I don’t know if the ongoing slump in record/CD sales is being mirrored similarly in the circulation figures of music papers and magazines.

Nowadays I’ll only buy something if there’s the promise of a decent-length article on someone I particularly admire. Failing that, I’ll grab a hold of a magazine or two to take away on holiday just in case there turns out to be a hellishly long flight delay and the battery on the i-pod decides to give up the good fight.

Every now and again I will hand over a few pounds if the CD that’s attached to the cover is of any interest. I rarely give a second glance to a CD that is a round-up of tracks from recent LP releases, but I’ll admit to being a sucker when a special effort is made to produce a tribute CD. I did the other month with an edition of Uncut which comes with Like A Hurricane – A Tribute to Neil Young.

I mention this as a rather rambling intro to what today’s songs are all about.

A few years ago, mid- 2003 to be precise, I actually bought two copies of a particular edition of Uncut, simply because they had two separate CDs entitled White Riot – A Tribute to The Clash, featuring a total of 32 singers and bands doing cover versions of the songs of Strummer/Jones (and Simonen and Headon).

Like most tribute albums, some of the offerings turned out to be half-decent, and one or two I would even go as far as to say are truly inspired. Others are just insipid, while others are plain weird.

Most annoying of all however, is the fact that a couple of them are what I would class as lazy – covers which note for note and beat for beat are far too similar to the original.

Some of the songs were taken from other tribute LPs or were a gathering together of b-sides or album tracks, while some turned out to be exclusive recordings previously unavailable before (or indeed since). And while I would never dream of claiming that any of them were superior to the original recordings, there’s some of them been given space on the above mentioned i-pod.

Things like these:-

mp3 : Edwyn Collins – 1977
mp3 : The National – Clampdown
mp3 : Josh Rouse – Straight To Hell
mp3 : Pete Wylie – Stay Free

Incidentally, the last of the above was recorded live at a tiny pub in Haddington, East Lothian at a gig that I’m sure a mate of mine was at. If you’re reading this Mr Greer, be sure to tell us all if that was indeed the case.




Is it really any wonder that all us adolescents fell for Siouxsie Sioux when she had been photographed ‘dressed’ like she is above

The finest moment in any of her records comes, and I use the word advisedly, at the 4:55 mark on the 12″ version of this marvellous single from 1982:-

mp3 : Siouxsie & The Banshees – Slowdive (12″ version)

A mate of mine once took that one second gasp and recorded it back to back something like 30 times in a row just so that he could imagine the punk/goth goddess was having an orgasm.

Twenty three years later, a very intriguing version of it, originally recorded for a radio session, was snuck out on a b-side:-

mp3 : LCD Soundsystem – Slowdive

As far as I know, the band Slowdive never made a cover of the song albeit they did record a song by that name as their first ever single back in 1990:-

mp3 : Slowdive – Slowdive




All the greats eventually get the full-blooded cover version treatment with singers and bands queing up to pay tribute to those who greatly influenced them. The late Leonard Cohen has had his songs covered more than most, including various compilation LPs over the years which have been commercially released or given away free with music magazines. There’s even been specially curated gigs at which some of the great and good have appeared on stage to pay tribute.

So many tracks to choose from, but I’ve gone for one which, in its original recording, is not much more than a gravelled voice and some backing oohs and aahs over a toy synthesiser with its cheap drum pattern:-

mp3 : Leonard Cohen – Tower of Song

The opposite tack was taken by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds who, in a drink and drug fuelled frenzy one day in a studio, eventually cut what became an infamous 33 minute version of the track in which all sorts of musical genres are eventually thrown in. It’s not for the faint hearted:-

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Tower of Song (full length)

An edited version was made available for inclusion of the tribute/compilation album I’m Your Fan, released in 1991:-

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Tower of Song (album version)

Here’s two more versions worth giving a listen:-

mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Tower of Song
mp3 : Martha Wainwright – Tower of Song

And finally, the daddy of them all in which Lenny C is given the shoegaze treatment:-

mp3 : The Jesus & Mary Chain – Tower of Song




This is the actual beach and resort from which we will be kicked off later today and forcibly put on a plane back to the UK. I can see my holiday home from here.

Farewell Barbados….until next year.

mp3 : Various – Beach Bumming (volume ten)

Track Listing

He’s Making A Tape – Wild Billy Childish & The MBEs
St. Anthony (Andrew Weatherall Mix) – Mike Garry & Joe Duddell
Still DRE – Dr. Dre feat Snoop Dogg
Ich Bin Ein Auslander (fun-da-mental 12″ mix) – Pop Will Eat Itself
Setting Sun – The Chemical Brothers
Moaner – Underworld
Suicide Girl – Baby’s Got A Gun
You Say You Don’t Love Me – Buzzcocks
Crazy To Exist – Josef K
Spellbound – Siouxsie & The Banshees
Isolation – Joy Division
U-Mass – Pixies
Get Up – Sleater Kinney
Freakscene – Dinosaur Jr.
Holiday Hymn – The Secret Goldfish



Final night of the holiday. Fuck off with your happiness (copyright, Mr Malcolm Middleton)

mp3 : Various – Beach Bumming (Volume 9)

Track Listing

Avalanche – Leonard Cohen
Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins
Black Hole – James
Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire
Hermit – Randolph’s Leap
Subculture – The Auteurs
Born To A Family – The Go-Betweens
Make Time For Love – The Goon Sax
The Smell of an Artist – Cats on Fire
Only You – Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbard
Whatever Helps – Siobhan Wilson
Love Is A Momentary Lapse In Self-Loathing – Malcolm Middleton
Alive – Steve Mason
Free Range – The Fall
Skyscrapers – Close Lobsters
Eating Noddemix – Young Marble Giants



This time, it’s long songs for those long days in the sun.. it’s hard to leave the beach when it’s getting close to the time to go home.

mp3 : Various – Beach Bumming (Volume 8)

Track Listing

Tupelo – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Tokyo Storm Warning – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Wrote For Luck – Happy Mondays
Loaded – Primal Scream
Rock Lobster – The B52s
Butterfly (Planet Ann Charlotte Mix) – Lloyd Cole
Stupid Thing – Paul Quinn & The Independent Group
Open Up (original 12″ mix) – Leftfield/Lydon
A Certain Romance – Arctic Monkeys



Holiday cocktails are THE dog’s bollocks…..

mp3 : Various – Beach Bumming (Volume 7)

Track Listing

Man In The Corner Shop – The Jam
Victoria – The Kinks
Becoming More Like Alfie – The Divine Comedy
T-Shirt Weather – The Lucksmiths
Southern Mark Smith – The Jazz Butcher
Another Fit of Laughter – The Honeymooners
Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays
Typical Girls – The Slits
Something That I Said – The Ruts
15 Ways – The Fall
What a Waster – The Libertines
22 Grand Job – The Rakes
I Love a Boy in Uniform (School Uniform) – The Pipettes
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt.1 – The Flaming Lips
Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) – The The
Oh Yeah – The Subways
I’m Stranded – The Saints
Apologies – The Orchids
Getting Nowhere Fast – The Wedding Present