Cover version of the month #54
David Hasselhoff covers Jesus and Mary Chain's Head On
Yes you read that correctly! I still sometimes wonder if I dreamt that last Autumn, Pitchfork, The Quietus and the NME reported that the Hoff had covered one of my favourite Mary Chain songs.
I thought I would check if it was all a dream for this months cover version of the month. Don't worry, I'll spend most of the blog talking about the original! This must be a strong candidate for one of the weirdest covers of a Scottish band/artist of all-time.
Head On was released as a single back in 1989, taken from the bands Automatic album (their 3rd) released the same year. In an era of multi-formatting to help chart position, Head On was released on 7 different formats, including 4 7-inch singles one week after the other with one coming with a cardboard box to house the set.
Head On is classic Mary Chain guitar pop with influences from the fuzzed up 50's style guitar riff through to the 80's drum machine and synth bass that drive and underpin the song. The song drips with Mary Chain cool; references to death, the stars and the sky, there is a guitar solo, breakdown, a build up, hey yay ay ays and yeah yeah yeahs. The song could easily last well under 3-minutes, but Jesus and Mary Chain realise they are the zone and take it on to over 4-minutes.
There is a pre chorus and chorus that flow superbly.
In the video William Reid wears a Love t-shirt and Jim Reid clings to his mic stand as they mime to the song - looking super cool. Jesus and Mary Chain released many impeccable singles through their career and Head On is one of their best, certainly one of my favourites.
On to the Hoff, a guy I used to watch on Baywatch back in the 80's and early 90's when the Mary Chain were ripping it up. OK I primarily watched Yasmine Bleeth, Erika Eleniak and Pamela Anderson!
Hasselhoff doesn't stray too far from the original, adding a few handclaps. His voice struggles with it and to be honest I can't bring myself to listen to the full 4-minutes, once was enough. I kind of just wanted to check if I had dreamt this all up!
So you might want to just dip your toe in to check this really happened - David Hasselhoff covered Jesus and Mary Chain! He genuinely seems to love the song and there is also a live version on YouTube you can check HERE
Previous covers of the month
40. Jumpin' Jack Flash