It’s time to get your week started off on the right note, with another annoying earworm from The Nest’s Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown! DJ Scratchy and Sponkies One and Two have got a real hoof stomping treat for you all today. I promised that as we got higher up in the countdown, the music would begin to veer away from pop hit covers and more towards the truly obscure and eclectic… and I can’t think of two better words to describe this week’s honoree. On with the freak show, Vinyl!
#14. “Money (That’s What I Want)” – The Flying Lizards
Motown is as iconic a U.S. recording company as you will find in the early decades of rock and roll history, and one of their first smash singles was a song written by founder Berry Gordy that would be performed by Barrett Strong. In 1960, Barrett helped usher in the age of greed with this tune about how all he needed was money. Ironically, maybe the best known cover version of this song was by a band that once sang about how money couldn’t buy them love… and that of course would be that fab group…. oh, what’s their name again?
While these lads may have revolutionized rock music in the 60’s, by the late 70’s, the British rock scene was truly a anarchistic hot mess… what with the advent of punk and new wave. Somewhere in between those two genres, you’ll find The Flying Lizards. In 1979, they did an amazingly fucked up take on “Money” that is so blatantly absurd, that it is impossible to not absolutely love the shit out of it…
The Flying Lizards taught us that you can make music with more than just guitars, drums and kazoos. You can use pots, typewriters, sonar, howling dogs…. whatever happens to be lying around the garage. Who needs money when you can turn anything handy into a musical instrument?
Most people who consider themselves to be music aficionados will grimace and wretch at the very idea that The Flying Lizards version of this song even exists. I love to rattle their cages (another fine instrumental idea!) by singing the praises of this most bizarre of new wave offerings. Long live experimental rock!
Join me again next Monday for lucky song #13!