Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Fake THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Playlist: Covers from the ONLY THREE LADS alt-music era (1970s, 1980s, and 1990s)

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl is simply too large a concept to be neatly contained within a mere three-hour weekly time slot. Hence these occasional fake TIRnRR playlists, detailing shows we're never really going to do...but could. 

I'm a fan of Only Three Lads, the weekly classic alternative podcast curated by hosts Uncle Gregg and Brett Vargo. Today's imaginary exercise in playlisting is directly inspired by O3L, even though it doesn't really have anything to do with O3L.

Only Three Lads celebrates the classic era of alternative music, an era which Gregg 'n' Bart define as the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. Each week's show selects a topic (like last weeks' Top 5 Canadian albums), and then counts down the individual quintets of picks chosen by each of the lads, usually with a special guest serving as de facto third lad or lass. 

Because I'm a relative newcomer to O3L, I rely on speculation when I say they've probably already addressed the question of Top 5 cover versions in the O3L era. Whether they have or haven't, the subject seems a good launching pad for a fake This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio playlist.

In slapping this together, I wanted to come up with a playlist comprised solely of tracks that occurred to me without resorting to outside references. I tried to avoid songs where the cover was (at least arguably) better-known than the original; this ruled out goodies like "Girls Talk" by Dave Edmunds, "Rock And Roll Love Letter" by the Bay City Rollers, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?" by Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and about a zillion others. That's okay; that still left us with plenty of superb material.

(Oh. And I wanted to feature the Ramones in each set. I like the Ramones.)

I didn't check the decade-to-decade ratios in play, but my own chronology and POV tends to favor '70s over '80s and '80s over '90s, and I'm sure this playlist reflects that bias. And yeah, I know even as broad a concept as "alternative" can't possibly be stretched to include, say, Styx, whom I generally despise (with exceptions). But everything here is in-era; it doesn't have to be alternative.

It just has to be good.

Speaking of good: Thanks, Only Three Lads! Appreciate your show, appreciate your inspiration. To show my gratitude, here's a playlist of some songs borrowed from previous practitioners by other performers during the O3L timeline. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 

Dig the sincerity in play here.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl--y'know, the real one--airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read all about this show's long and weird history here: Boppin' The Whole Friggin' Planet (The History Of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO). TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS are always welcome.

The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:

Volume 1: download
Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio:  CD or download
Volume 5: CD or download

PS: SEND MONEY!!!! We need tech upgrades like Elvis needs boats. Spark Syracuse is supported by listeners like you. Tax-deductible donations are welcome at 

Carl's new book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is now available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!! 

You can follow Carl's daily blog Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) at 

FAKE TIRnRR PLAYLIST: Covers from the ONLY THREE LADS alt-music era (1970s, 1980s, and 1990s)
BANANARAMA AND FUN BOY THREE: Really Sayin' Somethin' [The Velvelettes]
THE RAMONES: I Don't Want To Grow Up [Tom Waits]
HÜSKER DÜ: Eight Miles High [The Byrds]
THE RUNAWAYS: Rock And Roll [The Velvet Underground]
TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS: Take Me Home, Country Roads [John Denver]
HINDU LOVE GODS: Raspberry Beret [Prince and the Revolution]
KISS: Any Way You Want It [The Dave Clark Five]
SUZI QUATRO: Wake Up, Little Susie [The Everly Brothers]
HEADGIRL: Please Don't Touch [Johnny Kidd and the Pirates]
THE RAMONES: 7 And 7 Is [Love]
SIBLING RIVALRY: See My Way [Blodwyn Pig]
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Rebel Rebel [David Bowie]
COWBOY JUNKIES: Sweet Jane [The Velvet Underground]
THE RAMONES: Needles And Pins [Jackie DeShannon, The Searchers]
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT: Be My Baby [The Ronettes]
THE BANGLES: Where Were You When I Needed You [The Grass Roots]
RADIO BIRDMAN: You're Gonna Miss Me [The 13th Floor Elevators]
THE SEX PISTOLS: (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone [Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Monkees]
STIV BATORS: It's Cold Outside [The Choir]
X: Wild Thing [The Troggs]
TAVARES: Free Ride [The Edgar Winter Group]
PHIL SEYMOUR: Let Her Dance [The Bobby Fuller Four]
THE RAMONES: Time Has Come Today [The Chambers Brothers]
JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS: Doin' Alright With The Boys [Gary Glitter]
THE GREG KIHN BAND: Roadrunner [The Modern Lovers]
THE RAMONES: Take It As It Comes [The Doors]
STYX: Lies [The Knickerbockers]
THE PLEASERS: The Kids Are Alright [The Who]
1.4.5.: Hippy Hippy Shake [Chan Romero, the Swinging Blue Jeans]
KISSING BANDITS: Shake Some Action [The Flamin' Groovies]
THE BARRACUDAS: Down In The Boondocks [Billy Joe Royal]
BLUE ANGEL: I'm Gonna Be Strong [Gene Pitney]
THE RAMONES: California Sun [The Rivieras]
THE BEACH BOYS: California Dreaming [The Mamas and the Papas]
THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES: Sealed With A Kiss [Bryan Hyland]
THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Summer Breeze [Seals and Crofts]
THE SEX PISTOLS: Somethin' Else [Eddie Cochran]
THE RAMONES: Somebody To Love [Jefferson Airplane]
YVONNE ELLIMAN: I Can't Explain [The Who]
THE TREMBLERS: Green Shirt [Elvis Costello and the Attractions]
THE MUFFS: Rock And Roll Girl [The Beat]
WHITE FLAG: Wuthering Heights [Kate Bush]
DAVID BOWIE: Sorrow [The McCoys, the Merseys]
MATERIAL ISSUE: Little Willy [Sweet]
THE RAMONES: Surfin' Bird [The Trashmen]
BLONDIE: Denis [Randy and the Rainbows]
RACHEL SWEET: B-A-B-Y [Carla Thomas]
JOHNNY JOHNSON AND HIS BANDWAGON: Gasoline Alley Bred [The Hollies]
R.E.M.: Toys In The Attic [Aerosmith]
THE RAMONES: Do You Wanna Dance [Bobby Freeman]
THE FLASHCUBES: All Over The World [Paul Collins' Beat]
THE ROMANTICS: She's Got Everything [The Kinks]
EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS: Get Out Of Denver [The Bob Seger System]
JOHNNY THUNDERS [with PATTI PALLADIN]: Great Big Kiss [The Shangri-Las]
RONNIE SPECTOR: Here Today Gone Tomorrow [The Ramones]
WILLIE ALEXANDER AND THE BOOM BOOM BAND: You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling [The Righteous Brothers]
THE DICTATORS: Slow Death [The Flamin' Grovies]
THE PALEY BROTHERS AND RAMONES: Come On Let's Go [Ritchie Valens]
THE DICKIES: Banana Splits [The Banana Splits]

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