The ’59 2018 #270: 180927
Johnny Cash – American IV (2002)
Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 44 – 2002.
American IV: The Man Comes Around is the 87th studio album by Johnny Cash. Released in 2002, it is the fourth in Cash’s “American” series of albums.
The majority of songs are covers which Cash performs in his own sparse style, with help from producer Rick Rubin. For the Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus” cover, Rubin asked then-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante to re-work an acoustic version of Martin Gore’s song, which featured a simple acoustic riff that stripped down the song to a blues style. He receives backing vocal assistance from various artists, including Fiona Apple, Nick Cave, and Don Henley.
American IV was the final album Johnny Cash released during his lifetime. It was also his first non-compilation album to go gold (selling over 500,000 copies) in thirty years. Additionally, the album won “Album of the Year” award at the 2003 CMA Awards. It was certified gold on March 24, 2003 and platinum on November 21, 2003 by the R.I.A.A.
The Epic 2017 Project #328: 171124
George Thorogood & The Destroyers (1977)
George Thorogood’s self-titled debut was released in 1977. Comprising mostly covers of blues classics, it included a medley of John Lee Hooker’s “House Rent Boogie” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, the latter a song written by Rudy Toombs for Amos Milburn, and later covered by Hooker.
In 2015 Rounder released George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers, a new remix of the album featuring the three-piece band as originally recorded and mixed. It omits the bass overdubs by Billy Blough which were added after the original recording sessions. It also adds the previously unreleased Elmore James track “Goodbye Baby.
The Epic 2017 Project #298: 171025
Son of Dave – Explosive Hits (2016)
Benjamin Darvill (born January 4, 1967), known by his stage name Son of Dave, is a Canadian musician and singer–songwriter, based in the United Kingdom. He was a member of Grammy award-winning folk rock band Crash Test Dummies in which he played harmonica, mandolin, guitar and percussion before returning to his blues, Beat-Box and harmonica driven solo work in 2000.
Darvill moved to London in 1998 and has remained there since. He’s recorded six albums to date and performed over eight hundred shows across Europe, as well as performing in Canada, the United States, Australia, South Africa, Uganda, Japan, Russia, and Cuba. Explosive Hits was released in 2016.
The Epic 2017 Project #267: 170924
The Rolling Stones – Out of our heads (1965)
Continuing the Jemtunes’ Epic series foray into the Stones’ back catalogue, here’s the second 1965 release – Out of Our Heads. This was the third British album and fourth in the United States.
The UK version – with a different cover – added songs that would surface later in the US on December’s Children (And Everybody’s) and others that had not been released in the UK thus far (such as “Heart of Stone”) instead of the already-released live track and recent hit singles (as singles rarely featured on albums in the UK in those times). Issued later that September, Out of Our Heads reached No. 2 in the UK charts behind the Beatles’ Help!. It was The Rolling Stones’ last UK album to rely upon R&B covers; the forthcoming Aftermath (Epic #268) was entirely composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
The Epic 2017 Project #220: 170808
Pearl – Little Immaculate White Fox (2010)
Little Immaculate White Fox is the debut album of American rock singer Pearl Aday, released in January 2010 on Megaforce Records. The album deviates from the style of Pearl’s father Meat Loaf’s operatic rock, and leans more towards classic rock sound with a strong resemblance to the music of Janis Joplin. The opening track, “Rock Child”, is an autobiographical piece where Pearl sings of how she used to nap in a guitar case as a child while her father was recording in the studio.
It’s the cover of ‘Nutbush’ from the ubiquitous Tina Turner though that Pearl carries to particular aplomb; a stomping chop guitar backing from husband Scott Ian and her growly vocals carrying the song admirably towards its origins. Stunning stuff.
The Epic 2017 Project #147: 170527
The King – Return to Splendour (2000)
The small town where I live in Sussex, UK used to be graced by an equally small record shop – ‘Atomic Sounds’. Sadly, it’s no longer with us but, in its heyday, I’d spend most Saturday mornings there, browsing through the eclectic selection of new and back-catalogue stuff on offer.
One Saturday Elvis Presley was playing over the stereo. At least that’s what I thought; it’s just that something wasn’t quite right. Elvis seemed to be covering (and rather well, I might add) ‘Pretty Vacant’ from the Sex Pistols. And there laid the rub. Theoretically possible as the Sex Pistols released it in July 1977 and Elvis didn’t pass on until three weeks or so later on 16 August. But the King would have had to have been unbelievably sharp off the mark and it just didn’t quite jell as to why he’d bother. Just didn’t seem to be his style at all.
Duly puzzled, I asked the owner who immediately confirmed that it was indeed The King on the stereo. “Seriously?” I replied, “Elvis covered the Sex Pistols?” “Of course not!” Tony replied, “But the King did!” And there laid my introduction, as well as sealing which album I’d buy that day.
Jim ‘The King’ Brown hails from the bad end of Belfast. An ex-postal worker, he’s acclaimed as one of the greatest Elvis tribute acts working today. Backed by a stunningly talented band (The Questionnaires), The King takes the Elvis tribute to a whole different level covering the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Lynryd Skynryd and, of course, the Sex Pistols.
The Epic 2017 Project #108: 170418
Jeff Healey – Cover to Cover (1995)
Fourth studio album from the Jeff Healey band and comprising entirely of covers.
Here’s the rather excellent ‘Badge’ originally by Cream and featuring in one of my all time favourite top ten films – the 1968 classic ‘If’.