Strange Days Indeed

It definitely doesn't get much stranger than this.

It definitely doesn’t get much stranger than this.

It’s the day only a fat, lasagna eating, orange unemployed cat could possibly hate… good old Monday morning!  And at The Nest, you know what that means.  DJ Scratchy and her two little record fetching Sponkies are ready to press Play on the next exciting song in our Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time Countdown!  We’re in the upper echelon of cover song greatness now, and your eardrums have to just be quivering with anticipation over finally getting to hear what lucky song number seven is going to be!  Let the muzak play!


#7. “People Are Strange” – Echo & the Bunnymen

The Doors were one of, if not perhaps THE predominant American rock band of the late 60’s.  They broke on through not only with a series of multi platinum albums, but with a little help from their audacious frontman Jim Morrison, whose wild antics gained the band a lot of publicity, including the distinction of being banned from The Ed Sullivan Show.  Before Jim reached The End in a Paris bathtub in 1971, he and his bandmates contributed a bunch of classic songs to rock and roll history, including the rather haunting number “People Are Strange.”  Not the greatest Doors song in my book, but at least unlike a lot of other music of the era, you didn’t have to be stoned out of your gourd to appreciate it.

Come on baby, light our fire!

Come on baby, light our fire!

Echo & the Bunnymen were a British rock/new wave act who just never caught on here in the States, at least in the mainstream.  They’re probably best known in the Western Hemisphere for singing a song about one of our favorite bloggers, and for covering a Doors song on the soundtrack to one of the half a million horror movies that came out in the 80’s… and that would of course be their version of “People Are Strange” which appeared in the 1987 vampire flick “The Lost Boys.”

If you’d rather see the official music video with lots of classic movie montage footage, but overdubbed dialogue and cheesy sound effects ruining the ambiance, have at it!

Vampires and possums apparently both like to hiss.

Vampires and possums apparently both like to hiss.

One of the things that makes the Echo & the Bunnymen version so much superior to me is the awesome keyboard work, especially during the synth-driven intermezzo.  And what do you know… the synthesized ivories in the Echo version are being tickled by none other than Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for The Doors, who also produced the cover for the band.  Not quite the hijacking job Steven Tyler did of Run DMC’s cover of “Walk This Way,” but there was still a touch of the original in the remake.

Security, will you please escort the white guy off stage?

Security, will you please escort the white guy off stage…

Well, The Nest has pretty much insulted just about every fabled act in rock and roll history so far in this countdown.  Don’t worry, though… there’s still more legends out there for us to knock off their pedestal in the final six weeks of cover song madness!  Tune in next Monday to see what Hall of Famers get blasphemed by our number six entry!

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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39 Responses to Strange Days Indeed

  1. I bet all doors fans will throw tomatoes on me now, but I think the version of Echo and the Bunnymen is much much better… Jimmy’s version sounds a little halfarsed to me. Thanks for sharing a gem, I had no clue that someone covered this song :o)

    • I hadn’t heard the original in a while when I wrote this post, and I noticed that too, that it seemed even duller than I’d remembered it. I was beginning to question if I’d ranked this one too high, but confirmed I made the right decision when I heard Jim sing it again…

  2. Fantastic choice. Love those British new wave voices. They did justice to the Door’s original. That is one ear worm I don’t mind.

    Vampires, Lost Boys, Echo and the Bunnymen, POSSUMS… this is a perfect post.

    I’m going to share it if you don’t mind.

  3. Reblogged this on Vampire Maman and commented:
    Great post about one of the best cover songs ever and my favorite Vampire movie….

  4. crimsonowl63 says:

    I have been a Doors fan since I was a kid in the 70s, love them and have all their albums. That being said, I also love Echo and the Bunnymen. This is a great version of “People Are Strange”. I am pretty picky about cover songs, but reallyI like this.
    Do you like Ian Dury? There was a tribute album put out with covers of a lot of his songs that is just terrific. Love these posts.

    • I had to look him up, so I guess that answers your question! It’s quite possible I’ve heard some of him music before… but given some of the lyrics Wikipedia quotes as his, I’d have to think I’d remember any of his songs if I did!

