B.E.F. VS The Monkees…Not a Dream! Not an ‘Imaginary Story!’

The Pre-Fab Four go Post-Punk... or do they?

The Pre-Fab Four go Post-Punk… or do they?

Yesterday I revealed that B.E.F. in the guise of Martyn Ware with Glenn Gregory singing had covered the venerable Neil Diamond Monkees classic, so you’d better know that I didn’t sit around waiting for the tune to fall out of the sky! What’s it like? Glad you asked!

post-fab-four

Wall Of Sound | US | DL | 2013

Post Fab Four: A Tribute To The Monkees DL [2013]

  1. British Electric Foundation: Little Bit Me Little Bit You
  2. Mekon vs PIG: Mary Mary
  3. Echoes: Pleasant Valley Sunday
  4. Killaflaw: Randy Scouse Git

I have to say it’s not much more than an iota or two from the vibe of the brilliant original! Presumably, H17 guitarist Tim Cansfield is all over the chunky, strummed acoustic guitar chords. Martyn Ware probably had a field day with the Farfisa organ patch on his synth. The robust handclaps are probably courtesy of a DAW but otherwise replicate the original astoundingly well.  The backing vocals by [presumably] Kelly Barnes, Ware, and Billie Godfrey are a far cry from the synth funk they normally hit, but the “la-las” and counter harmonies are as effervescent as they need to be. The only concession to modernity, really, is the subtle synth bass underpinning the Farfisa on the lead melodies. Glenn Gregory sounds like he’s having as much fun singing it as I am in hearing it. The cold stops in the arrangement are abetted by the digital production which really gets it tight and “in the pocket.”

You’d have to go back to “These Boots Were Made For Walking” to get a comparable vibe from B.E.F. and really, the vocals here are a lot better! This little tributary was sparked by Wall Of Sound head honcho Mark Jones wanting to do something to commemorate Davy Jones after his recent demise, so he contacted Jones’ four daughters and proposed the tribute EP concept with all profits going to the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation! Well, all right, then! H17/B.E.F. fans that don’t grab at least this track are really missing out on some wild fun. Available at all of the usual digital retailers.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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12 Responses to B.E.F. VS The Monkees…Not a Dream! Not an ‘Imaginary Story!’

  1. Echorich says:

    If the Monkees were more hip in 1981, maybe this would have been right at home on MOQD Vol.1. This song is just plain fun and you can tell the band had a lot of that. I enjoy the fact that they didn’t “electro” fy the song.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Agreed! Plus, if you’ve followed the Radio Ditto H17 podcast, you’d be aware that Martyn [like myself] finds The Beatles incredibly overrated, and thus would take perverse glee in covering The Monkees instead! In 1981 they would have been really pushing the Linn Drum, which might have sent this further over the top ala “Boots.”

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  2. Echorich says:

    Agreed here on The Beatles…Norwegian Wood, Taxman, Dear Prudence, Tomorrow Never Knows and a couple others are all the they have ever reallly meant to me. I proably go for The Kinks, The Who and Small Faces before The Beatles…

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I much prefer The Who to The Beatles, and The Stones to The Beatles, while you’re at it! I actually own Rolling Stones CDs and would like to have more of them. But the best songwriter of the lot? That’s easy… his name’s Ray Davies.

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      • Echorich says:

        I have to agree with you there. As for the Stones, hit and miss for me as well. I actually really like their late 70’s period best. Disco was a refresher for The Stones who had always aped “black music.” Some Girls and Emotional Rescue, while still containing some whiney blues tracks, were kind of exciting and I enjoyed all those rock muso’s having to give into the disco and funk because The Stones were doing it.

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        • postpunkmonk says:

          Echorich – When you invoke The Stones and funk, what immediately came to mind was “Hot Stuff,” a song that I will always consider their absolute nadir! Time was kinder to their disco era, though. While I resented it at the time, I will cop to owning the Bob Clearmountain 12″ of “Miss You” now!

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          • Echorich says:

            Didn’t mean to leave Hot Stuff out…it is certainly a highpoint in their canon for me! It’s a wonder to me how, although massively monetarily successful, from Tattoo You on, The Stones seemed to me to go on autopilot. Maybe some of these bands should have seen that they would have a hard time competing on the musical landscape once Punk threw potholes out there. Maybe it became more about the money, or maybe the ideas just stopped coming to them. And I know I am being harsh with regard to The Stones, but really they never meant THAT much to me.
            On the other side of the coin, Ray Davies and The Kinks found that music had caught up with them by the early 80’s. In fact when you look at British rock and pop into the early 90’s, it’s The Kinks more than any other band who informed the Britpop explosion. There would be no Blur without The Kinks. The Divine Comedy/Neil Hannon as well. There’s even something to be said that The Smiths had more in common with Ray Davies and The Kinks than any NY Dolls album I can think of.

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            • postpunkmonk says:

              Echorich – Aaaaah! It seems you’ve conveniently forgotten The Stones’ rather adroit response to Post-Punk, the killa “Undercover of the Night!” When I heard that, I knew they were reacting to Post-Punk/dub in their own fashion; albeit behind the curve. That single is for me their best Monk Moment. Okay. After that, then they were out of steam. Which is just as well. Can you imagine a Stones house track?! Chicago style maybe, but still! Not a pretty sight.

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              • Echorich says:

                Oh my, Undercover of the Night is just a mess to these ears. I understand what you are getting at, but I don’t know if there is ANY success in the attempt on their part. And as for Julien Temple’s video/mini movie, he was more sucessful with Mantrap. Just saying…

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                • postpunkmonk says:

                  Echorich – Well, well. We would appear to disagree on the finer points of The Stones canon. As a child, I was as indifferent to them as I was to The Beatles, but a switch got thrown by my early 20s and I began to make the time for them.

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                  • Echorich says:

                    I own both Hot Rocks compilations, Some Girls and Emotional Rescue… With that, I’m sufficiently fulfilled in my Stone collection.

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                  • postpunkmonk says:

                    Echorich – I have the London Years box, Hot Rocks 1 (stereo), Stripped, all 3 CD singles from “Steel Wheels,” and the 12″ers of “Miss You” and “Undercover Of The Night.” My wife has “It’s Only Rock & Roll,” “Sticky Fingers,” and “Some Girls” on LP. I wouldn’t mind every album on CD through “Exile” and cherry picking from “Some Girls” forward. But dropping money on The Stones hardly seems worth it… Not when there are still John Foxx albums that I lack!

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