THE ORIGINAL: Radiohead (1997)
This song is hard driving, loud, noisy, guitar and drum heavy, angry, stomping song that makes you wanna jump around. And on this day, Tuesday November 6, I listened to this song as I walked to the polls to cast my vote in the midterm election. It was also a perfect song to listen to while I stood in a long line, killing time.
“I will stop. I will stop at nothing. Say the right things when electioneering. Trust I can rely on your vote.”
THE COVER: Easy Star All-Stars (2006)
If you’re not familiar with the Easy Star All-Stars, you should change that situation right away! They’re an amazing collective of studio musicians and special guest singers who have put out original music, but are well known for covering entire albums in a dub and reggae style, their first being Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon (which they turned into Dub Side Of The Moon), and they did a great job with OK Computer.
There are several standouts on their album, and this is one of them. Another fave rave is “Let Down” by Toots & The Maytals.
They slow down the song to a reggae pace, along with a dub-style bass with a bouncing, driving beat that makes you move along with Morgan Heritage’s lead vocal. There’s a Hammond B3 swinging, lots of echoes, great background vocals and a ghostly horn section that completes the arrangement.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
I’ve always loved the original, I think it’s an epic masterpiece that never gets old. But Easy Star did a cover that does exactly what I’ve always said makes a cover version great –- it remains true to the arrangement, but it’s changed so much and so well that it’s not easily recognized at first. That makes me love it more than the original, so Easy Star All-Stars win this battle.
Now, go get the album and dig it! You’ll thank me later.
NOW YOU DECIDE!