternative TV)
Tribalist post-punkers take a Dick Dale-inspired crack at ATV’s appreciation of “the city of the dead hero”.

Guns of Brooklyn – Santigold (The Clash)
With the help of golden boy Diplo, our Santi relocalizes the universal Ivan’s struggle. “You know it means no mercy…”

Sound of Silence – Current 93
Finally, Dave Tibet and his spectral crew weave in some herbs and Eliot into their acapella take on the nice boys’ bit of prophesy.

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PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…
GUEST MIX N° 4 here…
GUEST MIX N° 5 here…
GUEST MIX N° 6 here…  

PPS And be sure to tune in for our final anniversary installment later this week…

We’ve turned 4!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

As I’ve bitched, whined, moaned and lamented many a time here on this blog, had I not decided (somewhat arbitrarily) on cover versions, Versions Galore could have easily been an electronic music site. To be specific it would have focused on all manner of Balearic; classic house/acid house, cosmic disco, Giorgio Moroder, MADdchester, re-edits and pretty much everything short of the toenail clippings of great Andrew Weatherall. That was until I did a little pre-blog leg work and, lo, discovered that today’s selector The Acid House had already beaten me to it. That said Tim Acidhouse has been a regular visitor at Versions pretty much since day one, even being the first to go out on a limb and offer me a guest DJ spot (on his brilliant but short lived side project Together in Eclectic Dreams). Well today, many years later, better late than dead, I finally get the chance to return the favor.

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

When Leopold asked me to do a covers selection for Versions Galore it had me scratching my head thinking what to choose, while I like listening to a cover version I don’t actually collect many of them, and to make it more challenging some of my favourites had already been included in previous guest selections, namely the awesome Only Love Can Break Your Heart covered by St Etienne and Dear Prudence a childhood favourite covered by Siouxsie and the Banshees. So I thought I would trawl the shelves and find some covers of classic house, disco, rock and indie from a much loved era in my life. Meandering from a classic uk acid cover by The Fairey Brass Band, a house cover of Bohannans Lets Start The Dance Again, Simon Dupree’s Kites which Ultraviolet’s dance cover was championed by some emerging DJ called Sasha during the early 90s, through to the slightly uncomfortable but equally compelling electronic version of The Smiths – A Light That Never Goes Out, and ending on the dubby pop remake by Moodswings of Jon and Vangelis State of Independence aided by a somewhat overused sample in the late 80s and early 90’s but incredibly powerful speech of Martin Luther King. This is the covers selection by The Acid House.

01. The Fairey Brass Band – Voodoo Ray (A Guy Called Gerald)
02. Izit – Stories (The Chakachas’)
03. The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letters (Shuggy Otis)
04. Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watch Tower (Bob Dylan)
05. Studio – Love on a Real Train (Tangerine Dream)
06. Jah Division – Transmission (Joy Division)
07. Ultraviolet – Kites (Simon Dupree and The Big Band Sound )
08. The Doves – Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones)
09. Sabres of Paradise – Smoke Belch II (LB Bad – New age of faith)
10. Schnieder TM – The Light 3000 (The Smiths)
11. Creative Source – Who Is He (Bill Withers)
12. Sir Stephen – Let’s Dance Again (Bohannon)
13. George Alexandra feat Big John Whitfield – Promise Land (Joe Smooth)
14. Tiedye – Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
15. Nouvelle Vague – Our Lips Are Sealed (Fun Boy Three)
16. Moodswings – Spiritual High MLK version (Jon & Vangelis)

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PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…
GUEST MIX N° 4 here…
GUEST MIX N° 5 here… 


We’ve turned 4!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary and we’re celebrating this month by letting some very special guests behind the cover versions controls…

