Thursday, September 3, 2009

Song of the Week: "Brand New Cadillac", Vince Taylor & The Playboys

In a little exercise we're calling "Under the Covers", we're still exploring the original versions of songs that have been made popular by the cover artist. Today we're getting under the covers with a Brand New Cadillac.

Brand New Cadillac hit the ears of the masses when The Clash recorded it for their third album, the mega great London Calling. The song is a powerful romp that doesn't stray all that far away from it's roots as a rockabilly song. Joe Strummer, one of my all time favorite singers, rasps away in perfection as he makes the song his own: "I said 'Jesus Christ, where'd you get that Cadillac?' She said, 'balls to you daddy'. She ain't never coming back." Strummer's use of a vintage 50's Fender Telecaster to play the main riff ensures that the song keeps it's original feel and restraint. Mick Jones' use of the Gibson Les Paul and Marshall amps ensures the song is given a fresh coat of paint.

So where did The Clash find this gem? From 1950's British Rockabilly artist Vince Taylor. The leather-clad Vince Taylor and his Play-Boys recorded the number for Parlaphone records in 1959. The guitarist was one Joe Moretti who played on the original version of Shakin' All Over. The drummer was none other than Tony Meehan who went on to drum for The Shadows and later for Jet Harris.

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