(Photo by MuseBellamy)
More covers today, the first courtesy of Foewheel, an interesting blog which occasionally throws up something really cool. As in today. Everybody knows that Jeff Buckley is really, really good. Anybody who's anybody will be able to tell you that Grace is one of the finest records of the last twenty years, one that pulls together a searingly emotional vocal style with incredible instrumentation and orchestration, and not only that but some of the most inch-perfect songwriting combined with a couple of the best cover versions you'll ever hear (at least one that supercedes the original by a country mile). Whether most people will be able to give you the same level of enthusiasm about it's follow-up, or at least the half-finished product, is not so conclusive. Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, though, is a wonderful, wonderful album, different again from Grace, rawer and rougher (due to it's being unfinished by Jeff's hand, surprisingly enough) and featuring some incredible songs: Yard Of Blonde Girls is amazing, and The Sky Is A Landfill is simply epic. Everybody Here Wants You is in the same vain, Jeff's soaring falsetto as intense and as powerful as ever, and the cover here is by Matthew Herbert and Dani Siciliano. Featuring sultry French-accented female vocals (from Siciliano), it's a atmospheric electronic soundscape with percussive acoustics in there as well. It's well worth a goosey gander, and will be leading me to explore a little more Herbert as well, who I've been meaning to check out for some time. The track is from a Jeff/Tim Buckley tribute album on Ashmatic Kitty, also featuring Adem, King Creosote, Sufjan Stevens and Kathryn Williams, amongst others.
Jeff Buckley - Everybody Here Wants You
Matthew Herbert & Dani Siciliano - Everybody Here Wants You
Our second brace is an altogether better known song. One of the most well-known of it's era, in all probability. Remember the battle between Guns'n'Roses and Metallica in the late 80's for World's Biggest Band status? I don't. I was five. But battle though they did, there was only ever one winner, and GNR were huge. ...And Justice For All, with it's lengthy metal leanings and widdly/shouty just couldn't compete with the excitement of hearing Appetite For Destruction, something which still holds true today if you're listening for the first time. And the commercial pinnacle of the record was (wooah, oh-wooah) Sweet Child O' Mine, the ballad of the piece, but also an epic with an all-time classic intro and solo. Axl's falsetto is a little more screechy than Jeff Buckley's angelic tones, but then you wouldn't have a choirboy singing about Mr Brownstone and, ahem, the Jungle. The cover here is by Galaxie 500 offshoot Luna, who are releasing a Greatest Hits package soon. Featured on disc two are covers of Everybody's Talkin' (Nilsson), Jealous Guy (Lennon) and Bonnie & Clyde (Serge Gainsbourg), and this quiet gem, approached in the same way that Aztec Camera approached Van Halen's Jump; toned down, stripped down, pared down, however you like to describe it. It's pretty pretty.
Guns'n'Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
Luna - Sweet Child O' Mine
<$>Jeff Buckley/Matthew Herbert/tribute album/Guns'n'Roses/Luna<$>
Tags: covers; Jeff Buckley; My Sweetheart The Drunk; Matthew Herbert; Dani Siciliano; tribute album; Asthmatic Kitty; Guns'n'Roses; Luna