Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Memories Can't Wait"

David Byrne just played a terrific show in NYC. His tremendous influence on music and performance doesn't extend too far into hard rock and metal, although his use of two drummers and self-declared Alice Cooper fandom definitely warrant a few headbangs. Still, Byrne's strongest contribution to the metal world may be Living Colour's cover of his Talking Heads song "Memories Can't Wait."

Were any hard rock band to cover Talking Heads, Living Colour has the funk rhythms and diverse musicianship and rhythms to pull it off. Guitar maestro Vernon Reid and drum god Will Calhoun give Byrne's tune a shellacking, but they still can't match the original's bite. Perhaps a frantic, noisy and chaotic song sounds more dangerous when it comes from a band that's famous for "Once in a Lifetime" and not "Cult of Personality." Still, when one great band covers another, it's more than adequate for the new rendition to add a a distinct flavor (in LC's case, a hard rock edge) while maintaining the original's merits. Both versions are worthy of your ears.

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