  5. NotAPunkRocker says:

    We’re already into the final six weeks? What horrors lie ahead this time?

    And I’ve gotta go old-school with The Doors on this one 🙂

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    I love Echo and the Bunneymen. Nuff said?

  7. fanrosa says:

    Okay I was all “How dare you, sir? That’s my favourite Doors song!” Then I gave the cover a listen….


    Why couldn’t Manzarek put stride piano bit in the original? It reminds me of Some Folks which, perhaps not coincidentally, is one of my fave Alice Cooper songs.

    Fun Fact: The Alice Cooper Group opened at a club for the Doors BITD and drove everybody out. Yep, everybody walked out before the headliners even hit the stage…..ha!

    • And they say opening acts don’t count for anything. I guess like Marty McFly, the audience just wasn’t ready for Alice yet…

      I’m glad you gave the song a listen, though! It’s definitely got a kick to it the original doesn’t…

  8. Merbear74 says:

    I have found during my lifetime that people are indeed strange…especially when it is raining.

  9. Trisha says:

    I didn’t know this song. After listening to both, I’m not sure which I like better. There are things I like about each of them. Maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee to wake up my ears yet. 🙂

    • I made it through much of my life unaware of either version of this song. Then we briefly got an all-80’s radio station in 2000 and they liked playing the Echo & the Bunnyman version (That despite my best friend and me marathon watching “The Lost Boys” one night when I was a kid.. I don’t the song from it at all). It was several years after that I first heard the Doors’ inferior original version…

  10. draliman says:

    One of the best vampire films ever! I have the soundtrack knocking around here somewhere. I didn’t realise that was a cover version.

    • I don’t think it’s among the best remembered Doors songs… and certainly didn’t get played on the oldies stations along with the rest of their hits when I was growing up. Much like Echo & the Bunnymen weren’t played here at all unless you happened to be in college at the time listening to alternative radio…

  11. I recently replaced my vanished CD of Strange Days. My granddaughter thinks they are cool. So there! They were not only interesting to listen to, but really good musicians. Pity about Morrison being such a jerk.

  12. although I am not usually a fence sitter, I actually like both of them. Also love the merry go round clip. I love Merry go rounds, especially old creepy ones. We have a super awesome one at melbourne Zoo. Made in 1886 and restored in 2000 and something. It is big enough for adults to ride comfortably. Yes I have indeed been on it. ❤

  13. markbialczak says:

    Well, Bill, my problem with the Bunnymen’s version is that it’s too devoted to the Doors’ original. Echo might as well be channeling Jim from the great beyond, and Ray’s doing what Ray did so well for Morrison before he went off the deep end for good. So I’ll stick with wonderfully strange Jimbo on this one, although, yes, it’s down my list of Doors’ songs, too. My personal best stereo moment with the band came one wild night when a tropical storm was whipping through Long Island and teenager me was lying awake with FM progressive rock, my favorite station from across the Sound, WPLR from New Haven, Conn., and the DJ served up the one-two punch of Riders on the Storm and This Is the End. No bongs involved, and it still gave me chills.

    • You have valid points on both counts. It is pretty similar to the original, and had previously been aware of Ray’s heavy involvement with this cover, I might have docked it a bit in my rankings. That said, I still prefer the cover due to it being a somewhat more fun and upbeat take… much like many of the previous covers I’ve featured.

      I can’t believe I didn’t think of “Riders on the Storm” when I was brainstorming Doors songs for this post. It’s one of those songs you wouldn’t think I like, but I actually do…

      • markbialczak says:

        OK, I’ll give you that it’s a tad more fun. Morrison was never known for being anything close to light-hearted like Echo and the Bunnymen could be, after all.

  14. I was thinking of you earlier today. I was at my sister’s and she put on the latest computer animated thing, called (I think) The Nut Job, featuring a bunch of squirrels and other such furries trying to collect a bunch of nuts to last them through the winter.

  15. Mentioned The Lost Boys in my most recent post…could be something you may be interested in although by the link I have added it may not look like it but give it a look in….you may be pleasantly surprised 🙂

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