The Original vs The Cover – “You Really Got Me”

For this month’s edition of ‘The Original vs The Cover’, we are going to cover the song “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks vs the cover by Van Halen.  When Van Halen originally released this song back in 1978, I thought it was an original…what did I know, I was only 9.  The Kinks didn’t exist in my world yet.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one as Ray Davies has mentioned that fans have come up to them after shows and thought it was cool that they played a Van Halen song.

“You Really Got Me” was released on Sept 2, 1964 in the US and the song was off the band’s album ‘Kinks’.  The song went to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it went all the way to #1 in their home country of the UK.  It was their third single at the time, but it was the first to really do anything for the band.  It was so successful, it became their signature song.

The song has been described by Ray Davies as a “love song for street kids”.  It is a rebellious track of sex and lust and all around gritty, dirty love.  It is that energy both versions capture so well.

The Kinks

The Kinks’ version had a very Beatlesque quality to it which makes sense since the Beatles were huge at the time.  The band wanted to capture that sound and they truly did.  The song to me also had a real punk feel to it.  It was aggressive and in your face, but it was the guitar sound that really made the song.

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Needtobreathe – “Bridges Burn” – Single Review

Needtobreathe recently announced a new tour starting in August and a new project titled ‘Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions)’.  The first single from that project is titled “Bridges Burn”.  Before I go into the song, let’s talk about the band.

Needtobreathe is one of my absolutely favorite bands and I am excited they are finally coming back to Charlotte as it has been awhile.  I will do my best to make it to this show even if it will be OUTSIDE…IN AUGUST…IN THE SOUTH!!  What were they thinking???  There is nothing like sitting outside in 100º weather.

Back to the music…here is what the band says about the new project…

“Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions)” is a new collection of songs made over the course of a few weeks in Fort Worth, TX with the producer trio Niles City Sound. This music documents the season that we’re in as a band right now.

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Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (The 45 Single)

Disco era Kiss!  Does it get any better than that??  Well, yes it actually does.  Nonetheless, it was still Kiss and still awesome.  I was out at my favorite little record spot and came across a 7″ single of Kiss and of course I had to have it.  It was the 1979 single off the Dynasty album called “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.

The single was only the band’s second Gold single and it went on to sell over a 1 million copies so needless to say, it was a hit.  Which proved Gene and Paul correct that during the Disco era, anyone could write a disco song.  Speaking of writing, this was the first time Kiss co-wrote a song with Desmond Child and it wouldn’t be the last.  It was also Desmond’s first hit he ever had.  The song was also written by Paul Stanley and Vini Poncia who played piano on the song and did backing vocals.

The really isn’t much to talk about in regards to the song.  Think disco and you know what the song sounds like.  You can get up and dance to it and sing along to the catchy, pop chorus.  It is simple.  One thing I guess I can talk about is that wikipedia has the 7″ single listed at 4:01, but my version has it at 3:57 which might not seem like a lot, but that is a big difference.  The song is already cut down from the album version which was at 4:30.  Not sure if I have a different version or wikipedia is just wrong.

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Shinedown – “Devil” – Single Review

With Shinedown, when they release a song or an album you know what you are going to get.  They have a sound and a style that works and they don’t stray far from that formula.  With the new album coming on May 4th, ‘Attention, Attention’, Shinedown is trying to do just that…get your attention.

The album is basically a concept album  The songs will take you on a journey of a person who is starting in a very dark, ominous place and take you all the way through to the other side where this person is done battling his mind and his issues and coming out a changed person.  I love concept albums so I can’t wait to get ahold of this an take this journey.

The first single is “Devil”, which is the first song on this story through the mind.  According to Brent Smith in an interview with Billboard, he states the following:

“‘DEVIL’ is about being afraid, ‘DEVIL’ is about being terrified of not only yourself, in some respects, but the world around you, and understanding that there are so many things and so many different situations and people and places and atmospheres and exposure that human beings are put in front of on a daily basis, [and] the world can be a really difficult place to navigate. So that’s where the story starts.”

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The Original vs. The Cover – “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

For this version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are covering (pun intended) Ian Hunter’s classic “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.  The song was written by Ian and included on his self-titled solo album he released in 1975 after his departure from Mott the Hoople.  The song went to #14 on the UK singles chart and was produced by Ian and great Mick Ronson.

The song hasn’t been covered by a whole lot of acts, but one of the most famous was by Great White.  So, let’s sit back, have a listen and compare the two and determine who has the best version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.

The song tells the story of a rock musician who meets a girl why he is out on tour and becomes intimate with her (meaning he has sex with her).  He thinks she is young and innocent until to his dismay he discovers she has been around quite a lot and been with a lot of other musicians.  It is a classic tale of old!!

The title of the song comes from the old expression meaning once you have been hurt once, you become less trusting and cautious going forward.  The phrase dates back to 1484 and is traced back to an English printer (William Caxton), the first to publish a translation in to English of Aesop’s tales.  There is your history lesson for the day.

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Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” (The 45 Single)

 

I was out and about at one of my favorite local record stores and came across this old 45 Single from Kiss. It was for the song “Tears Are Falling” off their 1985 album ‘Asylum.  By 1985, Kiss was  fully ensconced into the 80’s Hair Metal scene.  Starting with their previous album, ‘Animalize’, the band’s sound shifted from the heavier albums like ‘Creatures of the Night’ and ‘Lick It Up’, to more of the Glam Rock sound to keep up with the music of the time.  That meant power ballads.  “Tears Are Falling” fit that mold quite nicely.

