Daily Record 11/12/11: We Do ’em Our Way-various artists (1980)

In 1970s, 1974, 1978, 1979, British bands, compilations, cover songs, new wave, Rich's House of Vinyl on November 12, 2011 at 5:58 am

Recording a cover song can be a dicey proposition for any band, particularly a new one. A cover song will probably get the band some attention, which is probably always a good thing, but the band could easily get typecast, with audiences subsequently paying little or no attention to the band’s original music.

We Do ’em Our Way, a 1980 British compilation (I got it as a cheap import somewhere a long time ago), highlights bands that came out of the punk explosion, disassembling a variety of beloved rock classics with varying degrees of reverence. You’ve got Devo covering the Stones; Sex Pistols exploring both Bill Haley and Monkees’ tunes; the Slits taking on the iconic “I Heard It Through the Grapevine;” and the Dickies spending some “Nights in White Satin.”

To me, one sign of a great cover is when the covering artist takes the song to a place you never would’ve imagined and that’s what happens in nearly every case here.

I would imagine that most of these bands recorded these songs at least in part in the hope that listeners would be intrigued enough to dig into the band’s original tunes. It’s hard to tell to what extent that happened, but the fact remains that, three decades later, We Do ’em Our Way, is still a cool, fun record to spin late on a Friday night/early on a Saturday morning.


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