Song Of The Day 11/13/2015: Gigolo Aunts – “Why Can’t This Be Love”

Quarterly Covers Report – I went off on tribute albums a few weeks back. Well, I wasn’t that harsh, I just said the lot of them were commercial suicide. To a certain extent artistic malaise as well; far too many of them didn’t really reinterpret the artists’ work in ways that were different enough to appreciate the covered artists in question. They just sound like the old band with a new singer, like Queen with Paul Rodgers. Which might bring in the touring dollars, but not the album dollars. Well, to be fair, not much brings in the album dollars these days, except for those people who make coasters or ashtrays out of old record albums. (Long-building “vinyl resurgence” dollars in cities with fewer Walmarts per capita notwithstanding.)

When the collected artists get the go-ahead to indulge their most wayward whims, though, that’s when things can get interesting (or self-indulgent). Take Everybody Wants Some… of Van Halen, a 1997 collection of Boston-area bands that came out on Cherrydisc. I love Van Halen personally, partially because they knew how to poke fun at themselves when DLR was fully in their fold. But you can’t deny the thudding machismo either, as clever as it usually was. Everybody Wants Some’s main trick was robbing the songs of their hard rock thunder and placing them in impossibly nerdy settings. There was a church organ rendition of “Eruption,” a Chicano-rock version of “Jamie’s Crying,” a horn-laden version of “Panama,” Mary Lou Lord doing “Jump” with much of the same ethos as Aztec Camera’s version.

Unfortunately precious little of these songs have even taken the unmoderated course to immortality via YouTube – the song I really wanted to put up here today was Trona’s version of “Could It Be Magic?”, which someone described as “skiffle-meets-No-Doubt.” If I ever find it I’ll throw it your way. Instead we’ll do with Gigolo Aunts’ fake-Beatles version of “Why Can’t This Be Love?”, the only song on Everybody Wants Some from the noctambulist Van Hagar years. Only time will tell if it stands the test of time.

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