Jason’s Jukebox: My Favorite Covers, V. 2

I thought I’d go ahead and make my Favorite Covers from last year an annual event. I have a vacation coming up next week, so I wanted to do something quick. So here’s Volume 2. Before I begin, let me list the rules I’m following again:

  1. No songs featuring the original artist. I believe a cover should stand on its own, and if the original artist is featured on the cover, I feel the artists aren’t making the song their own.
  2. One song per artist per post. I feel that I should have a variety of artists and songs. So I don’t want to have a bunch of songs by the same artist, nor do I want more than one version of the same song. I might revisit the song or artist in a future list, though.
  3. Any genre will work. Last time, I stuck mainly to rock and pop. I’ve got a couple country covers in this list because I feel I should branch out.
  4. No public domain songs. Public domain songs do not require someone to ask permission, so I don’t feel I should include them. And some, like “Amazing Grace”, have been recorded way too many times.

And here we go.

1. “Hurt”–Johnny Cash (original: Nine Inch Nails)

Cover: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ahHWROn8M0)
Original: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prDoGmY5kj8)
As much as I like the original, Cash’s cover strikes a different cord. At this point in Johnny Cash’s life, he knew the Reaper was coming for him. He changed the song, almost making it seem like it was about atonement, rather than self-inflicted pain.

2. “The Man Who Sold the World”–Nirvana (original: David Bowie)
Cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fregObNcHC8)
Original: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSH–SJKVQQ)
When Nirvana performed their MTV Unplugged concert, I didn’t expect them to cover songs. In fact, Bowie didn’t seem like the kind of artist Kurt Cobain would be inspired by. But this proves just how much of a visionary Bowie is, even those who make music that doesn’t sound like Bowie respect him. In fact, Nirvana’s version is so famous, at a concert when Bowie performed his original, a fan thought he was covering a Nirvana song.

3. “Stop Dragging My Heart Around”–Sharon Van Etten & Sweetwater (original: Stevie Nicks featuring Tom Petty)
Cover: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQrN8k7BVVY)
Original: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UD0c58nNCQ)
Every year, The AV Club’s YouTube channel has a show called “Undercover”, which recruits indie artists to cover songs suggested by the main site’s members. For the 2012, edition, Sharon Van Etten and Sweetwater got together to record this great song. When Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty collaborated on the original, it was something magical. So is this version.

4. “Come Together”–Aerosmith (original: The Beatles)
Cover: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo4GJ6YdDeY)
Original: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAmn4eMusZk)
This comes from the 1970’s movie Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band, a musical based on several songs from The Beatles. It’s not a good movie at all, especially since the Bee Gees replace the Beatles (don’t get me wrong, I like the Bee Gees, but they can’t even come close to the Beatles). In fact, to me the only good part of the movie is seeing Aerosmith’s take on this tune. It has tight production that rivals the original so much, there is still argument over which version is better. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

5. “Honky Tonk Blues”–Huey Lewis and The News (original: Hank Williams)
Cover: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqznTJspA9Y)
Original: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pHlSX_zbwY
This song comes from Huey Lewis and The News’s third album, Sports. By this time, they’d shown themselves not to be in the same vogue as the New Wave acts that were popular of the day. They took this song and gave it a more modern feel, while still keeping close to the original.

Continue reading “Jason’s Jukebox: My Favorite Covers, V. 2”

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Jason’s Jukebox: U2

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“Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief”

–“The Fly”

