In 2020 I was mostly listening to…

Reel Big Fish, according to Last.fm which has counted up all of the tracks I’ve scrobbled over the year in order to tell me where my tastes have been over the course of the past year.

The Album I have most listened to has been Life Sucks… Let’s Dance by! the same band which, and I hadn’t really thought of it before, does sum up the year remarkably well.

The song I have listened to most, though, goes all the way back to 1997 with Save Ferris‘ cover of the Dexys Midnight Runners song, Come on Eileen.

So here it is.

Time Warp

Tenacious D‘s cover of Richard O’Brien’s timless classic was released in October and appears to have been released in order to encourage people to vote in the US election. I didn’t see it then, which is why I’m posting it now.

While not the greatest version of Time Warp ever recorded, the video is worth watching for the stream of celebrity cameos that keep popping up. Some of them I even recognised.

Guns of Navarone

The song, Guns of Navarone was originally an instrumental single recorded by The Skatalites back in 1961 for the film of the same name.

Being the age I am, however, it is probably unsurprising that I first encountered this song when The Specials covered it back in the 1980s. I loved the song then, and it still makes me bounce today.

I recently discovered that Jazz Jamaica also have a cover of Guns of Navarone, proving beyond all doubt that great songs never die.

What’s Up

I have to admit that I’d always thought of 4 Non Blondes as a bit of a one-hit wonder. What’s Up was a hugely successful song back in the early 1990s, then… nothing. It turns out, though, that they were a lot more successful than I’d realised. 4 Non Blondes fell apart a couple of years after What’s Up was released, which launched the solo career of Linda Perry, who was the band’s main songwriter and lead singer.

Joon Wolfsberg is a German singer/songwriter whose country/rock style is well worth a listen. And this makes her acoustic cover of What’s Up well worth checking out.

Big Mandalorian Iron

I have to admit that I still haven’t seen any of The Mandalorian. We don’t have Disney+ and I’m loathe to start subscribing to a streaming service just for one series, for which I will probably never find the time to actually watch.

Luckily for me, the whole series is summed up rather brilliant in Funk Turkey’s rather brilliant reworking of Marty Robbin’s Big Iron.

BxMxC

I first encountered Babymetal somewhere in 2006 when I stumbled across the video for Gimme Chocolate, and if you haven’t already seen this go and watch it now. I’ll wait.

The band describes their style as “kawaii metal” or “cute metal” and combines some metal instrumentation with the sort of squeaky-voiced melodies that you would normally associate with Japanese pop music. Initially, I reacted to them as I would any novelty band — they were fun but the joke soon wore thin and I moved on.

I encountered them again a few years later and things had changed somewhat, primarily the backing band which were sounding really rather good.

I recently realised that the band has been going for 10 Years, and they’re still evolving and their recently released BxMxC incorporates rap along with everything else. And it’s really good.

So if you ever wanted to know what cute Japanese nu-metal sounded like, you’re welcome.

Got The Time

I was something of an Anthrax fan back in the day. Among the Living was, and remains, an absolutely superb album and State Of Euphoria continues to have much to recommend it.

And then came Persistence Of Time which was something of a disappointment. In fact, the only song on that album that really stands up is a cover of Joe Jackson’s Got The Time.

Not only do I like the Anthrax version, though, but I prefer it to the original.

Ticking in my head.