For this edition of The Original vs. The Cover, we are going to explore the Fleetwood Mac song “The Chain” which was covered by the band The Highwomen for the soundtrack to the movie ‘The Kitchen’ back in 2019. I could’ve picked other covers by maybe Tantric or Evanescence, but I really liked this version. The song was written by all of Fleetwood Mac and this is certainly true as the song is pieced together from parts of several different unused material from all members of the band.
The opening intro was from an old Lindsey Buckingham song called “Lola (My Love”, the lyrics are from Stevie Nicks and other elements were worked in from Christine McVie’s song “Keep Me There”. The final section of the, including the bass progression were written by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. It is a Frankenstein’s Monster of sorts and quite wonderful.
Let’s take a look at each version and see which one is the best.
The Fleetwood Mac version is so well known, it would be hard to top it. The opening guitar picking by Buckingham is damn near perfect. Lindsey and Stevie’s vocals together are always so perfect together as their tones play off each other so nicely. Mick’s drumming is so precise and played for the song. Not one drum hit is out of place. When you get to that bass progression towards the end, the song is really hitting on all cylinders as the tempo picks up and the energy as well. The vocal harmonies are what sets this song apart. It is one of those songs where each instrument is so critically placed and if pulled out the song would suffer. I’m telling you, it don’t get much better than this.
Judas Priest wasted no time in jumping back in the studio after the Stained Class Tour. That album was released in February 1978 and ‘Killing Machine’ came out 8 months later on October 9, 1978. The band recorded the album between August/September of that year and they were a well-oiled machine at this point. The album would hit #128 on the US Charts and it would go Gold showing that a good metal album didn’t need to go high on the charts to still be successful. However, the album in the U.S. was different than the U.K.. In the U.S., they couldn’t use the name ‘Killing Machine’ as they had seen a rash of school shootings and thought that name was too aggressive for the U.S. market. The name was changed to ‘Hell Bent for Leather’ and they re-arranged the track listing.
Speaking of leather, Priest decided it was time for some changes, not in personnel, but in the style and substance. First is style. Rob had become a little obsessed with the whole leather and stud outfits as Rob and the band took to the change with no hesitation. The classic Priest look was now set. Then the change was substance. The band worked on making the songs more accessible and decided to shy away from the fantasy themes and make things more real, more what the U.S. audience would want to hear And I would say they succeeded as this is more a straight up metal album, all the songs are relatively short and although still have some dark themes, they are more radio-friendly might be a good way to say it. It was the start of some great things to come with the band.
Speaking of band, the line-up is unchanged yet again. It is still Rob Halford, K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill and Les Binks. However, it would Les Binks’ last studio album with the band as by the time the next studio album rolls around, Priest needs a new drummer…AGAIN!! But for now, let’s have the music do the talking.
Happy Friday, thankfully we made it through another week. How do I know that you made it? Well, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this right now would you. As your reward, we have a list of new albums coming out today and one I am really excited about and one I am interested in hearing for comparison purposes (I explain more later). My choices are highlighted in Blue. There are a ton of releases so hopefully there is something for you. Let me know what you’d like to hear and let me know what I might’ve missed so everyone can know. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Cheap Trick – In Another World – (BMG Rights Mgmt): Cheap Trick is still going strong and they are bringing us their 20th Studio Album. 20th!!! Wow!! That is incredible. After the amazing album ‘We’re All Alright!’, I am super excited to hear this follow-up. I am sure it will be great as they have really seemed to find a new groove and are putting out some solid stuff. This is why they might be one of the greatest American Bands of all time!! And because of that they will be the next band that gets a Series on this site. Now it won’t be for maybe 6 months, but it is coming!!! Get Ready!!!
Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – (Republic Records): As you probably know, Taylor has had major legal issues with her former label and she doesn’t own the rights to here early studio albums. So to solve that problem, she is faithfully recreating each and every album. The first up is her second album, ‘Fearless’, and she is calling them ‘Taylor’s Version’. I have to say, I am interested to hear this and compare it to the original to see how she does. She’s not as young as she was, but she still has the voice, so let’s see.
Welcome to June and the first Friday of releases. There are a lot of releases this week so there should be a little something for everyone. For me, there is a lot as well! A lot of nothing. There are a couple I find appealing and they will be highlighted in Blue. One of which I have had for a month and be enjoying it a lot. Hopefully there is something you like. Let me know what interests you and if I missed anything. Thanks and have a great weekend!
Jonas Brothers – Happiness Begins – (Republic Records): Yes, the Jonas Brothers are back!! Okay, I am not really this excited, but my kids are going nuts! I have a feeling that this will be blaring around the house and in the car for quite sometime to come!! The first song released, “Sucker”, was quite catchy so let’s hope the rest of the album is as enjoyable otherwise this will be a painful period for me.
