top 10 punk covers that were better than the originals – part 2
6. Baby I Love You – The Ramones
When The Ramones could go no further with the 1-2-3-4 thing Joey phoned Phil Spector and made the End Of The Century album. Wrongly maligned by the purists, it was a rare second coming of a band who were paying homage to the fifties classic sound that was part of their schtick. Hated at the time, especially by Johnny and Dee Dee according to this youtube clip, Baby I Love You sounds fantastic now and memories of confused couples at Ramones gigs at the time who came to hear this hit before being barraged by the pure enrgy of the unit will last forever.
7. The Clash – Police And Thieves
In one fell swoop the Clash united punk and reggae and started the punky reggae party. Superbly rudimentary the song’s stripped reggae down to its bare bones and never lost site of the punkiness of the 1977 backdrop and taught a generation of spotty oiks the possibilities of punk.
8. Viva Las Vegas – The Dead Kennedys
With his helium voice cranked to the max, Jello Biafra took the Doc Pomus classic- best know for mid period Elvis’s sweltering version and ramped it up with a speedball guitar assault. the DK’s version sounded like the fastest thing in the world at the time and still sounds like a razor-blade decades later.
9. Paranoid – The Dickies
Losing the dark menace of the Black Sabbath original, the Dickies added a ridiculous amount of goofy speed to the song and out Ramoned the Ramones.
10. Satisfaction (I Can’t Get Me No) – Devo
Dressed in boiler suits and talking about potatoes, Devo were playing the wackoid card whilst slyly slipping in a hippie revenge counter culture politic. This is how to do a cover- virtually gut the song and then rewrite it. Devo pateented the word quirk and took it to it’s logical extreme on this migging of the Rolling Stones classic.
11 Dear Prudence – Souxsie and the Banshees
As ever we go past ten in the list but we cannot ignore the iconic Siouxsie’s dark and spectral take on John Lennon’s paean to MiaFarrow’s earnest sister meditating for hours in Rishikesh in India in 1968 when the Fabs flew out to meet the Maharishi and learn some TM. The Banshees made the song sound like something else entirely and cloaked it with a swirling gothic mysticism
12. You’re Ready Now – Slaughter & The Dogs
Slaughter And The Dogs are the Manchester punk mob who get written out the history of things far too much depsite being a key influence on the Smiths, Stone Roses and the Cult acknowledge the key northern Soul roots to the city’s music and crank Frankie Valli’s 1966 hit througha fnatatsic yob rock riot.