"A crowd of people turned away.
But I just had to look,
Having read the book."
Cult bands covering classic albums. It seems MOJO magazine glues one of these to their covers every month now – most recently ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’. But back in 1988, the NME’s ‘Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father’ was the first of its kind. (Or was it? Perhaps not. Let me know if I’m wrong.)
Released to celebrate 21 years of the original ‘Sgt Pepper’s’ album and to raise some cash for the charity Childline, this tribute is probably most remembered for its chart-topping cover of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ by Wet Wet Wet.
Now here’s a revelation for you: I’ve never really cared for Wet Wet Wet. Shocked? Well, here’s another: I’ve never much liked The Beatles either. Beyond one or two songs. The rest just sound like nursery rhymes to me. So the appeal of this album was primarily The Fall’s cover of ‘A Day In The Life’. Every second a marvel. I’d never heard it before, so this became the definitive version for me. (Yes, I’m quite sure that’s some kind of sacrilege and I’ve lost all you Beatles fans from today.) Cracking covers by the Weddoes, Bragg, Sonics and Frank Sidebottom were all bonuses.
Although the shine of novelty has lost its luster, I still find these cover albums inordinately compelling. I’m really hoping MOJO is now working on a tribute to The Thompson Twins’ ‘Quick Step & Side Kick’.