seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Five Sundays during this month means that today I present Fifth Sunday A La Mode - Octoberween edition! I have to admit that for the day before Halloween I was hoping for a cover of The Dead Of Night or Ghost to turn up. There are SO damn many covers of Depeche Mode songs I'm really shocked that there aren't any quality tributes to those tracks. So my challenge became one of picking either a Mode song with lyrics that suited the spirit of Halloween or a cover that best exemplified the essence of the season in its sound. I was about settle on a "lyrically relevant" and aggressively metal-industrial version of Black Celebration when I chanced upon this beautifully spooky cover that sounds definitely like it belongs on your Halloween soundtrack:

Autopsie D'Une Ombre - Little 15 (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode released their sixth studio album, Music For The Masses, in September 1987. Little 15, inspired by the eerie film score by Michael Nyman for the 1985 independent dark comedy, A Zed & Two Noughts, is believed to have very nearly not been included on the album at all. This suspenseful and hypnotic drone was also never even considered for single release until a French label took an interest in publishing it. They released it in May 1988 but it wasn't the far-reaching success of many of their other singles. The b-side included their rendition of Ludwig Van Beethoven's Sonata No. 14 C♯M (Moonlight Sonata).
Some believe that the song is about a young girl in a relationship with an older man. Other sources seem to contradict that notion and indicate the song is actually about an older woman seeking to relive her youth through an affair with a 15 year old boy. The song has some disturbing imagery to consider no matter which is true.

Little 15 has been covered a number of times, most notably by God Module. Sébastien Espi, a French post-industrial/darkwave artist operating under the name Autopsie D'Une Ombre (Autopsy of a Shadow) released his cover at the beginning of October. His version boast deep resonant vocals, a distinctive electronic pipe organ sound, and the dark drumming of a dance rhythm absent from the original. It exists somewhere between Bauhaus and Zombie Girl, filling the gaps with a unique operatic quality that is somewhat disarming but could be satisfying as an addition to any Halloween playlist.

The Cover:


The Original:


That concludes this year's edition of Octoberween! Happy Halloween everyone!
If you missed one of the previous entries, scroll down and click back!

Next week:
Daylight Saving Time Ends and the clock goes round and round. ;-7

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I'm on a bit of a break from spinning until after Thanksgiving but my schedule will have updates on what's to come, so check in once in a while. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 23 - Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)
Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's the fourth week of this year's five week series, Octoberween; celebrating covers of tracks specifically suited to the Halloween season. I've put off featuring this artist for a while, largely because he has so many popular covers that have also been covered by others. In this case, the track is exceptional its rarity of tribute and its pertinence to the holiday:

Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)

Danny Elfman left Oingo Boingo behind to make a tremendously successful career scoring film soundtracks. He had already worked with producer Tim Burton on soundtracks to at least five other films before being brought in for the 1993 Disney animated musical feature, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film ran in theaters for eight weeks during the Halloween and Thanksgiving season, earning mediocre box office returns despite favorable critical response. (Disney's previous animated film, Aladdin, made comparatively ten times as much and was in theaters nearly three times as long.)
The film reached "cult" status, though perhaps a little more prestigious than just "cult" as its general popularity was enough to have it reissued to theaters several times since and was reformatted to include "3-D."
This Is Halloween, the first song in the film, performed by Danny Elfman and the cast of the monsters and creatures in Halloween Town, introduces the setting and basic premise of the film: a hidden and magical town responsible for the very existence and continued celebration of Halloween around the world. According to Elfman, he and Burton discussed the creation of the film's songs and they agreed that they should feel "like they could be almost from any era, but not contemporary."

When Disney reissued the film in 2006, they also reissued the soundtrack. The reissue included a bonus disc that included several of Elfman's original demos and six covers recorded by modern popular alternative rock musicians of the time. Disney surprised Elfman with the idea of having Marilyn Manson do a cover of This Is Halloween. Elfman had already been attempting to collaborate with him on other projects and excitedly gave his blessing. Manson was also surprised that Disney came to him. He has admitted in an interview with Elfman that he was hesitant at first only because he thought it was "too obvious" a pairing, but finally decided that there was a reason for it. He claims that following the recording he was inspired to write and produce his sixth studio album, Eat Me, Drink Me. However, neither that nor any of his following albums to date had near the success of his previous work, making his cover of This Is Halloween his last popular single. (Maybe he'll surprise us with his upcoming release in 2017.) In 2008 his cover was also included on the full tribute album of the film titled, Nightmare Revisited, which included artists such as Korn, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Shiny Toy Guns.

Manson's inherent goth-rock sound is obvious among differences between the versions, but also notable is the fact that he sings solo as every character that was portrayed in the film by ensemble. The original and cover versions are staples of the season and every DJ who plays the track at Halloween parties likely has to decide between competing requests for both.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
We wrap up this year's Octoberween Edition with a Fifth Sunday A La Mode...
Does Depeche Mode have a track befitting the black celebration of ghosts and zombies that wander in the dead of night on Halloween? Let me think... ;-7

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I'll be spinning twice this week, in Boston and in Western Mass. If you want to join me in revels of Halloweek, click over to my schedule for links to details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Here we are on the third week of this year's five week series: Octoberween! Cover songs reflective of the spirit of Halloween... or in the case of this Third Sunday Throwback... let's just say they're spooky:

Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)

This is one of those with a bit of disputed origin. There is no question that the original instrumental was written and first recorded by saxophonist Mike Sharpe as a single in 1966 and later included on the 1967 album, The Spooky Sound Of Mike Sharpe. However, when the lyrics were later added there is some disagreement about who wrote them. Industry officials claim that lyrics came from members of Floridian-based jazz-pop cover band, Classics IV, who made an even bigger hit of the song than the original only a year after. However other sources indicate the lyrics were actually provided by Ron Hirsch, referencing an unidentified "spooky girl" he used to know.

Since the lyrics were added there have been dozens of covers of the song. The Classics IV version and some covers have been included on numerous Halloween compilation albums over the years. Some notable artists who have covered the song include Daniel Ash, R.E.M., and Imogen Heap.

No wave/post-punk icon Lydia Lunch included her cover of Spooky on her 1980 album, Queen of Siam. This, her first solo album after her short career with Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, was considered by some at the time her "lightest and most accessible" work to date and her cover of Spooky (one of three covers on the record) was described as "almost pop." Agreeably it can be said that her presentation is comparatively upbeat compared to what one might expect from her. That alone might just make the song a little creepier for the style that isn't necessarily as "spooky" as its name or story. Some of her darker covers include Black Juju, originally by Alice Cooper, and Why Don't We Do It In The Road from the Beatles.
But for all those dark souls who might propose, marry, or celebrate their wedding anniversary on Halloween, Spooky is still easy to relate to, no matter the version:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
From a band once known as "spooky kids" themselves, who are known for a number of popular covers, comes a tribute to one of our scene's favorite holiday animations.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

Next week I'll spin twice before Halloween. Head over to my site and check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Last week began my annual series: Octoberween! Each edition devoted to cover songs appropriate for the Halloween season... a season that celebrates ghosts, ghouls, witches, and, of course, vampires. (I know, we did vampires last week. Never too many blood suckers in October ;-7 ):

Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)

A few weeks ago, I highlighted some of the story behind the soundtrack of the 1987 film, The Lost Boys, with respect to the covers included on it. However, about the original music for the album there is much more to tell.
Gerard McMahon is a rock musician who had forged his career recording original music for film soundtracks and writing a few popular songs for other artists (like Is That You for KISS.) According to McMahon, director Joel Schumacher gave him a copy of the script and asked him to write a theme song for the movie. (Note: On the soundtrack, Lost In The Shadows by Lou Gramm is subtitled "The Lost Boys," but may well have been specifically intended as the theme of the vampire biker gang characters, not the film as a whole.) With only the script to work from and having seen no footage of the film, McMahon wrote Cry Little Sister.
McMahon has said in interviews that originally there was intent to have Phil Collins or Chrissie Hynde sing the song. Possibly half a dozen auditions took place, but, according to McMahon, Schumacher ultimately didn't want anyone else to do it. However, there is also indication that the film's music budget was already tight with the inclusion of artists like Roger Daltrey, Lou Gramm, and INXS, so it might be that they couldn't afford the likes of Collins, Hynde, or the others who auditioned.
Long after the film, G Tom Mac (the nom de guerre Mcmahon uses these days,) rerecorded other versions of the song. One for a badly panned sequel to the original film. Another, a bluesy acoustic version done for HBO's hit vampire series, True Blood.

