It has apparently now been fifty years since actor Tab Hunter (Damn Yankees, The Sea Chase) released his #1 single “Young Love” for a company called Dot Records. Around that time, Warner Bros. was peeved because all the hype surround this song and not Hunter’s recent film under the Warner flag. As a response, Warner Bros. started a fledgling record department in which to sponsor musical artists.
Now, Warner Bros. Records might be over the hill but damned if they will be buried down deep inside it. As a result of this anniversary, Covered, A Revolution In Sound is scheduled for release on March 10th. They managed to rope in quite the listing for artists to cover hit songs in the Warner catalog. With prog-metal alchemists Mastodon taking ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid” for a heavier twist, modern punkers Against Me! providing their soft side to “Here Comes A Regular” by The Replacements and even managing Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane” with the vocals of comedian Adam Sandler as what might be the most unexpected inclusions.
There are in fact more obvious choices, such as Michelle Branch matching Joni Mitchell or Avenged Sevenfold covering Black Sabbath. Is this to say the unpredictable did not hold up any end of the bargain? Not at all, in fact Adam Sandler is ever impressive and The Used’s take on Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House” is phenomenal and originally spun. Could this be misconstrued as means for Warner Bros. to make even more money via some celebratory excuse? Most definitely, but unlike millions of repeatedly pressed Greatest Hits albums or charity compilations I am actually wanting a copy of this CD because they cover artists I absolutely love and do it remarkably better than half expected.
With guests ranging from the slightly obscure (The Black Keys) to metal mainstream (Disturbed), the comfort zone is extremely well constructed. Props to Warner notwithstanding, everyone needs to hear this if not only for the originality in covering these classic tunes. Go listen to the album in it’s entirety on MySpace and wish Warner Bros. Records a happy 50th anniversary…ain’t I a stinker for publicity?
Covered, A Revolution In Sound Tracklist:
01. “Just Got Paid” (ZZ Top) – Mastodon (feat. Billy Gibbons)
02. “Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles” (Captain Beefheart) – The Black Keys
03. “A Case of You” (Joni Mitchell) – Michelle Branch
04. “Here Comes a Regular” (The Replacements) – Against Me!
05. “More Than This” (Roxy Music) – Missy Higgins
06. “Into the Mystic” (Van Morrison) – James Otto
07. “Like a Hurricane” (Neil Young) – Adam Sandler
08. “You Wreck Me” (Tom Petty) – Taking Back Sunday
09. “Burning Down the House” (Talking Heads) – The Used
10. “Midlife Crisis” (Faith No More) – Disturbed
11. “Paranoid” (Black Sabbath) – Avenged Sevenfold
12. “Borderline” (Madonna) – Flaming Lips (feat. Stardeath & White Dwarfs)