Sunny Afternoon #1 for The Kinks in 1966, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Bob Geldof
If Ruby Trax had come out a few years later then I’m certain this would have been handed to anyone of a number of Britpop acts who would have been thrilled to have a go. Instead, it was the responsibility of the ex-Boomtown Rat and Live Aid founder which made a bit of sense as his vocal style isn’t too dissimilar from Ray Davies. It’s a song I love and having initially not been convinced of this cover I’m happy to admit I’ve slowly been won over.
Tainted Love #1 for Soft Cell in 1981, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Inspiral Carpets
A song originally written and released in 1965, the Inspiral Carpets do a cracking job in turning it into something they can rightly claim as their own as it owes nothing to either Gloria Jones or Marc Almond/David Ball.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly #1 for Hugo Montenegro in 1968, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Johnny Marr & Billy Duffy
Nope….it’s not a misprint on my part. The tune, famously composed by Ennio Morricone, was taken to #1 two years after the movie’s release with a cover version. It is a tune that it is instantly recognisable and has been used so often as the backdrop to scenes set in the American desert in popular culture this past near fifty years.
Johnny Marr teams up with his old gunslinger partner of days of old and between them they deliver something quite remarkable and astonishing. It sounds at times like a Smiths instrumental and at times like an Electronic outtake and at other times it is unmistakably Ennio Morricone. And it lasts twice as long as the original version. I love it…..
The Legend of Xanadu #1 for Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick and Titch in 1968, it was covered for Ruby Trax by The Fall
A strange song to begin and so it’s a bit disappointing that this was the one allocated to or chosen by Mark E Smith. A band that could be so inventive with their own material or indeed cover versions and this sounds as if they are just going through the motions. Disappointingly dull.
The Model #1 for Kraftwerk in 1982, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Ride
Yup. Ride. The kings of shoegazing do all electronic on us.
Remember back in part one of the series I mentioned how Tears for Fears did something akin to a 1970s Top of The Pops take on Ashes to Ashes? Well….the same thing could very much be levelled at Ride even down to what at times sounds as if they are trying to replicate the broken-English vocals from Kraftwerk.
The difference of course is that this is Ride as you’ve never heard them before and it is so unexpected that it borders on the brilliant. Go on, play it someone who doesn’t know they ever covered this song and I bet it will take them hours to come up with the right answer.
Vienna #2 for Ultravox in 1982, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Vic Reeves
The only non #1 on Ruby Trax. If you enjoy the surreal and occasionally childish humour of Vic Reeves then you’ll appreciate this comedic take on the po-faced hit single. It comes with totally different lyrics across the verses and it very much et the template for the impressionist round in the TV series Shooting Stars when it first aired in 1995
Voodoo Chile #1 for Jimi Hendrix in 1970, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Jesus Jones
Jesus Jones, even back in 1992, were not to everyone’s tastes and well also deemed guilty by many of having sold out to American audiences and so it was a brave move on their part to take such a well-known track by of the American guitar gods and put their own mark on proceedings. It is a radical re-working of the song and on an album where quite a few played it safe they must be applauded. But I’m not sure that it actually works….
When Will I See You Again? #1 for The Three Degrees in 1974, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Billy Bragg
There’s something very ironic that Billy covers a track from a group that was widely reported to be the favourite of the 20-something Prince Charles. I love Billy Bragg to bits….I’ll even find a way to defend his ‘weaker’ solo records but this is just awful.
Where Do You Go To My Lovely? #1 for Peter Sarstedt in 1969, it was covered for Ruby Trax by Welfare Heroine
I had to dig deep to get the info on this cover. The original I knew told the tale of Marie-Claire who, having grown up in poverty in Naples, has somehow become a member of the jet set and living in some style in Paris. It owed a lot of its success to the very French sounding accordion and that there was a lot of love in the air for the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and if it hadn’t been for the fact that a follow-up single went Top 10 a few months later then Peter Sarstedt would have been a very clear one-hit wonder.
But who were Welfare Heroine?
If you go into Discogs you’ll find music released under that name that can be attributed to an Oakland-based composer Joseph Hornoff. But the Ruby Trax lot have nothing to do with him.
Instead this was a band, fronted by NME writer Dele Fadele, accompanied on guitar by a photographer called Stefan de Batselier and backed by members of This Mortal Coil. It would seem this is all they ever got down for commercial release. And it’s not at all shabby.
World Without Love #1 for Peter & Gordon in 1964, it was covered for Ruby Trax by World Party
A Paul McCartney song, that he wrote at the age of 16, that was rejected a number of years later for The Beatles by John Lennon. But such was their pulling power that a sub-standard track hit #1 on 23 April 1964 bringing an end the three-week reign of Can’t Buy Me Love…….
World Party, who were riding high at the time in critical terms without ever really making a huge commercial breakthrough, do a very competent take on it making it sound very much like a song of their own.
mp3 : Bob Geldof – Sunny Afternoon
mp3 : Inspiral Carpets – Tainted Love
mp3 : Johnny Marr & Bily Duffy – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
mp3 : The Fall – The Legend Of Xanadu
mp3 : Ride – The Model
mp3 : Vic Reeves – Vienna
mp3 : Jesus Jones – Voodoo Chile
mp3 : Billy Bragg – When Will I See You Again?
mp3 : Welfare Herione – Where Do You Go To My Lovely?
mp3 : World Party – World Without Love
And that brings an end to this look back at Ruby Trax.
Normal service resumes next week.