Melvins Covers Source Material
There's been a steady parade of watered-down, soulless covers on the airwaves the last few years. If you had told me a band could make me hate a song as bulletproof as Big Yellow Taxi, I would have thought it inconceivable. But this is the world we live in.
As an antitoxidote, I offer up an example of a band who has impeccable taste and execution in covers: the Melvins. First off, they're educational. I learned something about rock history from all of these songs. Before hearing the Melvins versions of these songs I had never heard the Peter Green Fleetwood Mac or explored Alice Cooper's albums beyond the radio hits. Second, they have a way of arranging a cover that preserves the soul of the song and emphasizes the elements that kick you right in the ass. Love it.
Here's a playlist of the source versions of some of my favorite Melvins covers. The only Melvins version Rhapvailable is Goin' Blind.
Melvins Source Material
Ballad of Dwight Fry (Alice Cooper) - appears on Lysol
This song has it all: first-person conversation with an insane self, tribute to the actor who played Renfield in the 1931 Dracula, and multi-part mini rock opera.
Goin' Blind (Kiss) - appears on Houdini
Out of the dozens of Kiss butt rock numbers, leave it to the Melvins to pick out this byzantine sludge-walk tale of the doomed relationship between a ninety three year old man and a sixteen year old girl.
The Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac) - appears on The Maggot
Feverish pleading to the recurring demon of your nightmares, or internal struggle with the lust for wealth? You make the call.
Halo of Flies (Alice Cooper) - doesn't appear on any Melvins album, but is played frequently live
Epic tale, vivid original imagery, and the perfect balance of bombast and restraint. It don't get no better than Halo Of Flies.