Over the decades, John Lennon's songs have been covered by thousands of artists. Just think of all the people — from unknown Lithuanian bar bands to Lada Gaga — who have had a crack at "Imagine." Today, on the 74th anniversary of his birth on October 9, 1940, I'm paying tribute to Lennon by rounding up five of what I feel are the best performances of his solo songs by other artists.
So I was watching High Fidelity last night, and when Dick (the bald guy who works at John Cusack's record store) mentioned the trailblazing Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers in a scene, I decided to hit the interwebs and see what ol' Bruce Foxton is up to these days. Foxton was one third of The Jam before becoming Stiff Little Fingers' bassist for 15 years.
It's always nice when members of at least three of the Big Four Bands of British Rock (The Beatles, The Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin) get together to jam on some old tunes -- and that happened last night, when Paul McCartney (Beatles) invited Roger Daltrey (Who) and Ron Wood (Stones) on stage to perform The Beatles' "Get Back" at London's Albert Hall.
Like the narrator in "The Changingman," one of his best-known songs, Paul Weller's career is built on shifting sands. He's been a punk rock frontman at the vanguard of the late-'70s mod revival movement, a soul/R&B singer, guitar hero and the "Mod Father," hero to the protagonists and antagonists of the drama-filled Britpop scene of the mid-'90s.
Thirty-five years after the release of The Jam's punk-rock classic In The City, The Jam's former frontman, Paul Weller, will release a new album, Sonik Kicks, in early 2012. The album, which will feature guest appearances by Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Graham Coxon of Blur, is scheduled to be released in the US March 27 on Yep Roc Records. It will be his 11th solo album.