Ida Mae – Chasing Lights – (Vow Road): I came across Ida Mae when they opened for Greta Van Fleet on tour. I picked up the album at the show around May 15th and have been playing it almost every day since. It is fantastic. They are from England and have a heavy Blues influence to their music and songwriting. It is quite different than what I normally listen to, but I can’t get enough of it. Check it out.
Wow! Another HUGE week of releases. There are a ton I am interested in and some I have bought already or will be very, very soon. There is a wide range of artists covering Rock, Metal, Country, R&B, Pop, Showtunes, Christian, Alternative, Hip Hop and many more. There has to be something you will be digging. If not, let me know and let me if there is. I love to know what people are in to and whether or not I am missing out on anything good. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Have a great weekend!!
Needtobreathe – Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 – (Atlantic Records): If you read my site, you know this is one of my favorite bands so it is no wonder this tops the list. The vinyl is on order and I hope I get it on release day, but doubt it since it is from the NTB webstore and not Amazon. Oh well! The album is a collection of acoustic tracks from their acoustic tour last year. All classic NTB tracks and these guys are fantastic live, so high expectations.
Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell (Deluxe) – (Universal Music): This set looks S.W.E.E.T.!! An extensive greatest hits compilation of his Soundgarden, Audioslave and Solo work among some rare treats as well. This is another must have in the physical form. It is on the Christmas list and if I don’t get it, I will immediately buy on Amazon Christmas Day.
It is about time I did one on Fleetwood Mac. With the news of Lindsey leaving…again…they need some special treatment. There was a time when I didn’t think Fleetwood Mac wasn’t cool because I was in to Hard Rock and Metal…well let me tell you…Fleetwood Mac is cool and always was. Let’s celebrate the band with some memes. I hope you enjoy…
When you hear the song title “Black Magic Woman”, most people immediately associate the song with Santana and that is because they have the most famous version of the song. However, their version is actually a cover version. I did not know that until a short time ago when I discovered that the original was performed by Fleetwood Mac two years earlier. My world was rocked as I had no idea. I don’t know if life will ever be the same.
The song was written by Peter Green who was the original singer for the Fleetwood Mac and he came from John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers where he originally replaced Eric Clapton on guitar. There is whole story around that and the formation of Fleetwood Mac which we will have to save for another time as this post is about comparing the two versions of “Black Magic Woman”.
The Fleetwood Mac version of “Black Magic Woman” was a real bluesy track, heavy on the drums and the bass with little guitar riffs thrown in. Then there is a great guitar solo that comes in about a minute into the song and goes on for about 45 seconds. It is really great and what would you expect from a guy that replaced Eric Clapton in another band.
Peter sounds great vocally as well and after listening to it, I realized I have heard the song many times before but probably thought it was the Santana song, of course it doesn’t have the same feel, but they aren’t completely different songs.
Not a huge cover albums fan, I was very apprehensive on this release. I do like cover songs, you know, maybe throwing one on an album, but not a whole album. Cover albums can be very hit or miss. The band either interrupts the songs in to their own sound or they copy it exactly adding nothing special and that is always my fear.
The Poodles decided to do a covers album for their 7th studio album and all though I am a huge fan of the band, this worried me greatly. But being a fan, a did give it a spin. The good news is the band took an approach of picking songs from artist that are not in their specific genre of glam metal and they definitely achieved that goal. The album title ‘Prisma’, I can only assume was picked to signify the songs would be looked at from different angles or viewpoints and they would add their own color to them. And was that achieved? Well, let’s discuss that and find out.
The opening track of the album sounds like pure, classic Poodle. The song is “Crazy Horses” by the Osmond Brothers from 1972. Yes, I said that right…the Osmond Brothers. Now that is definitely going outside your genre. The song is cranked up much heavier and would fit perfectly on any Poodles’ album. What helps is that I am not real familiar with this song so I have no preconceived notions of what this song should sound like. Their first choice is making me think this might be a great covers album.
My theory is simple…Every 4 years you have one of the greatest years in music. I agree with the three I have already done. Will I agree with it for the next year 1979? We will have to first examine the evidence. What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?
The Sony Walkman:
On July 1, 1979, The Sony Walkman goes on Sale in Japan and the way you listen to music is changed forever!! (at least until the CD and then the MP3). Who didn’t have one of these if you were a kid in 1979 or the 80’s. I definitely did. It helped spur my love for music as it now was more portable It was better than just the radio, I could listen to what I wanted to wherever and whenever I wanted. I used mine while I mowed the lawn (and every now and again I would snag to cord and pull my headphones off). I had a boombox, but that wasn’t the same as the Walkman. Nothing better (until my iPod).