Sunday, 5 October 2008

I'm Your Fan, Part 1

Every band pays tribute to their favourite artists with cover versions but only a few take hero worship to the level of writing new songs about their idols.

These are songs by artists I like about folks they like, plus tracks by the people that inspired them. Tomorrow I'll post some more, all with a Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan connection.

MP3: The Rockingbirds - Jonathan Jonathan

MP3: Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner

Roadrunner is one of the greatest songs ever written in my opinion and Alan Tyler evidently thinks so too. I love the way The Rockingbirds' track pays tribute to Jonathan Richman lyrically and musically.

MP3: Camera Obscura - Dory Previn

MP3: Dory Previn - Stone For Bessie Smith

I must admit I'd never heard of Dory Previn before buying Camera Obscura's great album Let's Get Out Of This Country. The song's not really about the American songwriter but does contain the lyric, "How I adore you Dory Previn/ I turned you up to 11 for the band’s ears to bleed". The Dory Previn song I've posted is actually another tribute - to Janis Joplin.

MP3: Rodney Crowell - I Walk The Line (Revisited)

MP3: Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line

Rodney Crowell's tribute to Johnny Cash would be a good song even without the guest vocal from the Man in Black. Asking Cash to sing was a risky move. The track was recorded in 2001, nine years after Crowell was divorced from Johnny Cash's daughter Roseanne, although from what I've read JC seemed to be more annoyed that his ex son-in-law had changed his melody. The version of I Walk the Line is the original Sun single.

Enjoy the songs, let me know what you think, and please suggest any others. Tomorrow there'll be more including Dan Bern, Tom Russell and Bob Dylan.

Related Posts

I'm Your Fan, Part 2

Buy These Artists

The Rockingbirds: Amazon

Jonathan Richman: Amazon | 7digital

Camera Obscura: Amazon

Dory Previn: Amazon | 7digital

Rodney Crowell: Amazon | 7digital

Johnny Cash: Amazon | 7digital


Sam Jordison said...

Great! Thanks Nigel...

Sam but not Jordison said...

You could have carried on the chain of tributes by sticking in Jonathan Richman's 'Velvet Underground', which is a classic tribute 'in the style of':

"Well you could look at that band
And at first sight
Say that certain rules about modern music
Wouldn't apply tonight."

Cocktails said...

Thanks for posting that Dory Previn track. I'd only heard of her through Camera Obscura too.

An interesting reversal of your theme is the song by Sydney band Smudge called 'Don't want to be Grant McLennan'. He didn't appreciate it apparently.

Nigel Smith said...

Sam - I haven't heard that JR song - will check out

Cocktails - I wonder what GM did to piss off Smudge.

I've just posted the second batch of tributes: I'm Your Fan, Part 2

Sam Jordison said...

Coming back...

I know 'Chelsea Hotel' is perhaps obvious, I think it merits a mention. Especially since you've called the post 'I'm Your Fan'

For those new to Dory Previn: 'The Lady With The Braid' must be one of the greatest songs EVAH seek it out.

Anonymous said...

Funny story about Cash. I had never heard that song. Thank you. I really enjoyed reading and listening to it. I appreciate it. I love the Live at the Sildenafil Citrate Theater concert.

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