Wednesday, January 9, 2013

MUSICAL CLONES: THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

I frequently hear people whine and complain that most contemporary music sounds the same. I believe part of the problem has to do with the lack of announcers on radio these days. However, part of what inspired me to write this post was Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and Bruno Mars "Locked Out of Heaven." I noticed recently how much Lady Gaga on that song sounds like Madonna. Then a few weeks ago, I heard the Bruno Mars song and thought it was a song by the Police. Let me say, I have no problem with this at all.

If you really want to talk about musical cloning or sound alike artist on T-40, then go back to the mid-60s. Yes, the era that many people, who criticize the current music scene say produced great music. You had "Lies" and "One Track Mind" by the Knickerbockers that sounded like The Beatles. You had Mouse and the Traps "Public Execution" and "Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice" which sounded like Bob Dylan. The Walker Brothers "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" and "Make It Easy On Yourself" sounded like the Righteous Brothers. The Count 5's "Psychotic Reaction" sounded like The Yardbirds "I'm a Man." Barry Young's "One Had My Name, The Other Has My Heart" sounded exactly like then-current Reprise era hits by Dean Martin. The Rolling Stones produced the most imitators, including The Shadows of Night with "Gloria" and "Bad Little Woman," The New Colony Six "I Lie Awake," The Standells "Dirty Water," The Seeds "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" and "Pushing Too Hard." The Kinks managed to have imitations from their contemporaries The Who ("I Can't Explain") and Paul Revere and The Raiders ("Just Like Me"). Although people accused The Hombres "Let It All Hang Out" of being a Bob Dylan imitation, the Southern hipster vocal and goofy lyrics sound more like a cousin of Roger Miller's "My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died" or "You Can't Roller Skate In a Buffalo Heard." Do you get my point?

Over time there have been many "musical clones" or imitations. Many times it is a coincidence or a case of mistaken identity, but many times it is a homage by one artist of someone they admire. Great examples of this include Tommy Roe's early singles, Billy Joel's Innocent Man LP, and XTC's alter ego The Dukes of the Stratosphere. There have also been instances in which every record company tried to find "a group like ..."
The late 50s, there were several clones of the Everly Brothers. Some like the Kalin Twins and the Allisons were real brothers, while Skip & Flip and Tom & Jerry weren't. Matter of fact, Tom & Jerry were two guys named Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

There are also times when people compare the sound of a new artist to an established artist. America was compared to Neil Young and Heart was compared to Jefferson Airplane/Starship on their first hits, but later those comparisons disappeared with follow-up releases.
 
I've decided to compile a list of singers and recordings that sounded like them.

