Rhino’s Got You Covered: A Double-Plus-Sized Gift to Our Devoted Readership

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

It’s Wednesday, so it must be time to take another dip into the Rhino catalog and... Ah, but wait! This is no ordinary Wednesday! This is – wait for it – the last Wednesday before Christmas!


As such, we decided to give you, our faithful readers, a gift: instead of trotting out a new quartet of cover songs that you may or may not have heard before, we’re trotting out two quartets of cover songs that you may or may not have heard before...but that’s not all!


Because it’s Christmas-Eve Eve, we’re also turning that second quartet into a...baker’s quartet? Is that a thing? Maybe not. Anyway, long story short, we’re also throwing in a ninth cover song that you may or may not have heard before, and at no extra charge! Granted, the reason there’s no extra charge is because we never charge for this feature, but that’s hardly the point.


Boy, we got kinda long-winded there, didn’t we? Sorry about that. Let’s get started, shall we?


  • Ananda Shankar, “Light My Fire” (1970): We’re not saying that this cover is in any way better than the Doors version, because that would be blasphemy, but hearing it performed on sitar is pretty awesome.


  • Shirley Scott, “I Want You Back” (1970): One of the most acclaimed organists of her day, Scott also covered two Beatles songs on her SOMETHING album – you can probably guess one of them, but the other one is “Because” – but she really gets her groove going on this Jackson 5 track.


  • J Mascis, “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” (1996): This acoustic version of one of the singles from The Smiths’ THE QUEEN IS DEAD was performed by the Dinosaur Jr. frontman on his debut album – a live performance, yes, but still his first-ever solo LP – and it’s liable to make some Morrissey fans moan. Fortunately, they’re already used to that.


  • Paul Petersen, “Makin’ Whoopee” (1963): When he was co-starring on The Donna Reed Show, Petersen became enough of a teen idol to secure a recording contract with Colpix Records, which – surprise! – is now part of the Rhino catalog. This Donaldson / Kahn tune first became a hit in 1928 thanks to Eddie Cantor, and while Petersen’s version wasn’t a hit, we’re just amused at the thought of him getting a talking to by his TV mom. (“’Makin’ Whoopee’? Why, Paul Petersen, I have never been so embarrassed...”)


  • The Adventures, “Life During Wartime” (LIVE) (1984): We’re not 100% sure if it’s lead singer Terry Sharpe who says in the introduction of this track, “This used to be a Talking Heads song,” but whichever member of this Belfast-formed band says it, he’s right. Formerly a B-side, you can now find it on the expanded version of The Adventures’ THEODORE AND FRIENDS album.


  • Utopia, “Do Ya” (LIVE) (1975): In 1969, The Move famously covered The Nazz’s “Open My Eyes” at the Fillmore West, so it was only fair that former Nazz frontman return the favor by covering The Move’s “Do Ya” with his band Utopia. You can find it on the band’s ANOTHER LIVE album.


  • The Flaming Lips featuring Miley Cyrus and Moby, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (2014): Wayne Coyne and company have covered so many songs over the course of their career that we feel as though we should use material from their discography sparingly, but this collaboration with Ms. Cyrus and Mr. Moby is one worth throwing into the mix for a change. In fact, the Lips actually covered the entirety of the Beatles’ SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, so if you like this, you’ll like all of their version, which – because of all the guest performers – is entitled WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS.


  • Etta James, “Take It to the Limit” (1978): This Eagles cover comes courtesy of Ms. James’ DEEP IN THE NIGHT album, which also includes a past playlist inclusion, namely her version of Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed.”


Super Special Holiday Bonus Track:


  • The Monkees, “Wonderful Christmastime” (2018): Oh, that’s right, we knew there was another reason we decided that this one was going to be included at no extra charge, and that’s because we realized that you’d probably already heard it, what with it not only being on our TikTok Playlist that we played up yesterday but also because it’s the freaking Monkees. Still, just the idea of the Monkees playing a solo tune by one of the Beatles makes this a must-hear, so go forth and hear it...and come Friday, you have yourself a merry little Christmas, you hear?