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Cover Art: The Band

Editor’s Note: This is the first of an occasional feature focusing on covers of — and sometimes by– a band or artist. Check out The Covers Project for more interesting information about covers.

The cover above is a 1968 performance of the Bob Dylan/Rick Danko song “This Wheel’s on Fire” by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & Trinity. Auger is best known for Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, which still is a touring band.

This cover did well enough to rate a Wikipedia entry:

This Wheel’s on Fire” reached number five in the United Kingdom in June 1968. With distortion, the imagery of the title and the group’s dress and performance, this version came to represent the psychedelic era in British music. Driscoll recorded the song again in the early ’90s with Adrian Edmondson as the theme to the BBCcomedy series Absolutely Fabulous, whose main characters are throwbacks to that era.

It always seemed like an odd choice for the “Absolutely Fabulous” theme. The show, by the way, indeed was absolutely fabulous.

Below is Gomez’ version of Up on Cripple Creek. The band has 10 albums — and a website that’s not so great. So here is the Gomez’s AllMusic landing page. The site SongFacts offers a great bit of trivia: The song was recorded at Sammy Davis’ house, which the band had rented to record its eponymous named second album. A commenter at the site disagrees with the claim, however.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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