In 1980, four men from Dublin, Ireland started a revolution called U2. For 35 years, this band has been one of my all-time favorite bands. The main reason I like them is that all four members are Christian: Bono is Catholic, and the rest are Protestant, and their faith often comes through their music. Another amazing thing about this band is that they’ve never changed their roster:
Bono (real name: Paul Hewson)–vocals, lead guitar
The Edge (real name: David Evans)–backing vocals, lead guitar
Adam Clayton–bass
Larry Mullen–drums
For this post, I will be rating each album using Bono’s iconic sunglasses that he’s been wearing since the 90’s.
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Boy (1980)
Singles:“I Will Follow”, “A Day Without Me”
This is probably one of the best debuts I’ve ever listened to. Rarely have I heard a band that sound as polished as this debut. The political and spiritual songs we know them for would come later, but this is a great start.
Best songs: “Twilight” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifhgIWU2Ols), “Shadows and Tall Trees” ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gbmRSDTU0c)
Fun Facts: The boy on the cover is Peter Rowen, brother of Virgin Prunes, a friend of Bono’s who is now a photographer. He has also appeared on the cover for War and their greatest hits CD.
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October (1981)
Rating: 3 sunglasses
Singles: “Gloria”, “Fire”
This album’s not as strong as Boy, but it’s not bad. It’s the beginning of their more spiritual focus, which has continued sporadically through the rest of their albums. At this time, all four members joined the Shalom Fellowship. It’s a more peaceful album than the predecessor.
Best Songs: “Rejoice” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecSYfor6AQo), “With a Shout (Jerusalem)” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdz-vixirN0)
Fun Fact: This album contains U2’s only instrumental song, which is also the title track.
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War (1983)
Rating: 3 1/2 sunglasses
Singles: “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “New Year’s Day”, “Two Hearts Beat As One”
This album marks U2’s first foray into socio-political themes and their debut on the American charts. A reviewer called it “Where [U2] turned pacifism itself into a crusade”. Both “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day” were written in protest of The Troubles (“Sunday Bloody Sunday” itself is named after the infamous Bloody Sunday massacre). These were my introduction to the band, and I still find them as powerful today as they were back then.
Best Songs:“Sunday Bloody Sunday” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM4vblG6BVQ), “Two Hearts Beat As One” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIuAFBRyjj4)
Fun Fact: “40” was covered by DC Talk on their Solo CD.
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The Unforgettable Fire(1984)
Rating: 4 sunglasses
Singles: “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, “The Unforgettable Fire”
This was their first album produced by Brian Eno, who would later produce many of their other albums, primarily in the 90’s. It’s the band at their best. There are two tributes to Martin Luther King, “Pride (In the Name of Love), and “MLK”. The band’s popularity earned them a spot on MTV’s “Live Aid” concert for famine relief in Ethopia.
Best Songs: “Pride (In the Name of Love) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHcP4MWABGY)”Bad” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgBtoiNxPyE)
Fun Fact: The name comes from a memorial to Hiroshima which appears on the cover.
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The Joshua Tree (1987)
Rating: 5 sunglasses (magnum opus)
Singles: “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “Bullet the Blue Sky”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “With or Without You”
This is probably U2’s most spiritual album. Both “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” are about our search for God. “Bullet the Blue Sky” is about the apartheid in South Africa, and is a great showcase of the Edge’s talent.
Best Songs:“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EabB55IYyOg), “Running to Stand Still” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjcYohJlVzI)
Rattle and Hum (1988)
Rating: 4 sunglasses
Singles:“Desire”, “Angel of Harlem”, “When Love Comes to Town”
This is the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. It’s a good mix of live and studio tracks. And the movie isn’t bad either.
Best songs: “When Love Comes to Town” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ0WyPAELsk), “Silver and Gold” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmuhR3gqxZM)
Fun Fact:“Angel of Harlem” is a tribute to Billie Holiday. This is the only major U2 release with covers, “All Along the Watchtower” and “Helter Skelter”.

Continue reading “Jason’s Jukebox: U2”

Jason’s Jukebox: The Red Hot Chili Peppers

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(Note: Beginning with this post, I will no longer embed Youtube videos into my Jukebox series. It’s too unpredictable. I’ll just give you the link as is instead.)

“When I find my peace of mind

I’m gonna keep it til the end of time”–“Soul to Squeeze”

Welcome back to Jason’s Jukebox, where I tell you all about every album from my favorite bands.  This time around, I’m looking at the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Last year, they celebrated their 30th anniversary.  I’m going to give you my thoughts on all their albums, rating them in habernero peppers, the hottest peppers known to man.  The higher the amount of haberneros, the better it is. Also, an album that is marked “magnum opus” is what I consider their best work.

