Monday, April 28, 2008

Classic Albums ? Three 1950's Rock and Roll Cover Albums by John Lennon, The Everly Brothers and Sid Vicious (well kind of)

By coincidence I heard about three albums for the first time this week, all rock and roll cover albums, by John Lennon, the Everly Brothers and Sid Vicious (Kind of)

John Lennon's album, Rock 'n' Roll is (1975) has a pretty interesting history. Lennon was threateed with a lawsuit by Roulette Records for borrowing from Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me" on his song Come Together and copying the line "Here come old flat-top" from the song. The company agreed to drop the suit if Lennon recorded at least three songs from their catalogue. When Lennon found out they were all 50's rock and roll numbers he decided to do a whle album. The album includes, "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (Gene Vincent), Rip It Up (Little Richard), "You Can't Catch Me" (Chuck Berry) and "Ain't That a Shame" (Fats Domino)
The Everly Brothers also released a classic rock and roll cover album in 1964 called Rock N Soul. The country tinged harmonies of the Everly Brothers were enourmously significant in the history of rock, influencing both the Beatles and the Beach Boys, but for this album they relied on classic rockabilly and Rhythmn and Blues numbers like"That'll Be the Day", "I Got a Woman", "Hound Dog" and "Susie Q"

Last but not least (well maybe least) is Sid Vicious's contribution, Sid Sings, released in 1979. It features lo-fi punk versions of "Something Else" , "C'mon Everybody" and 'My Way" of course and stuff by the Stooges and the Ramones. It also has the very poor taste Pistols track Belsen Was a Gas. If you listen carefully you can also hear the sound of a fan who happened to be present for the recording shouting "yeah, yeah, yeah" much too often. Mick Jones from The Clash is also rumoured to be on it but their are no liner notes to speak of.

Image: Courtesy Apple/EMI

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