For some reason I’ve run across umpteen covers of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game in the last few weeks, some of which are pretty good. That got me thinking about Isaak’s cover of Solitary Man, and how that song is almost never covered, but when it is, the covers tend to be quite good.
In other news, my politics give-a-shitter is in the shop for repairs today.
Isn’t it “old world”?
Favorite Jackson 5 cover
gotta watch daily
The Sidewinders did a cover of Solitary Man in 1989.
the fugitive uterus
i love this song, and the original Neil Diamond version. not a fan of any of his other stuff, except You’ll Be a Woman Soon, which i love. i will have to check out the Johnny Cash version after i get home.
No shit, we decided to go to Maui for a niece’s wedding in July and I’m all about figuring out old man body surfin and fishin!
@so: Yeah, fixed, thanks.
@the fugitive uterus: I don’t care for him but Dry Your Eyes from the Last Waltz is good.
Chris Isaak puts on a great live show, but when I saw him the opening act was Natalie Merchant. When Chris Isaak came on half the audience left, because her audience was mostly gay men and the Chris Isaak audience was mostly straight women. The venue booker was as clueless about that as I was apparently.
Chris Isaac has the kind of voice I can listen to for hours. His style isn’t for everyone but he knows how to sell a song the old fashioned way. Baja Sessions is essential.
Great cover by Chris Isaak. Always thought that guy was pretty cool. What’s that suit he’s wearing though? Yikes
I had no idea Chris Isaac was 56 years old. Most musicians look 10+ years over their actual age. Maybe that accounts somewhat for his taste in clothes. BTW, he’s a really, really good live show.
In moderation for the word b*o*o*k*er. Really?
@RossInDetroit: His tv show was hilarious.
Forum Transmitted Disease
I have had the dubious pleasure of knowing Mr. Issak socially. A bigger asshole may not exist on the planet.
Puts on a hell of a concert, though.
@RossInDetroit: I looked up some recent pictures of Chris and while I think he does look as if he’s in his fifties, there’s nothing wrong with that. He has a combo of handsome and geeky features that works really well for me, too.
His tv show was charming and well worth checking out.
Holy crap, someone else remembers the Sidewinders (later Sand Rubies)?
Keeping with the theme of the title:
The Modern Lovers: Old World
The Modern Lovers: The Modern World
Just Some Fuckhead
Johnny Cash could cover anyone magnificently.
For the whole first season of True Blood I though they’d got Isaac to do the theme song. It’s not him! Dude sounds just like him, though.
Maybe the discussion shouldn’t be about whether the cover does justice to Johnny Cash (hard) but whether it does justice to Neil Diamond (not as hard).
Social Distortion’s “Ring of Fire” is another classic Johnny Cash cover. I still don’t know what to think of the treatment Adam Lambert gave to that song…
The Finnish band HIM actually does a neat little cover of Solitary Man.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Social D? Uh, yeah, not so much.
ETA reading comprehension not so good today, I thought you said anyone could cover Johnny Cash.
Seconded. Social D’s is really powerful version of the song. If anyone could sell that one it ought to be Mike Ness. Or my Skelly tattoo was for naught.
I thought the Chris Isaak cover was a lot more interesting. It’s fine for bar bands to shoot for being close to the original when they do covers, but I want established artists to do something DIFFERENT with a cover.
If they do little more than substitute their own vocals for those of the original artist, as Johnny Cash did here, then why bother, really?
Oh yeah: unashamed Neil Diamond fan here, at least for the stuff he did through about 1971. He did some truly awful dreck after that, but his early stuff is great.
ETA: That Sidewinders cover truly rocks. How come I never heard this band before? Wow.
That cover of Solitary Man was probably their most famous song. You can find vinyl versions of their records in the used bins pretty easily, but I hardly ever see them as used CDs.
A Cracked link appropriate to the thread:
5 Cover Songs That Stole the Show from the Originals
The NIN version of “Hurt” just sounds so … adolescent to me after the Johnny Cash cover.
Marcellus Shale, Public Dick
you got me thinking of this cover of a grass roots minor hit.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Mnemosyne: I’m pretty much a hardass as far as song lyrics go – I’ve written for a living and not much can get to me.
That song…Jesus. Can’t hardly get through it.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
Yeah, but performance matters, too. There’s a hell of a difference between a 65-year-old man and a 25-year-old man singing, “Everyone I know goes away in the end.”
Young junkies can be portrayed as cool and glamorous. Elderly ones are walking tragedies.
The late Arthur Alexander cut a demo of the song, just him and guitar, in a hotel in Cleveland in 1991. It was released as a bonus track on the re-release of his would-be comeback album Lonely Just Like Me, released in ’93. Unfortunately, though the album was well-received and Alexander’s first in 20 years, the soul survivor died not long after its release, putting a fittingly melancholy end to the man’s oeuvre. He began his career in the sixties cutting tunes like “Anna (Go To Him)” and “You Better Move”, songs about being left behind in love.
T. G. Sheppard had a Top Twenty country hit with the cover in 1976, something I did not know until five minutes ago. It’s not bad, given one’s tolerance for bombastic, heavily produced, soul-influenced late ’70s country music. Me, I was brought up on that stuff, so I’m sort of partial.
A former co-worker was a huge and hugely knowledgeable fan of Arthur Alexander. Really clued me in to the background of a sadly neglected artist.
Reminds me a bit of another neglected artist, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez.
This is kind of embarrassing. I have the Johnny Cash version of “Solitary Man” on my iPod because of the Stargate: Atlantis penultimate episode, “Vegas”. Hearing that as the camera pulled away from John Sheppard bleeding to death in the Nevada desert was possibly one of the best, most haunting images from the 5-year run of that show.
Also, mistermix, props for the title reference.
@TheYankeeApologist: While they’re at it, they also do a great cover of Wicked Game… or is that what you meant to say?
Friends of mine opened for Mr. Isaak in SF. They said he spent all his time alone in his dressing room with his young Asian girlfriend (apparently he has proclivities in that direction). Mature folks that they are, they changed the name on the blackboard on his dressing room door to Chris-In-The-Sack.
Having said that, I have generally enjoyed his shows and I agree that his cover of Solitary Man is really solid.