Some interesting White Rabbit versions and covers

We are all familiar with Jefferson Airplane‘s psychedelic rendition of Alice in Wonderland: White Rabbit. And there are many interesting covers of it around—almost as many as for BeatlesYesterday. In this post, I’ve picked a list of most interesting ones, loosely ordered from the 60’s to today, 16 videos to take up all of your free time. So get ready for an ultimate psychedelic ride.

For starters, here is an alternate TV version of White Rabbit performed by Jefferson Airplane, with a pleasing background of psychedelic colours and Grace Slick looking pretty as ever.

 

And, well, the Woodstock version deserves to be included too. The voice here is simply too magnificent.

 

Technically, the JA version is not the original one, since The Great Society had already been touring with White Rabbit, but they never released any studio albums. Grace Slick was part of their team though, and she’s singing in this live version too, which is perhaps the most psychedelic one.

 

A smooth, jazzy instrumental by George Benson and The California Dreamers, based rather on the Great Society version than on the Jefferson Airplane one.

 

A french White Rabbit cover, titled La Justice. I wonder how accurate the translation of the lyrics is, at least certain key words like “logic” and “proportion” are there. The quality of the recording could have been better, but I find that the french language fits this song really well.

 

A very gentle 60’s cover by the Flying Karpets.

 

A not so gentle 10-minute long acid punk version by The Last Word, which claims the title of the creepiest version with ease.

 

A decent cover by another 80’s punk band Mo-Dettes.

 

A somewhat crude version by a 90’s band Shrine from their album Psycha—but they’ve added a personal touch to it.

 

A 90’s house remix version. Usually not my type of music, but I found myself enjoying this one.

 

Now what’s this style of music, I don’t even know. Blue Man Group, something electronic, yet experimental and done with enthusiasm. Has lots of new components added to the song, and they work.

 

This one by Shakespears Sister sounded like rubbish first, but it ended up pretty interesting. Moreover, I’ve never seen this particular animation, which I thought was really nice.

 

A perhaps somewhat musically lacking, yet a very distinct version by Enon.

 

A recent 2009 live cover by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Nothing extraordinarily different from the JA version, but an accurate replica.
Here’s another link to their studio version.

 

This one is a surprisingly well made web cam recording of the song. Couldn’t have guessed it’d be this good.

 

And finally something completely different to release all the built-up tension. Hope you enjoyed the ride!

 

Edit: A bonus nr. 17 for those who can handle speed metal—a cover by Sanctuary: >> Sanctuary — White Rabbit
Think some other essential cover is missing? Message me in the comments!

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Unnkerr Swéghléoðras: Part 1 — Distant Melodies

So Grooveshark was shut down two weeks ago on Friday, forever. Together with its playlists, databases and broadcasts. I still haven’t completely gotten over it. Yet my knowledge and passion for music remains—so I thought I might employ a similar tactic to Rich Aftersabbath and release my own one hour mixes of songs from different artists. Rich has done a great job of compiling rare heavy psych, yet it doesn’t always need to be rare, heavy or psych, does it?

This first release is called Distant Melodies and consists solely of progressive material. For now, the medium I’m using is Youtube, perhaps later I’ll change to something better. I’ve tried to choose best quality I could find. Enjoy!

Unnkerr Swéghléoðras: Part 1 — Distant Melodies

Track listing:

  1. Weed — My Dream
  2. Yes — Then
  3. Starcastle — Diamond Song (Deep is the Light)
  4. Julian Jay Savarin — Child of the Night
  5. Emerson Lake & Palmer — In the Beginning
  6. Jade Warrior — Lady of the Lake
  7. Camel — La Princesse Perdue
  8. Greenslade — Sundance
  9. Caravan — But Where for the Caravan Would I?
  10. Premiata Forneria Marconi — Impressioni di Settembre

Play time: 1h 3min 34s

If you have a moment to spare, I would love to hear your thoughts on this project. Thanks!

 

Next release: Unnkerr Swéghléoðras: Part 2 — The Dark Book of Love

Attila — Attila: The Worst Rock Album in History

AttilaAttila (album)
★★

Are you prepared for the worst rock album ever, also known as “Psychedelic Bullshit”? Or so they say it is, yet gaining the title of the worst rock album in history is already an achievement in itself.

The band only consisted of a duo: a drummer and a pianist — Billy Joel! That’s right, it’s him. They seemed to have this idea, perceived as dubious by many critics, that the only way a pianist could compete in the new age of hard rock was to run the piano through tremendous amounts of distortion and overdrive.

But if you disregard the noise that the piano produces, the tracks on the album itself are pretty nice, especially this one. I wonder how they would sound if they were performed by a complete band, with a separate guitarist, pianist and bassist.

Eric Clapton — Eric Clapton (album)

Eric ClaptonEric Clapton (album)
★★★★

Eric Clapton had a long history on guitar before he released his first, eponymous solo album in 1970. Until this point he had played with all sorts of blues-rock based groups such as The YardbirdsAll-Stars, The Bluesbreakers, The Powerhouse, and, most notably — with Cream and the supergroup Blind Faith.

In this album, however, Eric shifts his focus towards pop, and sadly so. This album does feature a couple of nice songs like After Midnight and, of course, Let it Rain, but the rest of the songs are pretty much tasteless, and fail to excite the mind of those who are more deeply accustomed with music. Eric‘s tremendous potential as a blues guitarist stays unrealised.

Why 4 stars out of five then? For one, the pop songs, in spite of lacking colour, are performed with quality and precision. But the main reason lies in the amazing outtakes, that were probably contrasting with the overall pop sound! Blues in “A” is a 10-minute jam that surpasses the level of all the other songs on the album, and Clapton comes to present his talent in an environment where he can do it the best way. Teasin’, which was made in collaboration with King Curtis, lasts only for 2 minutes, but is just as enjoyable, whereas the original version of Let it Rain, called She Rides, gives new perspective to the well known hit.

Eric Clapton — Blues in “A”

Eric Clapton — She Rides

Queen — Queen (album)

QueenQueen (album)
★★★

Queen sure are a difficult band. For every part on their debut album that I loved, there was a part that I hated. A ratio of one poor song to one great piece is not a bad one, you might think, but I would have been relieved if that were the case, since the instances of enjoyment and disgust occurred multiple times within each of the songs. How am I supposed to deal with that? Doing All Right and Liar are both examples of pieces that start off the wrong foot, but correct their stance as they move on. Also, it is easy to understand how Queen got their attention and fame; their sound is unique and the musical skills of the band’s members are unquestionable, even though those two traits combined do not necessarily add up to good music.

Iron Butterfly — Ball

Iron ButterflyBall
★★★☆

This is the third album by Iron Butterfly, in which they continue to practice their art as the pioneers of heavy psych. In spite of the trademark distorted guitar and organs, the sound on this album is warm and gentle, yet might appear somewhat monotonous to some, since the songs are lacking hooks to be remembered by. Still, this is a more than fitting chill-out album suitable for a lazy mood, one that soothes your mind on the background while not asking for any unnecessary attention.