Rhino’s Got You Covered: Tiny Tim, Sisters of Mercy, Sturgill Simpson, and Jerry Lee Lewis
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?
• Tiny Tim, “People Are Strange” (2006): It’s doubtful that anyone from Tim on down would argue with the suggestion that he’d qualify for as one of the titular people, but like just about every song that Tim tackled in his lifetime, he made this one his own. Although you’ve by now noted that it was released in 2006, it was actually recorded during Tim’s stint with Reprise Records (it started in the late ‘60s and ended in the early ‘70s), but it didn’t see release until Rhino Handmade issued it as part of the 2006 compilation GOD BESS TINY TIM: THE COMPLETE REPRISE STUDIO MATERS... AND MORE.
• Sisters of Mercy, “Gimme Shelter” (1983): This Rolling Stones cover made its debut as a B-side of the Sisters’ 1983 single “Temple of Love,” but it ended up getting considerably more exposure when it popped up on the band’s 1992 early-singles compilation SOME GIRLS WANDER BY MISTAKE. Given that the Jagger/Richards composition has an immediate association with one of the darker periods in the Rolling Stones’ history (Altamont), hearing it delivered by Andrew Eldritch’s distinctively threatening vocals is damned near perfect.
• Sturgill Simpson, “In Bloom” (2016): Simpson started his career as an indie artist, but he began the process of breaking into the mainstream with his 2016 major-label debut, A SAILOR’S GUIDE TO EARTH, which went on to win Best Country Album at the 59th Grammy Awards. This song was released as the album’s second single, earning crossover success on both Billboard’s Country and Rock charts, where it hit #48 and #37, respectively.
• Jerry Lee Lewis, “Over the Rainbow” (1980): After helping to kickstart rock ‘n’ roll in the ‘50s, the man they call “Killer” successfully reinvented himself as a country artist. Jerry Lee might not be Judy Garland, but he delivers a likeably honky-tonk take on the iconic song from The Wizard of Oz.