Over the span of nearly 30 years there have been many covers of the track by artists like Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister, Tangerine Dream, Zug Izland, Carfax Abbey, and in recent years by Celldweller in a production that mashed in music and samples from the movie Saw as well as samples from the original Lost Boys film.
Blutengel, a darkwave/futurepop duo from Berlin, included a cover of Cry Little Sister on their 2005 EP, The Oxidising Angel (in so much as it can be considered an "EP" with nine full length tracks and three remixes.) It may well be the most recognizable cover of the song in the goth community, distinctive in part due to a change made in the chorus that holds the note of one lyric discordantly longer than the original's.
While both are ever present staples in goth clubs, the original has resonated beyond those boundaries and stands as McMahon's most defining accomplishment to this day.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Octoberween continues with a spooky Third Sunday Throwback from 1980 by a no wave/post punk witch!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin this Wednesday in Boston and have two other gigs lined up during Halloweek! Check my schedule for details in you're in the area and would like to join me on the dancefloor during these Octoberween celebrations! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Happy Octoberween! The month-long Mass of All-Goths! Let the preparations for and celebrations of Halloween commence! And for the next five Sundays, SDSD will feature covers devoted to that very spirit of the season:

goJA moon ROCKAH! – Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)

Concrete Blonde released their third studio album in May 1990. Bloodletting distinguished the band as relevant to the goth genre, branching them from their previous general alternative rock sound. A maxi-single for the title track was released in 1991, including two longer versions of the six-minute song with lyrics in French and German. (The French version was later added to the 20th anniversary re-issue of the album in 2010.)
While many believe the track was directly inspired by Anne Rice's 1976 novel, Interview with a Vampire, singer-songwriter Johnette Napolitano has claimed that she was just "spending a lot of time in New Orleans at the time and that was the flavor." However Napolitano has made it clear that she has read many of Rice's books and at one point actually lived within an hour's distance from her. It's worth note that another song on the album, The Beast, also mentions vampires and ghosts and she did work with David J of Bauhaus on a "vampire-duet" project called Tres Vampires in the past decade. Given that she has also admitted Bloodletting is her favorite song from the album, her interest may be a tad more involved than she seems to laughingly dismiss in interviews.

She's hardly the only artist with a fascination with vampires. German industrial synth-wavers goJA moon ROCKAH! devoted three tracks to vampires on their 2009 release, Disco Vampire, including Mein Vampir, Vampire Party, and the title track. But it was in 2008 that they released Elektronation with their cover of Bloodletting. (The album also includes their cover of a Paris Hilton track; there's bound to be a bloodsucking joke in there somewhere.)
The current status of goJA moon ROCKAH! is a bit of a mystery as the bulk of their web presence has dried up, but most of their discography is available currently from the independent music label, Echozone.

Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting is an incomparable goth classic, but for those who might appreciate a more electronic take with some growling German-accented vocals, goJA moon ROCKAH! delvers an exceptional industrial dance alternative to the original.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Octoberween continues with one of several covers of a track made popular by an 80's horror film soundtrack.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

This month I've three gigs coming up: two in Boston and one in western Mass. Click through to my schedule to get details and feel welcome to join my Octoberween club celebrations if you can! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Two and three entries ago I touched on issues of "appropriation" in a couple of different contexts. Today's Fourth Sunday Familiar entry follows the story of a popular cover whose origins and assemblage seems to deal with the same issue from an entirely other perspective:

Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)

Zombie Nation, a collaborative project led by German DJ/producer Florian Senfter, released Kernkraft 400 on an EP in March 1999 and later that year on his first album, Leichenschmaus. ("Kernkraft"- German for "Nuclear Power", "Leichenschmaus" - "Funeral Feast") The EP included 4 remixes and a live recording of the track. The track was a popular underground hit in the UK and has gone on to be heavily used in many major sports arenas, with some mixes being played during games.

In 2003, EBM/electro-industrialists Grendel released their second full length album, Prescription: Medicide. On 1500 limited edition copies, a bonus disc was included that featured the first version of their cover of Kernkraft 400, re-titled Zombienation. Soon after the membership of the band changed and with their new line-up they beefed up the cover with a new recording of it in 2005 for their E.P., Soilbleed. The "V2K5" version includes several samples from the classic 1968 zombie film, Night Of The Living Dead.
Unfortunately, due to some copyright issues, both versions of the covers have been omitted from the "Redux" reissues of their originating albums.
Now while it might be that one of those issues dealt with the movie samples, since Grendel has had to deal with similar problems on some of their original music, it seems likely that in this instance it may have more to do with Senfter.

But why might this have been such a problem for Senfter? After all, the basic melody for his self-referential one hit wonder was originally from David Whittaker's Star Dust which was composed for the 1984 Commodore 64 game, Lazy Jones. Well, Senfter is reported to have been required to pay Whittaker some undisclosed amount for its use, though it's unclear if that happened before or after the single's release. Perhaps owing to such expense, he has since appeared very possessive of rights to the extent of taking offense to mash-ups, remixes, and other uses. Still it seems unusual that some arrangement couldn't have been made between Seftner and Grendel. Perhaps one day.

Kernkraft 400 is a bit-chipy sounding techno house track with somewhat dull vocals while Zombienation V2K5 has a far more bassy industrial dance rhythm, more fleshed out on the whole with the harsh vocal one expects from Grendel, and is without a doubt a huge improvement on both their own original and Seftner's.

The Cover:


(For V1 click here)

The Original:



Next week:
All this talk of zombies leads us right into OCTOBERWEEN! Kicking off FIVE Sundays of covers specifically suited to the Halloween season! (And yes, five Sundays means the fifth is A La Mode.) We'll start things off with an ode to a vampire from one of the walking dead!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next in October so check my schedule for details and join where ever you can if you like. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)
Aug 21 - Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's a Third Sunday Throwback edition. In May I featured a modern cover of the preeminent signature goth song by Bauhaus. And if you've any familiarity with their catalog it's likely you've encountered or even own their version of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. However, this week on our trip into the 20th century we're taking a look at one of their less prominent tributes:

Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)

John Cale left Velvet Underground near the end of the sixties, beginning his solo career in 1970. After six studio albums he released a live album, Sabotage, in 1979. In early half of 1980, he released its third single, Mercenaries (Ready for War) which featured Rosegarden Funeral of Sores on the b-side. Sources say that the a-side track on this single is actually a studio version and not live, despite its liner notes stating otherwise. Rosegarden was later included on the 1999 re-issue of Sabotage.

It took no time for Rosegarden to inspire Bauhaus to cover the track, releasing their version of it in late half of 1980 as a b-side on the 12" version of the Telegram Sam single (itself a cover of the song by T-Rex.)

In truth, there's not much difference between the two versions outside of those distinctive to Peter Murphy's and John Cale's voices, the original being a little rougher around the edges, and Bauhaus somehow making its bluesy bass backbone and its sauntering gait just a bit more spooky by slowing the tempo ever so slightly. While overall loyal to the original, comparative to the other covers they've done, this one is far more thematically appropriate for Bauhaus than the rest.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Pressed for time due to some personal projects and the upcoming Octoberween celebrations, I'll feature another Fourth Sunday Familiar... but of course if you've never heard it then it'll be new to you and you'll get to enjoy why it may be familiar to others. (Also there were multiple requests for it at my last gig so nigh time I reviewed it here.)

