NWR Cover songs that are better than the original

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If anything for me exemplifies punk, it's this F*** You attitude and whilst Joe had it a bit, Lydon had/has it in spades. I'm surprised with your comment about McLaren, who I see as an irrrelevance: Lydon was the driving force, helped by Matlock's tunes, though of course, happy to discuss.

I don't stand behind Joh-nee's habitually erratic pronouncements over the years, though as suggested above, I think their point is to challenge rather than to join-up or make any sense. He often surprises me which side of an issue he''ll be on, and for every piece of misguided gibberish, there's often a nugget I hadn't considered which makes me think.

Absolutely agree, except I just think he's not very intelligent and says stuff to shock. Like a great artist, judge the art not the (wo)man. But shock is what he did to the highest level whilst being a key element in some brilliant songs that shook the world of rock music (along with a few others.)
 
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And an actual entry: Handle With Care (Traveling Wilburys) by Jenny Lewis, which allows Jenny to add Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to the Beatles' and Dylan's uncanny inability to half-perform their own creations.

Forgot to reply to this one, too, before. The Beatles couldn't perform their own songs? Outrageous! Sir George Martin will be turning in his grave.

I've never been the biggest Tom Petty fan and as much as I want to argue against it, listening to lots of Bob songs recently leaves me struggling to argue against your accusations against him!
 
Forgot to reply to this one, too, before. The Beatles couldn't perform their own songs? Outrageous! Sir George Martin will be turning in his grave.

I've never been the biggest Tom Petty fan and as much as I want to argue against it, listening to lots of Bob songs recently leaves me struggling to argue against your accusations against him!

Yes, I guess I was responding to earlier comments re the high quality of Beatles' (I think) covers Johnny, and whilst the above (admittedly WUMming) argument is one side, the other would of course be that the songs are great source material to start with.

There's a separate conversation I think for songs which are just good covers ie not necessarily better than the original, just a sufficiently different take to be equally interesting and a couple of the ones I've mentioned above probably fall into that category. I don't think you could argue the Fatimas' Shiny Happy People ("Here we f***ing go!") to be better than REMs but it's definitely worth listening to. Happy Furry Monsters however ("See them jump and run"), knocks it into the proverbial tin hat ;)
 
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To get a tiny bit philosophical, David, the more I delve into the murky world of public opinion as expressed in internet forums, the more people cleave to their established views on things rather than open their mind and learn. Whilst I complain right royally about this (being of a temperamentally open mind myself - not a boast), it seems that music and a few other things are sacred to me and in these subjects I very much turn turtle, starting with the answer and much less able to see the other side, so although my post was challenging, a) apologies, b) thanks for coming back with a thoughtful response.

So, after the least punk opening to a post in history, I think I'm very much a Lydon fanboy, exactly because of his Attitude, which you could describe in many ways (and which some may abhor or distrust), but I'd describe as "Doing What the Fuck He Wants". Hence my comment about the butter: had someone I didn't like done said commercial, I'd be all over them, but as Lydon did it I'm claiming it was yet another F**k You to any expectations of him.

If anything for me exemplifies punk, it's this F*** You attitude and whilst Joe had it a bit, Lydon had/has it in spades. I'm surprised with your comment about McLaren, who I see as an irrrelevance: Lydon was the driving force, helped by Matlock's tunes, though of course, happy to discuss.

I don't stand behind Joh-nee's habitually erratic pronouncements over the years, though as suggested above, I think their point is to challenge rather than to join-up or make any sense. He often surprises me which side of an issue he''ll be on, and for every piece of misguided gibberish, there's often a nugget I hadn't considered which makes me think.

I only mention Politics in my post as the strength of punk for me was the personal politics rather than the big P, and that's more Lydon's end than the undoubted Achievements of Strummer & Jones. I talk here as if I lived it - I didn't: I was 5 or 6 and living in Yorkshire, but it's the period of music/culture which has most engaged me over the years. I think the forum's had a convo on this on another thread, but I think there were only a handful of Punk bands - the Pistols, the Slits, Siouxsie, X-Ray Spex? - with the rest doing something still interesting but with a different ethos from the catalytic sparks given off by Mr Rotten / Ms Sioux. I don't deny the quality of many of these bands btw, many amongst my favourite bands.

Finally - yes PiL much more going on than the Pistols, and no-one will be talking about Oasis in 10 years, never mind 25, whereas The Universal, This is a Low and Out of Time already seem classic. And as for Peel, although I never met the man, it seems I miss him every day.

I've been thinking about this and as much as I think Never Mind the B.... is brilliant and I like some PIL stuff, I really think John Lydon is the nearest thing to Donald Trump in rock music. I think he's a much better person than Donald, but he says so many ridiculous, provocative things that when he actually says something reasonable it has a more positive reaction than if someone else had said it.
 
