Late yesterday afternoon the television told me that a certain veteran singer/musician had kicked the bucket. And with the announcement came the requisite signature song to accompany that bit of sad news, in this instance "Already Gone." My thoughts were instantly ushered to the memory of a lesser known incarnation of the tune, one which slathered on an acute and utterly ironic punk-pop gloss no less. Enter Mandingo (aka Man Dingo), a desert-bound Arizona outfit I introduced you to in 2008 by way of some fine material they cut in the '90s. It was this unheralded trio that tipped their collective hat to Glenn Frey and Co. on a 7" ep containing two more classiq rock covers that I'll attend to shortly.
For now let's get one thing straight - despite all the punk rock bellyaching, the reality is The Eagles were tolerable in minute doses. Indeed, they're essentially what propelled the Ramones into existence. Furthermore, Don Henley and his scruffy cabal of privileged, coke-snorting brats have clogged up more radio airtime than the Stones and Beatles combined, and over the decades the best-selling fossils in question have been accorded way too much credit for their ersatz melange of "country rock." As you might guess, with all that being acknowledged, this isn't a group I'm particularly fond of, or the least bit dedicated to in fact, but for the record, "Already Gone" is pleasant enough...so long as it's not endured for more than say, once every election cycle. Ostensibly, pop-core speed demons Mandingo had settled on this realization as well, or at least long enough to bash out a peppy, two minute remake of it (but jeez, go a little easier on the snare next time guys).
The Mandingo treatment fares less logically on Huey Lewis and the News actually not-half-bad Sports momento, "Walking on a Thin Line," and as for Van Halen's "Romeo Delight" I don't have much to gauge it by considering it's somewhat of a deep cut that I have minimal familiarity with. To their credit, the 'dingos original compositions could best be described as commendable Big Drill Car impersonations.
And in case you're wondering, I didn't offer any Bowie covers last week as I couldn't think of any that you probably haven't already encountered. At some point, maybe I'll piece together every version of "Queen Bitch" I can find, but don't hold your breath.
01. Already Gone
02. Walking on a Thin Line
03. Romeo Delight