“A Horse With No Name”. “Ventura Highway”. “Sister Golden Hair”. “Tin Man”. Soft rock trio America were a freakin’ hit machine in the ’70s. For at least a decade, you couldn’t swing a cat at a radio wave without hitting an America song. And when I was a kid, I hated them. They didn’t rock. They didn’t shred. I didn’t think they were hot. To my ears, they made music for big sisters, babysitters, and older cousins. I thought they sucked.
But early in the 21st century, something shifted. I became inexplicably fixated on the song “Tin Man” and decided to do some exploring in America-land, I mean maybe there were some similarly transcendent old gems hidden within their catalog of albums all of whose titles began with the freakin’ letter H (Homecoming, Hat Trick, Holiday, Hearts, History, Hideaway, Harbor, History).
Well, turns out there were a lot of gems. Some of the deep cuts were, well, downright majestic. And just like that, my elitist pride got sent directly to the time-out room to have a good think about its previous attitude and behavior. Sure, it took a couple of decades, but I finally did discover America.
I now invite you to Cover Me, the home and haven of all things cover version, to read my mea culpa regarding the sound of America. It’s a tribute to the band’s best-selling greatest hits album History and features some wonderfully weird covers of songs from that LP by an assortment of flakes, school kids, and a soul man. There are a couple that are so off-the-wall and creepy that I’ve come to prefer them to the originals and the fact is, there can never be enough unintentionally weird cover versions of ’70s soft rock songs.
Come indulge in the History here!
The heat was hot and the ground was dry…