Rhino’s Got You Covered: The Esso Trinidad Steel Band, Sly and the Family Stone, Josh Rouse, and Sonny & Cher
It’s Wednesday, so it must be time to take another dip into the Rhino catalog and trot out a new quartet of cover songs that you may or may not have heard before. Let’s get started, shall we? This week, we’re taking a look at – and a listen to – four songs originally recorded by The Kinks, and... Oh, wait, we misspoke: we’re actually spotlighting five songs, because we decided to include a Kinks kover by a group we’ve already included in an earlier installment of this series, mostly because we know they didn’t entirely love the Bee Gees cover of theirs that we offered up a few weeks back.
Got it? You really got it? Then let the monkey business begin!
1. The Esso Trinidad Steel Band, “Apeman” (1971): This was a real novelty when it hit stores in ’71, and we don’t mean that in any kind of insulting way. It truly was a unique LP, one which also included the band’s covers of songs like “Cecilia,” “I Want You Back,” “Sabre Dance,” and “Come to the Sunshine.” Once you’ve given this playlist a listen, you may want to check out this entire album, as it’s a lot of fun.
2. Sly and the Family Stone, “You Really Got Me” (1983): Taken from Sly’s final studio album with the Family Stone, AIN’T BUT THE ONE WAY, it’s an LP that was originally intended to be a collaboration between Sly and George Clinton. Instead, Clinton ended up in a battle with Warner Brothers and left the label, Sly went into seclusion, and producer Stewart Levine was left to put together the best album he could with the material at hand. If you want to investigate this material, we’d recommend you hunt up WHO IN THE FUNK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE: THE WARNER BROS. RECORDINGS, which includes this album, its predecessor, AIN’T BUT THE ONE WAY, and five additional – and previously-unreleased – tracks.
3. Josh Rouse, “A Well Respected Man” (2004): After releasing several albums, Rouse – and his label Rykodisc – released a CD/DVD compilation entitled THE SMOOTH SOUNDS OF JOSH ROUSE. This Kinks klassik appears on the CD version, and it’s an interesting arrangement of the song that serves to reinvent it while still maintaining the familiar aspects of the track.
4. Sonny & Cher, “Set Me Free” (1966): Taken from the duo’s second album, THE WONDROUS WORLD OF SONNY AND CHER, this is one of several cover songs on the LP, along with George & Ira Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me,” and Harry Belafonte’s “Turn Around.” In other words, it was in some pretty good company.
The Judybats, “Animal Farm” (1992): If you’re a Judybats fan, then you know we’ve already given a little love to their cover of the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin,’” which we’ve been led to understand is more love that they themselves ever gave the cover. As such, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to offer up a musical apology by throwing in their version of The Kinks’ “Animal Farm” as a bonus.