Radio 1: Established 1967 is a compilation of 40 cover versions by 40 modern artists, one for each of the 40 years since Radio 1’s birth. It was a stocking filler from my wife this Christmas and truly lit-up my holidays. There are so many good tracks on there that I thought I’d just highlight a few of my favourites:
- Band On The Run – The Foo Fighters (Cover of Wings): What is it about American rock acts and cover versions of Wings songs? Guns N’ Roses rocked Live & Let Die, and now Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters (is it ok to say that they’re better than Nirvana yet?!) do the same with this 70s classic. Two irrelevant facts – this prompted me to download the original, and Dave Grohl was on the same flight from LA to London recently; I was going home, he was going to see the Zep.
- Under Pressure – Keane; (Cover of David Bowie & Queen): The best use of that amazing bass line since Vanilla Ice swiped it, Keane prove that they truly are more than a bunch of public school boys with rosy cheeks; this version of Under Pressure is, really, rather excellent.
- Careless Whisper – The Gossip: (Cover of Wham!): There’s a lot of debate about Beth Ditto of The Gossip, but what seems unarguable to me is that she rocks. Hard. Here Beth takes a horrible 80s smoochie number and turns it into a blazing bolt of regret.
- Stillness In Time – Calvin Harris: (Jamiroquai cover) – I’ve been unconvinced by Calvin Harris till now, but the way he takes (one of my favourite) Jamiroquai songs and turns it from a mellow number into an absolute floor filler which positively reeks of Nu Shooz, is, frankly, wonderful. Seriously.
- No Diggity – Klaxons (Blackstreet cover): Klaxons are another band who have yet to win me over (I’m sorry, but Amy should have won the Mercury; no matter what they say, she’s more “forward-thinking” than they are) but this faithful, yet innovative cover of Dre’s R&B classic is, to my mind, their best work to date).
There are plenty of other great tracks on Radio 1: Established 1967, with honourable mentions going to Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, MaxâˆšÃ˜mo Park, Natasha Bedingfield (no, really) & Franz Ferdinand. If I have one complaint, it’s that nearly all of the acts are indie bands or female pop singers; where’s the Dizzee, the Roots, the Ty? I’d love to see them treat indie songs in a similar way to how the indie acts treated tracks by Justin Timberlake & Britney.
Christ, if they’d managed that and hard started playing the results I might even start listening to Radio 1 again (although that’s probably reason enough for them not to have done so!)
1967 VW photo: Lazy Lightning on Flickr