Here are all of covermount's jams.

Please Mister Postman

Please Mister Postman

by Mama Rosin (Featuring Mick Collins & Matt Verta-Ray)

This Is My Jam is ending and, as such, this will be the final post by covermount. August 2013's issue of @MOJOmagazine saw a cover story devoted to the Beatles' second UK album, With the Beatles, and the attendant freebie disc is a fully fun all-album cover spanning a wide variety of artists from the well known (Chris Difford, Wreckless Eric) to all manner of up-and-comers. As wild luck would have it, this final Jam matches the covermount avatar, which was chosen practically at random (it was the first image of a covermount disc I could find); the perfect confluence of missing discs, issues I didn't buy, and skipped weeks when I was too busy ends with this sweet bit of serendipity. For the final tune, covering the Marvelettes classic, here is some Swiss zydeco from the group Mama Rosin along with their compadres Mick Collins and Matt Verta-Ray. Bless all of covermount's friends and followers and may you all have a wonderful post-Jam life! Thank you for your support!

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Jammed: 24th Sep 2015

11 plays

9 likes

1 comments

If You Could Read Your Mind

If You Could Read Your Mind

by Clinic

@MOJOmagazine commemorated their April 2013 story on "The 100 Greatest Music Films Ever" by throwing together a shambles of a covermount alleging to contain "15 Cult Movie Classics." What you get is a motley assemblage of songs that just so happened to be in movies at one point or another. It's silly to call barely memorable tunes by Daniel Johnston or Arthur Russell "cult movie classics" because they played during documentaries about their performers. And sure, most folks learned of Rodriguez by the documentary about him...but does that make his songs "cult movie classics"? There is a smattering of material by the John Barry Orchestra, Ennio Morricone, and David Lynch that better meets the criteria, but then there's a handful of songs that weren't written for movies and were used that way later; that's why Clinic's excellent 2006 tune is here. It apparently got used in the 2007 film Hallam Foe. Come on, MOJO...you know better than this...

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Jammed: 17th Sep 2015

25 plays

14 likes

2 comments

Shelter Song

Shelter Song

by Temples

For March 2013, @MOJOmagazine accompanied their Pink Floyd cover feature with a freebie titled Echoes, after the side-long tune on Floyd's sixth LP Meddle. It collects modern psychedelia and I am sad to report that it is by and large a true dud. Tunes by the likes of Voice of the Seven Thunders, Teeth of the Sea, Mugstar, and other would-be wonders grind along tediously, many of them seven minutes or longer. I wager that in their native environs many of these songs are more enjoyable; they just don't come across very well when excerpted and stacked alongside all-too similar tunes by others. Then there are the buzz bands that I'm just not fond of (Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra). There is a small handful of tunes I might want to hear again, and the one that jumped out most for me was this one by British quartet Temples; it's the lead track from their 2014 debut LP Sun Structures.

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Jammed: 10th Sep 2015

10 plays

9 likes

4 comments

Call me the Breeze

Call me the Breeze

by Beth Orton

The February 2013 covermount is titled "Marr and Friends" and accompanies the cover story on former Smiths guitarist and co-writer Johnny Marr. The disc features two songs by Marr as well as a slew of tunes that he guests on, and a handful by artists he'd worked with in the past. Despite several acts whose work I love (Robyn Hitchcock, Lisa Germano, Billy Bragg), there's something very difficult about this comp. For starters, it's mastered poorly (brickwalled to high heaven and victim to an outrageously high bass response on songs by the like of Kirsty MacColl, hardly a bass-thumpin' musician), which led to serious listener fatigue for me; second is there's just a bit too much mediocre material here. Entries by MacColl, Edwyn Collins, and Modest Mouse really aren't very memorable, and John Frusciante's and the Durutti Column's tunes fall flat altogether (the latter being a trying 10 minutes). The top pick is easy: a Marr-less highlight from Beth Orton's fifth album Sugaring Season.

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Jammed: 3rd Sep 2015

9 plays

10 likes

5 comments

Dreams

Dreams

by Pure Bathing Culture

The January 2013 issue of @MOJOmagazine features a Fleetwood Mac cover story, and the accompanying disc is a tribute to the band's 1977 mega-breakthrough album Rumours. Covering "Dreams" is Portland, Oregon's Pure Bathing Culture. Singer Sarah Versprille and guitarist Daniel Hindman are the group's core; their early work was recorded by the two members alone, on off time from their duties in Andy Cabic's group Vetiver. Since 2013 the group has expanded to a quartet and are on the cusp of releasing their sophomore full-length, Pray for Rain. Their sound has expanded from the gauzy lo-fi present on this Fleetwood Mac cover to an elegant and lush atmosphere that makes me think of an American Cocteau Twins.

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Jammed: 27th Aug 2015

12 plays

8 likes

9 comments

Give Me Back My Wig

Give Me Back My Wig

by Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers

The December 2012 issue of @MOJOmagazine matches its Led Zeppelin cover feature with a freebie disc titled "Let's Move," named for a Lightnin' Hopkins track; the covermount purports to document "heavy blues"—and it succeeds. One of the stronger recent giveaways, Let's Move surveys an impressive spectrum: heavyweights like Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters are joined by regional and indie favorites ranging from Magic Sam, Junior Wells, and R. L. Burnside. Burnside and Magic Sam came close to getting picked for this post, but Chicago-cum-Mississippi motorvator Hound Dog Taylor wins the prize because this tune comes from the only blues album I've searched for over the course of years before nailing down a copy (Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers, Alligator Records, 1971). You can buy anything online, but finding in the wild is the best! This hyper-rocking cut outpaces everything else on the disc. Taylor released two albums before his death in 1975, aged 60.

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Jammed: 20th Aug 2015

13 plays

9 likes

5 comments

Number Six

Number Six

by Bruce Foxton

In November 2012, US @MOJOmagazine readers got a ZZ Top cover; original UK copies, though, featured The Jam (the second time Paul Weller appeared on the cover that year). The accompanying covermount, Move on Up, is a Jam-focused compilation of Mod music that "includes acts associated with the movement in a number of different ways." From the soulful strains of Aaron Neville and Curtis Mayfield to the ska sounds of Laurel Aitken to rockers like Wilko Johnson and the Yardbirds, the lineup makes for a very good freebie disc and a rare one that I might be moved to play again in the future. Two Jam outtakes from a then-current reissue of their 1982 final album The Gift appear here, but my favorite Jam-related tune is by band bassist Bruce Foxton from his 2012 album Back in the Room. Weller does appear on the song, following a collaboration on his 2010 solo album Wake Up the Nation that was their first time together on record in nearly thirty years.