When people wax nostalgic about music from the 80s, the reality is is that there were really two parallel 80s. For the masses there was the pop drivel of Debbie Gibson, Phil Collins, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Air Supply, and yes, even Olivia Newton John. But for a smaller segment of us, those misfits in the yearbook with the black shirts and asymmetrical hair of varying colors, we moved to a different soundtrack. Our rockstars were a disparate lot: PiL, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Sonic Youth, The Cure, English Beat, Love & Rockets, Jesus & Mary Chain and the list goes on. What most of the kiddies these days can’t wrap their head around is that there was no internet, no iTunes. If we we’re lucky our local Tower Records might have the NME or Melody Maker (our music Bibles) to peruse and then we had to dig, borrow and often plunk down double the money for costly imports. Still for a lot of us looking back it was THE golden age of music and no one keeps those days alive better in my opinion than today’s guest DJ, Slicing Up Eyeballs. Named from a line of a Pixies track, Slicing is the premier site for all music 80s (OUR 80s that is), including any new projects that our now, slightly greyer, slightly paunchier, but no less ambitious, favorite artists are up to. And with that i’m going to hand the reins over Slicing Up Eyeballs….

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

Covers seem to be a love/hate kind of thing, and I’ve always been firmly in the former camp. I like nothing better than hearing one of my favorite artists tackle someone else’s work, or vice versa. Plus, covers helped turn me into a record collector, back in those heady pre-Internet days when it actually took some effort to hunt down rare B-sides or vinyl-only EPs. These are some of my favorite covers by my favorite ‘80s college-rock artists, as well as a few more contemporary acts dipping their toes into that era.
– Matt Sebastian, founder/editor of Slicing Up Eyeballs: The Legacy of ‘80s College Rock

David Bowie – I’ve Been Waiting For You (Neil Young)
I may run a site dedicated ‘80s alternative artists, but Neil Young is quite possibly my all-time favorite musician. This is a great early song of his, and it was hard to choose between David Bowie’s cover and the Pixies’ version. Bowie’s has a bit more punch.

Ted Leo/Pharmacists – Six Months in a Leaky Boat (Split Enz)
Fell in love with this version after seeing Ted Leo play it at South By Southwest around 2004. He gives it great power-punk energy that now feels missing from the original, although I still love Split Enz’s version. It’s also where Leo got the title for the Pharmacists’ second album.

Primal Scream – Darklands (The Jesus and Mary Chain)
Love this just for the full-circleness of the whole thing; Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie played drums in the Jesus and Mary Chain on ‘Psychocandy,’ and here, a dozen years later, he covers the brilliant title track from the Mary Chain’s sophomore LP.

Depeche Mode – Route 66 (Nat King Cole)
This is one of the first covers I ever fell for; it was played incessantly on 91X in San Diego back in ’88 (and beyond, probably), and I had to search out the import ‘Behind the Wheel’ 12-inch just to get it. As a kid who grew up with cassettes, this was my entry into vinyl collecting.

The Damned – Alone Again Or (Love)
Another early favorite, and one of those songs that I didn’t know was a cover for an inexplicably long time. When I finally heard Love’s classic original, it sounded a bit quaint, but I’ve grown to really, er, love ‘Forever Changes.’

The House of Love – Pink Frost (The Chills)
One of those occasions when a criminally underrated band covers an even more underrated band’s song – and it’s a perfect fit. Pure indie-pop heaven.

U2 – Dancing Barefoot (Patti Smith)
I used to be a huge U2 fan, and this is one of the ‘Rattle & Hum‘ B-sides – which, as a whole, were just as great as the stuff that made it onto that unfairly maligned album. Features what may be my favorite solo by The Edge.

New Order – Turn the Heater On (Keith Hudson)
This may be the only cover New Order ever recorded; it’s a song originally by Keith Hudson, aka “The Dark Prince of Reggae,” that the group put down during a Peel session in 1982. Would love to hear Peter Hook play more dub.

Pixies – Winterlong (Neil Young)
This one is doubly special: My favorite Neil Young song covered by one of my absolute favorite bands, which is why it was my wife and I’s choice for our wedding song 10 years ago.

The Replacements – Monkey Gone to Heaven (Pixies)
This one’s a studio goof: The ‘Mats having a little fun with the ‘Doolittle’ classic during the recording of ‘Don’t Tell a Soul.’

Suede – Brass in Pocket (The Pretenders)
Not my favorite cover, but just the excuse I needed to slip another one of my favorite bands – and the true kings of Britpop – into this mix.

The Great Book of John – Never Tear Us Apart (INXS)
I’d never heard of The Great Book of John before their label sent me this cover last year, and honestly, I still don’t know much about them. But this is one of the best re-interpretations of a classic song I’ve ever heard. It’s brilliant.