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

Speaking of Octoberween, I've got three gigs on my schedule for next month. Click through for details, links, etc... Feel free to join any you can! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)
Aug 21 - Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)
Aug 14 - Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's Second Sunday Slowly where the cover is of a down-tempo nature. Many times over the years we've seen an artist of one gender covered by an artist of another. In this case, she was practically asking for it!:

Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)

Kate Bush, an English progressive art pop artist, released Running Up That Hill in August 1985 as the first single from her fifth studio album, Hounds Of Love. Its original title was actually A Deal With God, which her label only allowed her to use as a subtitle on the album's track listing because they were concerned about the controversy it might cause, especially in a number of European countries, and didn't want to risk that such a title might prevent airplay on radio. She apparently had to fight even to make the track the first single, declaring it the most representative of the album.
The track itself is often simply understood as being about "swapping lives" with another. But Bush has made it clear that it is not just about swapping "lives" in a relationship, but biological "sex" as well, saying it's "about the fundamental differences between men and women," "trying to remove those obstacles, being in someone else's place; understanding how they see it, and; hoping that would remove problems in the relationship." The "deal with God" isn't about switching places with the deity, but appealing to a power that could make such an exchange.
In 2012, Bush re-recorded vocals for a new remix of the track which debuted on the international stage as part of the closing ceremonies of that year's Summer Olympics.

Placebo released their version of Running Up That Hill as part of a 10 track bonus disc to their 2003 Sleeping with Ghosts album. The rest of the aptly titled Covers was a compilation of previously released b-sides and rarities that included versions of songs by Sinead O'Connor, The Smiths, Depeche Mode and more. The band has expressed that one of the reasons they did the song was because, as fans, they thought it had a lot of lyrical depth that was missed because of its fast tempo and they wanted to slow it down to "give enough space for the real emotion to shine through." Lead singer Brian Molko was able to approach Bush socially at one point and was happy to discover that she loved their version. With Molko, a male vocalist, singing her song so beautifully, in some ways it could be said she got her wish.
Placebo's cover has since been included on U.S. versions of their 2006 Meds and several TV show and motion picture soundtracks.
While the alternative rock band itself is not typically regarded as "goth", this is a track embraced nonetheless by many goth communities and quite deserving of such embrace.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Third Sunday Throwback takes us back to very goth roots with an early eighties cover by our gothic godfathers. But no... it's not the one about an alien.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I'm spinning this Friday in Western Mass. If you're in the area and care to join, check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)
Aug 21 - Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)
Aug 14 - Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)
Aug 07 - Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Last week, we delved into the issue of appropriation as it related to culture and music. The example given was of the featured artist being called out by this week's featured artist for not giving proper respect to the culture from which they'd covered a song. This week we'll examine if the artist throwing that stone might perhaps be equally guilty of a form of appropriation herself and illustrate again how misusing the accusation of "appropriation" stands in the way of artistic expression in a manner possibly more criminal:

Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)

In November 1979, after a long struggle with addiction, anorexia, and vagrancy, London-born singer Marianne Faithfull released her seventh studio album, Broken English. This critically acclaimed album was her first after nearly 12 years, marking her transformation in style from folk rock to new wave. The title track of the album was inspired by a documentary and literature she'd seen about the terrorist activities of Red Army Faction/Baader-Meinhof Group, their most notorious moment in history (known now as German Autumn) having occurred just two years prior this record. The title itself comes from the subtitle of the documentary: "broken English... spoken English." In interviews, Faithfull has said that surviving her own self-destructive period allowed her to recognize the state of mind "that could express itself in terrorism." She wasn't "sympathetic" but she found certain parallels interesting. So the song is in ways both politically charged and also a metaphor for her own personal demons.

Azar Swan, the experimental industrial-pop project led by Afghan-American artist Zohra Atash, released a cover of Broken English online in February 2014. It was expected that it would be included on their And Blow Us A Kiss album they put out later in the year, but that doesn't seem to have happened. In an interview Atash intimated that she was attracted to the song because of her heritage and claims its intended meaning is that one should maintain their cultural roots when removed from such culture. She holds that the repetitive line "Say it in Broken English" inherently means "don't speak English" to reinforce that cultural priority. In addition, she curiously changes a lyric in the song. Where the Faithfull sings, "Don't say it in Russian, don't say it in German," Atash replaces "German" once with "Arabic" and later with "Mandarin."
What's intended by those specific changes isn't entirely clear, but it is clear that no matter what the original meaning and intent of the song, Atash has appropriated it for an entirely different artistic message.
Is that wrong? Was Atash's judgement of Sexwitch (see last week) fair?
I'm going to say no. Art and music express ideas, convey information, and inspire discovery. Without Azar Swan's and Sexwitch's covers, there are many ideas I have shared here that I otherwise may not have known, considered, or been inspired to write about. Might you have learned something as well? I couldn't say, (though I hope so,) but I do think that people should be careful how quick they are to accuse "appropriation" against well-meant art that is simply celebratory and constructive.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
I'll be off my soapbox for Second Sunday Slowly when up that hill we'll run with a familiar down-tempo cover.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I'm spinning an 80s/90s night tonight in Cambridge. Head over to my schedule for details if you're in the area and care to join. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)
Aug 21 - Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)
Aug 14 - Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)
Aug 07 - Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)
July 31 - Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

I find it difficult to criminalize "appropriation." The degree to which the term is overused as a cudgel against those so accused is repressive of art, expression, and common sense. The appreciation of art is already hugely subjective so anyone who experiences any original art they cherish being reinterpreted by another in a way they don't like is welcome to a negative opinion. But a negative opinion does not a criminal make. And not every reinterpretation is going to take into account every nuance of the original's history or cultural significance, if any. Today, I'm focusing on a cover by an artist who has been accused of "cultural appropriation" for it, but might more accurately be guilty of simply poor research and mis-crediting her sources:

Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)

Sexwitch is a collaborative project from Natasha Khan from Bat For Lashes and the English indie-rock band, TOY. Last September they released a six-track album covering a multi-national array of psych and folk tracks from the 1970s. Most of the tracks, being from either Iran, Morocco, or Thailand, required translation and some poetic interpretation. They titled this track on the album, Ghoroobaa Ghashangan, and that is just one of the ways things may have gone wrong.
Shortly after the release of the album, an Afghan-American artist Zohra Atash, (from two projects: Religious to Damn and Azar Swan,) took some measure of offense at the album and accused Khan of misappropriation and cultural insensitivity. Atash called it "slapdash art" and noted a major discrepancy in the attribution of one of the covers. Sexwitch credits their cover of Ghoroobaa Ghashangan as the song by Iranian pop-singer Ramesh. This is among songs on a 2012 compilation album, Zendooni (Funk, Psychedelia And Pop From The Iranian Pre-Revolution Generation) found by Sexwitch's producer Dan Carey, who brought it to Khan's attention for the project. However, when investigating the "original" from that album Atash discovered that they weren't the same song and the song Sexwitch had really covered was Hamishe Tanha (found on the same compilation) by Iranian artist Pooneh.
But the origins go even further. Pooneh's track is actually a cover of Gönül Dağı written in 1971 by Turkish folk artist Neşet Ertaş and later popularized in the region as interpreted by Turkish rock musician Barış Manço.

So it's abundantly clear that Sexwitch didn't do their homework. Does that make them "culturally insensitive" or simply "negligent" in fully appreciating the depth in the meaning and history of these songs? In stated motivations, it's evident Khan found inspiration in their beauty and wanted to experiment with the sounds and share them, meaning no offense. Keep in mind, this is a largely underground artist with enough success to continue a career, but not so much as to be making millions from her somewhat better-known Bat For Lashes material, let alone this one-off side project. The question of the "rightness" or "wrongness" of the effort aside, what they produced was nonetheless darkly beautiful, electrifying, and spellbinding.
Her version of this track is unquestionably as they intended with their namesake: both witchy and sexy. While this project is not definitively "goth," it still has an inherent darkness and quality that parallels in various respects to artists like Qntal, Dead Can Dance, or Switchblade Symphony.
The sound is a modern Americanized derivative of the Eastern styles found in the version from which they drew, (itself fairly loyal to Manço's version,) and quite distant from the acoustic folk style of the actual original (below):

The Cover:




The Original:




Next week:
So if Zohra Atash had stones to throw out of her passion for the culture she feels Sexwitch's cover infringed on in some way, surely when she re-imagined the work of an artist that inspired her, she sought to honor its original meaning and intent without any personal deviation, right?
Well perhaps not "faithfully," but we'll explore the validity of calling such representations "appropriation" a little more next time with another dark cover of a pre-80's new wave classic.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

If you're in New England and want to dance to tracks that you find here, keep an eye on my schedule for details on where I spin next. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 21 - Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)
Aug 14 - Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)
Aug 07 - Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)
July 31 - Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)
July 24 - Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's another Third Sunday Throwback, where the cover in question comes to us from the 20th century! It was reported last week that there are plans to turn a certain 80's vampire film into a television series. Can't say it's a great idea, but I can say the original movie has a fantastic soundtrack and this cover is one of its highlights:

Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)

The Doors released both their second album, Strange Days, and its first single, People Are Strange in September 1967. The track was written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger while atop Laurel Canyon overlooking Los Angeles. It's been suggested that Morrison was suffering a severe state of depression and composing this track lifted him from his despair. The lyrics imply a certain feeling about being part of the counter-culture of that era but also speaks in timeless terms on the nature of being an outsider. The song went on to some success though not quite that of their previous number one single, Light My Fire.

