When is a cover not a cover?

OK, maybe I’ve just got too much time on my hands, but this question has been occuring to me for a while…And where does that leave prefering one version over another?

First up, ‘China Girl.’ Co-written by Iggy Pop and David Bowie in 1977, it appeared on Iggy’s The Idiot in 1977, and then on Bowie’s Let’s Dance in 1983. I suppose that Bowie’s version is a cover coming technically afterwards, but he did produce The Idiot. And I sorta prefer Iggy’s voice on his version, but i love the bass on the Bowie version. Hmm, go figure…

Iggy Pop -‘China Girl.’ mp3

David Bowie -‘China Girl.’ mp3

And what about ‘Shipbuilding?’ Elvis Costello co-write this poignant ballad about the Falklands’ War, in 1982, Robert Wyatt recorded it first and had ahit with it, then Costello recorded his version for his own Punch The Clock LP in 1983. I like Wyatt’s voice, but Chet Baker’s trumpet is heartbreaking.

Robert Wyatt -‘Shipbuilding.’ mp3

Elvis Costello -‘Shipbuilding.’ mp3

As for this last one, well, I guess it always was a James Kirk track, even if there were twenty years between the version he did in Orange Juice and then recording it for his own solo You Can Make It If You Boogie in 2003. Or was it?

James Kirk -‘Felicity.’ mp3

Please leave any thoughts below…

Edinburgh Festival is Here

It’s August, which means that it’s the Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe, plus book festival, film festival etc.. Actually, as someone else pointed out, describing the Edinburgh ‘Fringe’ as a ‘fringe’ festival is rather like describing U2 as an indie band or Steven Spielberg as a cult director; it’s been way bigger than the ‘International Festival’ for many years.

As well as the T on the Fringe lineup, for which I have got tickets for many bands, I’ve also been taking in comedy and other shows. Today I went with Mrs. 17 Seconds and our friends Dave and Mark to see the Hull University Big Band, who were fantastic, and not the sort of thing I tend to put on at home, but they were brilliant. On Thursday, another 17 Seconds friend, Rory, had organised tickets for the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. If your vision is something of a whole load of very elderly people playing George Formby songs then you are well, well out of date. They played a whole range of stuff including ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus, Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’ and Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer.’ Oh, and ‘Anarchy in the UK’ by the Sex Pistols. A huge amount of fun, and they don’t take themselves too seriously.

Thanks to Mark, I have a few links below for YouTube which have performances of songs done by the Ukelele Orchestra.

The Good, the bad and The Ugly

Wuthering Heights

Life On Mars?

Oh, and seeing as we’ve had those, how about some originals by Kate Bush and David Bowie themselves?

Kate Bush -‘Wuthering Heights.’ mp3

David Bowie -‘Life On Mars?’ mp3

These links will be up for one week only. Go and see the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain if you get the chance (and maybe you’ll catch them playing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’!), and indeed the Hull University Big Band.