24 August 2007

Mix Tape Friday: Let's Get Funky

While dining at the Scriveners this weekend, my bragging about Stevie Wonder tickets led to a discourse about music (surprising, huh?). The table's consensus: Red Hot Chili Peppers should spend all their studio time covering ‘70s funk songs since Flea is one of the best funk bassists playing today (and because those ballads are crap). Mrs. S., who happens to be a fan of the Mix Tape series, declared:

I must have some funk in my bass!

and thus inspired this week’s mix tape. Funk and R&B from the 1970s is one of my favorite genres. I’ll do a mix tape of originals sometime this fall, but our chat about Flea and his bass put me in that covers mood again.

Here’s to you, Catherine.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Love Rollercoaster

Van Halen: Dancing in the Street

Rolling Stones: Ain't too Proud to Beg

English Beat: Tears of a Clown

Slits: I Heard It Through the Grapevine

The Strokes: Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

R.E.M.: Smiling Faces Sometimes

Soft Cell: Where Did Our Love Go

Afghan Whigs: Come See About Me

Roxy Music: In the Midnight Hour

Talking Heads: Take Me to the River

Graham Parker: I Want You Back *

General Public: I'll Take You There

David Bowie: Knock on Wood

Elvis Costello: From Head to Toe

Joan Osborne: Everybody Is a Star

Jack Black: Let's Get It On

Foo Fighters: Darling Nikki

Hindu Love Gods: Raspberry Beret

Fishbone: Freddie's Dead

Red Hot Chili Peppers: If You Want Me to Stay

R.E.M.: Skin Tight

Pete Yorn: Just My Imagination

Pearl Jam: Dock of the Bay

The Replacements: I'll Be There

Yo La Tengo: I’m Your Puppet

Can you name the original artists?

Hindu Love Gods was an aural wet dream for me back in 1990: Warren Zevon with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry, taped while jamming during a drunken recording session. Damn, to be a fly on that wall … or on the shoulder of Zevon’s gray Ralph Lauren T-shirt. The songs aren’t the best, but they’re a helluva lot of fun to listen to; think of it as jamming with your pals after a few brews.

* Thank you, Johnny Yen!

Bonus Tracks!

A handful of tunes honoring some of R&B’s greatest artists:

Van Morrison: Jackie Wilson Said

ABC: When Smokey Sings

Scritti Politti: Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)

Billy Bragg: Levi Stubbs' Tears

* * * * * *

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At 8/24/2007 01:40:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Holy crap woman, I stand in awe of your music collection. I'm gonna have to go buy more blank CD's to burn some of these on.

At 8/24/2007 08:54:00 AM, Anonymous HollyC said...

Okay, I caught this early enough to get the EASY ones
Tears of a Clown
Just My Imagination-Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Love Rollercoaster-Ohio Players
Heard It Through The Grapvine
Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Let's Get It On-Marvin Gaye
Raspberry Beret-Prince
I'll Be There-J5
Love the Van Morrison bonus cut
Have a fine weekend!

At 8/24/2007 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Malcolm: said...

Great mixtape as usual. OK, let me take a crack at naming the original artists. They are:

Love Rollercoaster- Ohio Players

Dancing In the Street- Martha and the Vandellas

Ain't Too Proud To Beg- Temptations

Tears of A Clown- Smokey and the Miracles

I Heard It Through the Grapevine- Although Gladys and the Pips version was released a year earlier, I have heard that Marvin Gaye actually recorded his version 1st.

Mercy Mercy Me- Marvin Gaye

Smiling Faces Sometimes- Undisputed Truth

Where Did Our Love Go- Supremes

Come See About Me- Supremes

In the Midnight Hour- Wilson Pickett

Take Me To the River- Al Green

I Want You Back- Jackson 5

I'll Take You There- Staple Singers

Knock On Wood- Eddie Floyd

From Head To Toe- I have no idea. It has a Motown feel, so I'll take a guess and say Kim Weston

Everybody Is A Star- Sly and the Family Stone

Let's Get It On- Marvin Gaye

Darling Nikki- Prince and the Revolution

Rasberry Beret- Prince and the Revolution

Freddie's Dead- Curtis Mayfield

If You Want Me To Stay- Sly and the Family Stone

Skin Tight- Ohio Players

Just My Imagination- Since I am not aware of a version by Smokey and the Miracles, I will say The Temptations

Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding

I'll Be There- Jackson 5

I'm Your Puppet- James and Bobby Purify

At 8/24/2007 12:41:00 PM, Blogger New and Used Records said...

Oh shit - you're gonna have me dancing in my office.

At 8/24/2007 01:03:00 PM, Blogger Eebie said...

Another eck-cellent selection of music! Bravo!

At 8/24/2007 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

DR. MONKEY VON MONKERSTEIN: CDs, hell. You need to get an external hard drive for storing all these beauts.