The Cure – Hello, I Love You (Slight Return) (The Doors)
Back in 1990, Elektra Records asked bands on its current roster to cover the label’s classic acts for a compilation called ‘Rubáiyát,‘ and The Cure delivered three versions of this Doors hit (only two made it onto the comp). This is how Elektra closed out the 2-disc set.

The Flaming Lips – Unmade Bed/No Quarter (Sonic Youth/Led Zeppelin)
Not sure how it ever occurred to the Flaming Lips to merge this latter-day Sonic Youth album cut with one of Led Zeppelin’s murkiest tunes, but it totally works.

Echo & The Bunnymen – Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
Another early favorite, and another example of radio play leading me to hunt down a 12-inch (in this case, it’s on the ‘Bedbugs and Ballyhoo’ single) just to get this live cut (they also do great takes on Television’s ‘Friction’ and the Velvet Underground’s ‘Run Run Run’ on this single). Like the Depeche Mode 12-inch, this one’s still in my collection.

Erasure – Just Can’t Get Enough (Depeche Mode)
And another full-circle thing: Erasure, featuring, of course, Depeche Mode co-founder Vince Clarke, takes a stab at DM’s earliest hit, and one that, in retrospect, sounds more like what we expect from Erasure these days than Depeche Mode.

Morrissey – That’s Entertainment (The Jam)
This cover always takes me back to the first time I saw Morrissey, at his first-ever U.S. solo concert in San Diego in 1991. It was an insane show with one of the wildest crowds I’ve ever seen, and Moz ended the main set with a roaring take on this Jam classic.

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PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…
GUEST MIX N° 4 here…

We’ve turned 4!

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary and we’re celebrating this month by letting some very special guests behind the cover versions controls…

Today’s mix is from fellow blogger and musical aggregator La Dimension De Trastos. LDDT reminds me of what I like best about Southern Californian beach culture. A junction where tastes in funk, soul, jazz, psych, surf, punk, reggae and garage rock meet and mingle freely giving rise to (for better or worse) the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Paul’s Boutique, and many a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. Not that LDDT houses any of them mind you, but any given day you can be treated to such disparate selections from the The Sonics to Sister Nancy, Circle Jerks to Coxsonne Dodd and from Black Randy to Bill Withers to Bud Shank. Get the picture? All of this is then tied together with a little bow of witty commentary and jumping off points to find them. When I wake up and need inspiration for Versions, LDDT is my sugary breakfast cereal.

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

Lee Perry – Jungle Lion (Al Green’s Love & Happiness)
While not a straight forward cover, this is about as close as the Upsetter gets.

Lulu – Feelin’ Alright (Traffic)
Surprisingly funky, she definitely had her eye on Dusty in Memphis.

Ricky Nelson – Summertime (George Gershwin for Porgy and Bess)
Interesting in that it predates the Yardbirds by several years. Chicken or egg?

Tommy McCook – Goldfinger (Shirley Bassey)
No shortage of early reggae/ska covers of Bond themes. McCook was a sax player for the Skatalites, and the go-to guy for Duke Reid anong others.

Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents – Shake Some Action (Flamin’ Groovies)
Nice try to duplicate the Motown sound. What’s it missing? The Funk Brothers. What the hell, an “A” for effort.

The Pioneers – Papa Was A Rolling Stone (Temptations)
As long as we’re on a Motown tangent, what if Norman Whitfield was Jamaican?

The Supremes – Come Together (The Beatles)
Proof that Isaac Hayes wasn’t the only one who stretched out on covers.

Horace Andy – Where Do the Children Play (Cat Stevens)
Classic Studio One. From Horace Andy’s first, a stone cold classic of the golden age.

Eli “Paperboy” Reed & the True Loves – Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
If someone would have told me about this one, I wouldn’t have believed it. Believe it. Instant cred for the kid.

Ricardo Ray – Sookie Sookie (Don Covay)
A song that’s been covered 14 million times. This one won out over Steppenwolf’s surprisingly good rock meets soul take.

Solomon Burke – Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan)
Seriously, he could sing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and you’d think he wrote it.

Marcia Griffiths – Band of Gold (Freda Payne)
Before singing back up for Marley as one of the I-Threes. Sweet.

