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!
guess what …I love it… and if they want the squirrel, maybe they want me too … I can play on an egg slider :o)
Awesome! We’ll have to form a band with all makeshift instruments. We’ll outsell the Beaver!
Flying Lizard, who knew?
And here I left was trying to figure out who redid Shake Rattle & Roll…..
Check those Joan Jett albums again. I’m sure she has a version somewhere…
You post about all these obscure musical groups and I love that I have no idea what you are talking about. I do not have to hear the music rolling around me head, but I can laugh at your writing and wonderful illustrations 🙂
I try to appeal to all audiences… even those who have no idea what I’m talking about. Not that I have any idea what I’m talking about either… but I know how to use a squirrel for comedic effect.
I like it.
That was great! When I clicked play I realised I’d heard it before. Maybe in a film, or possibly in an episode of Alias – for some reason I see Jennifer Garner when I hear this version.
I remember seeing it had been used in a few TV shows and movies before, but I only know it from the occasional appearance it would make on VH-1 Classic.
That there is The Beatles, silly squirrel.
My ears are bleeding a little…
The Beatles? Oh yes, that does sound right, now!
I wonder what the boys thought of this cover. I’ll bet Ringo loved it…
Ringo loves everything. 🙂
This sounds a little familiar to me too but I doubt any of the radio stations whose air waves reached the valley in the distant boonies where I grew up would have played anything like it, so I’m not sure where I heard it. Maybe on Friday Night Videos.
That’s possible. Friday Night Videos was friggin’ awesome! Especially since we didn’t get cable until 1984, so I was happy to get to see music videos on regular TV before then!
I remember when that cover came out. I had forgotten about it but I remember I loved it and thought it was big fun at the time. I probably saw the clip on a 20 minute show that was on the television once a week called “Countdown” with my hero Molly Meldrum. ❤
I’ll bet there were some great videos on that show back in the day! I miss all the old music video shows from the 80’s…
The Flying Lizards sure beat the pan flute, Bill. I recall their New Wave version. It rocks in all its Abusurdist Germanic glory, I agree. Still, no. I vote for the Mop Tops.
I figured that would be the universal opinion, but I’m surprised how much love is going the Lizards way! And unless it’s Ian Anderson, I don’t want to hear any kind of flute in my music!
Do you remember the Zamfir pan flute commercials? Crazy dude he was, Bill, back in the 80s I believe. Maybe the 70s …
Oh no, definitely 80’s. I even skewered him and the people who thought we might want to listen to him in one of my Retro TV Ad posts a year ago.
Yes! I should have known you were all over that cat. 🙂
I love that sing, that said I liked obscure when I was younger. ‘Waltzin Black’ by the Stranglers was another one.
“The best things in life are free”…balls I’ll be humming this all day now lol
I’ve had it on the brain now for a few days…. I don’t just give out the earworms, I usually self-inflict them as well!