Thursday, June 18, 2009

ROCK Sex: Chuck Berry > Bob Dylan > Ultravox > Elvis Costello

ROCK Sex likes to explore all those secret hook-ups. Here's an example of a rhythm idea linking together different artists.


The idea came from jumping rope. Chuck Berry heard young girls chanting fast to the rhythm of rope-jumping and made this classic burner...

CHUCK BERRY -"Too Much Monkey Business" (1956)

The lyrics were delivered so fast, adults probably missed what a subversive protest song it is. But the kids didn't.

The song was covered by The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Kinks twice, Elvis Presley, and countless Garage bands. (I love the version by The Trappers, who chanted it in native Swedish). But breaking up the boys club as is my wont, here's Liverpool's all-female hellions, THE LIVERBIRDS, putting some extra resonance into the lyrics...

THE LIVERBIRDS -"Too Much Monkey Business" (1965)

But then BOB DYLAN ramped up the lyrical fury with his own variant on the chant...

BOB DYLAN -"Subterranean Homesick Blues" (1965)

That opened it up for everyone to jump in...

ULTRAVOX -"Satday In The City Of The Dead" (1977)

Bringing back some of that Dylan scorn is the other Elvis...

ELVIS COSTELLO -"Pump It Up" (1978)

The riff kept skipping new ropes, such as THE ESCAPE CLUB's "Wild Wild West" (1988) and ROGUE TRADERS' "Voodoo Child" (2006).

"Runnin' to-and-fro, hard workin' at the mill/
Never fail, in the mail, here come a rotten bill!/
Don't want your botheration, get away, leave me!"

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

-CHUCK BERRY: The Guitar God and His Disciples, with 2 Music Players

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