Celia Cruz – Yo Vivire (I Will Survive) (Gloria Gaynor)
You can’t hear this one without seeing Celia Cruz’s big ass smile. Azúcar!

Sharon Jones & the DapKings – Just Dropped In to See What Condition Your Condition Was In (Kenny Rogers & the First Edition)
An unlikely cover for anyone, but it works. Jerry Lee Lewis once said that he, Al Jolson, Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers were the only true song stylists. Someone needs to clue him into the Daptone mob.

Richie Knight & the Mid-Knights – Homework (Otis Rush)
Famously covered by the J.Geils Band, this sucker just sounds so creepy.

Jack O’ Fire – Branded (Link Wray)
The first time I heard this I had to pull over to find out who it was. From the amazing stable of Sympathy For The Record Industry.

Black Randy & the Metro Squad – Give It Up Or Turn It Loose (James Brown)
One thing that usually gets ignored when talking about the early L.A. punk scene is how varied and musically educated the bands were. Often seen as something of a court jester, Black Randy’s baddass back up band turned more than a few Krazy Kolored spike heads onto JB via this happening jam.

Kashmere Stage Band – Take Five (Dave Brubeck)
High School kids. Yes. And they beat out the Skatalites version.

The Viscounts – Harlem Nocturne (Earl Bostic)
I had to end with this one. Back in the day, a older friend told me that bands at his high school dances would always play this as their last song, enabling couples to get chummy without any worries about getting kicked out of the dance. So it was that I, along with other DJ friends at a popular watering hole, took it upon ourselves to end our last sets of the night with it. Prelude to grab ass.

More than anything else, these songs represent years as a serial lurker of music blogs. As someone who DJ’d before computers were commonplace, and before just about any song could be found in just a matter of clicks, I don’t take this shit for granted. I’m hugely indebted to the ersatz network of music blogs that I loiter around. Do yourself a favor, check out blogrolls when you see them. There’s gold in them thar links.

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PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…

We’ve turned 4!

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary and we’re celebrating this month by letting some very special guests behind the cover versions controls…

Today’s mix is from someone I’ve interviewed and written about extensively; the talented designer and artist Steven R Gilmore. For those of you out there who were fans of 80s industrial music you may recall his work gracing the covers of Nettwerk artists like Skinny Puppy, MC 900 Ft Jesus, The Tear Garden and Chris & Cosey. Today he still continues his love of cold san serifs, decadent scripts, found imagery, eroticism and dark humor all arranged with the precision of a surgeon. Recent clientele include the likes of Dita Eyewear, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Batman;The Dark Knight and, well, Skinny Puppy again. Steven is also a prolific painter who applies his same brooding sensibilities to canvas with a photorealism that borders on the eidetic.
In recent years I’ve gotten to know Steven quite well and, macabre sensibilities aside, a warmer, more good humored person I’ve yet to meet.

Here is his mix:

Here’s what Steven had to say….

“When Leopold approached me to do a compilation for the 4th anniversary of Versions Galore I have to say I was a bit flustered. How in the hell am I going to come up with anything when most of the bands I listen to do not do cover versions? So anyway, I ended up mining my brain for what I remembered from the past 30 years and this is the result of that excavation. Enjoy!”

01 A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan) – Bryan Ferry

02 Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Neil Young) – Saint Etienne

03 You And Your Sister (Chris Bell) – This Mortal Coil

04 Mad World (Tears For Fears) – Gary Jules

05 Psyche (Killing Joke) – Nouvelle Vague

06 Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores (John Cale) – Bauhaus

07 The 15th (Wire) – Fischerspooner

08 Ring Of Fire (Johnny Cash) – Wall Of Voodoo

09 Kites (Simon Dupree And The Big Sound) – 39 Lyon Street / Associates

10 Dear Prudence (The Beatles) – Siouxsie And The Banshees

11 Baby I Love You So – 12″ Version (Augustus Pablo) – Colourbox

12 Money – That’s What I Want (Barrett Strong) – The Flying Lizards

13 Daddy Cool (Boney M) – Placebo

14 Final Solution – Club Mix (Pere Ubu) – Peter Murphy

15 I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye) – The Slits

16 Viva Las Vegas (Elvis Presley) – Dead Kennedys

17 Mission Impossible (Lalo Schifrin) – Lizzy Mercier Descloux

18 Save It (Mel Robbins) – The Cramps

19 Walk On By (Dionne Warwick) – Stranglers

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PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here… 

PPS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, be sure to drop in and grab Gilmore’s alternate cover art….


