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T O P I C    R E V I E W
The Maharal Posted - 11/24/2014 : 12:10:08
I have just discovered that this exists. I love Frank Black. And I love the Kinks. It's a good night.


Just need to hear his version of This Time Tomorrow and I'll be a happy man.

Anyway, let's do a fun compilation of all the man's covers. I'll update the OP with links over time.

Better Things (The Kinks) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xc8b_YbdyY
This Is Where I Belong (The Kinks) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAuu-eoydL8
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
peter radiator Posted - 10/05/2018 : 07:25:56
Originally posted by Discoking

it's perfectly possible that he just likes the song. it's a nice song.

it's educational


I know you're right.



"Real music is out there and real people are making it." ~ Webb Wilder
Discoking Posted - 10/05/2018 : 03:20:30
it's perfectly possible that he just likes the song. it's a nice song.

it's educational
Sam Posted - 10/03/2018 : 21:54:24
Originally posted by peter radiator

[quote]Originally posted by hammerhands

I listen to that Dylan cover, Changing of the Guards, on the EP with Living on Soul.

"Real music is out there and real people are making it." ~ Webb Wilder

Whether that was the case or not Peter I really enjoyed the read. I love that kind of speculation / theorising. Thanks. There was a definite changing of the guard / style after Cult of Ray. That is a fact.
Some of the artists I am a fan of rarely admit to the thought process that drives their art. FBF certainly always goes with the snake / Chinese astrology theory. But there must be some foresight or analysis every now and then.
peter radiator Posted - 10/03/2018 : 09:50:55
Originally posted by hammerhands

I listen to that Dylan cover, Changing of the Guards, on the EP with Living on Soul.

It seems to go on and on. You think, if I could understand it, it would be very deep. A clue to All My Ghosts?

One of the times I interviewed FBF (I believe it was the first time we'd ever spoken), this track had only recently been released on that import EP.

As Street Legal is one of my favorite Dylan albums, I was very familiar with the original song and some of the myriad of academic theories on the meaning(s) of the rather obtuse and cryptic lyrics.

As it was such a strange and unexpected choice for FBF to cover and release (out of all the other Dylan songs out there in the universe), I could not help but assume FBF had a strong attraction to / affinity for the song's lyrics / story.

With that in mind, I set out to crack the code of just what it was about the lyrics that resonated with him, and was immediately struck with a correlation to his recent own record company troubles that had resulted in him being released from his contract with Rick Rubin's American Records label after The Cult of Ray.

Some of you may remember that Rubin essentially refused to release the FB & The C's debut LP as it was, insisting on clinging to the idea that those sessions were not good enough for proper release and should have remained what they were initially intended to be: rough, live-in-the-studio demos for subsequent, slicker versions of many of the same songs, produced and tweaked by himself (or another high-level, "name" producer that he approved of).

As FBF and his bandmates had come to the conclusion that the demos actually sounded as powerful and impressive (if not moreso) than anything they might later create, even with the advent of more time and money, they insisted they wanted to release those sessions as their next album, and so a frustrating stalemate set in.

It was quite a while before Rubin and his people agreed to not only release the band from their contract, but to allow them to retain ownership of those recordings and do with them as they pleased -- which resulted in FBF acting as a free agent of sorts, financing the production of his own releases, then owning the masters and simply licensing them to whichever boutique labels in whichever countries he chose.

As one established theory of the "meaning" behind Dylan's song (which was the first track on that album, and thus signaled the beginning of a very different sound and musical style from his earlier albums) holds that the numerical symbology and tarot references in the tune hint at both the length of time he had been signed to Columbia Records (including a brief, ill-fated two-record detour to Asylum), and his desire to challenge the label's expectations of him by moving in a bold new direction.

That direction was, at the time of Street Legal's release, unknown to the label and to Dylan's fans, but he appears to be hinting at his personal awakening to Born-Again Evangelical Christianity.

Immediately after Street Legal, he recorded and released Slow Train Coming, the first of three overtly apocalyptic, sermonizing albums of Messianic Christian theology mixed with black gospel and early R&B musical tropes. These albums divided his fanbase immediately, ruining his reputation with many existing fans but attracting a small yet fervent number of Christian followers worldwide who otherwise avoided most rock and roll music for its perceived connection to hedonism, vanity and sin.

Knowing of both FBF's appreciation for the early days of the underground Christian Rock movement (which was an inspiration on Dylan's conversion just a few years after those first Christian-oriented rock albums began appearing on small, niche labels and pushed through fundmentalist churches like California's pioneering Vineyard Fellowship) and his recent difficulties with American Records (which was in the middle of transferring its international distribution from Warner Bros to Sony/CBS --essentially Columbia Records, Dylan's label-- right at the time FB and the C's were turning in that debut "brown" LP to Rubin), I was eager to ask FBF his motivation for recording this particular song.

