Favourite cover versions – post suggested by Terry Huggins & more John Martyn chat.

Terry Huggins… What are people’s favourite cover songs by unlikely artists. This is one of mine – Melanie and Purple Haze. Others include the Nightwish cover of Walking In The Air (the snowman song) and the Children of Bodom’s cover of Britney Spears Oops I Did It Again. Anyone remember Therion Summer Night City?

Jim Breeds… The Smoke Fairies – Largely unknown, sadly. They deserve more recognition. They’ve done a few covers – here’s one. If I Were A Carpenter Tim Hardin cover. My favourite cover of Oops! is Richard Thompson. I saw him do this live on the 1,000 years of popular music tour a few years back. Hang in there for a bit near the end played 16th c. style and John Martyn Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Alan Esdaile… Both Leonard Cohen covers… If It Be Your Will Anthony & The Johnsons, Song to The Siren This Mortal Coil and REM first we taken Manhattan.

Colin Bell… Rasputin by Finnish Metal band Turisas, barmy and bloody brilliant! and Yngie Malmsteen doing Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme..priceless!

Tony Davies… If it Be Your Will – Webb Sisters.

Phil Gill… The Beatles Complete on Ukulele.

Ian Ellis… UOGB – Anarchy in the UK.

Jim Breeds… To bring in a Hastings theme – a cover of John Martyn’s Over The Hill, written about him returning from gigs and tours to his home on the Old Town. Although it doesn’t say so on this YouTube post, the artist is one Ted Barnes (who he?). From the tribute album Johnny Boy Would Love This.

Chris Meachen…. Jim, don’t be taken in by the ‘official story’ sleeve notes regarding ‘Over the hill’. – It’s about walking via the footpath over the railway bridge & then up st. Mary’s terrace, from his Girlfriend’s in Hughenden Road back to his home.. At the time I was working with Ray Ballik in the pump house. He had the flat above, & we always popped in after finishing work, frequently finding John there… We were sworn to secrecy at the time….

Colin Fox… Amazing Choir singing Toto’s Africa A Cappella.

Jim Breeds… Chris,  I was never sure for certain which hill was written about by John but I’ve never believed any sleeve notes since I read this in the sleeve notes of his 1977 compilation “So Far So Good”!


supplied by Jim Breeds

Chris Meachen… I laughed my socks off when I saw those sleeve notes, particularly as the writer clearly knew nothing about the topography of Hastings.. I’ve always had the impression that ‘May you never’ was written about ‘Mad John’ another much missed local character who would occasionally brawl with John when they were both pissed out of their heads, which state they would harmoniously achieve together first…

Terry Huggins… I remember asking John how his first Old Grey Whistle Test appearance went. He told me that a girl was supposed to take one guitar away and hand him another, but she’d got stoned and remained seated, leaving him to stare blankly at the camera until he got up and fetched it himself. “They’ll edit that out before it’s screened.” he said. However, when the programme aired, John was seen staring at the camera with a confused expression, then he vanished for a few seconds before reappearing with another guitar. Much to his embarrassment,. it wasn’t edited out.

Here is a few more ideas


Peter Brazier…  Slade’s Version of Stepenwolfs “Born To Be Wild” and TANK’S Version Of The Osmans’s “Crazy Horses”

Tim Moose Bruce… I like Jealous Guy covered by Roxy Music. Blue Oyster Cult do a great cover of Born To Be Wild.

Peter Fairless… Nash The Slash Dopes On The Water, Kirsty MacColl A New England, Cristina Is That All There is, Teenbeats I Can’t Control Myself, Siouxsie & The Banshees Dear Prudence, The Clash I Fought The Law, I Second That Emotion Japan,  Blackmore’s Night The Times They Are A Changing.

Yvonne Cleland… Sandie Shaw & The Smiths Hand In Glove.

Phil Thornton… Senor Coconuts – Showroom Dummies.

John Wilde… Sid Vicious. My Way,  Johnny Cash. Hurt (Nine Inch Nails), Jeff Buckley Hallelujah.

Gary Kinch… It’s clearly a matter of taste, good taste and bad taste and there’s some right bad taste in that selection of 50. Talking Heads “Take me to the River” better than Al Green? WTF? …. Fugees “Killing me Softly” better than Roberta Flack? Whaaat? …..and my opinion is definitive.

Matt Thomas… Madness – It Must Be Love.

Eric Cawthraw… Hmmm – Cream’s versions of Crossroads and Born Under a Bad Sign and come to think of it much of Led Zep 1 is real good stuff and mainly cover versions. All along the Watchtower by Jimi H and lastly Jealous Guy by Roxy Music, whistling and all!

Terry Huggins… Not sure if this counts as a cover as Zappa had three Turtles in his band but happy together.  Vanilla Fudge You Keep Me Hanging On. Vanilla Fudge did some interesting covers of Beatles and other songs and this too.

Gary Kinch… Turtles. Good stuff. And John Barbata went on to great things also. Anyone mention Joe Cocker? apart from the obvious one which is possibly the best cover of anything, anytime, he did various other great covers.

Patrick Lewis… Grateful Dead doing Visions of Johanna by Bob Dylan.


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