In late July 1987, The Lost Boys film and motion picture soundtrack were released. As one of four covers done for the album, new wave post-punkers Echo and the Bunnymen contributed their version of People Are Strange with production actually handled by keyboardist Ray Manzarek of The Doors. The song was used at the beginning of the film during the opening credits that depict the fictional Californian town of Santa Carla. The band released the track as a single in February 1988, including three other previously released covers they'd recorded live in 1985 while in Sweden. Their rendition of Strange is cleaner, more comparatively modern, and an additional minute in length. It's faithful to the original in most respects, given the distinctions between the vocal styles of Morrison and Ian McCulloch.

Echo & the Bunnymen kick off a North American tour next month. Meanwhile, if the plans to create a TV series out of the film get past the development stages (which reportedly indicate the show is to span 70 years over the course of seven seasons beginning during the Summer of Love, prior to release of the original track) and on air, we can only hope that, if they revisit or recreate any of its soundtrack, they do this track proper justice.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Since this week's entry also falls into the "familiar" category that I made recently a sub-feature of Fourth Sundays, I will instead present something far less familiar as part of two upcoming features that will debate "appropriation" versus "appreciation."

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin again in September. Keep an eye on my schedule for details and feel free to join me at any upcoming event if you're able. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 14 - Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)
Aug 07 - Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)
July 31 - Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)
July 24 - Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)
July 17 - Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's that time for the down-tempo segment I call "Second Sunday Slowly!" And while I've been waiting to do this entry for a couple months, by odd coincidence, for the past two weeks every time I put my car radio on scan mode some station seems to be playing the original version of this track:

Noblesse Oblige - Hotel California (Eagles)

Eagles released Hotel California, their fifth and best-selling album, in December 1976. The title track was its second single, released in February 1977. The track earned a Grammy in 1978 and has been hailed as having one of the best guitar solos in rock history. Which is all pretty interesting given the unique and darker direction the band took with the sound and lyrical content of it, quite different for most of their general catalog.
The song's original working title was Mexican Reggae owing to its Latin, bolero, and reggae influences. The band has said that they wrote the song based on a drive into Los Angeles and their initial experiences in California. In a cinematic fashion, they wanted it "to open like an episode of the Twilight Zone," where before long the song's protagonist enters "a weird world peopled by freaky characters, and is quickly spooked by the claustrophobic feeling of being caught in a disturbing web from which he may never escape."
The track's meaning and content has been much debated. As one point evangelists claimed it was depicting the hotel Anton Levy used for his Church of Satan. On other occasions there were various claims that the song was about a psychiatric asylum, drug addition, and even cannibalism. The band maintained however that it was simply about "a journey from innocence to experience" with diametric symbolism relevant to American life in general terms.
The song has had significant cultural impact and has been used and referenced throughout popular media. As recently a last year, the song was used on the soundtrack of the premiere episode of American Horror Story: Hotel which was also set in L.A. and had many themes that seemed heavily influenced by the imagery of the song.

Noblesse Oblige, an artsy dark synth-pop duo made up of German producer/musician Sebastian Lee Philipp and French performer/songstress Valerie Renay, released their fourth album, Affair of the Heart, in May 2013. The album features their suspenseful and ominous version of Hotel California.

While the original has a classic rock style that would sound entirely appropriate on an episode of Supernatural, Noblesse Oblige's version simply sounds like it IS supernatural! Renay dramatically presents the lyrics in a breathy half-whispered/half-sung style, in part reminiscent of Elvira if devoid of her campy manner. Philipp backs her with a cold ethereal interpretation of the melodies set on a down-tempo rhythm that further enhances its eerie and disquieting tone. It is such pure mystique that it could be heaven... or it could be hell:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Keeping with this month's west coast theme, after escaping through the doors of this L.A. hotel we were told we could never leave, we'll follow a course taken by some lost boys on their trek from Laurel Canyon to Santa Carla with next week's Third Sunday Throwback.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next in western Massachusetts this Friday. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 07 - Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)
July 31 - Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)
July 24 - Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)
July 17 - Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)
July 10 - Portishead - SOS (ABBA)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

This week's cover is a bit of a rarity; not only in that it was released originally on a CD compilation of which only 500 copies were pressed but also because this industrial band does not have many (if any other) covers in their discography:

Combichrist - Gonna Make You Sweat (C+C Music Factory)

C+C Music Factory was a hip-hop dance-pop vehicle for producers Robert Clivillés and David Cole, who relied on the talents of other vocalists and musicians to help build their group's image and fame. Most recognizable among those talents were Freedom Williams, the rapper on most of their popular hits, and Martha Wash, the vocalist on their first breakout hit, Gonna Make You Sweat. The single, released in November 1990, one month before their album of the same name, was marked with both success and controversy. In a time when the industry was witness to the fallout of Milli Vanilli's lip-syncing debacle, C+C made the error of not only failing to credit the song's vocalist Wash on the album, but also excluded her from the video in favor of having another of their vocalists lip-sync her parts in the song. Both issues seemed to stem from prejudicial attitudes prevalent in marketing and MTV culture with regards to her looks and weight. Wash filed two lawsuits which were settled out of court.
Regardless, the track made its mark on pop culture as a number one hit and has been featured in various advertisements, TV shows, and in over a dozen movie soundtracks (as recently as 2013 on Michael Bay's Pain & Gain.)

In May of 2011, the organizers of the LA-based industrial dance and live music event Das Bunker produced their fifth and most recent in a series of compilations, Choice of a New Generation. Titled after the slogan of the Pepsi ad campaign that ran from 1981 through the mid-nineties, this limited edition CD is a collection of modern industrial artists covering a broad range of popular songs from the same period of time. The CD itself is even pressed with an homage to the old red, white, & blue Pepsi logo, replacing "Pepsi" with "Bunker." A representative from Das Bunker has said that this compilation was "just something we did for fun, with friends." And that is remarkably evident with this selection.
Combichrist's bass-heavy rendition of Gonna Make You Sweat is one of the massive highlights from the disc. Their approach definitely plants tongue firmly in cheek with vocals that are not so much "rap" as "near-sarcastic, slightly off-rhythm, modulated spoken word." Rather than attempt to recreate Wash's portions of the original, they simply sample her vocals, mixing them in with dynamic effect. The production is admittedly a bit rough around the edges: the vocals sound like they were recorded in one take, the samples are unclean, and the overall sound is crunchy. But it works to its favor making for a highly energetic and fantastically fun industrial dance track.

