In honour of Christmas:
A dude by the name of Kurt Baker A gentleman calling himself Kurt Baker Some guy whose name might be Kurt Baker
A young man called Kurt Baker emailed me about his new EP, Got It Covered (2010), which contains seven cover versions of songs by his favourite power pop artists.
When I had a look at the track listing I thought, “Mmm – I like his choice of songs”:
1. “Let Me Out” (The Knack)
2. “Hanging On The Telephone” (
Blondie The Nerves)
3. “Pump It Up” (Elvis Costello)
4. “I’ve Done Everything For You” (Rick Springfield)
5. “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” (Joe Jackson)
6. “Cruel To Be Kind” (Nick Lowe)
7. “Turning Japanese” (The Vapors)
You can hear all of the new versions, plus read about Kurt’s reasons for recording them, on his website.
To be honest, I think that new versions of those songs – by anyone, not just Kurt – is completely unnecessary. If you ask me, the originals are perfectly alright as they are.
I’ve now heard Kurt’s cover of “Hanging On The Telephone” (along with the other tracks). I still think that any new version of those songs is completely unnecessary, but I have to admit that this is not bad at all:
Just in case you don’t remember the Blondie version (unlikely) – or have never head it (extremely unlikely) – here ’tis:
And here’s the original, which you probably haven’t heard (not many people have, apparently):
When I was a wee lad, I dutifully bought the 7″ single of “Hanging On The Telephone” and played it relentlessly. (What else can you do? It’s “Hanging On The Telephone”.) However, I thought the B-side was just as good (sometimes better), and played that almost as much.
Here’s the B-side of “Hanging On The Telephone“:
Blondie – “I Know But I Don’t Know” (1978)
And it’s still one of my favourite Blondie songs.
Yep, all of this is in “Uprising” – and all of it within the first minute.
And don’t get me started on the lyrics. The lyrics are all about repression, conspiracy, and paranoia. (The song constantly uses that favourite word of paranoiacs everywhere: “They.” Just who are “they”? Muse fans, can you help me out? It seems to me that not only are Muse channeling the music of a heap of artists, they’re also channelling the lyrical themes of Pink Floyd…)
Anyway, here are the full versions:
(Speaking of Queen-meets-Radiohead, the following live video comes from a couple of concerts that Muse held in their home town as a sort of “heroes’ return” after touring the world
infecting people with their paranoia pleasing their international fans. They had the cheek to call the concerts A Seaside Rendezvous. Queen fans will know…)
Update: video no longer available courtesy of pesky copyright claims.