Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's better to burn out than turn into a crooner

There's a trend among old rockers and I don't like it one bit. 

I noticed it several years ago when Rod Stewart released a CD of "standards," which used to be called "old people's music."   He now has a whole slew of "The Great American Songbook" records.  Other rockers from the classic rock age have followed suit:
  • Paul McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom" (WTF?) is a similar collection of old chestnuts. 
  • Glenn Frey of The Eagles recently released a solo record where he covers artists like Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole.
  • Alice Cooper is getting ready to release "Welcome to My Nightclub," a collection of his parents' favorite numbers.  Including "The Hokey Pokey."  (I swear, I can't make this stuff up.)
  • Ozzy Osbourne is  rumored to be working on "The Cole Porter Songbook," featuring a duet with Patti Smith.  
Huh?  The Prince of Fucking Darkness and punk rock's poet laureate singing "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"?  In the words of Stewie Griffin, "What the hell, man?"  Look, I know our rockers are getting up there, but this is just wrong. They're supposed to be rockers, our spokespeople from an era of rebellion, not freakin' crooners. 

Neil Young, if I ever find out you're doing a cover of "They Can't Take That Away From Me," I swear, I will kick your ass.

Please, I beg of you, keep on rockin' in the free world!

What say you?  Do you dig this trend?  Is Alice Cooper singing "The Hokey Pokey" really what it's all about?


linda said...

Oh God. I have to agree. Nothing worse than seeing a rocker do that crooner thing. Surely they do not want to suddenly be seen as mum's fav? It is bad. It is as bad as a model that wants to become and actress. Spare me.

grrouchie said...

Alice Cooper hasn't really been good or relevant for probably a decade though. Once he went all re-born christian his music suffered and the only song I even remember of his recently (and recent is relative) is "Can't sleep, clowns will eat me."

Ozzy - now that one really scares me and I hope it's untrue.

raydenzel1 said...

I don't like it either, but I understand why. Some have the need and the want to work and this might be a last resort. But any of them can do smaller venues such as the Hard Rock Cafe here in south Florida which always has a nice line up.
But we still have their old music which I always listen to. Rock and roll will never die!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Linda: Totally agree! Though I had no problem back in 1997 when Pat Boone covered heavy metal with "In a Metal Mood--No More Mr. Nice Guy."

@ grrouchie: Alas, it is true...

@ R Jacob: No, the last resort is when the Nazis are herding them onto trains and forcing them to play "Fly Me to the Moon." Rock and roll will never die unless they let it!

drewzepmeister said...

I'm going to be seeing Alice Cooper open up for Iron Maiden at Milwaukee's Summerfest in July. Pray not that "Hokey Pokey" be performed in front of 20,000 die hard head bangers. I really don't want to experience a riot.

Alice Cooper did recently release an album titled Welcome 2 My Nightmare. This is supposed to the sequel to the original. I don't think "Hokey Pokey" is on there, so I think I'm safe. (I hope).

In this day and age, many of our aging favorite rockers no longer can reach the vocal ranges they used to. (Do we really expect Robert Plant to be able to do the banshee wail in "Immigrant Song" anymore?-hey I think it would a trip if he still could). I guess a change of direction is what some them are trying to do...

Tender Heart Bear said...

Last night my boyfriend and I listened to a cd with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. I really didn't care for it. But with Robert Plant and the Band of Joy is really good and another good one is Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

I do know what you are talking about. But some of the singers that do go solo are really good. I do agree with you about the ones you are talking about.

Rob said...

This is hysterical, what a great laugh. I dunno what's funnier....Ozzy Osbourne doing "The Cole Porter Songbook" or Alice Cooper doing "The Hokey Pokey"? Actually, I'm pretty sure there's nothing funnier than ANYONE LIVING recording "The Hokey Pokey."

And it's hard to figure out who is gonna be more upset with the Osbourne album....fans of Osbourne or fans of Cole Porter?

I hadn't heard of the McCartney album and I was going to thank you for the tip. But I just sampled it on Amazon and it was really pretty awful. I'm actually a big fan of the kinds of songs he sings on the album, but the choice of songs is weak, and what is really bad is just can't sing any more. Sigh.

There's no reason that the ex-Beatle who gave us songs like "Yesterday" and "Here, There & Everywhere" and did a great cover of "Til there Was You" back before anyone heard of the Beatles couldn't have given us a great albums of standards. But it appears he waited too long as he can no longer sing.

Paul should just retire and count his money, which I'm reasonably certain will take the rest of his life.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean.
In the '90's, I was thrilled to finally obtain tickets to see Rod The Bod, but can't muster any excitement now that he's playing at Caesar's. His early stuff was great - told a story in a folksy kind of way. This Hugh Hefner schtick is getting kinda old - collecting children with bimbo wives left & right. Plus on Celebrity Rehab, it was revealed that he was quite an ass to his (surprise) drug addict son Sean, calling him "A waste of sperm". Why should I support Rod's lavish lifestyle when I kin download his ole catalogue for free?

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Drew: You're probably safe--I don't think the Iron Maiden fans would go much for "The Hokey Pokey." Would be interesting to see their reaction, though!

@ Tender Heart: Yeah, I don't mind it when somebody goes solo, but yikes--not in this way!

@ Rob: Agree 100 percent. And you are so goddamn funny.

@ Anonymous: You hit the nail on the head with the "Hugh Hefner schtick." So true.

Rob said...

Oh wow, thanks, Linda! (blush)

Lilly said...

Oh my Ozzy Osbourne doing Cole Porter WTF? Surely they don't need the money. I agree they should leave well enough alone.

But I have to say that Rod Stewart can do and sing anything and I would still love him. I would love to go to Vegas to see him (he still is there on and off, right?).

I just could never get into Paul McCartney, was more a John Lennon fan.

What I do hate about old rockers like Alice Cooper is that they should try and mvoe on a little - looking the same as they did 30 years ago in terms of the makeup and look is a little unsettling. all their fans age someone should tell them its ok for them too. Look at the Rolling Stones, lol

Mike Dennis said...

It's no different than Pat Boone putting out a heavy metal album, which he actually did about ten years ago.