The claim that it's "gonna make you sweat 'til you bleed" is certainly more believable in the cover version. Take a listen and tell me you wouldn't "dance till you can't dance, till you can't dance no more:"

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Thematically, it looks like this blog will be focused on the west coast for most of the month. For next week's Second Sunday Slowly down tempo selection, we'll get ourselves a booking at one particularly creepy hotel.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin Wednesday in the Boston area. For details to that and other upcoming events on my schedule, click through to my website. Hopefully you'll join me out and about on the dancefloor! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

July 31 - Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)
July 24 - Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)
July 17 - Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)
July 10 - Portishead - SOS (ABBA)
July 03 - Mechanical Cabaret - Desperate But Not Serious (Adam Ant)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's time for another Fifth Sunday A La Mode, highlighting one of near countless covers of Depeche Mode. This month our featured cover comes to us from a gothic rock band of whom I otherwise don't really share the popular opinion of those among the scene who are their fans. And not for lack of trying. I've given their discography a chance. I've heard it all and every time they release something new, I always listen through it, hoping something will catch my ear and impress me. Unfortunately, until their release of this cover, they have always let me down:

Bella Morte - Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)

Never Let Me Down Again was released in August 1987 as the second single of their sixth studio album, Music For The Masses (which was not itself released until the following month.) Debatably their most popular song while also not necessarily their most successful hit, Never may in fact be the one single they've performed more than any other throughout their career.
This is another of their songs of which there are ridiculously many covers. Among the more notable are those by Berlin, The Mission U.K., Tina Root of Switchblade Symphony (as Tre Lux,) and
Smashing Pumpkins (a personal favorite of Martin Gore's from the 1998 For The Masses multi-artist compilation.) And One, who has performed the song live on numerous occasions, was supposed to have released an E.P. with a recorded version of the cover in 2007, but plans for the E.P. were cancelled in favor of his full length Bodypop 1½, which excluded it. (Perhaps such a recording is currently hidden in a secret vault somewhere?)

Just before Halloween in 2014, Belle Morte released their most recent album, Exorcisms, featuring a cover of Never Let Me Down Again as the second track. In complete subjective honesty, I was surprised I liked it so much. For once, despite my contrarian opinion of the band, I found their approach to the song perfectly suited their overall style and sound, especially the deep and resonant vocals by Andy Deane (which, on most of their other tracks, typically turn me off.) Where the original is rooted in synthpop-dance-goth, this guitar-driven gothic synth-rock interpretation adds an appropriate layer of angst-ridden suffering to the character of the song. It may come across as a back-handed compliment, even still I wish I liked any of the rest of the album (or their back catalog) as much. But where Belle Morte is concerned, I'll gladly take what I finally got from them and hope their next builds on what they achieved with this:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
An unanticipated industrial interpretation of 90's dance pop... I'm shocked I'd never heard it before last month and I can't wait to share it with you!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I have a bit of a break in my schedule for now but my next gig is in August. Click through for details and if you attend any event I spin feel free to request anything you find here that you like! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

July 24 - Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)
July 17 - Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)
July 10 - Portishead - SOS (ABBA)
July 03 - Mechanical Cabaret - Desperate But Not Serious (Adam Ant)
June 26 - Neuroticfish - They're Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

I'm going to call this one another "Fourth Sunday Familiar" though to be honest, I'm not entirely sure if the cover IS that familiar to those outside my region. I'll go with my gut but if you've never heard it, then it's new to you and it's definitely a track worth being introduced to:

Zeromancer - Send Me An Angel (Real Life)

Australian born new-wave synthers Real Life released their first album, Heartland, in 1983. The first single, Send Me An Angel, is the one for which they are best known as one-hit wonders. In fact, the single was edited and updated in 1989 to even greater chart success than when it debuted. It has been featured in a number of film soundtracks (including The Wizard, Rad, and Teen Wolf Too) and on over a hundred compilations of various artists.
As recently as 2009, frontman and remaining member David Sterry released a covers album on Cleopatra Records titled, Send Me An Angel -'80s Synth Essentials, with yet newer recordings of the track. The covers included tracks by artists like The Cure, The Korgis, B-Movie, and Kraftwerk, and standards like Shout, Everything Counts, Cars, Blue Monday, and Tainted Love. On covering these tracks, Sterry has said, "Covering a song forces you to look at how it was constructed and every song made me aware of just how clever the originals were in performance and arrangement. I was very wary that the original artist might think my version a pile of shite (as I do with 99% of Send Me an Angel covers)."

Which might give us some indication of how he felt about the version done by Zeromancer. These industrial rockers released their club-popular cover of Send Me An Angel on their second album, Eurotrash, in 2001, also on the Cleopatra label. The cover was also included on their single release of Need You Like A Drug, from the same album.

It's a heavily guitar driven interpretation as opposed to the original's synthesized core, styling the track in very similar fashion as we've seen in Orgy's version of New Order's Blue Monday. It may not convince you of the existence of angels, but it may make you dance like an angry one on the head of a pin!:

The Cover:


The Original(video version, not album):


Next week:
Fifth Sunday A La Mode! And the excellent cover of Depeche Mode will come to us from a respected gothic rock band for whom I otherwise have a fairly unpopular opinion. (They just keep letting me down.) ;)

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

Sunday nights are on break for a while so the next events on my schedule aren't until mid August. Click that link for details and updates. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

July 17 - Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)
July 10 - Portishead - SOS (ABBA)
July 03 - Mechanical Cabaret - Desperate But Not Serious (Adam Ant)
June 26 - Neuroticfish - They're Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV)
June 19 - Psychedelic Furs - Mack The Knife (Kurt Gerron)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

There are those who have the attitude that covers of some artists are inexcusable: a sin committed by those unworthy upstarts not remotely talented enough to be up to the task of giving cherished idols proper respect. Certainly in some cases it can be difficult to do justice to the music of particularly unique legendary acts. On today's Third Sunday Throwback, our exploration of covers from the 20th century, I present one of those few exceptions:

Nine Inch Nails - Get Down Make Love (Queen)
Queen's sixth studio album, News of the World, was released just days before Halloween in 1977. This multi-platinum LP is the single best selling album of their careers and included their smash hits We Are the Champions and We Will Rock You. The cover art of the album, featuring a huge robot holding the dead bodies of the band members, was altered from its original design by artist Frank Kelly Freas, who first painted it for Astounding Science Fiction in 1953 to illustrate Tom Godwin's short story, The Gulf Between. The cover was considered disturbing enough at the time that certain outlets required a variant on the artwork that excluded the dead bodies before they would sell the album.
The first track of the b-side, Get Down, Make Love was written entirely by Freddie Mercury and is considered one of the most sexually charged tracks in the band's discography.

It's hardly a surprise then that Trent Reznor found himself inspired to cover that one of all their songs. Nine Inch Nails released Sin, the third single from their debut album Pretty Hate Machine, in October of 1990. As a b-side track, they included their cover of Get Down, Make Love, which later Reznor allegedly asserted was only supposed to be "tongue-in-cheek." The cover has also been included on the 2010 remastered reissue of Pretty Hate Machine.

While the original is sparse in structure throughout its whole, until its build-ups to chaotic frenzy climax and reset, NIN's version is fuller and more consistent with its electronic melodies and industrial rhythms. The cover opens with samples from the titular character of the 1962 film, The Cabinet of Caligari, continues with samples from assorted Japanese porn, and comes to its completion with one last sample from Queen's We Will Rock You; all of which adds to the heightened aggressive sexual energy of the song, above and beyond that of the original's more subtle striptease sensibilities.
Nine Inch Nail's cover of Queen is arguably one of the best, building on the original's erotic foundation to even greater salacious and provocative effect:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Where the cover in question might be a challenge to those who believe angels exist.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

Today's track is among those I could possibly play at the 80's/90's night I spin every Sunday. Links, details, and more about my schedule . ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

July 10 - Portishead - SOS (ABBA)
July 03 - Mechanical Cabaret - Desperate But Not Serious (Adam Ant)
June 26 - Neuroticfish - They're Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV)
June 19 - Psychedelic Furs - Mack The Knife (Kurt Gerron)
June 12 - Cancerface - Disease (Insight 23)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's another Second Sunday Slowly featuring a down tempo track. I'd been excited about news of this cover since last year when I'd heard it was coming. However, once public, it was still so exclusive that it was unavailable for sharing through commonly used outlets. So I waited... unfortunately the reasons for the band finally making it available are tragic:

Portishead - SOS (ABBA)
In the first decade of the 1900's, a radio distress signal was adopted formally for international use, composed of three "dits", three "dahs", and three more "dits" in a continuous sequence of Morse code. It became known as "S.O.S." simply because those series of dits and dahs broke down in the code to the corresponding letters, which only later became associated as an abbreviation of several phrases, ("Save Our Ship," "Send Out Succor, etc...) none of which were necessarily intended as its original definition.