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Jammed: 13th Aug 2015

8 plays

6 likes

2 comments

Well Well Well

Well Well Well

by The Woodentops

October 2012's @MOJOmagazine features '80s indie heroes The Smiths on the cover, and the attendant covermount mines the work of contemporaries—albeit with a focus on far lesser known contemporaries. Highlights come from the likes of Felt, The Dentists, and the Weather Prophets; the most famous groups on the disc are the Go-Betweens (whose contribution, "Cattle and Cane," I have already Jammed on this page) and Billy Bragg (who has also featured here). Minor slumps come from the likes of the Nightingales ("Crafty Fag" is well past its sell date) and a rather plodding outtake by the La's ("Open Your Heart"), but overall this is a very pleasant covermount and a welcome respite from the other themes—full-album tributes and "influences" collections—that MOJO loves to explore on its giveaway discs. The Woodentops hail from London; "Well Well Well" was originally released as a single in 1985.

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Jammed: 30th Jul 2015

7 plays

9 likes

4 comments

Spastik

Spastik

by Plastikman

I've taken a week off due to being on planes, trains, and automobiles, all the while grappling with the September 2012 @MOJOmagazine covermount that accompanies the article "The 50 Greatest Electronic Records." I adore electronic music but this freebie has really tried my patience. It's compiled by Mute Records founder Daniel Miller, one-time member of The Normal--they of "Warm Leatherette," covered famously by Grace Jones--and he sticks closely to Mute holdings as well as albums represented by a then-current EMI reissue program. What we get, then, is a biased "overview" of electronic music that, I maintain, includes a great deal of third-tier lameness. I've long admired Mute Records, but after this account I'm not sure how that is. There's a smattering of decency here; unfortunately, the best song by hundreds of miles--Metal Fingers in My Body by Add N to (X)--is blocked by Warner, so I'm giving back the obnoxiousness this disc has caused me. Here's a 9-minute 1994 Richie Hawtin tune.

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Jammed: 16th Jul 2015

4 plays

5 likes

2 comments

Dust My Blues

Dust My Blues

by Elmore James and the Broom Dusters

August 2012 sees @MOJOmagazine give us a welcome respite from the parade of full-album cover versions to compile "The Roots of the Rolling Stones." This includes a generous helping of the band's beloved Chicago blues as well as a handful of more pop-oriented material from the early '60s. Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry are included, but I've already Jammed those fellows here; I had fully intended to post the Coasters' "Poison Ivy," but Warner Music Group blocks even that 56-year-old tune on this site.  So, it's onto my second choice, this 1955 reworking of Elmore James's 1952 hit "Dust My Broom," a composition dating back to 1936 and originally recorded by Robert Johnson. Enjoy!

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Jammed: 2nd Jul 2015

17 plays

16 likes

3 comments

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

by Michele Stodart

Just when you think you've seen it all in the way of @MOJOmagazine having various artists cover an entire LP, they go and do the 1999 Yellow Submarine Songtrack album. I suppose it makes sense; after all, the original 1968 album included a side of George Martin orchestrations that don't lend themselves well to pop covers. I must say that the magazine is getting better at these tribute discs as time goes on; this is another one that has good cohesion, lending a slightly dark and eerie vibe to the collection. It's a shame that my first two picks are not available here (English psychmasters Bevis Frond doing Hey Bulldog; Buzzcock-gone-solo Pete Shelley covering Think for Yourself). I nearly chose Giant Sand frontman doing a take on Eleanor Rigby, but in the end it's Magic Numbers bassist Michele Stodart who does the most compelling reimagining of a Beatles number here. She boldly takes on the title track of Sgt. Pepper, giving it an entirely new arrangement that I like very much.

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Jammed: 26th Jun 2015

4 plays

4 likes

2 comments

Let's Go Away for Awhile

Let's Go Away for Awhile

by Neil Cowley Trio

June 2012 continues @MOJOmagazine's fetish of an entire album covered by a variety of artists; this time it's the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. The participants manage to sustain a consistent sound across many of the tracks, making for a much more cohesive exercise than these usually become. From St. Etienne doing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" to Tim Burgess's take on "Don't Talk" to even the Flaming Lips' "God Only Knows," it's a mellow sonic trip that honors Brian Wilson's achievement while lending each performance a new flavor. The only outright flop is oft-bothersome outsider-folk dude Jeffrey Lewis plodding through "I'm Waiting for the Day" while fellow bore-folkie Wooden Wand reads a Brian Wilson biography over the top of it. While there are several good things to pick from, I'm in a jazz mood lately and so I give you Neil Cowley Trio's take on on of the LP's two instrumentals. Cowley is prolific on his own; he's also played with the likes of Adele. Enjoy!

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Jammed: 19th Jun 2015

4 plays

3 likes

No comments

Rock Island Line

Rock Island Line

by Lonnie Donegan

May 2012 sees a @MOJOmagazine cover feature honoring the late Steve Marriott and his band the Small Faces. The group was active from '65 to '69 and famously morphed into the Rod Stewart-led Faces in 1970. The bands, though sharing three members, were quite different. I have never been much of a SMALL Faces fan; perhaps this is why the covermount of their influences and associations doesn't really resonate for me, despite my liking plenty of the artists and it including no duds. It ranges from psych-pop to country blues to the likes of Harry Belafonte; favorites of mine here include shaggy proto-punks the Nashville Teens doing "Widdicombe Fair" and Faces veteran, Small and not, Ian McLagan doing the aching ballad "Never Say Never" from 2008. The Teens number's a bit tough to handle, and the McLagan tune isn't available in satisfactory form; so, I'm going with king of skiffle Lonnie Donegan's most famous number, written by John Lomax in 1934 and first recorded by Donegan in 1954.

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Jammed: 11th Jun 2015

14 plays

8 likes

No comments

White Winter Hymnal

White Winter Hymnal

by Fleet Foxes

April 2012 sees Paul Weller on the front of @MOJOmagazine (curiously, they didn't switch him for a different artist on US covers this time), and the attendant freebie is a selection compiled by Weller. I looked forward to this, not just as a break from endless all-album cover tributes, but because I'd really enjoyed the Noel Gallagher-compiled disc a few months back even though I'm not a fan of his; Weller's okay in my book, and I figured his choices would be strong. He may be a modern-music buff, but sequencing a compilation isn't his strong suit. There's not much of a flow to it and there are too many slick by-the-numbers acts here for my taste (e.g. Diagrams, Erland & the Carnival). He includes some acts I really like (Robrt Wyatt, Joanna Newsom, Tim Burgess), but the song picks aren't worth Jams; he did, however, include this beauty from Fleet Foxes' '08 debut full-length. Now on hiatus, it's unclear if the band will do new music but that first album remains beautiful.

