Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jan 27th 2010 12:30PM by Jenny Charlesworth
In honour of this festive occasion, you can pick up a copy of 'Our Boy Roy,' a compilation of Orbison covers by rock'n'roll ruffians like Demon's Claws, Jacuzzi Boys and Red Mass.
"The amount of good songs Roy has just kind of seemed endless, so it was an easy choice," Jon Schouten tells Spinner of what sparked the latest project from Toronto-based Telephone Explosion Records.
Despite having a goldmine of hits to pluck from, Schouten and label partner Steve Sidoli were surprised none of the participating bands set their sights on the same tracks. You'd think a chance to rework loner anthem 'Only the Lonely' would be enough to cause a rift but no such showdowns occurred. "We had the bands pick [their own songs] hoping that no one would be feuding over certain songs," he says, adding, "we had a few [numbers] that we really wanted to happen and people ended up picking them so it was really good."
Of the stellar covers featured on the throwback comp, Sidoli points to 'Cause of it All' by Montreal's Bloodshot Bill and 'Rock House' by California's Haunted George as the most reminiscent of Orbison's classic swagger. "Those two songs are the most authentically, grunge-y, old '50s-sounding recordings," he states. "They conjure up the spirit of the original Sun sessions the most."
While the Telephone Explosion honchos aren't about to name favourites, they do list the noise-riddled rendition of 'Running Scared' by Montreal's Red Mass as 'the weirdest one' of the bunch, which, they're quick to add is a compliment. Schouten also notes the dreamy 'You Got It' from Florida psych-punks Jacuzzi Boys as a submission that really raised the bar. "The Jacuzzi Boys went far beyond with the production and their instrumentation," he says. "They said they had a lot of fun recording it and you can tell they took their time with it and rocked out."
As for how the record's contributors were selected, Schouten explains that it wasn't a very rigorous process. "We just asked bands that we thought would like Roy Orbison and that we actually liked as well," he says. "As far as Canadian versus American content, we just wanted to be as widespread as possible."
Eight months after putting out the call for submissions, 'Our Boy Roy' is finally ready to go. Which leaves just one question: Given how great the tribute turned out, is there any chance any of the other Traveling Wilburys might get the same treatment from Telephone Explosion? According to Sidoli, if the label does move ahead with round two, chances are they'll stick to the man of the hour.
"Because Roy Orbison has such a huge amount of amazing songs we could probably do another comp of another eleven songs," he says. "That one might be even cooler because it would be a bunch of stuff that people haven't heard before."
More information on 'Our Boy Roy' can be found on Telephone Explosion's website.