When ABBA began writing the song that would become S.O.S. its working title was Turn Me On. Lyrically it took a extreme turn and thus S.O.S. enacts a desperate plea to be heard by the narrator's long time object of affection who grows increasingly distant in their relationship. ("Save Our relationShip" perhaps?)
The energetic dance-pop track was the third single from their self-titled album released in 1975 and was a cornerstone that defined their success and musical style going forward. The song is their most-covered hit, interpreted by such notable acts as Erasure, Men Without Hats, and many other international artists.

In August of 2015, Portishead announced that they had contributed a cover of S.O.S. to the soundtrack of the Ben Wheatley film, High Rise. The film actually has two versions of the track contrasting each other; the second version is by the film’s composer Clint Mansell. High Rise, based on JG Ballard‘s novel and starring Tom Hiddleston, was first seen at the London Film Festival last October, but wasn't released to U.K theaters until March or to the U.S. until May. Buzz developed around the song and it actually started trending in April when someone managed to share it on Soundcloud, but a C&D take-down order was immediately issued and it was quickly removed.
About this time most curious and excited fans began asking, "why won't Portishead release this song?"
According to Ben Wheatley, "you won’t hear it anywhere but in the cinema, because they don’t want to release it. They want to make it special for the film.”

That was... until a few weeks ago.

On June 16, Jo Cox, a Member of Parliament for the British Labour Party was violently and inexplicably murdered. In honor of her humanitarian service, advocacy efforts, and memory, Portishead (themselves from Bristol, England) created a simple minimalist black and white video for the song that ends with a quote from Cox, "We have far more in common than which divides us," and the hashtag, "#MoreInCommon." The band released the video without additional comment on June 22, Jo Cox's birthday.

Their dark down-tempo rendition of S.O.S. is eerie and desolate. It begins with the Morse distress signal, followed by minimal percussion and haunting instrumentation. Its plea to be heard sounds even more desperate than ever before interpreted.
There is currently no word if Portishead will officially release the cover as a single or with a new album anytime in the immediate future, however, High Rise is expected to be released on DVD/Blu-ray in early August.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Have you heard that awful cover attached to the ads for what looks like an awful super-villain movie? (IMO, of course.) For the Third Sunday Throwback this month, I'll look back at one of those few times someone covered the same band... but we were excited about it!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I now spin an 80s/90s night every Sunday night in Cambridge Mass. This week I will also spin in Boston and western Mass. As always you can click over to my schedule for links, details, etc... RSVP if you're coming. Feel free to make requests at any! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

July 03 - Mechanical Cabaret - Desperate But Not Serious (Adam Ant)
June 26 - Neuroticfish - They're Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV)
June 19 - Psychedelic Furs - Mack The Knife (Kurt Gerron)
June 12 - Cancerface - Disease (Insight 23)
June 05 - Microwaved - Obsession (Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Honestly had a very different plan for today's cover, but due to a personal emergency AND the possibility of including an interview in that feature, I decided to postpone it. With moments to spare during a busy holiday weekend and in dire need of quick replacement, I find the title on this track fitting:

Mechanical Cabaret – Desperate But Not Serious (Adam Ant)

After disbanding the Ants, new wave artist Adam Ant released his first solo record, Friend or Foe in October of 1982. The third single from the album, Desperate But Not Serious, was not quite the pop success of his first single, Goody Two Shoes, but was much better received than the second single, the album's title track. That album also included Ant's cover of Hello, I Love You by The Doors.

In 2009, electro-synthpunk experimentalists Mechanical Cabaret (like Ant, also from London,) released the second single from their Damaged Goods album, Careful, Careless. Included on some pressings of the single was one of few known covers of Desperate But Not Serious.
According to lead singer Roi Robertson, who says he's a huge fan of Adam Ant, the band was asked to play the song by the Ant Liberation Front, (the official Adam Ant fan club) for one of their annual conventions. Robertson was excited by the idea though it took roughly five years after the live performance for the band to finally polish and record their version.
It was also later included on their 2011 compilation of remixes and rarities, Disco Vandalism.

In Mechanical Cabaret's tribute, gone are the trumpets of the original and in their place are synthetically dance-friendly electronic sensibilities with a bit of buzz, bass, and mild phasing distortions to distinguish it from the original:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
It's another Second Sunday Slowly when I feature a dark down tempo cover. I've waited for a few months for this one to be available in a format that would allow sharing. About two weeks ago we were finally given that exclusive high rise community access!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin tonight in Cambridge, Mass. My schedule has details for that and other upcoming events should you care to join! It's likely I'll play some of the covers or originals featured here, among other great dark tracks, new and old! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

June 26 - Neuroticfish - They're Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV)
June 19 - Psychedelic Furs - Mack The Knife (Kurt Gerron)
June 12 - Cancerface - Disease (Insight 23)
June 05 - Microwaved - Obsession (Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight)
May 29 - Depeche Mode - Dirt (The Stooges)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Today I present a popular club hit on a new floating "segment" I'm calling "Fourth Sunday Familiar."
When I was growing up, there was a particular compilation album that I had on 8-track cassette that probably had a severe influence on the kind of person I'd grow up to become. The original version of today's featured cover was the first, and certainly the most played for being my favorite, track on it:

Neuroticfish - They're Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV)

If you dig into the musical genetics of acts like Mindless Self Indulgence or Weird Al Yankovic, though generations apart you'll invariably find threads of connection to Jerry Samuels, better known by his novelty pop persona, Napoleon XIV. It was in this guise that Samuels recorded and released They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! as a single in 1966. The B-side of the single was the same track recorded, titled, and labeled in reverse. He used his skill as a recording engineer to produce the altered pitch effects on his voice and built the core of the song around his vague memory of the rhythm to a Scottish clan song, The Campbells Are Coming, believed to date back to the 1700's. The lyrics were a simple depiction of a man slowly losing his grasp on sanity due to the abandonment of his love. Samuels himself admitted that he thought he was writing a "sick joke" and as he continued writing the next verses he felt it became an "even sicker joke."
Such was the immediate popular success of the single, Napoleon XIV quickly contrived an entire album based on themes of mental illness, despite some concern that he was making undue fun of such illnesses which eventually resulted in the track being banned from several stations. The last track on the album is a reprise of the song, instead sung as response to Napoleon XIV by Josephine XV who, as the song is titled, declares plainly, "I'm Happy They Took You Away, Ha-Haaa!." "Josephine," possessed of a distinctive German accent was meant as a quirky, if slanted, homage to Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife to Napoleon Bonaparte, the figure on whom Samuels obviously parodied his recorded character.
The rest of the album, however, did not make the impact of the single.
It turns out the track was covered three times in the same year as the original's release: one translated to German by Malepartus II as Ich Glaab', Die Hole Mich Ab, Ha-Haaa! and another translated to Italian by I Balordi as "Vengono a Portarci Via ah! aah!.
With only that single original album, and the one hit wonder that went on to be on multiple compilations, Jerry Samuels still occasionally performs to this day and is said to work booking talent from his agency in Pennsylvania.

In 2005, EBM act Neuroticfish covered the track for their studio album, Gelb. Sung without the varied pitch effects of the original and cleaner technically for all the modern technology that allows it, their version is also far more aggressive with a fuller electronic instrumentation, stronger bass, and a faster marching tempo. Added spooky overtones fade in and out throughout the track in place of the sirens that hail in the chorus of the original.
After ten years it is still a fantastically potent song with which to cathartically unburden yourself of madness on the dance floor:

The Cover:
The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Presented on the day before Independence Day here in the States, 240 years after the Declaration, when our world seems unfathomably like the title of the featured electro-industrial cover.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin tonight in Cambridge Mass. Check my schedule for details on that and other upcoming gigs. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

June 19 - Psychedelic Furs - Mack The Knife (Kurt Gerron)
June 12 - Cancerface - Disease (Insight 23)
June 05 - Microwaved - Obsession (Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight)
May 29 - Depeche Mode - Dirt (The Stooges)
May 22 - Dust Heaven - Dark (Gary Numan)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's a Third Sunday Throwback, digging into the archives for a cover song from the 20th century. Today's feature is again one of those which many attribute to one of several popularized covers, but on deeper inspection has a far older and darker origin. The history of this one is loaded with many issues and there's a lot of social commentary I could easily pack into the overview, but for brevity I'm going to withhold such and let you make what connections you might for yourself.