We’ve turned 4!

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary and we’re celebrating this month by letting some very special guests take over the cover versions controls…

Had the odd pleasure of meeting today’s cover mixtress DJ Dia recently at a photoshoot we were both working on for a handbag company. In between takes and model-gawking we rapped about the genius of 60s electronic composers, 70s sci fi flicks and 80s cartoons. It also turned out KSPC gives this woman some much deserved airtime in the form of not one, but 2 shows: the Synthdactyl Program and The Songs for the Whippersnapper Show
ODing from obscure pop culture overload, I immediately offered her a guest spot.
I expected eclectic and needless to say she did not disappoint.

Here is her mix:

Here’s what DJ DIA herself had to say about it….

“I have two shows on KSPC, The Songs for the Whippersnapper Show and also the Synthdactyl Program. The Songs for the Whippersnapper Show has been on the air for about a decade now, it’s on 11am-1pm on Sunday and is a mash of kooky fun & clean music. I always try to throw in a bit of everything, it’s like a variety show for your ears. The other show, which has been on for two summers now, is the Synthdactyl Program. It is on from 8pm-10pm on Fridays and is two hours of analog synthesizer music. I play mostly luscious non vocal vintage synthesizer tracks, but will throw in some oozy pieces from current talented artists. So this playlist is a product of both shows. You can listen to KSPC on 88.7fm or online at”

Todo Na Mera Dil (Borderline) – Alisha (Madonna)

Yellow Ribbon – Atons (Dawn feat. Tony Orlando)

Not Your Steppin’ Stone
– Barbi and the Kens (Paul Revere & the Raiders)

It Had To Be You
– Disco Orchestral (Priscilla Lane)

Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)
– The Do-Re-Mi Children’s Chorus (John Fred and his Playboy Band)

モデル (The Model)
– Hikashu (Kraftwerk)

Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy Bell)
– IBM 7090 Computer (Harry Dacre)

Love Me Tender – Electric Samurai (Elvis Presley)

Lord Love A Duck – Jason Crest (The Wild Ones)

Singin’ In The Rain – Just Water (Gene Kelly)

Summertime – Klaus Wunderlich (George Gershwin)

Bus Stop – Los Géminis (The Hollies)

Needles & Pins – The Nutty Squirrels (Jackie DeShannon)

Ain’t She Sweet – Pete Drake (originally composed by Milton Ager 1927)

Boogie Wonderland – Pink Lady (Earth, Wind & Fire feat. The Emotions)

Moving Right Along – PJ Pooterhoots (Kermit the Frog & Fozzie Bear)

The Windmills of Your Mind – Screaming Thing (Noel Harrison)

ボニーとクライドのバラード (The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde) – Sheena & the Rokkets (Georgie Fame)

Oh, You Pretty Things – Simon Park (David Bowie)

Halloween I – The Splash Band (John Carpenter)

Rock Around The Clock – Telex (Bill Haley and His Comets)

California Dreamin’ – 386DX (The Mamas & the Papas)
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PS Be sure to grab GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
PPS Thee VERSIONS GALORE 4TH ANNIVERSARY GUEST MIX series will continue next week…


We’ve turned 4!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us, it’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary!
I am pleasantly surprised we have endured this long. Last year for our 3rd we did a special little mix for everyone, but this time around we’re going to get our feet (ears?) wet this week by turning over the cover controls to some very special guests. Some are from fellow bloggers we follow and respect, and others, neoptism be damned, are from some very talented friends.
Which leads us right into our first guest: fellow blogger Marco On The Bass. For us children of the late 70s/ early 80s the energy and culture of 2nd wave, punk-infused Ska left an indelible impression on us. MOTB is a one stop hub for music and features about those golden years as well as current revivals in rocksteady, ska and other things UK & Jamaican.
Always glad to see someone still carrying the torch for 2-Tone.