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Jammed: 4th Jun 2015

17 plays

14 likes

No comments

So Long Marianne

So Long Marianne

by Bill Callahan

In real life, the March '12 issue of @MOJOmagazine is neon orange; that neon signals an exclusive Leonard Cohen interview, and as such the associated covermount is a tribute to his 1967 debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen. Unlike other MOJO all-album tribute freebies, this album really doesn't have a monumental reputation. It's no Wall or White Album, but fans love it. I do, too. Like its covermount cousins it has faults. Some artists try to hew closely to Leonard's hoof, resulting in 8-minute bores. Some tunes give nice honors, such as Field Music's "Suzanne," but towering head and shoulders above all other contenders is Bill Callahan, he once known as Smog, and his version of "So Long Marianne." There are some bonus tracks not from the album in question, and those are a mixed bag as well. The disc's worth keeping for the Callahan rarity. Please check out his original music; I recommend beginning with his tune "Jim Cain."

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Jammed: 28th May 2015

10 plays

8 likes

No comments

586

586

by S.C.U.M.

February '12 sees @MOJOmagazine still in love with covering entire albums, but this one's a bit different than the classic rock LPs they usually survey. This month it's 1983's Power, Corruption & Lies, the sophomore LP by Manchester synthpop giants and Joy Division heirs New Order. Some tunes here are faithful to the originals, and others take more liberties; all manage to adhere to a mood and style that makes for far more cohesive listening than the regular tribute-album freebies. My favorite 20th century act, Dan Bejar's Destroyer, appears, but not with the song I want to feature here by him; I'm going instead with London's S.C.U.M., a now-defunct electro-rock band named for would-be Warhol assassin Valerie Solanas's misandrist manifesto. They released one LP, 2011's Again Into Eyes; frontman Thomas Cohen is the widower of Peaches Geldof and father of their two children. Their cover of "586" has a nearly 2-minute intro, so let it roll.

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Jammed: 21st May 2015

7 plays

4 likes

1 comments

Bitch

Bitch

by The Sugarman 3

@MOJOmagazine rings in 2012 with a covermount merging a genre exercise with their ongoing obsession of classic albums covered in their entirety; this gives us Sticky Soul Fingers, the Rolling Stones' 1971 classic Sticky Fingers done up by a variety of modern soul acts. This is touchy ground for me, as I find many trad soul revivalists to be simulacra at best and tourist music at worst. A version of "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" with all the grit of a daytime cruise-ship band (heard here by The Bamboos) is patently absurd. There are a handful of tunes on this disc that are simply okay (Black Joe Lewis, Sharon Jones); the best tunes include Anthony Joseph & the Spasm Band's raw funk take on "Dead Flowers," Lee Fields doing "Moonlight Mile," and Ren Harvieu giving us"Sister Morphine" as a piano ballad (though I don't know how she fits on a soul comp). I've chosen NYC instrumentalists (and covermount veterans) the Sugarman 3, who efficiently convert "Bitch" to a James Brown-style groove.

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Jammed: 14th May 2015

6 plays

6 likes

2 comments

A Certain Girl

A Certain Girl

by The Yardbirds

December 2011's fine @MOJOmagazine covermount, The Route to Quadrophenia, chronicles music favored by mods in early to mid-'60s England. This includes a variety of material ranging from songs by Who contemporaries (Small Faces, the Action, the Creation) to topical Impressions song "The Young Mod's Forgotten Story" to Pete Townshend demos, but the best part of the disc is the classic material by the likes of Bo Diddley, Eddie Cochran, and Johnny Kidd & the Pirates. I'd argue the greatest song here is Cochran's "Summertime Blues," but I'm going for this lesser heard (at least in the US) '64 Yardbirds stunner. Egregiously relegated to the B-side of the band's first single, A Certain Girl was written by Allen Toussaint under the pen name Naomi Neville and originally recorded in '61 by New Orleans R&B man Ernie K-Doe. The Yardbirds lineup here includes Eric Clapton on lead guitar; it pre-dates the Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page eras of the group. Hands down, this is my favorite Yardbirds song.

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Jammed: 7th May 2015

14 plays

18 likes

1 comments

If I Needed Someone

If I Needed Someone

by Show of Hands

The November 2011 @MOJOmagazine is yet another set of covers, this time all of George Harrison compositions. Not only does it work better than previous efforts at recreating specific albums, but this particular disc is stronger than perhaps any of the "tribute" covermounts I've heard to date. I could have picked any of half a dozen or more good efforts by acts ranging from The Webb Sisters to Richie Havens to Hurray for the Riff Raff. Granted, few of the songs on this month's freebie do much in the way of inventiveness, but as the more far-fetched covermounts have shown me the simple road is sometimes the most pleasing. Here's a Beatles number performed by English roots outfit Show of Hands from their 2006 album Witness.

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Jammed: 30th Apr 2015

6 plays

3 likes

No comments

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

by Lia Ices

October 2011 finds @MOJOmagazine once again at my least favorite covermount game: an iconic album covered by a variety of little-known artists. In this case, it's two albums: Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here both covered on a single CD. There is some good material here, but then there are the also-rans—it's hard to enjoy a version of the cutting, jaded "Money" when the singer sounds like a schoolboy (courtesy of group The Pineapple Thief). As with all such MOJO discs, you have to sift out the dross. Just inched out from this week's glory is Doug Paisley featuring Garth & Maud Hudson and their version of Dark Side's "Us and Them." I give the trophy instead to Connecticut singer-songwriter Lia Ices for her version of Wish You Were Here's title track. The latter album is a bonus for US buyers; in the UK, this issue was accompanied not by a compact disc but by a vinyl album featuring only the Dark Side covers.

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Jammed: 23rd Apr 2015

4 plays

4 likes

No comments

He's a Keeper of the Fire

He's a Keeper of the Fire

by Buffy Sainte-Marie

@MOJOmagazine occasionally invites a guest editor to handle an issue, and in September 2011 it was Noel Gallagher, at the time late of Oasis by a couple of years. He's my preferred of the two Gallagher brothers, but I wouldn't call myself a fan, so I approached this disc—also curated by him—with caution. It was a happy surprise when it turned out to be one of the best compiled covermounts I've seen to date. I may not love his music, but Noel is a keen music fan and it shows on this perfectly sequenced mix of new & old, rocking & mellow, well-known & arcane tunes. Buddy Holly, Hank Mizell's Jungle Rock, and Conway Twitty segue effortlessly into groovy instrumentals by the likes of Bonobo and Yage; there's a well-done split of gals and guys; and with the tune I've chosen, Gallagher sells me on Buffy Sainte-Marie, whom I always figured to be a Joan Baez clone. This tune is like Bobbie Gentry gone hard psych and I definitely need more. Well done, Noel!

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Jammed: 16th Apr 2015

8 plays

10 likes

No comments

Little Queenie

Little Queenie

by Chuck Berry

The August 2011 @MOJOmagazine covermount is titled "The Roots of Paul McCartney" and is a thrilling trip to the early days of rock and roll that influenced Sir Paul. Classics by Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, and other architects of the form make up the first two-thirds of the disc; providing a bridge to R&B and balladry are the Coasters with Besame Mucho, which the nascent Beatles would later cover; it's all wrapped up with Gene Vincent doing "Over the Rainbow." The only twinge of discomfort comes with an Anita Bryant number, but it's her latter-day politics that bum me out—her take on "Till There Was You" is a fine one. Roughly half the songs here were eventually covered by McCartney with or without his famous group, two appearing on his 1999 golden age of rock 'n' roll tribute LP Run Devil Run. This is easily my favorite covermount in many months. (And while it runs the customary 15 tracks, it's also the shortest covermount I've seen yet, at a mere 35 minutes.)