HOLLYC: Good goin', girl!

MALCOLM: Damn, you're good. The one you're missing — Elvis Costello's cover of "From Head to Toe" — is a Smokey Robinson tune.

NEW AND USED RECORD: Then my job is done here.

EEBIE: Thank you, sir! I hope you're also dancing around your office.

At 8/24/2007 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous not saying said...

OOoh baybeee. Bethie dancing to the Talking Heads' "Take Me to the River." I get hot and bothered just thinking about it.

At 8/24/2007 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

You're getting too popular--you've exceeded your quote of downloads.

At 8/24/2007 03:05:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

Gah, hit the publish button too fast. I'll be much more excited for the originals, but some of these look cool. Maybe Catherine will share with me?

At 8/24/2007 03:16:00 PM, Blogger mellowlee said...

ag! I tried to download this smokin hot list, but databus told me to try again later (exceeded max downloads for today) boohoo Haha! I will be back later to try again

At 8/24/2007 03:41:00 PM, Anonymous glassmeow said...

Great mix tape - thanks! Some of my all time favorites on it. Ain't Too Proud to Beg was on the first Stones album I ever bought - 1974's It's Only Rock and Roll & I remember seeing the Talking Heads in Eugene at the EMU Ballroom (a room the size of your average high school gymnasium) from less than 6 feet away - right as that song was hitting the charts. We already had Talking Heads 77 for Psycho Killer, of course!

Boy am I ever dating myself!

At 8/24/2007 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I was going to answer the question but I see I'm too late. So I'll just add that these songs rock and I'm listening now.

At 8/24/2007 04:42:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

When the world falls apart, some things stay in place.

Man, that song was on like every mix I made in high school.

Once, when a girlfriend was over at my place, I made us breakfast and put on the Four Tops to cook to. By song two, we both agreed that while we liked them, it made us feel like we were in The Big Chill, so I put something else on instead.

Also, I saw the Whigs like five times back in the day, and they were always underrated (as opposed to the often overrated Slits).

As for Flea, anyone who can play like that AND used to be a member of FEAR is okay by me. Bomb the Russians indeed.

At 8/24/2007 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

It's way too funky in here.

At 8/24/2007 08:35:00 PM, Blogger jewgirl said...

soft cell. loving you so hard right now. what a smokin' hot, kick ass mix, girlie.

At 8/24/2007 09:51:00 PM, Blogger Dan said...

What the funk?

OK ... it's not the most original. What can I say? :)

At 8/25/2007 12:34:00 AM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

You're very welcome!

I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers' version of Stevie Wonders' "Higher Ground."

Last night, Kim dozed off and so my stepdaughter and I sat on the back porch and talked about life, music and other things. We had a long talk about the Beatles' song "In My Life," and how friendships wax and wane over a lifetime. That song, the original, just grabs me whenever I hear it, and there have been great covers. One day, my stepdaughter was watching reruns of the show "Sister, Sister" and I dicovered that the opening song was "In My Life." I don't know who did it-- it is a female R and B singer-- but it was wonderful. Jose Felciano also did a great cover. I'd love to hear a number of artists cover it.

At 8/25/2007 12:44:00 AM, Blogger Jacy said...

I am in total awe of you.

At 8/25/2007 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Brilliant mix Beth but mydatabus is being cranky with me right now. Can't wait to hear the Afghan Whigs tune.

It may have been Chantal Kreviazuk, Johnny Yen? She's a Canadian songstress who does a version I think they used for a TV show. It's a great song.

At 8/25/2007 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

NOT SAYING: So did David Byrne at the Agora in 1980.

SCRIVENER: And I thought I was popular for other reasons. I don’t know what the frick is going on with MyDataBus this weekend; I may repost the links on Monday … if I can get logged on. If Catherine won’t share, let me know and I’ll burn a CD for you.

MELLOWLEE: I’ll e-mail you when MyDataBus is back up.

GLASSMEOW: We must embrace dating ourselves since we got to see the greats when they were still small. I saw Talking Heads during the Remain in Light tour at a small venue. This was during my college radio days, so the club manager invited me to watch the show in the loft. He wouldn’t let my group of pals come up with me, though, so I stayed on the main floor. The club manager called me the next day to tell me that if I’d come upstairs, I could have partied all night long with him and the Heads. Why am I loyal to friends?

At 8/25/2007 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

KEITH KENNEDY: I knew you’d enjoy this mix tape, Keith. Nothing better than R&B and soul music, is there? I’m sitting here listening to Smokey Robinson’s greatest hits, marveling for the thousandth time how beautifully constructed each one is, how these tunes never get old.

PISTOLS AT DAWN: You just earned mega-points. I love Billy Bragg. I love Levi Stubbs. Having both together is beyond perfect. The Whigs are playing in town in a month or two; you should come down!

