I was listening to Robin Danar's Altered States (released Mar 18th) for review on my iPod and seriously had a heart attack when I heard Minibar's doo-wop version of Morrissey's "First of the Gang to Die". It was the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.
As the name of the album suggests, Altered States are cover songs, however simply not just covers, these are songs reimagined.
I'll summarize the press material, this is music producer, arranger, musician Robin Danar's project. He assembled a cast of famous musicians to take on some famous (and not-so-famous) songs on this album.
I will have to admit that you really need to hear the original song to really appreciate the new versions. Although I haven't heard all the original songs, I know enough of them to really understand the joke.
Take for instance, Lisa Loeb & Steve Reynold's "Video Nasty", a sweet acoustic song. The irony is that the original song, "Nasty" is by UK punk band, The Damned.
If you're a fan of British culture, you'll probably know the term "Video Nasty" - which was the term they used to describe movies too horrible for consumption. These movies were banned and include (as mentioned in the song):The Driller Killer, Late Night Trains, and The Toolbox Murders.
Incidentally, when they made the Video Nasty list, it ultimately made a list of "must-see" horror films.... kind of like the "do not spam list", if you think about it.
My other favorite song is Danar's take on The Charlatans' "Weirdo". The original song is kind of a psychedelic/dance song, but in the hands of Gary Jules and Section Quartet, these guy deliver a very strange industrial, gothy violin-driven song.... In some ways, even better than the original. You simply must hear it for yourself.
If you're a cover lover, like myself, this is a must-own album. It seems to me that many of these songs might be more obscure, but it's given me a new goal to find the original and hear how different they are compared to songs on Altered States.
PS, after receiving suggestions, I'm adding a "Rating" out of five hearts, for people who just want a quick summary.