Psychedelic Furs - Mack The Knife (Kurt Gerron)

The play Die Dreigroschenoper opened in Berlin in 1928, adapted (from Elisabeth Hauptmann's translation of John Gay's 18th-century The Beggar's Opera) by playwright Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill. Soon and long after known as The Threepenny Opera, it presents a grim and ugly story of murder, police corruption, prostitution, thieves' guild racketeering, revenge fantasies, and the inequity of law. It centers on the character of a self-interested gentleman criminal named Macheath, who is introduced with the song, Die Moritat von Mackie Messer or The Ballad of Mack the Knife. It's said that the song was not part of the original script, but was written into the opening on insistence from Harald Paulsen, the actor playing the main role, who felt his character needed some formal introduction to the audience. Brecht & Weill conceded, but had the actor playing the character of a police chief sing it in the role of a street performer and in the style of a murder ballad, known as a "moritat."
In its time, the play was regarded as one of the most groundbreaking and influential pieces of theatrical art, spreading worldwide to be produced over 130 times in its first five years, made into a movie by 1931, and performed innumerable times since then. In 1954, the play was adapted and translated to English by Marc Blitzstein, an openly gay playwright (who himself was murdered 10 years later in France by three Portuguese sailors after propositioning one of them.)

The role of "Mack" has been played in modern productions by such actors as Jesse Martin (Rent), Raul Julia (Addams Family), Sting (Dune), and Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show.)
In dissonance to its original dread tone and content, Mack the Knife went on to be popularized by the uptempo styling of jazz & pop musicians like Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, and Frank Sinatra, among many others. Such was its familiarity, it was even used during the late 80's in appropriated and gaudy parody to sell hamburgers!

In 1981, post-punk new wave band, The Psychedelic Furs released their cover of Mack the Knife as a B-side track on Pretty in Pink, the third single from their second album, Talk Talk Talk. It was later included on their 1994 album, Here Came The Psychedelic Furs: B Sides and Lost Grooves, and the 2002 re-release of their self-titled first album.
Their interpretation of the song is unique with Richard Butler's harsher vocalization and in its rolling guitar rhythms that instill a sense of something uncertain approaching, as opposed to the smooth crooning and big-band bouncy exuberance of other covers.
The Psychedelic Furs launch a summer tour next month... perhaps Macky will "come to town" with them:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
I've spent the month in some pretty obscure territory, so next week I'll present "Fourth Sunday Familiar" and look into one of the popular covers heard often on goth-industrial dance-floors.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next Sunday in Cambridge Mass. Head over to my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

June 12 - Cancerface - Disease (Insight 23)
June 05 - Microwaved - Obsession (Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight)
May 29 - Depeche Mode - Dirt (The Stooges)
May 22 - Dust Heaven - Dark (Gary Numan)
May 15 - Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Normally I reserve this time of each month for a down tempo track as a feature I call "Second Sunday Slowly." However this month I'd like to use the featured cover as a way to ask you to support an important cause and the relevant track is anything but down-tempo.
Cancer is a devastating disease that has affected many of us. If someone close to us hasn't had it, chances are someone close to them has. While there are many survivors, there are still a troubling amount people afflicted and suffering.
This past Friday marks the release of the fourth in a series of compilations featuring hundreds of industrial artists donating music to support organizations that deal with cancer. It includes a cover of an obscure industrial track that serves as both tribute and inspiration:

Cancerface - Disease (Insight 23)

Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music to Cure Cancer is a project conceived by Jim Semonik, a DJ, musician, and promoter who was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. So diagnosed and in the beginning stages of treatment, he sought out artists and industry friends willing to contribute to the effort and gathered over 80 tracks for the first compilation in 2010. The second, released in 2012, featured over a hundred tracks. Despite the fact that his doctors have pronounced him cancer-free as of September 2013, Semonik has continued to champion the cause and, with the three previous compilations, has raised over $50,000 for Our Clubhouse and other cancer-based charitable organizations.

Electronic Saviors IV: Retaliation was launched on Friday, featuring yet another hundred-plus original tracks and remixes. Among them is a track covered by Semonik with his band, Cancerface, a collaboration with Wade Alin of Christ Analogue and ChemLab.
The track, Disease, was the only single released by the industrial band Insight 23, from their only album, Obsess, both released in 1994. The track was later included on Industrial War: The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Industrial Music, a compilation released in 1997. By then, lead singer Blayne Alexander had gone on to join Idiot Stare, (who did a remix of UCNX's "The Innocent" that was included on the second of the Electronic Savior comps.) Alexander did seven records with Idiot Stare, with whom he was a member until May of 2015, when he passed away due to cancer.

Cancerface's cover of Disease is unironically a passionate tribute to Alexander, perfect as a way to honor his memory; drawing on and revitalizing an obscure track from his past to benefit those struggling with the very thing that took him from friends, family, and fans.

This appears to be the only cover on Retaliation and the only other cover in the entire collection appears to be God Module's cover of The Great Commandment by Camouflage on the second compilation. However, please consider taking the time to listen to the rest of the latest collection and seek out the others if so inspired. 100% of proceeds for purchase of any of them go to charity:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Third Sunday Throwback... with a cover from the 20th century!
It's a case of "who done it!" (Of course, the "Butler" did!) ^_^

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next in two weeks in Cambridge, Mass.
Check my schedule for details and join if you can!

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

June 05 - Microwaved - Obsession (Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight)
May 29 - Depeche Mode - Dirt (The Stooges)
May 22 - Dust Heaven - Dark (Gary Numan)
May 15 - Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)
May 08 - Sonik Foundry - Mama (Genesis)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

I know I'm cutting myself off from a potential Throwback with this one... but it's sooo good! This one also falls into that category of covers you might think was originally done by a group that covered it (which in this case would have been the Throwback I could have featured) but actually has origins with earlier artists far less successful with it:

Microwaved - Obsession (Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight)

Written and recorded in 1983 by Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight, Obsession was released as a single, which would be their singular collaboration. It was also included on the soundtrack of the 1983 film, A Night In Heaven, and used in a scene where a male stripper dances "intimately" in front of his teacher whose class he's failing. (The eighties were weird.) Neither the film nor the original recording went far. It wasn't until the synthpop outfit Animotion recorded the track for their self-titled album and released it as their first single in 1984 that the track gained its notoriety. Des Barres has suggested that by the time he had even heard about the cover, it was already nearly a number one hit on the charts. Des Barres re-recorded an updated version with Teal Collins Zee in 2013, though he still performs the song with the same spoken-word manner that may have contributed to its original lack of appeal.

It can hardly be denied that Animotion's version was inspiration for many later covers, and thus often credited incorrectly as the original.
Such is the case for this cover by Microwaved, an electronic industrial band who had Jeff Scheel of Gravity Kills and Tara Saavedra of Violette Syn sing the duet of the song for them.
Last Halloween they released it as an opening bonus track of the remixed version of their 2014 album, Jesse. It is also the first track of the Brutal Resonance: Phase One compilation album released at the end of April.
This version is energized with stronger bass-lines and more aggressive synth, and uses some dynamic variations that add a level of distinction to the character of the vocals.

The Cover:


The Original:


Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

Next week:
It would normally be Second Sunday Slowly, where I feature a down tempo cover. However, there is a new release later this week that is part of a series of compilations supporting a cause I'd like to give some attention... so if it provides a down-tempo cover, it will still be Second Sunday Slowly. If it does not, I'll review a cover from one of the previous compilations.

