Record rip-offs Monday, 9 June 2014

In the 70's and 80's, budget compilations were aplenty. These were albums which did not feature the real artists, but gave us the songs that we knew for a reasonable price. In the UK, we had the Top of the Pops series of albums, which today tends to have cult status. At the time, we had no idea that these anonymous knock-off songs could sometimes feature now-familiar names like Tina Charles, Trevor Horn, and even Elton John. Ms. Charles would usually ape Diana Ross, while Elton had the task of emulating Cat Stevens and one half of Bob and Marcia.

Over in Aurora Colorado, there is a chap by the name of Ben Minnotte who puts together some seriously fantastic videos under the title Oddity Archive. These videos tend to address the geekier side of technology and media, and are all thoroughly entertaining. Two of these videos address the subject of knock-off albums, and how we often bought them without really thinking about what was on them. Bad instrumentation, wrong lyrics, poor vocals - the possibilities are endless!



Here is the original version of Ken Boothe's 1974 UK number 1 hit Everything I Own. Rich deep bass, cute little glockenspiel, snake-like cymbal, and a vocalist who sings it like he means it. This is musical chocolate.



Then listen to this half-arsed approximation sung by a white person who obviously couldn't give a fig what he is singing about. Reggae without bass is like eating cereal without milk. It is just unpleasant.



Listen here to the original version of Tumbling Dice by the Rolling Stones, and observe the following lyrics:

Women think I'm crazy, always trying to waste me
Make me burn the candle right down
Baby, baby, I don't need your jewels in my crown

Then listen here to an approximation, with lyrics that are so far removed from the original it is just legendary:

Leaving me a present, all my kinder words in
Make me fart a dollar on my own
Baby, baby, jump into the fever crowd

For further reading, see also my post of Friday 24 January 2014, entitled Broaden your minds.
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