Given that I’ve been on a lounge kick recently, it should come as no surprise that I’ve been listening to Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine. His shtick is to take modern songs and “loungify” them. One flaw with this kind of thing is that after you get past the gimmick, most of the music doesn’t stand up to repeated listening. For example, when Pat Boone was in a metal mood, his version of Crazy Train got the air time, but only his incredible version of Holy Diver did he really make his own, and therefore the only track of his still on my play list.
In general, I love unusual covers (like Tori Amos’ version of Smells Like Teen Spirit), so bear that in mind while I list the Richard Cheese tracks that have the legs to have been on my playlist for about of month, which is a long time for me:
- Baby Got Back, from Tuxicity. Totally different in feel from the Sir Mix-A-Lot original, this breezy, laid back, piano heavy version is addictively singable in a vaguely Sinatra way.
- Down With the Sickness, from Tuxicity. You can hear this infinitely better than the Disturbed original in the remake of Dawn of the Dead.
- Gin & Juice, from I’d Like a Virgin. Originally by Snoop Dog, this one really swings, largely by eliminating a good deal of the lyrics and focussing on the chorus. I occasionally sing this in the halls at work, gaining me funny looks.
- Somebody Told Me, from Aperitif for Destruction. My wife hates this one, and it almost doesn’t make the list, but it’s basically a drunken, down-tempo version of the the Killers song, meandered through like it was five in the morning.
Honorable mention: the following tracks are a cut above the others, but have some flaw that gets them tossed off the play list:
- Longview, from I’d Like a Virgin. The steel slide-guitar and down-tempo of this Green Day tune give this version a cool sipping margaritas on the beach feel, but it’s lacking something I can’t quite put my finger on.
- Welcome to the Jungle, from Aperitif for Destruction. Imagine the opening guitar part of this Guns ‘N’ Roses song being done on a piano. Totally amazing. The rest of the song, however, doesn’t work as well for me.
- Hot For Teacher, from Tuxicity. Again, masterful piano work in duplicating the Van Halen introduction, but pedestrian thereafter.