Believe it or not, before the internet and music deciphering phone apps, you could sometimes hear a song, and not know that was a cover.
This sort of circumstance would happen fairly often when I was a young, naive music enthusiast. It takes a while to develop a sense of history, and read the landmarks of the Rock n’ roll map.
Here are a few covers that I did not recognize as covers when I first heard them:
1. Creedence Clearwater Revival “Susie Q”- the band re-works a rockabilly track by Dale Hawkins, giving it a San Francisco late 60’s jam band Psych Treatment.
2. The Cramps “Goo Goo Muck” – The Cramps made this slightly novelty bent number by Ronnie Cook their own.
3. The Saints “Wild about you” on their debut album, the Saints included this track and tore it up so much that I assumed they had written it. I only discovered it was a cover of a track by the Australian Garage rock band, The Missing Links about a decade after discovering the Saints.
4. Television “Fire Engine”- I first encountered their version of this track by The 13th Floor Elevators on a live tape released by Roir records, cheekily the band retitled the track as “The Blow-up” and significantly changed the arrangement. I found a studio version of the track on a less than legitimate CD which sticks closer to the original version.
5. Love Tractor “Neon Lights”- Perhaps embarrassing to admit, but when this track was released in 1984, I had never heard the band, Kraftwerk. This version by the Athens, Georgia band has a light or looser feel than the original, but still grooves along on guitars, as opposed to synthesizers.
There’s no shame in not knowing, as long as you are willing to listen, and learn.
Noah Fence hosts It’s a Nice World To Visit – Punk, Post-Punk, Garage Rock, Psych…A mix of new tracks and old favorites. On Freeform Portland Radio.