Here is his mix:


And here’s a what Marco had to say about his contribution:

The Back Stabbers – The Professionals
Belize’s The Professionals morph The O’Jays 1972 Top 10 Philly Soul hit “Backstabbers into horn-drenched reggae that retains its ominous warning.

Baltimore – The Tamlins
The Tamlins were a 70’s Jamaican reggae vocal group that gained wide attention for their Sly and Robbie produced dub reggae version of the Nina Simone lament about inner city life in Baltimore

Heart-Shaped Box – Little Roy
Aging Reggae lifer Little Roy (with help from UK producer King Fatty) finds the sweet humanity hidden inside one of Kurt Cobain’s darkest songs making it bob and weave its way into your memory.

You’ll Never Find – Dub Pistols
U.K. reggae/club collective Dub Pistols pay homage to John Holt’s reggae cover of Lou Rawls 1976 R&B hit by sampling Rawls singing the memorable chorus and Holt’s killer bass line.

Cupid – Amy Winehouse
Ska aficionado and noted Specials fan Winehouse recorded a soulful rock steady version of the Sam Cooke classic that mines its sadness while remaining eminently danceable.

It’s a Shame – Alton Ellis
The Stevie Wonder penned Motown hit for The Spinners, about a man who complains about a lover “messin” around on him, was memorably covered by Jamaican reggae and rock steady innovator Alton Ellis in 1971.

Sugar Sugar – Bigger Thomas
Long running New Jersey ska and reggae band recorded a poppy dub/reggae version of the 1969 hit recorded by the fictional TV show band The Archies. Ron Parker, the Father of Bigger Thomas guitarist Steve Parker was in the studio band that recorded the original providing a perfect musical symmetry.

Cecilia – Suggs
Madness lead singer Suggs recorded a Sly & Robbie produced pop reggae version of the Simon & Garfunkel classic, which pays homage to St Cecilia, patron saint of music.

Golden Years – Special Beat
Early 90’s 2-Tone ska super group Special Beat, featuring Ranking Roger of The Beat and Neville Staple, Horace Panter and Lynval Golding of The Specials recorded this never before released ska demo version of David Bowie’s hit from the Station to Station LP.

Orgasm Addict – SKAndalous All-Stars
The SKAndalous All-Stars were a late 90’s U.S. ska super group featuring members of The Slackers, The Skatalites, Mephiskapheles and Stubborn All-Stars who recorded an albums worth of 3rd wave ska covers of punk classics including Buzzcock’s paean to onaism.

Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) – Los De Abajo
Mexico City-based Latin ska band Los Del Abajo recorded Spanish and English language versions of the Fun Boy Three track featuring a guest appearance from Specials and Fun Boy Three front man Neville Staple.

Strawberry Fields – Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
Argentine ska band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs recorded a 60’s styled Jamaican ska version of The Beatles “Strawberry Fields” sung in English and Spanish that features Blondie’s Debbie Harry as well as horn lines worthy of The Skatalites.

Tu Gotnisht (Do Nothing) – King Django
New York ska legend and trombonist King Django (The Boilers, Skinnerbox, Stubborn All-Stars) recorded an all Yiddish-language album of klezmer meets ska and reggae songs including this faithful cover of The Specials “Do Nothing”.

Fast Car – Wayne Wonder
Jamaican vocalist Wayne Wonder puts a Dancehall reggae spin on Tracy Chapman’s narrative tale of generational poverty.

For The Turnstiles – Bim Skala Bim
Boston’s Bim Skala Bim, who were one of the first American ska bands to emerge in the early 80’s, recorded a sublimely soulful reggae version of Neil Young’s rocker.

Live And Let Die – Byron Lee
Jamaican music pioneer, producer and leader of The Dragonaires was a fan of The Beatles, recording reggae versions of many of their most popular tracks. He later recorded this incredibly soulful version of Paul McCartney & Wings theme song for the James Bond movie of the same name.

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – The Ska-Dows
The Ska-Dows were one of the many U.K. ska bands that sprouted in the wake of the 2-Tone explosion. Signed by Chas Chandler, bassist of The Animals to his Cheapskates Record label in the late 70’s, the band recorded a rollicking ska version of The Animals hit from 1965.

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