Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rolling Clones: 2000 Light Years From Home

Every so often, I will do a feature on covers. I actually planned to do this Second Week Feature back in 2013, but replaced it with something else. Now time is on my side to look at covers of songs originally recorded by The Rolling Stones. There were so many good and unusual covers of Stones’ selections that I decided to extend it to eight days and start a day early.

In the same vein I used for Buddy Holly covers (“Not My Buddy”), rehashed Beatles’ songs (“Refab Four”), and Byrds’ remakes (“Mocking Byrds”), today I bring you our new feature – “Rolling Clones.” While I had seven songs picked for 2013, I am only using three of those selections, as I found some more interesting alternate versions of Rolling Stones’ hits. Most of the songs will be familiar, but there are possibly three that mainstream folks won’t know. Today, we have one those selections.

The Stones released “2000 Light Years from Home” as the flipside of “She’s a Rainbow” in 1968. The band’s journey into psychedelic music has always been one of my enduring favorite lesser known Stones’ recordings. For today, I found a 2012 remake by Nektar from their cover album “A Spoonful of Time.” I wasn’t aware that the prog rock German based band of Englishmen had reformed, but after a 20 year hiatus, they have been together again since 2001.

The album “A Spoonful of Time” is also known for Nektar’s use of guest musicians on every cut and “2000 Light Years from Home” is no exception. Its guest is Hawkwind’s former keyboardist Simon House. Nothing like using someone accustomed to an ethereal sound to capture the intent of The Stones’ foray into psychedelia. The vocals are supplied by Nektar’s original guitarist/vocalist Roye Albrighton who left the band in 1977, and who returned for the 21st century reformation.

Nektar’s rendition of “2002 Light Years from Home” is nice, but it’s not for the faint of heart. The only thing missing from this remake is the falsetto background vocals that were on the original. Although, I recognized that they were lacking, I did not miss their absence. I always thought they were supplied by Yoko Ono on the original, but alas it was either Mick or Keith as they are only ones credited as backup singers on the Stone’s version.

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