(Note: Since this band has changed its roster numerous times, I’m including roster changes where appropriate)

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984)

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Rating: 1 habernero

Roster: Anthony Kiedis–lead vocals

Michael “Flea” Balzary–bass

Jack Sherman–lead guitar

Cliff Martinez–drums

Single: “True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes”

If you’re wondering “Wait, wasn’t Hillel Slovak their first guitarist?” Well, he was on demos of this album, but on the official release, it’s Jack Sherman (if you buy the deluxe version, you can hear those demos with Slovak). Slovak was in another band with Flea and Jack Irons called What is This?. He felt that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were more of a side project. The only positive things I can say is that I like the album cover and “True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes” rocks.  The rest of the album isn’t that great, mostly because EMI didn’t care how it sounded and got anyone they could in the production booth. That changed beginning with the next album, thankfully. This is one of only two albums the Chili Peppers don’t play in concert, the other one being One Hot Minute.

Fun Fact: This is one of the only two Red Hot Chili Peppers albums recorded on vinyl. (The other one is Freaky Styley) Both are extremely rare.
Video link for best song: “True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZdAI3pMcgU)
2. Freaky Styley (1985)

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Rating: Magnum Opus

Roster: Anthony Kiedis–lead vocals

Michael “Flea” Balzary–bass

Hillel Slovak–lead guitar

Cliff Martinez–drums

Singles: “Jungle Man”, “Catholic School Girls Rule”, “Hollywood (Africa)”

This album was produced by George Clinton, one of the Chili Peppers’ biggest influences.  Slovak officially joined the band beginning with this album and made the band sound so much better than their debut.  This was the first album to feature covers: “If You Want Me to Stay” (originally Sly and the Family Stone) and “Africa” (originally The Meters) George Clinton actually suggested that “Africa” be reworked as “Hollywood”. As he put it, Hollywood was the Chili Peppers’ “Africa”, so it was more fitting. He was right. This is a huge improvement over the debut, and I’m going to spotlight more songs because of that.
Fun Facts: The voice saying “Look at that turtle go!” on “Yertle the Turtle” is George Clinton’s drug dealer. This was the first album to feature both an instrumental track and a title track (the instrumental track is the title track, actually). There would not be another title track until Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

Best Songs: “The Brothers Cup” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6bPGKFG0dY
“If You Want Me to Stay” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKejwpe_ajc)

“American Ghost Dance” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZM3aek9yxE)
3. Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)

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Rating: 4 1/2 haberneros

Roster: Anthony Kiedis–lead vocals

Michael “Flea” Balzary–bass

Hillel Slovak–lead guitar

Jack Irons–drums

Singles: “Fight Like a Brave”, “Me and My Friends”, “Behind the Sun”

This was Slovak’s final album due to his drug-induced death while on tour.  While all four members were pretty heavy on the drugs, Slovak was the worst, but his death eventually caused Kiedis and Flea to kick their habits. I really don’t like saying this is such a great album, but it is. I love so many songs on this album. It wasn’t nearly as good as Freaky Styley, but it’s pretty darn close.

Fun Fact: While “Behind the Sun” was released on this album, it didn’t get a video until it was re-released on What Hits?. This is why John Frusciante is in the video rather than Slovak.

Best Songs: “Fight Like a Brave” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNrrm2BKDw0
“Backwoods” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUchU-I8fjM)

4. Mother’s Milk (1989)

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Rating: 4 haberneros

Roster: Anthony Kiedis–lead vocals

Michael “Flea” Balzary–bass

John Frusciante–guitar, backing vocals

Chad Smith–drums

Singles: “Higher Ground”, “Knock Me Down”, “Taste The Pain”

Jack Irons left the band after Slovak’s death, no longer wanting to mourn any more friends.  (He later joined Eleven and Pearl Jam, leaving the latter in 2007) This was the debut for Frusciante and Smith, and a great way to start their tenures with the band.  The album is just solid all the way through, even with the odes to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.  The covers of “Higher Ground” and “Fire” are just awesome. (If you get the deluxe version, you get live covers of “Crosstown Traffic” and “Castles Made of Sand”, also by Hendrix)

Fun Facts: The deluxe edition features the Chili Peppers’ second and final instrumental track, “The Song That Made Us What We Are Today”. “Taste the Pain” features Flea on trumpet.

