Friday, April 13, 2012

Soft, Safe & Sanitized

This 1994 Rhino Records collection of narcotized versions of rock classics, like yesterday's "White Men Can't Wrap," was presented by Spy Magazine. Not sure what connection the now-defunct periodical had to do with old music, but it was a humor magazine, and this is some hilarious stuff: laid-back singers, sleepy-time string orchestras, and white-bread vocal choirs all scrub every ounce of sex, sweat and blackness from the once-revolutionary works of Little Richard, Dylan, The Beatles, Cream, Stevie Wonder, and The Doors, among others. As with "White Men," WFMU's Irwin Chusid was one of the compilers, as was Gene Sculatti, who I fondly recall from his KCRW show, "The Cool & The Crazy."

I have some of the albums from whence these tracks come - the shaky audio on Der Bingle's take on "Hey Jude" is there on the crappily-recorded original album (on which he also covers "Little Green Apples") and the Manahattan Strings' Monkees album is pretty cool, with a nice breakbeat on "Mary Mary" waiting to be discovered by some lucky hip-hop DJ. And "Right Now!," the Mel Torme album from whence comes this groovy take on Donovan's "Sunshine Superman," is a total blast. Hopefully, I can post the whole thing one day.

Spy Magazine Presents, Vol. 3: Soft, Safe &Sanitized

1. Louie, Louie - Julie London
2. Long Tall Sally - Pat Boone
3. Like a Rolling Stone - Living Voices
4. Revolution - The Brothers Four
5. Touch Me - The Lettermen
6. White Room - Joel Grey
7. Sunshine Superman - Mel Tormé
8. Ballad of John and Yoko, The - Percy Faith
9. (Theme From) The Monkees - Manhattan Strings
10. You Are the Sunshine of My Life - Jim Nabors
11. Hey Jude - Bing Crosby
12. Give Peace a Chance - Mitch Miller

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a great album! I mentioned to my wife that you were writing about it and she said that she had completely forgotten about it.

And that I was to never play it again.

Anonymous said...

One track is "missing" -- Elvis Presley booned a sanitized version of "One Night of Sin" by Smiley Lewis into "One Night" (as in "One night...with you...."). Apparently the things he did and saw would NOT make the Earth stand still. Ugh. Windy

Anonymous said...

link expired./ Please re-post, thanx