DEEP COVERS 2: MAS PROFUNDO!
posted by O.W.
Deep Covers 2: Mas Profundo follows up on two previous covers-related projects: Deep Covers and Soul Sides Vol. 2: The Covers. This time though, I take it international, with 20 songs, all recorded overseas. I tried to balance things by region (otherwise, hell, I could have done an entire CD of reggae covers) but still kept the vibe oriented around soul and funk covers. It's really astounding what one can find out there - this merely scratches the surface! Overall, I was pleased with how this mix turned out, both in terms of song selection as well as sequencing. There will definitely be a DC3 somewhere down the road but for now, enjoy this...
You can also download full-res, front and back artwork.
1. How Deep? Intro/The Message: A short little scratch intro gives way to an El Salvadorean/Spanish version of Cymande's great classic, "The Message." All we need now is a Spanish-language rapper to flip "Me and the Biz" over a loop from this.
2. Rainmaker: Harry Nilsson gets a Swedish make-over. Kind of quirky but it works, especially with that sweet opening drum break.
3. Use Me: Definitely one of the stranger songs I came across for the mix, I'm not even 100% sure the lyrics for this coincide with Bill Withers' original or maybe the song just jacks the instrumental. Either way, hearing a Polish cover of any Bill Withers song is something marvelous.
4. Breakthrough: I found this Nigerian 7" because of the A-side - a cover of "Slipping Into Darkness" which I figured was a safe bet but when I got it, the flipside, a cover of the rock song "Breakthrough" by Atomic Rooster, was the real find - hard, Afro-funk with some great guitar work. As far as I know, this is a 7"-only cut (I've never seen either song turn up on an LP by the group).
5. Slipping Into Darkness: This is not the flipside of the previous song but a Swedish band's cover of this classic by War. Hint: this same group did that great version of "California Soul" on DC1.
6. Tanga Goo Bonk: Ah, one of my favorite records, bought directly from Cool Chris' collection. It's a cover of the Nite-Liters done by this impressive band out of Manila (they do a killer version of "Sparkling in the Sand" by Tower of Power too). I'm awed that a Nite-Liters song would end up covered in the Philippines but hell, if they can get covered in Argentina (or was it Peru?), I guess I should be open for anything.
7. I?m Gonna Love You Just a Little More: Barry White goes Jamaican, mon. Shout out to DJ Sureshot aka the man with the million dollar crates; he was probably one of the first to shine a light on this great cover.
8. Be My Baby: Like "Breakthrough," I originally copped this because I wanted the A-side - a slick cover of Aretha Franklin's "Rocksteady" - but it was the flip, a cover of the Ronettes 1960s classic, that's been more appealing to me over time.
9. Pick Up The Pieces: A samba-flavored cover of the Average White Band's "PIck Up the Pieces." Pity there's no "Schoolboy Crush" to pair it with.
10. Wicky Wacky: Like "Tanga Goo Bonk," I'm really amazed that a Colombian group would end up covering this Fatback Band disco-era classic. For all the party people.
11. Different Strokes: This goes up there with "Use Me": a really strange and unexpected cover out of Argentina of Syl Johnson's classic dance smash. Doesn't quite do justice to the OG but I couldn't pass it up for this mix.
12. Buzzsaw/In Gadda Da Vida: Straight out of Malaysia, a killer medley pairing of the Turtles and Iron Butterfly. Rock on!
13. Found a Child: This comes courteous one of my favorite Peruvian artists (not to mention one of the most prolific). Every time I think I have my collection complete, I discover another album by him. This one containing a truly unexpected cover of Ballinjack's "Found a Child" (better known to younger folk as the loop behind Young MC's "Bust a Move").
14. Cardova: The Meters + Trinidadian steel band = unfadeable.
15. Never Can Say Goodbye: This French-language version of the Jackson 5's hit ballad comes from the same artist who's recorded probably the best damn cover of "Hurts So Bad" I've ever heard. Most singers can't even hang in one language, she's nice in deux.
16. Groovy Situation: Jamaica's self-proclaimed "#1 Band" drops this, um, groovy cover of Gene Chandler's single. They also provided the inspiration for DC2's cover art. (And they did that great cover of "Express Yourself" from DC1.
17. Cold Sweat: Big shout out to Young Einstein who put me up on this Brazilian artist who drops a slew of covers on his album, including a remake of James Brown's inaugural funk hit. The vibes kill it here.
18. Angel of the Morning: A Mexican pop/rock duo supplies this cover of Evie Sands well-loved '60s hit (nod to Juice Newton!). Love those spooky guitars.
19. I Who Have Nothing: Props to my man Beto in S.F. who sold me the Panamanian soul album this Ben E. King cover comes off of. So heavy, so deep.
20. Sweet Caroline: A Guyanese flip on this undeniably catchy Neil Diamond (and the Red Sox!) anthem. Yeah, Guyanese! I love that. Same artist does a killer version of Clyde McPhatter's "Mixed Up Cup."
Bonus: These three are dedications to some fallen giants.
21. Jimmy McGriff: Signed, Sealed, Delivered. The great organist opens before this with a little advice on how to rock the club (cribbed from Youtube) and then slides into a sweet cover of Stevie Wonder's song.
22. Bo Diddley: Hit Or Miss. American music truly wouldn't be the same without the Bo Diddley beat (thanks NPR!). I threw on Bo's spanking cover of Odetta's "Hit Or MIss" but truly, his catalog is so deep, this is a mere sliver of a nod to it.
23. James Brown: September Song. I had the fortune to interview Brown the fall before he passed, talking about the Soul on Top LP his cover of "September Song" (a classic songbook track) came off of. He was nice enough to demo for me, over the phone, the jazz influence on his funk feel. POW!