Song Of The Day 1/16/2013: Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons - "All I Wanna Do"

You have probably never heard as close a mimicry of another artist's style as this 1980 song from Australia's Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons. Primarily active in the '70s and '80s, JJZ&TF strike me as a pub-borne band that appropriated styles as they became interested in them. They wrote modest numbers, made videos in which they behaved so quirkily as to look socially awkward, and built a fairly good career playing to their blue-collar brand of rock and roll. They were Australia's Huey Lewis & The News, or their Greg Kihn Band. There's no shame in that, and quite a lot of decorative fruit trays.

This song's near-direct quotation of all Elvis Costello's affectations at the time -- the "Oliver's Army" piano hook, the clamped singing Costello espoused in his first few years, this piece's debt to all the low-budget videos he made for the Get Happy!! album -- is at once a little embarrassing and completely charming. It may be a tributary's thank-you, as Costello genuinely liked the band and covered one of their late '70s songs, "So Young." In fact I think Costello is on the road in Australia next month with Jo Jo Zep, playing the winery circuit. They're all friendly. That's nice.

In any case, if Ke$ha can make a reasonable song that rips off every single element of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight," I don't see why Jo Jo's giving "Oliver's Army" the Rubik's Cube treatment should be offensive in the least.
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