Don’t Take Your Guns To Town

There’s something about paying Official Tribute, rather than merely covering an artist’s song, that seems to bring out weird ideas in people that are, at least on paper, rubbish. African artists covering U2, which came out earlier this year, makes a modicum of sense, but things get more tenuous with the ideas of Dub Side of the Moon and the paragons of madness that were the lullaby versions of Nine Inch Nails songs. Clearly, whenever a musician somewhere expresses really strong admiration for another artist’s work, there should be someone beside them telling them to stop, before record store shelves end up with albums of N*SYNC songs lovingly rendered in Gregorian Chant.

U2 don’t seem to want to stop the madness, and so having pushed their luck by bringing Johnny Cash onto “The Wanderer” and having very much gotten away with it, they ended up covering “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” some six years later and didn’t. What exactly goes wrong isn’t clear; maybe it’s that it’s too bland, maybe it’s that it’s too chirpy, or maybe it’s that few, if any, white artists ever appropriate reggae effectively. One of the b-sides to “Elevation”, it’s made more obscure by that single being otherwise supported by masses of remixes, but it’s not something that’s especially worth seeking out. Other b-sides of the ATYCLB era (1999-2002) were more effective, although they were also originals.


~ by 4trak on July 22, 2008.

One Response to “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town”

  1. […] element of reggae. But this also seems unjust; this isn’t in the realms of the dubious “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town“, as the blasting, ludicrously fuzzed solo and twitching drum machine proves. As said before, […]

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