GRANT MILLER: You are so cool, so goth.

JEWGIRL: Thanks, doll. I live to make you rawk.

At 8/25/2007 05:35:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

DAN: You are so punk, Blah Blah Blah. I bet you like The Ramones and Gang of Four.

JOHNNY YEN: I have so enjoyed that Graham Parker cover, so I wanted to make sure you got your props. I have a Beatles covers mix planned, so I’ll see how many “In My Life” tunes I can include; it’s a perfect song, isn’t it? BTW, I think it’s cool that you and your stepdaughter could get into a deep conversation about friendship after listening to that song.

JACY: And I with you. We should become BFFs!

DALE: I don’t know what’s going on with MyDataBus this weekend; I can’t even log into my account. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll e-mail the Afghan Whigs song to you. I have four or five R&B covers by them.

At 8/25/2007 05:36:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

PISTOLS AT DAWN: I just realized you were referring to the Afghan Whigs, not the Athens-based Whigs.

At 8/25/2007 09:03:00 PM, Blogger Michael K said...

RHCP peaked for me after Mother's Milk. I spent almost a year trying to get mey shitty band to learn Stone Cold Bush. After Hillel died the boys got serious and really started to focus on musicianship. John Frusciante was such a natural fit for the band and such a great influence on their sound, I can't imagine how they lived without him later.

Anyways, when they followed up with BSSM, I think Rick Rubin overproduced the album and the band lost a lot of its balls and funk/punk spirit. They got some of it back once they got back to the MM lineup a few albums later but they will never be the raw and often raunchy band that drew me in in the early days.

Although a cover of funk classics would be cool, it would also be a rip off of RAM's last album concept. I'd rather they did a new album that harkened back to the Uplift Mofo Party Plan days when I had bangs that hung to my chest and a flame orange rat tail.

At 8/26/2007 12:09:00 AM, Blogger Tumuli said...

Cool covers!

At 8/26/2007 11:42:00 AM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

Totally amazing. You started the list with my all-time favorite cover, Love Rollercoaster by the RHCP. I'm plugging my MacBook into my stereo now and rocking out.

At 8/26/2007 12:21:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is some serious funkiness happening here. Serious.

At 8/26/2007 01:09:00 PM, Blogger anandamide said...

It would be really interesting to put these back to back with the originals to see whether a single one of them manages to better its predecessor.

One cover that (to your credit) you omitted is Love and Rockets limp version of what I consider to be one of the great singles of all time "Ball of Confusion" by the Temptations.

At 8/26/2007 01:10:00 PM, Blogger anandamide said...

btw: kudos on your book recommendation. ondaatje's "in the skin of a lion" is one of my favorites. i look forward to reading divisadero.

At 8/26/2007 01:46:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

As always, a wonder music selection. I'm listening to the songs and hopping around to them right now.

At 8/26/2007 02:47:00 PM, Blogger anandamide said...

ha ha, was just over at dale's so i guess you already knew how i felt about that book....

At 8/26/2007 05:09:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Order is restored Beth, I'm taken most of them as I had a few already. Delicious. Thanks.

At 8/27/2007 09:37:00 AM, Blogger DaBich said...

Hi, I'm repaying the visit. Glad you stopped by to see me :)
I LOVE music, oldies and newbies are all good. My fav is Godsmack, which I'm sure you abhor lol.

At 8/27/2007 11:56:00 AM, Blogger pezda said...

Excellent list Beth. Now to start downloading...

At 8/27/2007 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

MICHAEL K: See, that’s why I love these Mix Tape posts: I get to learn of other folks’ musical passions. I think you have a post started here. Local rumor has it that Rick Rubin did very little on BSSM; engineer (and Atlanta boy) Brendan O’Brien did much of the work. (BTW, I’ll give you five bucks if you send me a photo of that bang-chested/orange-tailed Michael K.)

TUMULI: Thank you!

TENACIOUS S: Do they nail “Love Rollercoaster” or what? It’s on my list of Songs I Must Play When I Don’t Want to Stay Blue. Flea rawks.

BARBARA: We gots da funk down here in the South, ma’am.

ANANDAMIDE: You know, I nearly posted side-by-sides. Maybe I’ll do that in the next month or two. You’ll be proud to know that, although I own and have read the enjoyable Divisadero, I don’t own that wussy L&R cover.

At 8/27/2007 06:22:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

ARTFUL DODGER: You’d better be dancing around your office, doll.

DALE: You’re welcome. And you’d better be dancing around the hive, Beloved Bee.

DABICH: I hope you like some of the tracks here. We play all sorts of music and bands here at The Cup. Glad you stopped by; I always enjoy reading your blog.

PEZDA: Download away. Interested to know what you like — and hate.

At 8/28/2007 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Wicked cool mix... I'd forgotten about that Foo Fighters cover, too!


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