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Jammed: 9th Apr 2015

14 plays

16 likes

2 comments

Tell Me a Tale

Tell Me a Tale

by Michael Kiwanuka

@MOJOmagazine's July '11 covermount, focusing on the London-based musician's collective Communion, tests my limits of tolerance. Communion began as a monthly salon, evolving into an intercontinental record label. The disc is heavy on acoustic folk from group participants; to convey my exhaustion with it I'll take a phrase from Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie: "All those fucking earnest men in beards." I've never seen such a collection of humorless moaners. There's also plenty of handclapping campfire music, and people with names like Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Only "Jay Jay Pistolet" (who later decided he's a garage rocker and formed The Vaselines under his given name) lends levity, but with too-precious pablum. That leaves us with soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, whose entry is so much better than everything here that his participation in Communion does not compute. (Laura Marling, not on this disc, is also a Communion alum; along with Kiwanuka, she shows it's not all bad.)

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Jammed: 2nd Apr 2015

9 plays

6 likes

1 comments

Good Golly

Good Golly

by Drummer

@MOJOmagazine loves the Black Keys like no other modern group, and they prove it yet again with the June 2011 covermount. This is one of four freebie discs over the years that honors the blues-rock duo (making the missed opportunity of a disc for cover feature Kate Bush more sorely missed). On this one we have 6 songs by the band, 3 by side projects, still more produced by a Key, & then a smattering of influences. I like the band well enough, but it gets to be a bit much; I swear there's almost more diversity on an actual Black Keys album. The influences (Capt. Beefheart, The Sonics, Nathaniel Mayer) aren't represented by great selections, and no Black Keys song here jumps out at me as particularly great. I'm going with a track from tinsman Patrick Carney's 2009 band Drummer, whose members all beat the skins in one group or another. It's one of the least bluesy things on the covermount, which makes it stand out all the more. Feel Good Together was the project's sole album release.

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Jammed: 26th Mar 2015

12 plays

4 likes

2 comments

Give Him a Great Big Kiss

Give Him a Great Big Kiss

by The Shangri-Las

A covermount like the one from @MOJOmagazine's May 2011 issue featuring "The Roots of the Ramones" should be electrifying, but it manages to be a real stiff. It's not for lack of great acts; everyone from T. Rex to New York Dolls to Love, Suicide, & Television is represented, but the problem is that many groups are represented by mediocre live versions of excellent songs, or baffling misses like, say, the terrible cash-in attempt "Bird Dance Beat" by the Trashmen instead of the home run of "Surfin' Bird." Then there are the total flops like Ronnie Spector's 1999 Joey Ramone-penned "She Talks to Rainbows." Jayne County takes a great stab at satirizing the whole Max's Kansas City scene in which the Ramones flourished, with a song named for the famous club, but it wears out its welcome at an unnecessary 7 minutes. While it's no "Leader of the Pack" this 1964 tune by the Shangri-Las is more palatable than most of the disc. I love the spoken bits.

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Jammed: 19th Mar 2015

15 plays

15 likes

2 comments

Getting Nowhere Fast

Getting Nowhere Fast

by Girls At Our Best!

April 2011's @MOJOmagazine features a disc called Panic! that focuses on indie expressions of political turmoil, labor issues, and general anxiety. Underemployment, Margaret Thatcher, and war all get airings, by groups ranging from Mekons (as well as spinoff The Three Johns), Billy Bragg, Redskins, Robert Wyatt, Half Man Half Biscuit, and other bedfellows. While I don't love it all—the Madness track downright annoys me, and a handful of other tunes don't have the charisma of the finest moments here—overall this is a covermount that I've enjoyed more than most in recent weeks. My pick is this cracking two-minute blast and 1980 debut single by Leeds quartet Girls At Our Best!, who released five singles and one full-length during their brief lifespan. Vocalist Judy Evans gives a great, biting performance here. I have long known this song as done by the Wedding Present; truth be told, I didn't realize it was a cover. It is great to hear the original. I'll be tracking down that album.

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Jammed: 12th Mar 2015

8 plays

8 likes

7 comments

Night Goat

Night Goat

by Melvins

The March 2011 @MOJOmagazine covermount celebrates the Roots of Nirvana—groups influential to Kurt Cobain, some hand-picked from lists of favorite bands he kept in his posthumously published journals. These roots are the music of my college years; I programmed the radio station at my university and much of the track list received heavy spins from us. Several songs here, especially the ones by Mudhoney and Beat Happening, are imprinted upon my brain. I didn't always love the scene—I've never been a fan of included groups Big Black (or any of Steve Albini's bands, for that matter), Meat Puppets, or Flipper; I'm not sure I've even heard of Clown Alley or Fang. At any rate, there was plenty for me to enjoy on this covermount. Tempted as I am to pick a most beloved favorite, I'm going with the indie-label single version of a Melvins track that wound up on their '94 major label debut LP Houdini. It's been floating my boat this week as much if not more than my go-to tunes on the disc.

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Jammed: 5th Mar 2015

12 plays

5 likes

4 comments

Alabama

Alabama

by Smoke Fairies

February '11's @MOJOmagazine covermount returns to my least favorite type of giveaway disc the publication does: various artists covering a noteworthy album. Neil Young's 1972 Harvest is another exercise that leaves me saying "Why?" The problem with these bespoke discs is that you get either perfunctory performances or overly earnest attempts to honor the album or to make it one's own; either way, they often turn out as worthwhile as an album of rushed, artless b-sides would do. Sam Amidon sounds like he barely sees a point in covering The Needle and the Damage Done; on the other end of the spectrum, you get Jane Weaver archly traipsing through Heart of Gold, or Chip Taylor doing a self-conscious version of Words just idiosyncratic enough that, once it's over, leaves me annoyed and yearning for the original LP. Thank goodness for England's duo Smoke Fairies, who do the best performance on the disc. (Phosphorescent's version of Are You Ready for the Country isn't too shabby, either.)

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Jammed: 26th Feb 2015

9 plays

7 likes

5 comments

Same Old Man

Same Old Man

by Karen Dalton

The December 2010 @MOJOmagazine covermount is devoted to the sounds of New York City's Greenwich Village during the earliest days of Bob Dylan's career. This is an excellent disc that may be considered a real-life version of the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack: tracks ranging from the trad folk of Pete Seeger to the revivalism of the Foc'Sle SIngers to the hard blues folk of John Lee Hooker to the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and Kenneth Patchen. For me the most undeniable song on this album is this haunting track by Oklahoma wonder Karen Dalton. Speaking of Dalton in his autobiography Chronicles, Dylan says this: "My favorite singer in the place was Karen Dalton. Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday’s and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed.” Nick Cave is another undisputed songwriting giant who points to Dalton as a major influence. Dalton has a voice that you will either love or hate and once you've loved it you may find it absolutely captivating.