I've been thinking about this and as much as I think Never Mind the B.... is brilliant and I like some PIL stuff, I really think John Lydon is the nearest thing to Donald Trump in rock music. I think he's a much better person than Donald, but he says so many ridiculous, provocative things that when he actually says something reasonable it has a more positive reaction than if someone else had said it.

Yes, and I don't want to pollute the thread further with my typical drifts(!) but I'd just summarise that being nihilistic and delberately obtuse is exactly what I admire Lydon for, but much more in his art than in his non-music interviews.

It's why I say he's head and shoulders different to any of the other "punks". I'll retreat from saying he's "the most punk" (or however I shorthanded it before) as I suppose one of the things about Punk is that it means different things to different people. But no-one before him to my knowledge walked on stage with "Hello c*nts" and deliberately needled - rather than entertained - the audience.
 
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Top stuff innit Nigel - gets very Albini/BB around 1:30 but a pretty luminous take throughout. Heard it on Peel - some kind of NME-funded Elvis tribute album I think, which could be the source for a few more entries here!
Tempted to add The Model and He's A Whore by Big Black but not that sure that they are an improvement on the originals.
 
Tempted to add The Model and He's A Whore by Big Black but not that sure that they are an improvement on the originals.

Having posted it on here Nigel I can't get the King Creole out of my head! I found my old Peel tape where I first heard it - he says he was given a world exclusive advance copy of a couple of tracks on the album (The Last Temptation of Elvis) but "couldn't bring myself to play tracks by Bruce Springsteen or Paul McCartney, so passed them to Nicky Campbell". Luckily he played that one...

The Model sprung to mind with me also, but I agree with you - different take but think I prefer Kraftwerk's. However, if anyone can find me a cover of a Big Black song which even gets near to the original, I'd like to hear it - SAF for starters must be uncoverable!
 
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Yes, and I don't want to pollute the thread further with my typical drifts(!) but I'd just summarise that being nihilistic and delberately obtuse is exactly what I admire Lydon for, but much more in his art than in his non-music interviews.

It's why I say he's head and shoulders different to any of the other "punks". I'll retreat from saying he's "the most punk" (or however I shorthanded it before) as I suppose one of the things about Punk is that it means different things to different people. No-one before him to my knowledge walked on stage with "Hello c*nts" and deliberately needled - rather than entertained - the audience.
That rather sweetly reminds me of the Foo Fighters inviting Rick Astley on stage to do Never Gonna Give You Up. They hadn't even met before, Rick gets excited and greets the audience as motherf****ers, to Dave Grohl's slight surprise. Great fun.
 
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Sacrilege it may be, but I think that the fact that Johnny Cash is so celebrated for his interpretation of modern rock classics maybe suggests that his songwriting wasn't quite as good as his reputation would have you believe. I'm not sure.
 
Sacrilege it may be, but I think that the fact that Johnny Cash is so celebrated for his interpretation of modern rock classics maybe suggests that his songwriting wasn't quite as good as his reputation would have you believe. I'm not sure.
Sorry Johnny but I don't think it suggests anything of the kind. I think it suggest that his interpretation of 'modern rock classics' has exposed him to a wider audience than the one who listened to his country work through the 1950's to the 1980's and it is this newer audience who are celebrating him for his version of songs with which they are already familiar. This 'new' audience give these reworked versions (deservedly) high praise but in general do not listen to his country catalogue and are not particularly aware of it. The Johnny Cash songbook is a wonderful and powerful collection of songs that have survived the test of time and only reinforce that his reputation is every bit as good as it is reputed.
 
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Sorry Johnny but I don't think it suggests anything of the kind. I think it suggest that his interpretation of 'modern rock classics' has exposed him to a wider audience than the one who listened to his country work through the 1950's to the 1980's and it is this newer audience who are celebrating him for his version of songs with which they are already familiar. This 'new' audience give these reworked versions (deservedly) high praise but in general do not listen to his country catalogue and are not particularly aware of it. The Johnny Cash songbook is a wonderful and powerful collection of songs that have survived the test of time and only reinforce that his reputation is every bit as good as it is reputed.
Maybe, but it's all subjective.
 
Sorry Johnny but I don't think it suggests anything of the kind. I think it suggest that his interpretation of 'modern rock classics' has exposed him to a wider audience than the one who listened to his country work through the 1950's to the 1980's and it is this newer audience who are celebrating him for his version of songs with which they are already familiar. This 'new' audience give these reworked versions (deservedly) high praise but in general do not listen to his country catalogue and are not particularly aware of it. The Johnny Cash songbook is a wonderful and powerful collection of songs that have survived the test of time and only reinforce that his reputation is every bit as good as it is reputed.
"The American Songbook" is a great tradition among artists. Ella Fitzgerald is a great example of a "jazz singer" who triumphed and saw equal fame in reinterpreting American classics. I'm quite a fan of Cash's American Songbook series and I think I've said before that his version of Hurt is a favourite of mine. I'm not a massive country fan so some of his original stuff I like and some less so, though that's just me. I accept he's an icon.
 
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