So, about halfway through our chat, I asked him about the Dylan cover, and if he was a fan of the Street Legal album. I cannot remember now if he said he was or not, however it is worth noting that in 1995, a compilation came out called Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 3, which kicked off with "Changing of the Guards," even though it had never been a single, nor a radio hit and was in fact taken from one of the bigger critical flops of Dylan's career. So, that may actually have been where he first heard it.

I then complimented him on the band's cover, and briefly explained what I thought was a very well-considered theory that they had recorded and released that track --of all Dylan tunes-- as a very clever and DEEPLY hidden diss at their label for essentially freezing their recording output for a year-and-a-half and putting their career trajectory in jeopardy, at least partially because they did not understand or appreciate the bold move the group was making in insisting on recording and mixing everything live-to-2-track on vintage analog gear -- and moving away from the sound of both Pixies and his earlier FB persona into a more roots-rock-meets-Crazy-Horse vibe.

This would, of course, fit in nicely with FBF's penchant for being something of an intertextualist riddler, delighting in hiding messages, jokes or references within plain sight inside his song lyrics and/or musical arrangements.

He listened politely, and then, somewhat witheringly told me in no uncertain terms that he had no idea what on earth I was talking about, and that he just liked the way the song sounded, so he had the band learn it.

I was more than a bit crushed, and I'm sure he felt I was thinking WAY too hard about his music for both his and my own good.

However, after later learning that the band attempted that song at what I think were no less than three different recording sessions, I still find it hard to believe he did not --or does not-- feel some sort of particular affinity for whatever he may perceive to be the meaning of that tune, regardless of whether or not we both would agree on what that meaning might be.

To my mind, at least, it strains credulity to believe someone would try over and over to nail what is essentially a wordy, esoteric and rather intentionally impenetrable nine-verse epic of astrological and biblical imagery just because they vaguely liked the way the song sounded.

Especially when it is commonly regarded as one of the more musically and melodically monotonous Dylan songs (which is saying a lot!).

Anyhoo, either I am still completely off base, or FBF simply has no intention of letting on whatever personal connection he drew from that wonderfully imaginative and mysterious composition.


"Real music is out there and real people are making it." ~ Webb Wilder
McDutchie Posted - 08/07/2016 : 15:40:49
FB&C - "Down In The Hole" (Rolling Stones cover)
I think this one is fantastic. Who's doing lead guitar on this? Great interplay with Frank's falsetto.

edit: That video is blocked now, here are two alternatives: https://youtu.be/2iwPMmlo9hI https://youtu.be/ar6C5iE83QI
Discoking Posted - 05/17/2016 : 02:01:34
i love changing of the guards.

it's educational
Stevio10 Posted - 05/15/2016 : 04:11:21
Some Things is great! Haven't heard the Angst version, will have to hunt it down. Current favourite is Remake/Remodel, better than the original.

Bill Jocko is another great cover, really like Mark Mulcahy and just got tickets to see him with former Catholics Dave and Scott with Ray Neal as the reunited Miracle Legion - cannot wait!
pixiestu Posted - 05/14/2016 : 11:44:49
One of my favourite FB covers is Angst's 'Some Things (I Can't Get Used To)'. Not sure it's as good as the original but there's a great energy to it whenever I hear the Catholics version.

Also, just been listening to 'Road Movie To Berlin' originally by They Might Be Giants. Again, not as good as the original but I still really like it. Been digging TMBG a lot lately.

Oh and Duke Of Earl as already mentioned, love it's simplicity and love Frank's voice. Damn...just all of them. All the covers! All top notch!

"The arc of triumph"
McDutchie Posted - 05/10/2016 : 14:07:14
FB&C - "I'm Goin' Down" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
McDutchie Posted - 05/02/2016 : 11:53:13
Black Francis with Joey Santiago - “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show cover)

edit: also on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_pfZ50G3oXc
hammerhands Posted - 11/24/2015 : 12:19:50
Frank Black & The Suicide Commandos - King & Queen

Wasn't there a recent thread about tribute albums?
The Maharal Posted - 02/25/2015 : 10:58:31
El Clavo Y La Cruz (The Plugz)
McDutchie Posted - 11/26/2014 : 15:26:41
If the Pixies are included here, then "Ain't that pretty at all" (Warren Zevon) is my favourite.
Original: http://youtu.be/g7c0z2xeErU (video warning: ponies)
Cover: http://youtu.be/5-NmoLmpLhk
hammerhands Posted - 11/26/2014 : 13:58:00
This other thread mentions B-Side covers for NonStopErotik.
I like Wheels, Flying Burito Brothers.
The B-Sides I had never heard.
T'aint No Use

Originally posted by vilainde

Hot damn! Did anyone know Tain't No Use was a Benny Goodman cover? I had never heard about that!



hammerhands Posted - 11/26/2014 : 13:50:40
I listen to that Dylan cover, Changing of the Guards, on the EP with Living on Soul.

It seems to go on and on. You think, if I could understand it, it would be very deep. A clue to All My Ghosts?

sdon Posted - 11/26/2014 : 13:11:51
Shall we include the cover with Kim Shattuck of The Fall's Big New Prinz?

