Sunday, December 07, 2008
REFLECTIONS IN A FLAT (FROM UNDER THE COVERS - PART 45)
WARNING - JC IS ON HIS SOAPBOX TODAY.........
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of cover versions, and I've featured many of my favourites in these pages over the years. Today's offering is one that I'm ashamed to say I had forgotten about, and when it came round yesterday on shuffle on the i-pod, it was probably the first time in maybe a decade that I had actually listened to it.
It's a cover of one of the songs that I included in the self-indulgent series from earlier this year when I spent months unveiling my favourite 45 singles of all time to mark my 45th birthday.
In with a bullet at #44 in that rundown was the first self-penned hit enjoyed by Soft Cell. And today's cover is this:-
mp3 : Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine - Bedsitter
Where the original brought home the emptiness of living alone in the single-room within a multiple occupancy flat, this cover is an angrier and more raw version. Where the protagonist in the original goes between the highs of being the party animal and the lows of another night alone in a cold and damp space, the protagonist in this cover is bitter at the way life has given him a bum deal with no prospect of escape. Where Marc and David had fun but knew it was a false front, Jim-Bob and Fruitbat know only misery....
The original was released in 1981, and the cover (on the flip side of the 12" version of Bloodsport For All) was released in 1991 when, thanks to a decade of me-me-me politics and greed in the UK, the gap separating the haves and the have-nots reached disgusting proportions.
This particular cover helped remind me yesterday how much I totally despised the years of Thatcher and Major, and that now matter how disappointed I've been with New Labour, it's still infinitely better than the 80s and most of the 90s.