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Jammed: 19th Feb 2015

19 plays

16 likes

3 comments

I Ain't Marching Anymore

I Ain't Marching Anymore

by Phil Ochs

One of the best articles in the November 2010 issue of @MOJOmagazine is a history of groundbreaking independent label Elektra Records, and for the month's covermount we have a survey of early releases on the label compiled by company founder Jac Holzman. Elektra, as run by Holzman, practiced nurturing and tolerant artist development without the pressure for hits and sales that other labels applied to their rosters. As Elektra started as a folk label, there is a preponderance of it on the covermount ranging from the Appalachian traditionalism of Jean Ritchie to a Bob Dylan cover by Judy Collins. At disc's end we see the label move toward rock, culminating with Love's explosive "7 and 7 Is." My selection this time around is a 1965 anti-war number by El Paso songsmith Phil Ochs. As Warner Music Group has blocked all studio versions of this song, I present a performance from Swedish television that is faithful to the original recording.

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Jammed: 12th Feb 2015

9 plays

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I've Got a Feeling

I've Got a Feeling

by The Besnard Lakes

UK copies of the October 2010 issue of @MOJOmagazine had a special covermount: the first vinyl LP to accompany the magazine. The concept was one tried several times before by MOJO, though; a Beatles album, covered entirely by different artists. I hated the White Album covermount; thought the Abbey Road effort was marginally better; but, with Let It Be, I finally enjoy one of MOJO's stabs at this awkward concept. Only Doctor Hook frontman Dennis Locorriere turns in a less than pleasing tune, with his exaggerated emoting on Dig a Pony. For this week's Jam, I was torn between two cuts; John Grant's Two of Us is lovely, but it's a very straight, sober reading, and I went with the more exciting of my two favorites. The Besnard Lakes is a Montreal quartet led by the husband and wife duo of Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas; at the time of this covermount, they were on their third LP.  (US copies of this issue featured the standard compact disc covermount.)

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Jammed: 5th Feb 2015

8 plays

6 likes

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Pretty Thing

Pretty Thing

by Bo Diddley

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that blues music is often a trigger for me to grow quickly bored. Scanning the tracklist of @MOJOmagazine's September 2010 covermount, a compilation of "blues classics that inspired Robert Plant," I knew it'd likely be good music but also likely to put me to sleep. When I see three-named men whose monikers begin with Blind, Big, or Little, I'm already tired. I was relieved when the disc turned out to be quite enjoyable. There's electric blues, country blues, and some things you might not consider blues at all—that last category including this week's choice, Bo Diddley's 1955 tune Pretty Thing. I considered posting songs by Big Joe Williams, Big Bill Broonzy, and the Mississippi Sheiks, but at the end of the day it's Pretty Thing that I enjoy the most on this disc. I'm a bad bluesman, but happy to know that this covermount is definitely a worthwhile spin.

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Jammed: 29th Jan 2015

19 plays

20 likes

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Coma Girl

Coma Girl

by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros

Think what you will of Bruce Springsteen's music; truth is, he's a music buff who has been known to buy lots of records, and his tastes aren't always predictable. The August 2010 issue of @MOJOmagazine devotes its covermount to a Brucie-curated selection; while it leans heavily towards roots music, there are choices you wouldn't expect whether it be stylistically (the nihilistic techno of Alan Vega) or generationally (the warbling folk-pop of Bright Eyes). The disc is split evenly between more contemporary acts and legacy artists such as The Stanley Brothers and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Springsteen has long been a vocal supporter of Joe Strummer, and I've selected a tune from the Clashman's final studio album, Streetcore. This tale of navigating the Glastonbury Festival is Strummer's last great song. There are numerous clips out there on the 'net of the Boss covering this tune in concert.

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Jammed: 22nd Jan 2015

18 plays

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Sixteen Tons

Sixteen Tons

by Tennessee Ernie Ford

The July 2010 issue of @MOJOmagazine was guest edited by Tom Waits, and he curated the month's covermount. His selections are, perhaps not surprisingly, very heavy on post-war, pre-rock'n'roll gospel and R&B; it is a good selection with much of interest, but I have to select its first track and most well known number—an absolute monster of a tune that ranks among the greatest in the American songbook. Ford's version is from 1955; it was originally recorded by Merle Travis in 1946, but it's the cover that looms large. It originally appeared as the B-side of a Ford single and its fortune was quickly heightened, hitting #1 on both the country and pop charts.  I've loved this version since I was a little kid and I never tire of it.

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Jammed: 15th Jan 2015

16 plays

14 likes

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(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go

(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go

by Curtis Mayfield

In honor of their June 2010 AC/DC cover story, @MOJOmagazine dubs the month's covermount Highway to Hell, "a compendium of the devil's best tunes," featuring all manner of Beelzebub-based ditties from a range of historic heavyweights (James Brown, Nick Cave, Otis Spann) and Satan-tempting newcomers (Deerhoof, Comets on Fire, Black Mountain). The greatest tunes on the comp belong to Brown ("Hell") and Mayfield, featured here, but a strong runner-up is a version of Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss" by Swedish acoustic trio Hellsongs. I'm not usually a fan of gimmick bands, but the trio's modus operandi is performing heavy-metal tunes in delicate, almost chamber-style arrangements. Check it out! As good as their entry here may be, for my weekly Jam I had to go with this epic stomper by Chicago's own Curtis Mayfield. We're all gonna go!

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Jammed: 8th Jan 2015

25 plays

18 likes

3 comments

Take a Little Time

Take a Little Time

by Black Merda

For May 2010, @MOJOmagazine diverged from their cover features (Paul Weller in the UK; Janis Joplin on US copies) and compiled 15 tracks called Heavy Soul—"a guitar-funk freak-out," as the cover says. The best tracks here are by Funkadelic and Curtis Mayfield, but I Jammed the former's Super Stupid several months ago and I wanted to go deeper than the oft-heard Freddie's Dead. Detroit group Black Merda (originally known as Black Murder) billed themselves as "The World's First Black Rock Band." The original three members—all high school friends—worked as session men for a wide variety of Motown and Brunswick signees; in the late '60s they added a fourth member and shifted toward heavier rock. Their second and final album appeared in 1972. After a 2005 reissue of their earlier work, the three surviving members reunited and have since recorded two more studio albums. This song was issued as a single in 2008 before appearing on their 2009 LP Force of Nature.

