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The 1998 Freddie Awards
The oddest Neil covers of 1998.

by Fred Mills a.k.a. Old Pueblo Flyer

Rusties: Announcing the first annual FREDDIE AWARDS. (Dress is Rusted Tie only, clothes optional.) Here I'll examine the oddest Neil covers released in the year just passed...

Most Gratuitous Genre-Splicing:
Pocahontas, by EVERCLEAR.
This B-side to a UK EP rightly should have remained a figment of the band's over-reaching imagination, unless, of course, you think that the ditty was actually written by Brian Wilson. Yes, it's close to Little Duece 'Hontas, as Everclear turns the tune into a Beach Boys shutdown number.

Unexpected Guilty Pleasure From A Performer That For The Most Part Gets On My Nerves:
Like A Hurricane, by HEATHER NOVA.
Issued as a B-side which I never saw but turning up on a Zoo Magazine sampler, this live-in-Japan recording features mournful violin and Nova's understated (for once), tinged-with-regret vocal.

Out-of-Nowhere Obscurity:
Hippie Dream, by THE SLAGS.
All-girl German punk/noise band serves up a suitably murderous rendition replete with psychotic slasher vocals and eerie creepy-crawl slide guitar. From their Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out CD (originally from '95 but hey, it only just turned up here recently).

Least Palatable & Worst Use Of Keyboards:
Hey Hey, My My, by ULTRASOUND.
Hotshot Britpop band mangles the classic, alternating between dirge and hysteria -- and what the hell were they thinking when they used keyboards to do the guitar solo!?!

Sloppiest & Closest To The Original Inspiration:
Rockin' In The Free World, by THE SAND RUBIES.
Originally on their live CD and now on their all-covers Release The Hounds disc (it also includes songs by Love, Spirit, the Records, Beatles, Dylan, etc.), this is a spirited, end-of-show booze-up that has Tucson's finest kicking out the jams, and forgetting a fair share of the lyrics as well.
Tune in next year, same Rust-time, same Rust-place. Happy Nude Year to all of ya!

Old Pueblo Flyer

Late Breaking Freddie Recipient

Here's another one of the "oddest Neil covers I encountered this year." Okay, okay -- so it's 1999 already, and this is technically a Stills cut. Quit nitpickin'!!
Hip-hoppingest, Dopest, Flyest Treatment of a Springfield Song:
(Hey You) What's That Sound, by Les Rhythmes Digitales.
Appearing on a Wall Of Sound (UK) label sampler entitled All Back To Ours that accompanied a recent issue of Melody Maker magazine, this decontextualizes For What It's Worth for, well, for what it's worth! Even more so than Public Enemy's treatment (which hired Stills for a cameo), this takes a funky, acid-jazzy hip hop arrangement, nods only intermittently at the original melody, and relies on the mantra-like titular chant repeated over and over to achieve a kind of low-rent, but very cool, groove.

Old Pueblo Flyer

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