Welcome to request corner! His name is Prince and he is funky. What follows are 3 decidedly unfunky covers of Prince tracks. If you were being cruel you might say they’re workmanlike in their approach. Sloppy, too slow (hello My Morning Jacket) and devoid of any soul at all. If you were being a bit more generous, you’d say they were trying to do the tracks in their own style (howdy Foo Fighters). If you were a bit less cynical, you might even say The Jesus And Mary Chain‘s version of ‘Alphabet Street’ was pretty good. Cos it is. Thanks to Gerald for the suggestion.
My JAMC version of ‘Alphabet Street’ comes from one of the CD single versions of ‘Come On’ (it’s also got a Pogues and a Cramps cover on it), but it’s available from round about now on the sexy looking box set above. What I like about this version is that the JAMC have gone out of their way to make it as easy as possible to play. Stripped it back to 3 simple chords, added some fuzz bass, some doo-wop vocals, some feedback (naturally) and made it sound like any other of their records. Prince’s Alphabet Street sounds like the kind of place where supermodels are handing out free E’s and sex on tap, but The JAMC make Alphabet Street sound like the kind of place where even Lou Reed would be scared of going to score. I think Glasvegas could do a really good version of The JAMC covering Prince. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
The Foo Fighters track comes from the B-Side of their ‘Have It All’ single, and in the best traditions of the radio, many DJs started playing the ‘Darling Nikki’ cover instead of the rather obvious and plodding A-Side. The Foo Fighters version reached number 15 in the American charts, much to Prince’s disgust. He wouldn’t let them release it as a single, they stuck it on the b-side instead, and voila, the rest is filthy-lyriced history.
First things first now. I like My Morning Jacket. As far as blue-collar rocking guitar bands go I think they’re possibly my favourite. I prefer them to the Hold Steady, if that means anything. I really liked the ‘Z’ album. I’m sure they’re a decent live proposition. They’re famed for long and loud live sets, and they often do covers during encores, which is where their version of ‘I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man’ comes from. I found this version whilst poking about the blogosphere, but I can’t find any info on where it was recorded. It’s live and sounds like it’s from the mixing desk but other than that I can’t tell you much else about it. Except that it must’ve been one hell of a long show that night, cos MMJ have stripped all the bounce, all the fun and all the soul out of a great wee song. Compare and contrast with this Prince ‘Sign O’ The Times’ tour soundcheck rehearsal. Even allowing for a cheesy brass section near the end, the funk is back. Listen to Prince’s guitar playing during the solo! Jeez-oh! I think I wanna dance now!