Rhino’s Got You Covered: The Vogues, Danny Gatton, Fleetwood Mac, and Leo Sayer
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. Much as we utilized last week’s column to focus on covers of Paul McCartney songs because Macca had just celebrated a birthday, this week we’re taking advantage of the fact that Brian Wilson had a b-day just after we published our previous column. In other words, you’ve got four Beach Boys covers in your immediate future. Like, really, really immediate. As in, let’s get started right now, shall we?
- The Vogues, “God Only Knows” (1970): Speaking of Paul McCartney, he called this Beach Boys tune “the greatest song ever written,” and given that he’s in the running for having penned similarly-iconic songs, you should obviously take his opinion seriously. Granted, this version is a bit more easy-listening in tone than the original, but the lyrics remain just as beautiful no matter what their surroundings.
- Danny Gatton, “In My Room” (1991): The late great guitarist was all over the place when it came to selecting cover songs for his albums – this particular LP, 88 ELMIRA STREET, also features his version of the theme for The Simpsons – but when you can wring that much emotion out of a guitar, you can cover damned near anything and make it a track for the ages.
- Fleetwood Mac, “The Farmer’s Daughter” (1980): Although it was recorded by the band for their crew and some friends while they were at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, it’s clearer in retrospect that it was probably Lindsey Buckingham’s idea to cover the song. After all, he closed his solo album GO INSANE with a song that paid tribute to the late Dennis Wilson (“D.W. Suite”), and he would later end up actually a song for Brian Wilson’s self-titled solo album, even if the track in question – “He Couldn’t Get His Poor Old Body to Move” – ultimately failed to make the cut. (Don’t worry, it’s on the expanded edition of the album!)
- Leo Sayer, “Darlin’” (1983): Taken from Sayer’s 1983 album HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE, this is a slowed-down version of a song by the Beach Boys that’s damned near jet-propelled in its original incarnation. It’s not quite on the level of being a dirge, but when delivered at this speed, it’s definitely being sung to an ex-darlin’.