Best Songs: “Higher Ground” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ADTPb2f_44
“The Song That Made Us What We Are Today” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DbO5xhZlhA)
“Nobody Weird Like Me” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVNzKSsx3j8)

5. Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

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Rating: Magnum Opus

Roster: Anthony Kiedis–lead vocals

Michael “Flea” Balzary–bass

John Frusciante–guitar, backing vocals

Chad Smith–drums

Singles: “Give It Away”, “Under the Bridge”, “Suck My Kiss”, “Breaking the Girl”

This was the album that began the Chili Peppers’s tenure with Warner Bros, which they are still part of today.  It introduced many fans to the band and began their relationship with one of the best producers ever, Rick Rubin.  It’s a true masterpiece that the band has never been able to top. If you haven’t listened to this album at least once, you can’t call yourself a fan.  The only reason I never owned it was the Parental Advisory Sticker.

Fun Fact: This was the last album to feature a cover, “They’re Red Hot” by Robert Johnson. The deluxe edition contains “Little Miss Lover” and “Castles Made of Sand”, both originally recorded by Jimi Hendrix. “Sikamikaniko” and “Soul to Squeeze” were both recorded for the album, but were instead released on the soundtracks for Wayne’s World and Coneheads.

Best Songs: “Power of Equality” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT6UCvR7kgU)
“Give It Away” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr_uHJPUlO8)
“Under the Bridge” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwlogyj7nFE)

Continue reading “Jason’s Jukebox: The Red Hot Chili Peppers”

Jason’s Jukebox: Eyeshine

 

“So this is the end of it
It’s time for us to go
Back to where we started
Back to what we know
Tomorrow’s never promised you
This world is all we share”–“Alone”

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Now that I have Spotify, I’ve decided to revamp my Jason’s Jukebox series and update it bimonthly. I will now be presenting my ratings on all the albums by favorite bands. I decided to start with Eyeshine because I feel it’s a band that definitely deserves more exposure.

Eyeshine is a band fronted by Johnny Yong Bosch. Bosch is actually a former cast member on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, where he played Adam Park, who replaced the original Black Power Ranger. He stuck around for both the “Power Rangers Zeo” and half of “Power Rangers Turbo” before starting his career as a voice actor, appearing such titles as Trigun (Vash the Stampede), Eureka Seven (Renton Thurston), and Durarara!! (Izaya Orihara).
The band’s members are as follows:
Johnny–Lead vocals guitar.
Maurice–drums, piano, backing vocals
Polo–lead guitar
Ginny–bass, violin, backing vocals (the only female member)
Eyeshine currently has over 10 albums, if you count their demo ep, Christmas album, two acoustic albums, and four instrumental albums. (Two of which are “karaoke” versions of songs they already have on other CD’s. I will not be talking about the following albums for specific reasons:
Sansovox
–Their first Karaoke album. It doesn’t feel right to talk about an album containing instrumental versions of songs I’ll be talking about anyway.
Sonosis–Their instrumental album. It’s not bad, it’s just not what they usually do. If you want to try it out, go right ahead.
Xmas–It’s after Christmas, so why talk about a Christmas album?
Sansovox II–See the reason for Sansovox
I am rating each album in Zords rather than stars. This is because Zords are the robots each Power Ranger uses to form a Megazord. The best album will be rated Megazord, the equivalent of a 5 star rating. (Note: I’m aware that at least one Ranger team had a Megazord comprised of three Zords, however, even those teams eventually had at least five members, so it still counts.
Let’s start with How About That
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How About That is their demo EP. It’s not a bad way to start, but compared to the other albums, it’s just not that great. Two songs for the album were given acoustic remixes, “Summertime” and “In My Eye”. “Not Really Good” and “Sunday Flower” were given a better remix on the next album.
My Rating: One zord.


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This is their first full-length album, and a much better start than How About That. A solid album all the way through, with only a few slip-ups. I have a lot of favorites on this album, but especially “Sunday Flower”, “Blackout”, and “Here Comes the End Again”.
My Rating: 3 Zords.