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Jammed: 31st Dec 2014

9 plays

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Christmas Time in the City

Christmas Time in the City

by Mary Chapin Carpenter

For this week's Jam I skip ahead a few months to January 2011, when @MOJOmagazine issued their "Festive Fifteen" Christmas compilation. There are many enjoyable tunes on this disc, but the one that's lingered for me is this one by New Jersey-born songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter. It's from her 2008 album Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas. Happy holidays, Jammers!

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Jammed: 25th Dec 2014

4 plays

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Norway

Norway

by Beach House

April 2010 finds @MOJOmagazine celebrating "Dream Pop," with a beautiful compilation of ethereal, immersive music ranging from early examples by the likes of Cluster & Eno to contemporary artists such as Panda Bear, Sigur Ros, and Baltimore duo Beach House. Norway comes from their strong third album and career highlight to date, Teen Dream.

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Jammed: 18th Dec 2014

9 plays

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Octopus

Octopus

by Captain Sensible

In March 2010 @MOJOmagazine do one of my favorite covermounts to date, by hook or by crook, via one of my least favorite of their tactics: various artists covering one artist's album, in this case the 1970 cracked masterpiece The Madcap Laughs by original Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett. The covermount features both newly recorded tunes and old covers (who remembers the Sassy magazine flexi of Dark Globe by R.E.M.?). Tops for me is Octopus by once-frontman of punk trailblazers The Damned, one Captain Sensible. There are numerous high marks on the comp, but Sensible's finds the groove of Barrett's fragile compositions and shows us that they can indeed rock. Or is it roll? Either way, Syd would surely be amused by this daring and delightful compilation.

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Jammed: 11th Dec 2014

9 plays

6 likes

6 comments

Sätt Att Se

Sätt Att Se

by Dungen

For February 2010 @MOJOmagazine gives us yet another challenging covermount: a continuous mix created by The Amorphous Androgynous, a side project of Manchester electronic duo The Future Sound of London. This project grew out of FSOL's DJ sets and emphasizes psychedelic music ranging from Donovan to modern-day obscurities; creators Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans weave the songs together with newly created interludes of the "groovy man, that was wild" variety that teeter too close to unintentional parody. To date the duo has released three different two-disc mix compilations, all entitled A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble. This song by Swedish groovers Dungen appears on the covermount in instrumental form, but Warner has most available versions blocked on TIMJ so I have to take this alternate vocal version. No biggie, considering that Cobain & Dougan heavily alter their own source material (for example, Can's Flow Motion is cut on the covermount from its original 10 minutes to 3).

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Jammed: 4th Dec 2014

6 plays

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Run Like Hell

Run Like Hell

by Crippled Black Phoenix

January 2010 sees @MOJOmagazine complete their two-issue tribute to Pink Floyd's The Wall. As I mentioned last week, this effort is more satisfying overall than other album-length cover projects they've overseen, but disc two is a little more uneven than last month's entry and quite honestly there's little if anything here that I'd want to listen to for pleasure. UK group Crippled Black Phoenix is the project of Justin Greaves, who previously served in various minor English metal groups (Iron Monkey, Armour of God, Electric Wizard, and the list seems to go and on and on from there). Their version of Run Like Hell originally appeared as a non-LP track in early 2009; nearly two years after appearing on this month's covermount, it cropped up on a Floyd-themed giveaway disc for German magazine Visions called Us and Them.  I look forward to future issues of MOJO getting back to the genre exercises and theme-free samplers that they usually focus on.

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Jammed: 27th Nov 2014

9 plays

5 likes

4 comments

Empty Spaces

Empty Spaces

by Astra

Spanning December 2009 and January 2010, @MOJOmagazine moved on from the Beatles and this time had bands cover an entire album by Pink Floyd. The Wall is a challenging album to begin with, and while it was one thing for Roger Waters to do it with a series of guest vocalists (see The Wall Live in Berlin, 1990) it's another thing to have multiple bands handle its interwoven pieces. On the original Floyd LP, Empty Spaces is a two-minute interlude that serves as a lead-in to the explosive Young Lust; here, San Diego prog band Astra turns it into a six-minute rave-up unto itself. @MOJOmagazine's version of The Wall is not exactly a fun listen, but overall it succeeds more than previous all-covers takes on The White Album and Abbey Road.  Next week we'll see a cut from its second disc.

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Jammed: 20th Nov 2014

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Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

by Charlie Dore

October ‘09 finds @MOJOmagazine repeating a concept they tried one year prior: a slew of artists covering a Beatles LP. In '08 it was the White Album; now it's Abbey Road. It’s an improvement over the last one but problems remain—hasty run-throughs with no added value (Jeffrey Lewis), overly precious attempts (Blue Roses), and fun material warped into pretentious dirges (Karima Francis). Robyn Hitchcock is a favorite of mine, but his I Want You isn’t one of his finer moments; Glenn Tilbrook’s You Never Give Me Your Money is good but not really worth a Jam. When the last strains of side two's medley have faded, my choice is by English singer-songwriter and actress/comedian Charlie Dore. Her debut LP and biggest hit, Pilot of the Airwaves, were released exactly 30 years before this covermount. Her Hawaiian take on George Harrison’s song here matches the theme of her then-current album The Hula Valley Songbook. Of all the disc’s tunes, Dore’s best reinvents while avoiding pitfalls.

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Jammed: 13th Nov 2014

11 plays

5 likes

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Secret Agent

Secret Agent

by Tony Allen

In September '09, @MOJOmagazine redeemed one of their weaker cover choices, Arctic Monkeys, with one of their boldest covermounts ever. Africa Rising compiles 13 contemporary tracks by artists from the continent and steers away from easily digested afrobeat tunes to include traditional-based material by artists such as Ali Farke Toure, Staff Benda Bilili, and Oumou Sangare. Other groups that had mysteriously made inroads to the western pop scene—Tinariwen and Konono No. 1 among them—are also present (an odd omission is Amadou & Mariam, riding high at the time of the covermount's release on their breakthrough album Welcome to Mali). Groove-based material always wins out to these very Western ears; so, my selection from Africa Rising is by Tony Allen. Allen is best known as the longtime drummer for afrobeat giant Fela Kuti, and he helped invent the genre.  Here is the title cut from his 2009 solo album.

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Jammed: 6th Nov 2014

11 plays

9 likes

2 comments

River

River

by Akron/Family

The August 2009 @MOJOmagazine covermount, New Harvest, mimics the sleeve of Neil Young's 1972 classic album. While the disc's liner describes it as a "compendium of North American song," a strong sub-theme here is roots-based music: Fleet Foxes, Vetiver, Bill Callahan, and the like aren't alt-country acts but they share a rustic approach that matches the spirit of the cover art. Here and there the disc branches out to other genres; Animal Collective's "My Girls" is my pick for top song on the disc, and it's hardly Americana (I've opted not to pick it because it's gotten plenty of exposure elsewhere). California singer-songwriter Alela Diane turns in another favorite of mine, "White as Diamonds," but ultimately I've gone with another tune I've loved for a long time, a song from Brooklyn-originating combo Akron/Family's fourth album Set 'em Wild, Set 'em Free. New Harvest is one of my favorite covermounts in recent memory.