“Tears Are Falling” was released as a single in 1985 and made it to #20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, just not technically not a Top 40 hit since it only reached #51 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song did have better success on MTV where it was in frequent rotation on the station.

The song was written by Paul Stanley and one of the few times we ever get a true Stanley Only song.  The next we got was not until his solo album in 2006.  That bit of tidbit surprised me, but the internet can’t be wrong…can it??  The song was recorded at the legendary Electric Lady Studios which is Jimi Hendrix’s old studio and produced by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.  Interesting enough, Gene didn’t play bass on the song, it was played by Paul.

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Aldo Nova – “Fantasy”: The 45 Single (1981)

Aldo Nova’s debut album came out in 1981 and it gave him his one and only hit.  Yes, he is considered a one-hit wonder.  That song was “Fantasy”.  The reason he is considered a one hit wonder is the song “Fantasy” was the only song that he released that made it in to the US Top 40 Chart.  It reached up to #23.  He did have two other singles make the Billboard charts, but they never broke the Top 40.  I find that one hit wonder label ridiculous because on the US Mainstream Rock chart he had 3 Top 15 songs…”Fantasy”, “Monkey On Your Back” and “Blood on the Bricks”.  The One Hit Wonder status only relates to the US Top 40 chart.

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All that aside, let’s talk about the song “Fantasy”.  The album version of the song opens the album and is 5:05 in length.  The single version that we are discussing from the 45 that I have is a lot shorter at only 3:13,  What is the big difference?  The opening sequence on the album (and the video) has a a slower build up with the synth sounds creating a helicopter that is flying in and after it lands you have a laser blast that then kicks in to the song.  The radio single cuts all that out as well as the last minute of the song which is basically repeating the chorus over and over.  It is now short and compact and full of punch.

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RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – “I Got You Babe” / “Forever All the Way” – Single Review

Richie Sambora & Orianthi (or RSO for short) have put out two E.P.’s and now give us two new singles just in time for Valentine’s Day (now this is a little past Valentine’s Day, but that was when I first heard it).  They give is the incredible Sonny & Cher cover of “I Got You Babe” and a new single called “Forever All The Way”.

First off, we will focus on “I Got You Babe”.  Now, I have to admit, I have been waiting for a great cover of the Sonny & Cher classic song.  Sadly, this isn’t it.  In fact, no one is waiting for a cover of “I Got You Babe”.  I am sorry to admit this is dreadful.  Is that harsh?  I am sorry, but it is.  I give them credit for trying a few things different with it.  They definitely bring into the modern era for sound and they try to rock it out.  It doesn’t work.  It was a cheesy song before and it is still a cheesy song now.

I know they are happy together and it is supposed to be a fun song, but there is nothing redeeming about it that will make me ever want to listen to this drivel ever again. I liked their last E.P., “Making History”. This goes in completely the wrong direction from what they accomplished with that one.

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Stryper – “Take It To The Cross” – Single Review

Now, Stryper, and Michael Sweet in particular, have released a lot of music lately.  Let’s look back over the last 5 years…

  • March 2013 – ‘The Second Coming’
  • November 2013 – ‘No More Hell to Pay’
  • January 2014 – Icon (greatest hits)
  • September 2014 – Live at the Whisky
  • October 2015 – Fallen

And Michael Sweet…

  • 2014 – ‘I’m Not Your Suicide’
  • 2015 – ‘Only to Rise’ as Sweet & Lynch
  • 2016 – ‘One Sided War’
  • 2017 – ‘Unified’ as Sweet & Lynch
  • 2017 – Sole: Songs and Stories From a Life in Music live concert video

That is 10 albums in 5 years.  That is quite a busy group.  I will admit that I have grown a little tired of Stryper as it is music overload.  I can’t absorb all that.  Now, it has all been great actually, but I felt like I needed a break.

On April 20th, Stryper brings us another new album called ‘God Damn Evil’ and my first thought was NOOOOO!!!  On the title, I am sure they will catch some grief for using that title (which will be for another discussion if I review the whole album), but it is ballsy and I think it might set the tone for what is to come on this album.

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The Original Vs. The Cover – “Live and Let Die”

Welcome to the first installment of “The Original Vs. The Cover” for 2018.  We are going to start it off this year with the battle between Paul McCartney & Wings and Guns ‘N Roses with the song “Live and Let Die”.  The song was written by Paul & Linda McCartney for the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die”. The two versions aren’t really that different in my opinion.  Some of the orchestration is replaced with guitars, but other than that they are very similar.  But before we choose a version we like more, let’s talk about each version first.

Paul McCartney and Wings

Paul was given the Ian Fleming novel to read and then he sat down at his piano and wrote the song.  I am not sure Paul had ever had to write a song around a title before as he said it was not an easy thing to do.  Well, he wrote the song in an afternoon, so it must not have been that hard.  The song is one of Wing’s most popular songs and it received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song in 1973.  However, it did lose to Barbara Streisand’s song “The Way We Were”.  The song was also nominated for a Grammy in the same year.

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