"Kool kovers" - 16 surprising cover versions from the 60s



In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE95
"Elvis, Who or John Lee Hooker, they all would die if they'd heard these demented versions (oh, they're dead already?). Some covers are too good to be true, others too bad to be believed, but all too kool to be just ignored..."

Polydor International 421035 1. the zoo – sir henry & his butlers
On the previous volume there was the flipside “Money, honey” and now they’re going to the zoo, say, Mickey Lee Lane’s version of “The zoo”. He wrote and recorded the original indeed…
9. hound dog – vigon

Vigon was a French singer (also the man behind the enigmatic band Original Popcorn) who mostly sang in English. Fantastic screamin’ funky soul beat version. Big Mama Thornton should be proud. Other songs you can find on vols
62 and 80. And as b-side there’s a ditty called “I’ll wake up crying”.
Les Rockers 600.001
Fontana TF262020 2. shaggy dog – adam & eve

…as he did here: “Shaggy dog” is also a Mickey Lee Lane original. So, imagine my surprise when I found out this crazy song was covered in the 60s already. A very weird version by this strange couple. This release was coupled with “Sweet candy dream love”.
10. my generation – the road hogs

No version will ever be considered to try to compete the original Who song, but still I like this version a lot! I’d never play the Who’s version at parties and I sure play this a lot and everybody’s dancing. And watch out fo the b-side “The very last day” on vol 98.
Polydor International 52945
Cameo Parkway C-319 from 1963 3. heartbreak hotel – the orlons

A cross between rock 'n' roll and soul this Orlons version rocks like hell despite its slow pace. 1963 was a good year for this Philly based quartet whose second album "South street" was a bestseller. This Elvis classic however wasn't featured on that album. From 1962 to 1968 they had several minor hit singles. It’s the b-side of “Rules of love”.
11. comin’ home baby pt1 – the dave bailey quintet

Mel Torme’s original is the best; period. The Ventures made a splendid instrumental version; on vol 108 there’s another superb rendition, but this one is cool as well; a fast jazzy lounge version of only 105 seconds.
Stereorama SE-4
Mercury 152025MCE 4. le vrai google eye – les lionceaux

The original is of course “Google eye” itself, the 1960 John D. Loudermilk RCA recording, also known for “Tobacco Road”. In 1964 it was also covered by The Nashville Teens. This French version however adds a little bit of oddity.
12. blue beat – anneke soetaert

Aha, a Belgian entry here: Anneke Soetaert, Belgium’s early 60s sweetheart, recorded this as b-side for “Johnny boy”. The pre-ska, blue beat style and a European version of Millie’s “My boy Lollipop” kinda music. I don’t know where the sleeve is, but when I find it, I’ll update the info of this volume.
Cardinal C3003 from 1964
Mercury 152025MCE 5. mourir un peu – les lionceaux

Or “Gone, gone, gone”. I particularly like this version because of the great Diddley guitar sound. The song title means “To die a little bit”. Les Lionceaux recorded many translations of famous r&b and beat songs like The Kinks “All day and all of the night”.
13. taboe – jeffy & de trillers

One of the songs I collect is “Taboo” or “Tabu” or “Tabou” or here “Taboe”. This b-side of “Pardonnez-moi, mon amour” is a fantastic dreamy 70s version of that exotica classic, made famous in Belgium by The Jokers (see there version on vol 65). On one of my album tracks compilations you’ll find a lot of other Taboo versions, including the 1935 original!!!
Monopole S-499
Mercury 154617MCF 6. quelque chose tient mon cœur – herbert leonard

Gene Pitney’s “Something’s gotten hold of my heart” in a way you probably never heard before. Herbert Leonard was in the 70s a well known French artist, but in the 60s he recorded some great pieces (my fave is his “Cher monsieur fantaisie” on vol 41 which in the meantime already reappeared on a French compilation; yes, I give compilers some good ideas haha).
14. meritavi molto di piu – les surfs
And now an Italian translation of another hit single: This is “Hang on Sloopy”. On the b-side you’ll find “Va dove vuoi”, a translation of “Run, baby run”
Festival JBFX135 from 1966
Mercury 154617MCF 7. j’ai l’amour dans les mains – herbert leonard

”I’ve got love in my hands” is the translation of this French cover version of “I feel love coming on”. So, mister French compiler, don’t forget to put this on your next volume.

15. boom boom – the lords

John Lee Hooker first recorded this classic in 1960 for Riverside. Result: in the period 1963-1966 EVERY beat band covered this and some even recorded it on a 45, like these guys, as a b-side for their own crazy version of “Que sera”.
Columbia C23080
Barclay 60507 8. toujours un coin qui me rappelle – eddy mitchell

This 45 features two French translations; here you get There’s always something there to remind me” while the flip is Bobby Darin’s “Not for me” translated as “J’ai tout perdu” (or “I’ve lost everything”). On vols 88 and 99 there’s more Eddy Mitchell stuff to be found
16. kung fu fighting – the maroons

Carl Douglas was a true one-hit wonder with his “Kung Fu Fighting” and became well known all over this planet. So no surprise to see that there were lots of cover versions, but few as demented as this one: a super bad reggae version!!! The most demented was, undoubtedly, the Belgian one by De Strangers as “Chop choy fighting”.
Harry HJ-6694 from 1974