"Aristophanes! (gong sounds)"
vilainde Posted - 11/25/2014 : 21:54:40
Originally posted by The Maharal

Cheers chaps.

Almost Fare (Dinosaur Jr)

Brand New Cadillac (The Clash)

What the... I had never heard of these ones.

The Maharal Posted - 11/25/2014 : 13:59:03
Cheers chaps.

Almost Fare (Dinosaur Jr)

Bill Jocko (Mark Mulcahy)

All In My Mind (Love & Rockets)

Wild Man of Borneo (Kinky Friedman)

Brand New Cadillac (The Clash)

Atlantis (Donovan)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWhzEI_-aXs (mistitled - it aint the Catholics)

The Auld Triangle (Brendan Behan)

Long Black Train (Lee Hazlewood)

Son of a Gun (Lee Hazlewood)

Run Boy Run (Lee Hazlewood)

Sister Isabelle (Del Shannon)

Rocket USA (Suicide)

The Rockafeller Shank (Fatboy Slim)
1965 Posted - 11/25/2014 : 02:27:01
2006 Snake Oil's Belle Isle and Some Things (I Can't Get Used To) were/are pretty good, 2002 Devil's Workshop out-takes from memory:

original Some Things by Angst-


I have the key to #902
hammerhands Posted - 11/25/2014 : 01:26:09
Do Nothing is great.

History Song I had never heard, thank you all.
Stevio10 Posted - 11/25/2014 : 00:53:29
Love Frank Black covers, other than doing a song more than great justice it has made me check out some originals I haven't heard and discover new bands / artists.

My favourites are the ones you wouldnt instantly think of being on obvious choice to cover but once you hear it, its hard to imagine it any other way.

A couple of my favourite covers were from the Dog Gone single from FB+C Self Titled, I had the CD single when it came out but it parted from my possession somewhere down the road from moving addresses / cities.

Looking on Amazon (uk) it was selling for £40+ recently (believe I saw it advertised at £100+ previously), so if you have a copy it might be worth keeping hold of.

This is the 'Do Nothing' cover, love the straight up DIY punk feel of that period. I like 'The Specials' so this was a nice little surprise when I heard it.

vilainde Posted - 11/24/2014 : 22:21:23
Great thread. Keep them coming.

The whole Otis Blackweel tribute is a lot of fun. Everyone involved seems to be having a good time and it shows (unlike some other FB/Tiven collaborations).

I did a list of covers by Frank Black once and there were about 70 songs in it. This thread should keep us a while.

McDutchie Posted - 11/24/2014 : 17:34:22
Here are a few more.

History Song (The Good, The Bad & The Queen)
Original: http://youtu.be/fyu4g7E2F9c
Cover: http://youtu.be/wfCCgYKXllo
This one has only ever officially been on iTunes and it was removed from there years ago. I really like it, so I just uploaded it to YT.

Can't Break A Heart And Have It (Herman Brood)
Original: http://youtu.be/SObtaJLekSs
Cover: http://youtu.be/bFQEMwQf5ME
Frank discovered Herman Brood on YouTube, resulting in the Bluefinger album. The original video is old enough that it may just be the same one he based the cover on.

Just A Little (The Beau Brummels)
Original: http://youtu.be/dYneeXVOAyA
Cover: http://youtu.be/SKfmlBMLSHY (Oddballs)
From Oddballs.

Handyman (Jimmy Jones)
Original: http://youtu.be/uVyBRdBVCiU
Covers: http://youtu.be/oMQdYdcQugU and http://youtu.be/f25yc7JnvFk
The second one is with Teenage Fanclub.

Remake/Remodel (Roxy Music)
Original: http://youtu.be/UbE2sD3jSF0
Cover: http://youtu.be/JXRa1Zy3tGc
That cover is from the iTunes live session. An earlier cover is on Oddballs.

The Black Rider (Tom Waits)
Original: http://youtu.be/CHTn14moHa4
Covers: http://youtu.be/h1qyN6VZ4fQ and http://youtu.be/zLwIRANQAD8
These covers are both from Black Letter Days.
pixie punk Posted - 11/24/2014 : 13:26:53
I love all the covers and one of my top 5 is 'Breathless' from the Otis Blackwell Tribute album 'Brace Yourself' recorded as the Stax Pistols because original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock also played or sang backup vocals.Can someone upload that one on Youtube for me? I believe that was the 1st collaboration of Frank with producer Jon Tiven.

Jason Posted - 11/24/2014 : 13:03:53
My favorite might be Frank's "Sugar Daddy", a cover of a song from HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (for a benefit tribute album) and not just because that's one of my all-time favorite movies. This is good, snotty, caterwauling Frank (circa the early 00s):


I also harbor much affection for Frank's stark and simple "Duke of Earl" from '93.


A fairly obscure one is Frank doing a sweaty, shouting soul man thing on a nice version of James Brown's "Mother Popcorn":


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