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Jammed: 30th Oct 2014

13 plays

5 likes

2 comments

When God Dips His Love in My Heart

When God Dips His Love in My Heart

by Maddox Brothers and Rose

This is the covermount I've been dreading. Why @MOJOmagazine and other British mags love(d) crass Nashville cock-rockers Kings of Leon I'll never know, and their July 2009 cover feature is perhaps the worst idea the esteemed publication ever had. This freebie disc gathers the band's "Roots, Friends, & Influences"; thank goodness they're southern and thus had some exposure to classic country music that can take our mind off some of the covermount's more unappealing modern choices. Alabama's Maddox Brothers and Rose (their sister) performed from 1937 to 1956 and were known as "America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band." It's said that bassist Fred Maddox invented rockabilly. Whether or not he did, here's a great tune by the group whose original record release I can't track down; this version comes from the much later 1959 release A Collection of Standard Sacred Songs.

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Jammed: 23rd Oct 2014

13 plays

7 likes

2 comments

The Sea

The Sea

by Fotheringay

Once the largest independent label in history, Chris Blackwell's Island Records has a legendary past in several genres: reggae (Blackwell brought Marley to the mainstream), rock (Jethro Tull, King Crimson, etc.), and—as documented on @MOJOmagazine's June 2009 covermount—British folk, particularly that of the 1970s. While there's no Nick Drake to be found, despite the month's cover feature, the disc goes deep into the roster with such groups as Amazing Blondel and Dr. Strangely Strange. The finest work here, though, is of the genre's leading lights; specifically, a handful of acts descending from the band Fairport Convention. I very nearly Jammed a Jethro Tull song, but Warner Group blocks it here, so I return to my wits with a song from Sandy Denny's post-Fairport band Fotheringay. The band released only one album during its lifetime, a 1970 eponymous effort. This month's covermount has no fewer than three Denny lead vocals; she is truly the queen of modern British folk.

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Jammed: 16th Oct 2014

18 plays

9 likes

4 comments

Police Car

Police Car

by Larry Wallis

Pre-punk '70s British rockers who embodied the street-tough "bovver boy" aesthetic is the aim of May 2009's @MOJOmagazine covermount. The disc cuts a very wide swath through this description, as it ranges from the glam of T. Rex to the stomping of Mott the Hoople and the slashing mayhem of Motorhead. It even wraps up with music-hall comedian Max Wall's Stiff Records goofball gazetteer of Albion pop culture, "England's Glory." For my featured cut I've selected another Stiff release, this one a '77 solo cut by former member of Jethro Tull spinoff Blodwyn Pig, The Pink Fairies, and Motorhead itself Larry Wallis. "Police Car" was produced by label knobsman Nick Lowe; Wallis himself also became an in-house producer for the legendary indie. Wallis most recently resurfaced in 2002 with his first full-fledged solo album, Death in the Guitarfternoon. This is the studio version of "Police Car"; I first learned it from a concert take on the '78 label sampler Live Stiffs Live.

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Jammed: 9th Oct 2014

8 plays

7 likes

2 comments

Starvation

Starvation

by Golden Dawn

April ’09 saw @MOJOmagazine join a cover article on the Who’s most psychedelic LP, The Who Sell Out, with a mindbending covermount. Borrowing a title from that LP, I Can See for Miles is the best freebie in months, compiling a fine set of psych-rockers. Some are well collected elsewhere, but many are true deep nuggets. I was torn between three: I thrilled to Terry Manning's '69 swaggering take on Johnny Cash's '58 #1 country hit Guess Things Happen That Way—who knew psych could ever take a page from country?—and loved Lost & Found's absolutely demented ‘68 tune Don't Fall Down (strangely missing from the disc’s track list). I finally chose the ‘68 cut Starvation by Austin also-rans Golden Dawn. They released one album in their heyday, Power Plant; had they not been signed to disastrous Houston label International Artists they may've gone somewhere. It’s a timely pick, too, as Power Plant was just reissued last week by Burger Records for the dubious “holiday” Cassette Store Day!

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Jammed: 2nd Oct 2014

11 plays

8 likes

3 comments

Long Time Man

Long Time Man

by Tim Rose

The March 2009 issue of @MOJOmagazine features doom auteur Nick Cave as its cover star, and the attendant covermount is devoted to his "Roots & Collaborations." The freebie disc is rife with gloomy exercises, some including guest spots by Cave (such as by Current 93 and Lydia Lunch). I've chosen a song by Washington, D.C.-born songwriter Tim Rose, who in his early days was a compatriot of various members of the Mamas and the Papas—first serving in a folk group with Cass Elliot, called The Big Three—before solo opportunities called. This 1967 single is obviously cut from the same kind of dark cloth that Nick Cave would later wrap himself in.

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Jammed: 25th Sep 2014

8 plays

6 likes

5 comments

Didn't You Know (You'd Have to Cry Sometime)

Didn't You Know (You'd Have to Cry Sometime)

by Gladys Knight & The Pips

February 2009's @MOJOmagazine cover story is on Motown, and the attendant covermount, Motown Nuggets, asserts itself as a selection of "hits & rarities" from the label. It's a bit strange, then, that the comp kicks off with the overplayed "Do You Love Me" by The Contours before slamming into 14 far lesser-known Motown tunes of varying memorability. Hip-O Records had, at the time of this issue's release, made it through 11 volumes—some fifty-plus discs—of their exhaustive box-set series The Complete Motown Singles; I find it difficult to believe that the selections on this month's covermount truly represent the stronger side of things. I could not let myself Jam "Do You Love Me," even though it's clearly the strongest song on the disc, so instead I bring you a 1969 also-ran by Gladys Knight (penned by Ashford & Simpson), which grabbed my ear slightly more than the other "nuggets" here. @MOJOmagazine has certainly done better soul/R&B comps.

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Jammed: 18th Sep 2014

10 plays

11 likes

3 comments

I'll Be Late for Tea

I'll Be Late for Tea

by Blossom Toes

After three months of all-covers covermounts, @MOJOmagazine gets back to the curation of a genre-based disc with January 2009's comp Heavy Mod. Whereas the magazine's June 2005 covermount Mod Club Party focused on the soul aspects of the mod listening experience, this month it's all about the harder side of things. The track list includes a bit too much Deep Purple, Humble Pie, and the like for my taste, but blowing all of that turgidity out of the water is this smasher by short-lived London psychers Blossom Toes. Taken from their first of two albums, 1967's We Are Ever So Clean, this song features a drum performance worthy of Keith Moon, courtesy of Kevin Westlake. Blossom Toes were kaput by the dawn of 1970.

