Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Triple Play - 8/24/14

This week's Triple Play features three awesome cover tunes.  I'm not a big fan of covers per se, but in certain genres such as blues and country, the cover tune is part and parcel and serves to honor those who've come before while sustaining the genre for future generations.

I have one simple criteria for the enjoyment of covers, no matter what genre:  Make it your own.  For instance, Grace Jones does a banging dance version of Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug" and Anthrax nails a metalled-up version of Joe Jackson's "Got the Time."  Janis Joplin and Big Brother crushes Erma Franklin's (though the song was written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns) "Piece of My Heart" like nobody else, so much most people think it's their song.

The covers I've chosen for this week are as left-of-center as you can get to the original versions and are thus my top three favorites.  First is a lightning fast take on The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" by obscure thrashers, Realm.  This could've turned out a sick joke, but it's highly proficient at such velocity and it remains a cult favorite of metalheads worldwide.  Afterwards is Devo's hilarious, manic dismantling of The Rolling Stones' hump classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," perhaps the greatest cover in rock history.  Finally, the Stones themselves get the last say with their incredible honky tonk jiving version of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away."  I was never the same as a young boy when I learned it was a cover. 

Let 'er rip, not rip off...

Realm - "Eleanor Rigby"

Devo - "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

The Rolling Stones - "Not Fade Away"


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