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Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Time for another Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th Century, delving into the archives to dig out a nostalgic dance-floor filler from the late 80's built on the bones of an early 70's candy-pop cult relic:

Renegade Soundwave - Biting My Nails (Geneviève Waïte)

Geneviève Waïte was a model and actress from South Africa whose successes earned her status as something of an "international underground star" in the 60's and 70's. After her starring role in the 1968 film Joanna and a couple of pictorials for Playboy magazine, she married John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas. It was in collaboration with him as a her co-songwriter and producer that she recorded her 1974 solo album, Romance Is On The Rise. The single released from the album was only distributed in France and featured two tracks: Love Is Coming Back on side A and Biting My Nails on side B. Waïte went on to perform the A-side track in a couple of films, including the 1976 sci-fi drama, The Man Who Fell to Earth (starring David Bowie, with whom it's said she was intended to co-star, but she had to decline due to commitments on another project.) The album and single were said to have been received favorably over all, though neither actually sold particularly well. And while the A-side of her single seemed to be exposed more prominently, it was the B-side that inspired a number of covers. One such cover was recorded by Tim Curry in 1976 (shortly after he appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show) for an album he never released. It was later included on Songs From The Vaults (A Collection Of Rocky Horror Rarities), the fourth of a four-disc RHPS collection released in 1993.

Waïte's style may well be one of the earliest examples of a type of campy saccharine European mod-pop, possibly laying foundations for later eccentric artists like perhaps Laurie Anderson, Cyndi Lauper, and others. That alone makes it seem a curious pick for a punkish hip-hop industrial dub trio from out of London, even more curious that any one of them actually owned her album. Renegade Soundwave (aka "RSW"), comprised of Gary Asquith, Danny Briottet, and Carl Bonnie, released their cover of Biting My Nails as their first single with Mute Records in 1988. It was later included on their first album, Soundclash in 1989. In one interview, Asquith recalled that he had played Waïte's album for Bonnie at his flat one day. Later Bonnie and Briottet came to him with an arrangement they'd developed with Waïte's song in mind and thought the lyrics would make a great fit. Their version is an eclectic assortment of samples that include an industrial drill, a fire alarm, a guitar riff from Jimmy Page, and drum loops from KC & the Sunshine Band. RSW also replaced Waïte's "Oooh Oooh" with recognizable brass sampled from Eddie Floyd's Knock on Wood. There are some lyrical differences as well. Instead of Waïte's late-track somewhat spastic soliloquy, RSW inserts two original verses following the general cadence of the first two. Additionally they replaced one line of an earlier verse with something a little modernizing and self-referential.
Their cover also appears on the soundtrack of the independent 1991 comedy, London Kills Me.
In truth, it wasn't much more of a commercial hit than the original but the track nonetheless was a huge dance-floor banger, in time becoming a classic.

...pation. ;)

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
We'll take another look at a song featured in a previous Third Sunday Throwback, presenting the first in a recurring series: Four by Four, where we'll explore four OTHER COVERS of that track. Which one of 116 prior songs will we revisit? Well for the most current version, it has to do with a certain blonde from the coldest city...

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!
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I'll spin next on the last Friday this month. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jul 09 - You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)
Jul 02 - Urgess - Spider-Man Theme (Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris)
Jun 25 - Sirus - My Own Summer (Deftones)
Jun 18 - Null Device - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Information Society)
Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies

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seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

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