Continue reading “Jason’s Jukebox: Eyeshine”

My Favorite Covers, Part 1

I’m a lover of rock, and I especially like covers. A cover is when someone records a song someone else did, often putting his/her own spin on the song. I’ve decided to start a new series of posts where I share my favorite covers.

The list’s criteria will be as follows:

  1. One cover per artist. This not only applies to the artist, but to the artist being covered. So no list will have more than one Jimi Hendrix cover, for instance.
  2. The original artist must not be involved in the cover. For example, the Run-DMC version of “Walk This Way” is not eligible, because Aerosmith performs the song with them.
  3. I must be able to find the song on Youtube.
  4. Tribute songs, such as Ice Cube’s “Bop Gun (One Nation)”, are not covers.

1. “Blue Suede Shoes”–Elvis Presley (original: Carl Perkins)

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The fact that Elvis recorded this song during a time when many radio stations refused to play black musicians is irrelevant to me. Elvis had a presence that, to this day, cannot be matched. So what if the King never wrote any of his material? He still had talent.

2. “I’m Not in Love”–Tori Amos (original: 10cc)

original:

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This song comes from Tori Amos’s cover and concept album, Strange Little Girls. Tori Amos is a true talent, and she is no stranger to great covers. I first heard her when she covered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on her Crucify EP. To be honest, I can’t stand the original version of this song. So to hear someone I like do the song better is enough to include her in this list.

3. Bananarama–“Venus” (original: Shocking Blue)

original:

cover:

In many cases, a cover can overshadow the original. This is definitely the case for Bananarama’s version of “Venus”. For me, the song suits female vocals better than male vocals. Besides, I’m a child of the 80’s and I completely embraced the New Wave movement.

4. “The Sky is Crying”–Stevie Ray Vaughn (original: Jimi Hendrix)

(note: I could not find a video of the Hendrix version)

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There are many guitarists who have attempted to cover Hendrix. Stevie Ray Vaughn took it one step further. The man doesn’t just emulate Hendrix, he channels Hendrix’s spirit into his body and produces a masterpiece.

5. “Shine”–Pillar (original: Collective Soul)

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When Collective Soul recorded this song, I had a feeling a Christian artist would come along and do their own version. Pillar is one of the best Christian rockers out there (check out their song “Front Line” for proof), and they do a great job with this song.

6. “If You Want Me to Stay”–Red Hot Chili Peppers (original: Sly and the Family Stone)

original:

cover:

I’m a Chili Peppers fan. Do you really think I wouldn’t include one of their covers? This was the first cover they released, and they do a good job. Flea shows why he is one of the best bassists in rock.

7. “Games Without Frontiers”–Arcade Fire (original: Peter Gabriel)

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This comes from a double CD called Scratch My Back And I’ll Scratch Yours. The first CD is Peter Gabriel doing covers, while the second is artists returning the favor. Arcade Fire does a great job here.

8. “Let’s Go Crazy”–Incubus (original: Prince)

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To me, Incubus is a band that deserves way better than they already have. Their song “Drive” is good, but there is so much more to them.  And if you’re going to cover this song, you’d better be able to do it justice, because Prince just wails on the guitar. Incubus is certainly up to the challenge.

9. “Rock of Ages”–Kelly Hansen (original: Def Leppard)

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For those who don’t know, Kelly Hansen is the current lead singer for rock legend Foreigner. If he can do this to Def Leppard, I have got to see him on a Foreigner song.

10. “No Matter What”–Def Leppard (original: Badfinger)

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And speaking of Def Leppard, here’s one of their covers from their cover album simply titled Yeah!, which was released between Slang and X. I think it’s a great way to showcase Vivian Campbell as a good replacement for Steve Clarke, who was a tough act to follow.

 

 

If you know of any other great covers, contact me at rocklobsterjwt@gmail.com and put “covers” in the subject line. I will be doing more of these in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jason’s Jukebox: Nirvana

Nirvana was the band that really put Seattle on the map.  They started the grunge movement.  But for me, they are what really got me interested in alternative music.  What happened was I had learned that Nevermind was their second CD. I was curious about their first, but the local top 40 station only played “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  A classmate suggested I give the local alternative station a try and I’ve enjoyed the genre ever since.

