Cover Versions, Hard-to-find

Ripping off Johnny? Off with their heads!

Can’t get that new Yeah Yeah Yeahs single out of my head at the moment. ‘Heads Will Roll’ is cracking; hysterical vocals, electro rush and an outrageously shame-faced borrowing of the guitar riff from PIL‘s ‘This Is Not A Love Song’. Where John Lydon sneers, Karen O breathes. Where PIL throbs, Yeah Yeah Yeahs soar. But there’s no denying both are terrific songs, even if one borrows heavily from the other.


The original version of ‘This Is Not A Love Song’ was PIL‘s biggest hit single, reaching number 5 in 1983. A remixed version featuring brass, keyboards and noticeably less guitar was released as a 12″. It was this version that prompted guitarist Keith Levene to leave the band. I don’t know what he’d have made of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (cough) ‘reworking’ of the track – it too is fairly keyboard heavy. But for want of a better phrase, it rocks!


I like Karen O, even if she looks like she’s going out as Joey Ramone for Halloween. She’s got the attitude, style and ballsy presence that all my favourite female singers have. I’d never tire of punching those other 2 though. Wimpy poseurs in skinny jeans. Grow up ya couple of fannys. Still. ‘Heads Will Roll’. Great single. In a gazillion different mixes too…

Heads Will Roll (original)

Heads Will Roll (LA Boxers Dub Remix)

Heads Will Roll (Johnny Roxx Remixx)

Heads Will Roll (Foulhouse Remix)

Heads Will Roll (Weird Tapes version)

Heads Will Roll (Emre B remix)

*BONUS TRACK! French artist singing in English cocktail jazz re-working of ‘This Is Not A Love Song’. Covered by Nouvelle Vague. Fact 1. Pete Doherty would give his trilby-hatted skanky head to get this sound on one of his records. Fact 2. Nouvelle Vague’s version of  Love Will Tear Us Apart is one of the most downloaded tracks on Plain Or Pan. Seek and ye shall find.