NAT KING COLE
  • "The End" Earl Grant

ELVIS PRESELY:
  • "You Don't Know What You've Got" Ral Donner
  • "Suspicion" Terry Stafford
  • "Washing Machine" Orion (Not only sounded like Elvis, but looked like him. Wore a gold domino mask and was promoted as Elvis reborn)
 BUDDY HOLLY
  •  "What Do You Want" Bobby Vee
  • "Shelia" Tommy Roe
  • "I'm Gonna Love You Too" The Hullabaloos
  • "Someday Someway" Marshal Crenshaw
BO DIDDLEY
  • "Cherokee Dance" Willie and his Unitar
  • "Hey Little Girl" Dee Clark
  • "Rosalyn" The Pretty Things
  • "I Want Candy" The Strangeloves
  • "Who Do You Love" George Thorgood and The Destroyers
CHUCK BERRY
  • "Surfin U.S.A" The Beach Boys
  • "Katmandu" Bob Seger
  • "I Knew The Bride" Dave Edmunds
THE EVERLY BROTHERS
  • "When" Kalin Twins
  • "Hey Schoolgirl" Tom & Jerry
  • "Are You Sure" The Allisons
  • "Love Me Baby" The Balew Twins (They were in a film called Rock It, Baby, Rock It, a clip of them singing this song was used in It Came From Hollywood.)
EDDIE COCHRAN
  • "Everybody" Tommy Roe
  • "Just Like Eddie" Heinz
JACKIE WILSON
  • "Jamie" Eddie Holland (He wrote most of the big Motown hits)
JOHNNY MATHIS
  • "A Very Special Love" Johnny Nash
LITTLE RICHARD
  • "I'm Down" The Beatles
  • "No Time" The Monkees
FATS DOMINO
  • "Lady Madonna" The Beatles
DION & THE BELMONTS
  • "The Longest Time" Billy Joel
FOUR SEASONS
  • "Uptown Girl" Billy Joel
THE BEATLES
  • "She's The One" The Chartbusters
  • "Lies" and "One Track Mind" The Knickerbockers
  • "The Kids Are Alright" The Who
  • "Mayor of Simpleton" XTC
  • "Go All The Way" The Raspberries
  • "I'll Be There For You" The Rembrandts
THE BEACH BOYS
  • "Here, There and Everywhere" The Beatles
  • ""Beach Baby" The First Class
  • "Pale and Precious" The Dukes of the Stratosphere (XTC)
BOB DYLAN
  • "Catch The Wind" Donovan
  • "Public Execution" Mouse & The Traps
  • "Stuck In the Middle With You" Stealers Wheel
  • "Sultans Of Swing" Dire Straits
  • "Romeo's Tune" Steve Forbert
  • "The Good Life" Firetown
THE BYRDS
  • "Western Union" The Five Americans
  • "Don't Fear The Reaper" Blue Oyster Cult
  • "American Girl" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • "South Central Rain" R.E.M.
  • "You're My Drug" The Dukes of the Stratosphere
THE ROLLING STONES
  • "125" The Haunted
  • "Gloria" and "Bad Little Woman" The Shadows of Knight
  • "I Lie Awake" The New Colony Six
  • "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" and "Pushing Too Hard" The Seeds
  • "Don't Look Back" The Remains
  • "Dirty Water" The Standells
  • "You Said" The Primatives
  • "Brown Eyed Girl" Van Morrison
  • "Who Are The Mystery Girls?" The New York Dolls
  • "Emotions" DFX2
DEAN MARTIN
  • "One Has My Name, The Other Has My Heart" Barry Young
  • "Julie, Do You Love Me" Bobby Sherman
ROGER MILLER
  • "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out" The Hombres
THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS
  • "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" and "Male It Easy On Yourself" The Walker Brothers
ROY ORBISON
  • "You're Only Lonely" J.D. Souther
  • "Maria" Ray Vega
MARVIN GAYE
  • "Tell Her About It" Billy Joel
THE KINKS
  • "I Can't Explain" The Who
  • "Just Like Me" Paul Revere & the Raiders
THE WHO
  • "Biff! Bang! Pow!" The Creation
  • "Mr. Pinnodmy's Dilemma" The Attack
  • "I Must Be Mad" The Craig
  • "Helter Skelter" The Beatles
THE YARDBIRDS
  • "You've Got a Habit of Leaving" David Jones & the Lower Third (David Jones changed his name to David Bowie)
  • "Psychotic Reaction" The Count Five
  • "I'm Sick of You" Iggy & the Stooges
ELECTRIC PRUNES
  • "25 O'Clock" The Dukes of the Stratosphere
PERCY SLEDGE
  • "Whiter Shade of Pale" Procol Harum
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE
  • "The Garden of Earthly Delights" United States of America
  • "Send Me a Postcard," "Love Buzz" and "Venus" The Shocking Blue
  • "Zor and Zam" The Monkees
  • "Crazy On You" and "Magic Man" Heart
  • "Only The Lonely" The Motels
JANIS JOPLIN
  • "Baby It's You" Smith
THE FIFTH DIMENSION
  • "Grazing In the Grass" The Friends of Distinction (Originally they were all part of the same group)
  • "Rock The Boat" The Hughes Corporation
ARETHA FRANKLIN
  • "Rescue Me" Fontella Bass (This was actually released before Aretha's Atlantic recordings, but many people think it IS Aretha)
  • "Would I Lie To You?" The Eurythmics
WILSON PICKETT
  • "Easy Money" Billy Joel
STEVIE WONDER
  • "Hyperactive" Thomas Dolby
THE DOORS
  • "Golden Brown" The Stranglers
 BEE GEES
  • "Toast and Marmalade" Tin Tin
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
  • "Long Cool Woman On a Black Dress" The Hollies
LED ZEPPELIN
  • "Working Man" Rush
  • "Rock Me" Great White
  • "Get It On" Kingdom Come
  • "Woman" Wolfmother
HUMBLE PIE
  • "7 O'Clock" The London Quireboys
JOHN LENNON
  • "Let Me Roll It" Wings
  • "Valotte" Julian Lennon
PAUL McCARTNEY
  • "You're a Very Lovely Woman"  The Merry Go Round
  • "Sky High" Jigsaw
  • "All By Myself" Eric Carmen
NEIL YOUNG
  • "A Horse With No Name" America
  • "Painted Lady" Ian Thomas (Brother of SCTV star Dave Thomas)
THE CARPENTERS
  • "Don't Say You Don't Remember" Beverly Bremers
ROD STEWART (The only male artist to have female clones)
  • "It's a Heartache" Bonnie Tyler
  • "Bette Davis Eyes" Kim Carnes
  • "Run To You" Bryan Adams
DAVID BOWIE
  • "Crush With Eyeliner" R.E.M
ELTON JOHN
  • "Take Your Mama" Scissor Sisters
GARY GLITTER
  • "Jungle Boy" John Eddy
STEELY DAN
  • "Mary's Prayer" Meet Danny Wilson
  • "Motor Town" The Kane Gang
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
  • "The Boys Are Back In Town" Thin Lizzy
  • "Bat Out of Hell" Meatloaf
  • "I Need a Lover" John Cougar (Mellencamp)
  • "This Little Girl" Gary U.S. Bonds (Song was written by Bruce Springsteen)
  • "On the Dark Side" and "Tender Years" John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band
 EMMYLOU HARRIS
  • "Pilot of the Airwaves" Charlie Dore (Australian girl singing about a DJ)
THE SWEET
  • "Talk Dirty To Me" Poison
BILLY JOEL
  • "Ariel" Dean Friedman
JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP
  • "I Wish I Had a Girl" Henry Lee Summer
THE POLICE
  • "Locked Out of Heaven" Bruno Mars
ASIA
  • "When The Heart Rules the Mind" GTR
  • "The Final Countdown" Europe
BILLY IDOL
  • "Don't You (Forget About Me)" Simple Minds (Billy Idol later recorded this)
MADONNA
  • "Born This Way" Lady Gaga
PRINCE
  • "Oh Shelia" Ready For the World

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...