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Jammed: 11th Sep 2014

11 plays

5 likes

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Suzanne

Suzanne

by Ian McCulloch

@MOJOmagazine goes in December 2008 back to the treacherous territory of a freebie disc devoted entirely to covers of one artist's songs; in this case, it is those of Leonard Cohen. After the two-volume White Album mess of autumn '08, this comes a bit too soon. Whereas with the Beatles covermounts we had everyone trying to reinvent the wheel, the Cohen disc finds its artists trying to out-serious the most serious songwriter imaginable. We get dour, dourer, and dourest, all making for a very tedious listening experience, the nadir coming with an excruciating and pretentious snail's-pace version of "Hallelujah" by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. There are a handful of good moments on the disc, although I don't think it ever gets better than the very first cut, an intimate take on"Suzanne" by Echo and the Bunnymen leader Ian McCulloch that was recorded exclusively for this compilation. It's hard to endure a disc that peaks on track one.

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Jammed: 4th Sep 2014

10 plays

4 likes

2 comments

This Land Is Your Land

This Land Is Your Land

by Woody Guthrie

The November 2008 covermount from @MOJOmagazine is titled Rebel Music and collects 14 "songs of protest and insurrection," including two by the month's cover stars The Clash and also ranging from Nina Simone to Robert Wyatt. I really wanted to bring you the still very timely "Choice of Colors" by The Impressions; but, like almost anything controlled by Warner Music Group, it's blocked here. Another great choice was Billy Bragg's "There Is Power in a Union," but I've already Jammed him in recent weeks. Woody Guthrie's legendary tune is a fine substitute; this version comes from the brilliant Asch Recordings set currently available from Smithsonian/Folkways. Despite the video clip showing 1946, the Asch collection's liner notes state that the recording date is unknown for this particular take. Guthrie wrote it in 1940 and it first appeared commercially in 1951, not including two of the original verses; several different performances of the song are available today.

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Jammed: 29th Aug 2014

17 plays

15 likes

3 comments

Good Night

Good Night

by Sarabeth Tucek

October 2008's @MOJOmagazine sees part two of the all-covers White Album project, and I didn't think it was possible to be less interesting than part one. The covermounts are both titled "The White Album Recovered," but "Deconstructed" is more fitting as numerous covers are unrecognizable (see the jazzy piano version of Revolution 9 by the Neil Cowley Trio), or even "The White Album Done in a Precious, Whispery Style" as too many artists to count turn in overly affected versions. There were only two cuts from this second installment that I can say I truly like; my first choice was Jacob Golden's "Cry Baby Cry," but it's nowhere to be found, so we get Sarabeth Tucek doing "Good Night." Miami-born, New Jersey-bred Tucek has worked with Smog and the Brian Jonestown Massacre as a backing vocalist and has released two albums of her own. I hope it's a while before any more of these all-covers MOJO comps, as this White Album experiment is a serious dud.

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Jammed: 22nd Aug 2014

11 plays

4 likes

1 comments

Blackbird

Blackbird

by Julie Fowlis

With their September 2008 covermount @MOJOmagazine inaugurated a minor tradition of having multiple artists of today cover classic albums. This month it's the first half of the Beatles' "White Album" (part two followed the next month). This is the most dissatisfying covermount for me to date. Many of the artists approach their covers in the most self-conscious ways possible, trying desperately to sound inventive and thus making the whole event a chore to get through. This begins with the very first cut, in which Liz Green renders Back in the USSR so archly and affectedly that I wanted to turn the album off before track two. Some artists' versions are pleasing or interesting (Vashti Bunyan & Max Richter, Field Music, Joan as Police Woman featuring Violet, A Girl Called Eddy), but the only one I can see myself wanting to listen to regularly is this Gaelic version of Blackbird by Scotland's Julie Fowlis. I can hardly wait for part two of this gripping project...

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Jammed: 14th Aug 2014

12 plays

5 likes

1 comments

New Slang

New Slang

by The Shins

@MOJOmagazine's August 2008 comp features music from the Seattle label Sub Pop, known for their work in helping to bring grunge music to the world. As co-founder Jonathan Poneman says in the liner notes, though, "[Our] musical identity is merely the result of what is turning us on at any given time. There's never a strategy involved." In 1996, Warner Bros. bought a 49% share in the label, which remains in place today, so while Sub Pop is technically independent it doesn't keep Warner from blocking nearly every song for use on this site, which is why I have to bring you someone's dodgy SoundCloud post of this Shins song that everyone's heard a billion times whether they know it or not instead of the Mudhoney track I prefer. Frankly, though, the covermount isn't that strong; much of the old grunge stuff is weak in hindsight and the label roster circa 2008 is even weaker.

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Jammed: 7th Aug 2014

10 plays

11 likes

1 comments

London Girls

London Girls

by The Vibrators

@MOJOmagazine in July 2008 issued yet another punk compilation, but this collection of songs from 1977 makes for a more cohesive and fun listen than previous MOJO punk covermounts. I wanted to bring you Generation X doing "Wild Youth," but Warner has a lockdown on all versions of that tune, so here instead is a track by The Vibrators.

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Jammed: 31st Jul 2014

10 plays

9 likes

2 comments

Play My Record

Play My Record

by Arthur Kay & the Originals

May 2008 finds @MOJOmagazine paying tribute in its cover feature to The Specials, and on the accompanying covermount to the "Roots of the Specials." This is a bit disingenuous, for while there is a smattering of classic reggae from Toots & the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, and the like, a fair chunk of the tunes are by contemporaries of the Specials. The disc's cover will also confuse some with its banner of "15 Classic Punk & Ska Tracks," which you must take to understand in the context of what Bob Marley called a "punky reggae party," where the genres blurred—there ain't no Ramones or Buzzcocks to be found here, for instance. I'm bypassing the legendary stuff to bring you a fine 1980 single by Arthur Kay and his band; Kay styled himself as the Godfather of UK Ska, which is perhaps a bit of a stretch, but "Play My Record" is as infectious as anything the Specials ever wrote. Finally, US readers may recall the cover star there was not the Specials at all, but rather Neil Young.

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Jammed: 24th Jul 2014

7 plays

4 likes

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Blackeyedsusan

Blackeyedsusan

by José James

The April 2008 @MOJOmagazine covermount is called The New Dictionary of Blues and Soul and consists of modern-day practitioners of these genres. This means that you have to endure tedious simulacra like Eli "Paperboy" Reed, and then there's a raft of performers who are good at what they do but are not compelling enough to make you want to choose them over the proven greats in the field. Some of the best work here is by the instrumentalists (The Sugarman 3, The New Mastersounds; check them out). The finest song on the disc, though, is by a man who--on this song, at least--really fits more of a jazz mold; yet, MOJO put him here so I deliver him to you. Blackeyedsusan is from Minneapolis-born José James's 2008 debut album The Dreamer.

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Jammed: 17th Jul 2014

10 plays

6 likes

3 comments

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