Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Fastbacks: Tributes (1991-1998)


(A re-up for Eastvan)

One consequence of the CD glut of the nineties was the dawn of the so-called 'tribute album', in which a a range of modern exponents of a genre (especially underground ones) would record a cover from a formative artist like The Ramones or Nick Lowe or The Shaggs or what have you. Typically, the results of all this tributing varied all the way from mediocre to middling. No matter how good the original band and no matter how many good newer bands they'd cobbled together, most of these collections just came off as throwaways. (It's indicative that that the only CD I ever kept from this sub-heading was one called Tulare Dust which featured alt.country acts covering Merle Haggard).





One band who could always guarantee to liven up these dull albums was Seattle's The Fastbacks (more HERE). Partly it was that the band was just on a roll around the time these tributes began mushrooming up but mostly it was because, as a band who'd put out their first single in 1981, Kurt Bloch & co were a rocking link between the first wave of punk and the nineties underground explosion. Hence this MRML-compiled collection of Fastbacks covers, MOST of which are from some long out-of-print, fly-by-night label's half-baked tribute CD.




So, MRML readers, what's your favourite Fastbacks cover song? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!
           
                                                     
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34 comments:

  1. Hey, sure do need feedback (i.e. COMMENTS!) to keep offering things like this.
    http://www47.zippyshare.com/v/51490801/file.html

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  2. By and large, I have to agree with you regarding the vast majority of these tributes. I, too, think the Tulare Dust comp is a keeper. But I would another noteworthy one as well: Beat the Retreat (R. Thompson). Still looking for one I remember in tribute to Graham Parker (Piss and Vinegar or something like that, I think).

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  3. REM's version of Wall of Death may beat the original (and I don't say that lightly!)
    I'll have to check for Support for Piss and Vinegar...

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  4. You got a contender for "Most half-baked tribute CD"?

    I only recall having the Elvis, Iggy, and Roky Erickson ones; which were all about 50/50 good/bad, but I know I'm blocking out a couple others...

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    Replies
    1. Y'know 'half-baked' was really the norm for those things; even some of the most ill-conceived ones had moments. But that new wave covers one with Sonic Youth doing "Ca Plane Pour Moi' was a particularly maddening example.

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    2. That Troggs tribute where half the people turned in versions of "Louie, Louie" was pretty crap. (The multiple versions was the result of a label guy failing to clarify his needs)

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  5. And Bob Mould's version of "Turning of the Tide" is pretty damn great (and I'm not a huge fan of Mould).

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  6. Yeah that was another highlight; Mould really loved Thompson.
    http://somethingelsereviews.com/2012/09/09/it-was-sort-of-embarrassing-bob-mould-discusses-his-musical-debt-to-richard-thompson/

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  7. So glad to see this re-upped. Great bunch of tunes in one handy grab. Many thanks!

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  8. The only tribute disc I still own is The Nil's one. It's a pretty good 'un that I'm glad I've hung on to over the years.

    CallPastorJerkface

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    Replies
    1. Hmm perhaps that shall go up one day...

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  9. i always thought the roky erickson tribute was great, as well as the hollies tribute. Looking forward to this, thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah the Roky one seemed to have its own take on the "Tribute CD" idea.

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  10. I like the concept of tribute albums more than the reality, but there are a few I've really enjoyed:

    What a Concept (Teenage Fanclub)
    Sweet Relief 1 (Victoria Williams)
    Are You Ready Steve? (The Sweet)
    Jet Boys of Babylon (NY Dolls)
    Super Bad (James Brown)
    I'm In Love With That Song (Replacements)
    Brace Yourself (Otis Blackwell)
    Avalon Blues (Mississippi John Hurt)
    Por Vida (Alejandro Escovedo)
    Sandanista Project (The Clash)

    But the poor ones outnumber the bad by a wide margin.

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    Replies
    1. Love Sweet Releif and Brace Yourself, maybe I'll have to check out some of the other ones on the list that I've missed.

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  11. Leaving Here, with Eddie "Who-fanboy" Vedder on guest lead vocals.

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  12. Powerpopearls!!
    altough it´s a bit late, could you please re-up vols 2& 3?
    Vol.1 is excellent
    thanks a lot from Spain

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  13. I've avoided most of the tribute CDs, but Tulare Dust was outstanding. The Johnny Cash tribute "Dressed In Black" is excellent with Dwight Yoakum, Dylan, Bruce, and Steve Earle. Amnesty International released a fine Dylan tribute last year "Chimes Of Freedom", a three CD low price set with all previously unreleased songs. My favorite is "The Last Temptation Of Elvis", a two disc UK set by NME, released in 1990.

    This looks good, thanks jeffen. So far my fave is "Won't Have To Worry", I like the Buddy Holly riffs.

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    Replies
    1. I bet the The Last Temptation Of Elvis" is out-of-print...

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  14. oh yeah, por vida was superb, plus done in the right spirit, i think.

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  15. and there was one for arthur alexander i enjoy

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  16. Great post, You gotta check out Kim's new band, I'm forgetting the name right now but the single is great and she wrote the lyrics. I'll write here and send link to your blog. The Fastbacks might be opening for DOA in Seattle this summer too BTW!

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  17. Kim's new band is called Cali Giraffes. Great stuff.

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  18. Their cover of the Supersuckers "On The Couch" is awesome.

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  19. Hey. Kim here from both bands; Cali Giraffes and FBX. My latest band (with Mikey Davis) just put out our first single on Fin Records. Featuring Josh Freese!!!! As for covers by the FBX? Wow, too many to name. We covered our fave songs which made many people confused, which is a good thing. Here's to BOC, Van Halen, Tommy Roe, Beatles, Montrose, and a lot more. We rule!

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    Replies
    1. Kim
      Thanks for dropping by and for all that great music.
      I'll keep my eye out for The Calligraphers, the demo on BandCamp sounds excellent:
      http://calligraphers.bandcamp.com/
      Yeah the FBX head-scratching array of covers always made them stand out in the crowd!

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  20. Hey Jeffen

    I agree that Tulare Dust 'a songwriters' tribute to merle haggard' (1994) is a very good tribute album.It was put together by Dave Alvin and Tom Russell and features so many of my favourite alt. country(whatever that is) artists.

    Another favourite is Waverley Seven 'Yo! Bobby' (2007) that is an instrumental jazz tribute to Bobby Darin.The Waverly Seven is made up of Anat Cohen,Avishai Cohen,Jason Lindner,Joel Frahm,Daniel Freedman,Manuel Valera & Barak Mori.

    Thanks for the Fastbacks album.

    Cheers

    Doug

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for always knowing about music I now so little about - you rule, Doug!

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  21. Two of my faves not mentioned here are their covers of Montrose's "Space Station #5" and Keith Moon's "Girl's Eyes" - both off of the "New Mansions In Sound" album.

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    Replies
    1. Good call - I couldn't possible cover all the covers (V. 2?) so I focused - mostly - on the ones that had been on tribute CD's.

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  22. My favorite FBX cover: Crimson and Clover

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  23. Coolio! Thanks.

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  24. I liked the "Chicken Dance" comp with Brave Combo and Tiny Tim

    -- Snatzo

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