Saturday, November 24, 2018

Johnny Flame (Superdrag) - Sings the Beatles... and more.

I was bitten by the Superdrag bug, right around the release of the Señorita 7" in 1994, and I've followed the exploits of frontman Jonathan Davis ever since.  Presently inactive, during their first blush in the '90s, virtually ever Superdrag single and album that came down the pike was something of a revelation, and Knoxville, TN's finest rarely, if ever, turned in a half baked song.  With the advent of the internet, and more specifically message boards, Napster and such I was able to delve even deeper into the nooks and crannies of Davis and Co., and learned of some of the band's extracurricular functions.  

One of Davis' moonlighting endeavors was/is Johnny Flame.  This lo-fi alter-ego, if you will, seems to have gestated in the very late '90s, possibly as recently as 2000 or so.  The JF umbrella was predominantly set up as an informal vehicle for Davis to get a myriad of cover songs out of his system.  And that he does on the 25 or so tunes I'm setting you up with today, including no less than seventeen Beatles renditions.  The audio quality leaves a bit to be desired, with all tracks ranging from 128 to 160 kbps rate.  It's easy top pick up on the muffled and less than pristine fidelity, but Davis is faithful to the original structures of the tunes, albeit recreating them within DIY constructs, employing cheap snyths, effects and the like from time to time.  In addition to the mondo Fab Four homage there's another folder with ten additional tunes, about half of which are readings of Misfits classics.  Appropriately enough, they take to task "September Gurls" as well, plus Husker Du and My Bloody Valentine covers among others.  Enjoy.

Johnny Flame Sings the Beatles
Thank You Girl/I Should Have Known Better/You're Going to Lose That Girl/Nowhere Man/Wait/Norwegian Wood/Rain/And Your Bird Can Sing/She Said She Said/For No One, I'm Only Sleeping/Blue Jay Way/Happiness is a Warm Gun/Everybody Has Something to Hide/I'm So Tired/Helter Skelter/I Want You

plus:
Beginning  to See the Light/Bullet/First of the Last Calls/Horror Hotel/I Turned Into a Martian/Never Understand/Spetember Gurls/Sympathy for the Devil/When You Sleep/Where Eagles Dare

https://www45.zippyshare.com/v/MYImsnTK/file.html

6 comments:

Pernt said...

Oh boy. I've also been a huge Superdrag/Jonathan Davis fan for two decades. I'm looking forward to hearing his indie rock/power pop spin on these tunes. Thanks!

Don

lucky said...

This is interesting

I always like that VU song

thanks!

billybadbum said...

Played some shows with the 'Drag back in '96, including one where they soundchecked with not just one, but FIVE Big Star songs. Surprised there aren't more in here!

SteveO said...

Great stuff - thanks for sharing.
SteveO

spavid said...

Glad you're enjoying, and while you're at it check out Punch Wagon, one of Jon's pre-Superdrag bands that kinda sound like...Superdrag.

https://wilfullyobscure.blogspot.com/2010/05/punch-wagon-pre-superdrag-demo-1993.html

mstrjsph said...

From what I understand, they were supposed to release something on Darla but because they signed to Elektra it got scrapped. Johnny Flame had a track on the second Little Darla compilation in 1995, a cover of"she said, she said."