Band Members:

Kurt Cobain–lead vocals, guitar (committed suicide)

Dave Grohl–drums (currently fronts the Foofighters and plays drums for Them Crooked Vultures. Check them out)

Krist Novoselic–bass guitar

Discography:

  • Bleach–for me, this is the CD I like the least.  It’s not that I hate it, I don’t. It just doesn’t sound as good as the others.  The sound is too raw and just doesn’t have the professional feel of the others. It does, however, have a couple good tunes, one of which is “About a Girl”.
  • Nevermind–The most famous CD and their major label debut.  I still think this is their best work.  It’s the band at their best and every song just works. My favorite song is “Come As You Are”, with “Something in the Way” at close second.
  • Incesticide–This is the band’s B-side collection, a mishmash of songs that were recorded before or during Nevermind. It’s not a studio CD, but I count it anyway. The sound is a cross between Bleach’s raw, unfocused approach and Nevermind’s more polished sound.  There’s even some covers of Devo and other artists. My favorite tracks are “Dive” and “Aero Zeppelin”.
  • In Utero–The final CD and the only one I don’t own, mostly because my mom wasn’t willing to let me own a CD with a cover like the one it had.  (then again, look at Nevermind’s cover. Yeah). From what I’ve heard, I enjoy it.
  • Unplugged–for me, this was the swan song.  The acoustic sound is a different take for the band, but I like it. It’s almost a return to Bleach, though not as unpolished. Like Incesticide, this includes covers, and this time they’re covering David Bowie and one of their biggest influences, Meat Puppets. My favorite song happens to be a cover, David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”.

Nirvana is currently in the Rock Hall of Fame. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’m happy because I like the band a lot. But my reservation is that I feel that there are other acts that they were influenced by that haven’t been recognized yet, like Sonic Youth and The Pixies. So why not induct them first?

Nirvana did not last very long, but their impact is still felt. They helped alternative music become a recognized genre. Yes, there were other acts that attempted this, like REM. But I feel that Nirvana had the better package and just happened to be at the right place at the right time.  New Wave was gone. Hair Metal was beginning to become irrelevant. Rock needed something new, and Nirvana filled that void. And I am grateful.

 

 

 

Jason’s Jukebox: The B-52s

My all-time favorite band is the B-52s. They are a quirky band with extremely catchy lyrics and a unique sound. I just like how weird the band is.
The band consists of:
Fred Schneider–Lead Vocals
Kate Pierson–Lead Vocals, keyboards
Cindy Wilson–Lead Vocals, tambourine
Keith Strickland–Backing Vocals, guitar, drums, keyboards
Ricky Wilson–(deceased) guitar

Discography

The B-52s (1979): A very strong debut.  Famous for their signature song, “Rock Lobster”

Wild Planet: If you were to ask me what the best album ever was for this band, it would be this one. Here, they found their niche (very early) and the production work is solid. My favorite track would definitely be “Private Idaho”.

The next two releases, Party Mix and Mesopotamia were EP’s.  Party Mix is a remix album that I don’t particularly recommend.  Mesopotamia has production work from David Byrne of Talking Heads fame. It’s a pretty decent release, and Reprise Records has actually combined both of these into a single CD.

Whammy was not the best CD.  Sure, it contains the great songs “Whammy Kiss” and “Song For a Future Generation”, but the rest of the tunes just aren’t as good as what was released previously.

Bouncing Off the Satellites is the final CD to feature Ricky Wilson, as he died of AIDS during production.  It’s actually pretty good. I like the songs “Wig”, “Summer of Love” and “Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland”

After a few years, the B-52s got a new company and decided to start releasing CD’s again. First was their most popular CD, Cosmic Thing, featuring their biggest hit, “Love Shack”.

Good Stuff  is the only CD not to feature Cindy Wilson, and man does it show. It’s the album I like the least. There are some good songs, like “Is That You Mo-Dean”, “Bad Influence”, and “Hot Pants Explosion”, but without Cindy, the band feels incomplete.

Their most recent CD, Funplex has Cindy back in the band and it’s very good.  I can’t think of a single song on this release that I don’t like.

And there you have it. The B-52’s. My all-time favorite band.