Here it is, SIDtastic! Volume 5! Where the first three were covers of complete albums, and number four was composed of songs from only three artists, volume five is a veritable potpourri of artists. From Europe, to Huey Lewis, to Gloria Estefan, to The Tokens, Volume 5 has a little of everything. As before, all songs contained here were created using the SID chip found in my trusty Commodore 64 between 1988 and 1992. The SID chip allowed for 3 monophonic voices, so each cover was an interesting study in choosing the right note at the right time. Quite a difference from modern digital music where I can basically have unlimited notes and voices at any one time.
All songs found in this and the other SIDtastic! volumes can be streamed and/or downloaded, and are all DRM free. Enjoy!
A Swedish hair band mixing in liberal amounts of synth work? Of course this is a win. Europe’s first album also provided an amazingly cheesy only-in-the-80’s album cover which became the basis for Volume 5’s artwork.
1. Rock the Night
This song may very well have been the final cover I did using my trusty C-64. By the time I finished this in 1992, a number of the keys of my C-64 were no longer working consistently, and when you absolutely rely on arrow keys to navigate through a text string arrange window, having a right arrow on sabbatical makes life very hard.
2. World in My Eyes
Pet Shop Boys
There are only a small number of people I know who love PSB more than I do, so the fact that this is the only PSB cover I’ve ever done is somewhat surprising to me. Frankly, I don’t think this cover is all that great, so if you are one of the few I know who love PSB more than I do, I apologize.
3. It’s A Sin
Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis was always one to recognize the roots of rock and roll so he created a little doo-wop for a new generation. While I enjoy pretty much the entire Huey Lewis catalog, the song has always stood out to me just because it is different. I think that it translated fairly well to the SID format though the tempo is a little draggy.
4. Doin It All for My Baby
Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Clapton. Steve Winwood played with all three before hitting the bigtime as a solo artist, and in doing so became a keyboard/organ legend of the rock world. His solo work leaned more on the adult contemporary side of the rock spectrum, but didn’t lose any of the soul that his fans became accustomed too.
5. Higher Love
6. Back in the High Life Again
Simon and Garfunkel
One of the greatest singer-songwriter duo’s of all time created one of the great songs of all time right before the broke up in 1970. I feel that this is arguably the most beautiful cover I created on my Commodore.
7. Bridge Over Troubled Water
Just ignore the opening to this track. It’s way to harsh and raw sounding. But if you get past that, Bohemian Rhapsody actually translates rather well to the mono 3-voice format.
8. Bohemian Rhapsody
David Lee Roth
This is by far my least favorite cover of this set. I’ve left it in, warts and all, just because I’m still not sure why I ever did this cover. Probably just temporarily fell under the spell of Diamond Dave.
9. Just Like Paradise
Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
Ok, I’ll admit that I have never really cared for Gloria Estefan, but who can resist the allure of this track. I especially love the bass line to this track, which keeps the entire arrangement pumping along.
10. Rhythm is Gonna Get You
The Tokens via Solomon Linda
The Lion Sleeps Tonight has a long history. In 1939, South African Solomon Linda recorded a track titled Mbube, which is the Zulu word for lion. In 1949, The Weavers started performing a version of Mbube with Americanized lyrics, the most noticeable being “Uyimbube” (Zulu for You are a lion) changed into “Wimoweh”. I have chosen the 1961 version by The Tokens as the basis for my cover, which brings a smile to me face every time I hear it.
11. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)
There are only two more volume’s to go. Please check back in the near future for Volume 6.