Apr 012013

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

Have you heard of Ted Templeman?
Anyone who knows their ’70s record producers should recognize the name.
Perhaps you know the albums he produced: Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey, Little Feat’s Sailin’ Shoes, and all the ’70s records by the Doobie Brothers.
Probably his signature production work is on all the Roth-era Van Halen albums (he’s the guy who says “C’mon, Dave, gimme a break” in “Unchained”).
Yet Templeman has one highly unusual skeleton in his closet, and that’s what we’ll be looking at today.

The Templeton Twins: Light My Fire (The Doors cover)

A 1970 release, Trill It Like It Was was credited to the Templeton Twins (Tippy & Terry), backed by Teddy Turner’s Bunsen Burners.
Puttin’ on the Ritz, the dog, and their top hats, the twins played the songs of the day in old school fashion.
Really, really, really old school.
Imagine a band that sounds like the Beatles, if the Beatles had done nothing but “Honey Pie.”
Light My Fire” will show you exactly what a band like that sounds like.

The Templeton Twins: MacArthur Park (Richard Harris cover)

Flappers and philosophers alike could finally relate to their grandchildren’s music, thanks to these vaudeville popsters.
Only a few knew the secret – Tippy and Terry Templeton were really Ted Templeman, age twenty-six.
Over the course of eleven songs, Templeman and producer Stan Hoffman worked together to create what a reviewer in High Fidelity magazine called “one of the great moments in recorded madness.”
Listen to “MacArthur Park,” in a way that Richard Harris and Donna Summer combined could never fathom.
‘S wunnerful, wunnerful, as Lawrence Gershwelk used to say.

The Templeton Twins: Hey Jude (The Beatles cover)

Don’t be surprised if you come back to these ten beyond-retro covers (plus one original, “Ooh Ooh Guru”) more than once.
As a final treat, here’s one of the album’s three Beatles covers, “Hey Jude.”
You’ll think it’s the berries, the bee’s knees, and the cat’s pajamas.

Trill It Like It Was has been digitally remastered and is available on iTunes and Amazon. No, really.

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