Saturday, 19 September 2015

Autumnal covers 3

Joy Division songs have been covered countless times over the years. There have been some stinkers, but equally there have been plenty of scorchers too. Today, I've chosen two I like; I'll leave you to decide whether they're stinkers or scorchers.

Grace Jones has been known to lose control on a few occasions. Here's a famous one. Seems fitting that she chose to cover She's Lost Control. Originally the b-side of Private Life in 1980, it was recorded and produced by Sly & Robbie. Longer versions with extended dub passages graced 12" releases and the 1998 compilation 'Private Life: The Compass Point Sessions'.

Mind, if you thought Grace was an uncompromising character, consider Michael Gira. Swans have never been a particularly likeable band, but Gira has been known to insist all air conditioning is turned off and heating turned up at venues they play to increase the intensity and volatility of the audience. In spite of the difficulty their music presents, there are a few accessible moments in their catalogue.  In 1988 they released a version of Love Will Tear Us Apart, or rather they released three versions. One version, known simply as 'Black' is a tender acoustic-driven take, fronted by the haunting vocals of Jarboe. The 'Red' version is a more full-blooded affair with Gira on vocals, while the 'Acoustic' version is like a cross between the two, with Gira taking lead vocals and Jarboe on backup. I'm giving you both the black and red versions, and will leave you to discover the acoustic one yourselves.



  1. I think George is on record saying that one of the Swans versions someone previously featured is better that the original. If I remember correctly he was shot down in flames

  2. I enjoy both Swans, version, but will admit to being partial to Red...I love the balls Grace Jones had covering She's Lost Control with some Compass Point skank...

  3. No stinker at all. I love versions of well known songs, done in a different way the originals was. And that's why I like GJ's version (and other covers she did in these times). Also Swans did a very good job and I am also turn to Red. Anyway, great stuff.

  4. Spoek Mathambo recorded my favourite cover of control – if you haven't heard it it's great!