Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist produces a special cover for this blog. The song to be covered is usually chosen by blog readers via a poll or suggestions form. Any artists interested in participating in a future installment, please email me at the address on the right.
Just last week we held a last-minute run-off to pick the winner of October’s Cover Commissions ( it came down to Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” vs. T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”). Well T. Rex took the prize and, in record Cover Me turn-around, we’ve already got the tune!
It shouldn’t be a surprise that John Dissed turned this around so fast though. After all, this guy’s a cover expert. The price of an email address at his site gets you access to the dozens of free covers he’s recorded. His cover of “Bang a Gong,” though, you can only get here. But first let’s hear a bit about it.
I have never been a fan of this song, but listening to it after realizing that it had a good chance of winning the most votes, I began to recognize its brilliance. I always knew it was a catchy song, but it has a classic Stonesy type of feel that could have only happened in the early ‘70s. I consider ‘70s rock n’ roll to be the height of recorded music and this song is up there with the best of that era.
I also listened to Ministry’s cover of the song which contributed a bit to the way I muted the guitars. Aside from that, I tried to keep the vibe of the original, but with acoustic guitars. I played the acoustic parts to the track, then overdubbed the vocals, bass and electric guitar. I noticed after I recorded the vocals that I had changed the melody slightly, but kept it that way since it was my natural memory of the part. The bass and lead parts are similar to the original as well, except for the horn melody before the final chorus, which I played on electric.
I like to use a single voice for lead vocals, but this time I went for a doubling effect that seemed appropriate. This effect is the biggest departure in sound from my other acoustic music.
That tells you all you might want to know about recording this cover, but it doesn’t hint at this bad-ass performance. Words wouldn’t do it justice anyway. This will:
This mp3 may be freely shared with the artist’s blessing. Post it on your blog, send it to your friends, tweet it for the world. When you do share this however, please include a link to this site. Cover Commissions is a monthly occurrence here, and the more attention this project draws the more exciting we can make future installments.