Mix: Cover Songs Part 2 with Michael Alexander of Boys and Frogs
Last week Boys and Frogs gave us the scoop on their music videos and this week frontman Michael Alexander is sharing his top five cover songs.
Take a listen below…
Artist: The Treasures | Song: Hold Me Tight
Original Artist: The Beatles
Phil Spector’s production and arrangement on The Treasures’ version of a simple and rather plain Beatles song sets this song galaxies away from the original poppy, surf-rock song. Three elements clearly stand out throughout the entire song: the melody, a brooding, unidentifiable low rumbling, and the percussion. The melody is pretty close to Paul McCartney’s but The Treasures’ singer employs a high, falsetto voice. The contrast between the high melody and the rumbling of the low brass and strings that sound as if 10 orchestras are playing as loud as they can but with all detail and distinct sounds drowned out and being blended together through a vaulted ceilinged echo chamber. MUSH. Beautiful. The main rhythm is introduced on a clicky electric guitar and double later with castanets. This steady groove is created by the syncopated snare accents. Each section transitions with a dramatic, slow drum fill. This is definitely of one my favorite SONGS, so naturally it had to make my top cover songs.
Artist: David Bowie | Song: Let’s Spend the Night Together
Original Artist: The Rolling Stones
I believe Bowie captures a better mood and feel for “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” For a song about sex and casual sex, The Rolling Stones version is pretty calm and relaxed. David Bowie’s glam, saxophone, synthesizer, piano and punk take on the song is wilder and more fun. The lyrics beg to be excited. David Bowie excites them.
Artist: The Smiths | Song: Marie’s the Name/Rusholme Ruffians
Original Artist: Elvis Presley
On the studio version of Rusholme Ruffians, only the music is an homage to (or complete rip off of) Marie’s the Name, but fantastically, on The Smiths’ live album Rank, lead singer, Morrissey, sings the first verse of Marie’s the Name before continuing on to his own original lyrics. I love that the entire song is not covered but only a portion and it is integrated so smoothly. Morrissey uses this device later on in his solo career combining his own “Every Day is Like Sunday” with the New York Dolls’ “Subway Train.” I have stolen the concept with Boys and Frogs, combining the intro to Frankie Valli and the Four Season’s “Let’s Hang On” with our own “O Here We’re Together.” I see this as a witty, tongue-in-cheek form of sampling…. in a way.
Artist: Ramones | Song: Baby I Love You
Original Artist: The Ronettes
No surprise; another Phil Spector production! A sort of to0-good-to-be-true story for me: So, The Ronettes do their version of the song in the early 60s with producer Phil Spector. Then, nearly 20 years later The Ramones do a cover version of the song produced by PHIL SPECTOR. A brand new string arrangement and Joey Ramone’s voice capture a new life for this song. I love that it’s very punk rock. Very girl group. Very Phil Spector. Very Ramones. All at the same time.
Artist: Lil Wayne | Song: Sorry 4 the Wait
Original Artist: Adele
I think I’m breaking the rules for including this. I’m NOT a fan of Adele. I am a fan of Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne raps over a slightly amped up version of Adeles’ “Rolling in the Deep.” I love this odd juxtapositon. I love taking things and using them for something they were never intended for. Lil Wayne achieves this. “Weezy go hard like Cialis.”