Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cassette experiment day 67 - Big Daddy 'Cutting their own groove'

You may well have gathered by now that I have fairly unusual musical tastes, particularly in light of evidence given to you in the blog yesterday!
Today’s cassette may add further fuel to that particular fire, as it’s by the band credited in some quarters as the inventor of the ‘mash-up’ (which may be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view), Big Daddy, with their 1991 album ‘Cutting their own groove’.
I’m no great fan of the lazy shorthand description of being a ‘Marmite’ band, but in this case it’s extremely accurate, you’ll either love them or hate them. When I played it in the car yesterday Susan gave me the impression that she’d rather be having teeth pulled. She doesn’t like Marmite either. Or its slightly less strident antipodean cousin, Vegemite.
So, what we have here is an album consisting entirely of cover versions (and you know how much I love those!) of modern (in 1991) tunes recorded in the style of classic tunes and artists from the 1950s and 1960s.
So we have the unique experience of hearing ‘Nothing compares 2 U’ performed as Little Richard’s ‘The girl can’t help it’, ‘Once in a lifetime’ re-imagined as Harry Belafonte’s ‘Day O (the banana boat song)’ and, logically, Welcome to the jungle’ as ‘The lion sleeps tonight’ (or is it the other way around?).
There are some misfires too, for every inspired choice – ‘Like a virgin’ being sung in Frankie Avalon ‘Venus’ style is one – there is a lame Elvis style version of ‘Graceland’. And I’m not that interested in hearing ‘Money for nothing’ re-recorded by anybody if brutally honest.
It is fun though to hear the pompous bubble that is Mike and The Mechanics’ ‘The living years’ pricked and brought back to life as one of the great ‘death songs’ of the 1960s, ‘Leader of the pack’
One last thing – ‘Ice ice baby’ (already a mash-up of sorts anyway) as ‘Johnny B Goode’ really has to be heard to be believed!
Label - Rhino
Year – 1991