Tuesday, May 15, 2012

COVER THE EARTH: Bizarro Versions of Your Favorite Oldies From Across the World Wide Weird

There are lots of foreign-language covers out there, but what really intruiges me is when non-Anglo/Americans approach the material from their own ethnic/cultural background.  Sometimes it's kinda clueless, like the South African group who sound like they really don't know their rockabilly (tho I'm sure they know rock better then most Americans know mbaqanga), while others are clearly going for a cross-over audience, e.g. the "chutney" version of Arrow's soca classic "Feelin' Hot Hot Hot": East Indians go to the West Indies. I'm pretty sure the Bappi Lahiri track was no more then the prolific Bollywood composer finding himself short on material and thinking no-one would notice if he ripped-off some Western oldies, but Tuva's Yat-Kha, on the other hand, apparently is a big fan of Western pop, and performing it in his "throat-singing" style seemed like the natural way to go - a tribute to his boyhood favorites. And Panta Siklja Nafta might be the first reported sighting of Serbian outsider music.

Plenty here were done simply to cash in on the teen rock market that emerged across the world by the 1960s. Jah Division, and The Ramones bossa, and steel pan covers are just good old-fashioned gimmicks, but fun ones, and The Dragons have even been accused of being somewhat of a hoax - their release, covering the likes of The Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones - was supposedly smuggled out of China after the band overheard Western music on Hong Kong radio, but some have levied the accusation that they were, in fact, Chinese folks living in France at the time, and a smart-aleck record label put them up to the task.  Who knows - the Pistols on traditional Chinese instruments sound amazing, and that's all I care about.

Cover The Earth

1. Bogard Brothers [South Africa] - I'm In Love  (Elvis/Little Richard)
2. Yat-Kha [Mongolia] - When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin)
3. Yat-Kha [Mongolia] - Man Machine (Kraftwerk)
4. Panta Siklja Nafta [Serbia] - Nafta u Mojim Mislima (Ray Charles)
5. Wanderlea [Brasil] - Vou Lhe Contar (The Seeds "Pushin' Too Hard")
6. Bogard Brothers  [South Africa] - She Keeps On Knocking  (Elvis/Little Richard)
7. Yat-Kha [Mongolia] - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Iron Butterfly)
8. Panta Siklja Nafta [Serbia] - Lav Mi Tender (Elvis)
9. Duangdao Mondara & Chailai [Thailand] - The Black Super Man (Johnny Wakelin & The Kinshasa Band "Muhammad Ali Black Superman")
10. Yat-Kha [Mongolia] - Play With Fire (Rolling Stones)
11. Manster [USA] - Over, Under, Sideways, Down (Yardbirds)
12. Bappi Lahiri [India] - Everybody Dance With Me (Iron Butterfly/The Troggs)
13. Glambeats Corp. (feat. Chepito) [Euro/Brasil/Carribean] - Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones) 
14. The Dragons [China] - Anarchy In The U.K. (Sex Pistols)
15. Dunny Lida & Paradise King [Japan] - Surf City (Jan & Dean)
16. Jah Division [US/Jamaica] - Dub Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
17. Babla & Kanchan [India/Trinidad] - KUCH GADBAD HAI (Arrow/Buster Poindexter "Feelin Hot Hot Hot")
18. Malik Adouane [Algeria] - Shaft (Isaac Hayes)
19. Mariachi El Bronx [US/Mexico] - I Would Die 4 U (Prince)
20. Tracy Thornton [US/Caribbean] - Rockaway Beach  (Ramones)
21. Sroeng Santi  [Thailand] - Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng (Black Sabbath "Ironman")
22. Unknown Japanese - Queen Medley

Thanks to Dragan Vuković!


Anonymous said...

silly me, I thought Dread Zeppelin was warped. after hearing Yat-Kha, I need a new standard for a straightedge. great antidote for a mundane workday.

Unknown said...

Can't wait to hear this stuff! Well, I already know and enjoy the Mariachi El Bronx cut. BTW, Yat-Kha, who also do a terrific "Love Will Tear Us Apart", are a group from Tuva in Russia, not a solo artist from Mongolia. (Tuva is very close to Mongolia, so there's a strong connection there.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yat-Kha

Thanks for the post.

Mr Fab said...

You're right, Yat-Kha is the name of the band. All this time I thought that was just the name of the singer. But isn't Tuva actually a part of Mongolia? That's what I'd been told lo these many years. Apparently, I was mislead. I'm so confused!

Yeah, that Mariachi El Bronx track is a beauty and I'm not even a Prince fan.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an excellent compilation.....much appreciated to you sharing...cheers

Outa-Spaceman said...

Many refreshing things to enjoy here.
I've got to find more Bogard Brothers.

Can I put a shout in for Bugotak's version of Come Together and Suetlyo Zhilev's version of Purple Haze
both of which would sit very nicely in this collection.

Thank you for your hard work,


Ysfoxy said...

"Nafta on my mind", is that Bill Clinton singing?

Anonymous said...

Love the Yat-Kha stuff. And the cover of "Shaft" is pimp in all the best use of the term. Just wanna know - what's the story with that Queen medley? WOW!

Anonymous said...

For those still wondering, that Japanese Queen medley is by Kween. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoNt6hME_rY The lead singer Freddy Etow ended that band and formed another now known as Queeness. http://queeness.jp/