Meanwhile, I spin this Wednesday in Boston.
As always, if you're available to join, check my schedule for details. ^_^

Until next time... explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 29 - Depeche Mode - Dirt (The Stooges)
May 22 - Dust Heaven - Dark (Gary Numan)
May 15 - Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)
May 08 - Sonik Foundry - Mama (Genesis)
May 01 - 9th Evolution - Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

When I began this blog last year I decided that I would devote the fifth Sunday of any month to a cover of a Depeche Mode track, because reasons.(<- intended for you to click and read the previous.)
This month however, I'm flipping the script on that.
You see, for May, Depeche Mode (or maybe their marketing representative looking to spread the news that the band is recording a new album) launched an Instagram campaign: Fans were to pick their favorite Mode tracks according to a schedule of themes for every day of the month and post them with the hashtag, "#ModeMay." Today's theme is "Favorite B-side." Well I've already featured my favorite cover of one of their B-sides with the first A La Mode (linked above.) But what I haven't done yet is feature any cover DONE by Depeche Mode. And, as it happens, one of my favorite of their b-sides IS a cover:

Depeche Mode - Dirt (The Stooges)
In July of 1970, The Stooges released their second album, Fun House. It was the album on which Iggy "Stooge" became "Pop" and preceded the worst period of his then escalating heroin addition.
Dirt is a seven-minute bluesy-jazz-punk hybrid injected as interlude to an otherwise upbeat punk rock album. Where the rest of Fun House jams hard, Dirt slinks with a slow sexual groove at odds with Pop's signature rough gravelly vocals. The late Ron Asheton's guitar solo in the track has been ranked among the top guitar solos of all time.

Depeche Mode released I Feel Loved in July of 2001, the second single from their tenth studio album, Exciter. Their cover of Dirt was the b-side. It was also included on the Resident Evil: Music from and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture soundtrack, but not on the film itself.

Several sources note that lead singer Dave Gahan got into punk in the late seventies before Depeche Mode formed and that this rendition of Dirt was a call back to the music that made him join the band at the start. Gahan, who had, prior to the previous album, gone through rehab for his own heroin addiction after a near overdose, may have intended the track to speak to the type of struggle he and Iggy Pop shared in common. Or it may have only been meant to counter the lyric "I feel loved" on the A-side with an emotionally opposite lyric like "I've been dirt" on the B. There doesn't seem to be much out there to confirm either theory but they are interesting coincidences to consider.

Depeche Mode's version of the track is every bit as energized with sexual energy as the original, though their electronic instrumentation, its somewhat trip-hop composition, and Gahan's silky vocals give it a bit more of a breathy and seductive sound. Of the very few songs they have covered, this is perhaps one of their best.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
A new stranger danger to beware and obsess over!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin tonight in Cambridge. Check my schedule for details and join me if you're in the area. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 22 - Dust Heaven - Dark (Gary Numan)
May 15 - Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)
May 08 - Sonik Foundry - Mama (Genesis)
May 01 - 9th Evolution - Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus)
Apr 24 - Sebastian Komor - Game Of Thrones Theme(Ramin Djawadi)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

Gender-flipped casting in entertainment media seems like a hugely contentious issue these days. But it is NOTHING NEW. Seriously, the amount of songs done originally by someone of one gender and covered by someone of another is... well, ridiculous to consider, and should render any thought of such swapping in other forms of media fairly commonplace and inoffensive by now. At least, ideally. In the world of music, it is often celebrated for having, at times, beautiful and amazing affects. So with that tangential thought in mind...:

Dust Heaven - Dark (Gary Numan)
In the early 90's Gary Numan had been struggling professionally and financially, which he felt had influenced poor results in his work artistically. After taking some time away from his music and coming back to write music for pleasure instead, he found his imagination taking his music to even darker places than before, many of those places orbiting closely to theology. Sacrifice was the next effort he was truly happy with, however he had received numerous complaints for its religious imagery. Rather than give up on the inspiration, he developed a thesis that God and the Devil were the same being, a form of deific duality. He'd originally intended the concept to be a book, but found it so well suited to lyrics that by the time he'd written his third song around the concept, he'd realized that it would be the basis of an entire album. He released his sixteenth album, Exile, in October 1997 in the U.K. and then four months later in the U.S.. In Dark, the duality is expressed through a resistance to both darkness and light. This song, never released as a single, was included in the soundtrack of the 1998 science fiction suspense film, Dark City. (Interesting aside: the central villains of the film were based in part on the character of Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

Dust Heaven, a multi-lingual industrial rock duo from the Ukraine, unveiled their cover of Dark last Halloween as the first in a line of tracks meant for their tribute project, Stolen Treasures. Other covers they've revealed for the project include Shout, from Tears For Fears & Beyond My Control by Mylene Farmer.
Earlier this year, the cover of Dark was included on the first volume of compilations from the Electrozombies music blog, Undead And Open-Minded.

Helming all instrumentation, Alex Grechanik keeps the structure of the track but makes it sound fuller and more resonant. Valeria Finikopulo sings with a beautifully accented, feminine, and enchanting voice that separates her at once from the gruff mechanical sound of Numan's, tempering the tone from an expression of grievance to one of lament.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
We are in the midst of #ModeMay. And luckily there are five Sundays this month so I'll present Fifth Sunday a La Mode... this time with a twist!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next Sunday in Cambridge. If you are near enough to join check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 15 - Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)
May 08 - Sonik Foundry - Mama (Genesis)
May 01 - 9th Evolution - Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus)
Apr 24 - Sebastian Komor - Game Of Thrones Theme(Ramin Djawadi)
Apr 17 - Snake River Conspiracy - Love Song (The Cure)
Apr 10 - PRIMA PRIMO - Cornflake Girl (Tori Amos)

Directory of All DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
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.

It's time for another Third Sunday Throwback, venturing into the 20th century for covers past!
While I'm not specifically blogging by rule of "No Hanson, No Manson," I have been actively avoiding Marilyn thus far. It just seems awful easy to resort to him given how many covers he has done that so many are easily familiar with. (But don't worry, he'll get his due all in good time.) What's interesting to me though is how often I encounter someone who has mistaken the origin of one of his covers.:

Soft Cell - Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)

The original recording of the song (written by Ed Cobb of the pop group, The Four Preps) was first released in the U.S. as the b-side of Gloria Jones's 1965 single, My Bad Boy's Comin' Home. That single was considered a commercial failure. However, owing to the providence of a British club DJ that advanced the b-side's popularity in the underground scene during the early to mid seventies, Jones re-recorded Tainted Love and released it in the U.K. as the first single from her 1976 LP, Vixen. Surprisingly it also failed to chart despite its on-going success in what was known as the "Northern Soul" club scene.

Touting their love of that scene, synth-pop new wavers Soft Cell picked the track as one they could use as an "interesting song for an encore number." They had almost chosen Frankie Valli's, The Night. Lead singer Marc Almond described their early compositions as "a mixture of cold electronics with an over-passionate, over-exuberant, slightly out of key vocal." If not for their label convincing them to add guitars and percussion, the song might never have achieved the immediate success it did when released as the first single from their 1981 album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. On the 12" single, Tainted Love was partnered with another cover: Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes. The two tracks were melded into one continuous track. Their version of Tainted Love has been re-released several times and included on a wide array of soundtracks and compilations, including a number of goth-specific collections.

While there have been numerous other interesting and creative covers, Soft Cell's version stands out predominantly as the classic. Even Gloria Jones has said she feels it is "far better" than her own. It's certainly a compelling example of how a non-hit can be transformed into something inspired, memorable, and exciting with the right bit of artistry and guidance.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Something Dark and New, Man! (I've been waiting so long for that dumb joke.)

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I spin next this Friday night in Western Mass!
All links and details of my upcoming schedule can be found on my website so click through. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 08 - Sonik Foundry - Mama (Genesis)
May 01 - 9th Evolution - Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus)
Apr 24 - Sebastian Komor - Game Of Thrones Theme(Ramin Djawadi)
Apr 17 - Snake River Conspiracy - Love Song (The Cure)
Apr 10 - PRIMA PRIMO - Cornflake Girl (Tori Amos)


Directory of All DisCOVERies

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DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

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