WALL OF VOODOO – ” Wall Of Voodoo ” EP

Posted: October 4, 2020 in MUSIC
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40 Years Ago: Wall Of Voodoo ‎– “Wall Of Voodoo” (EP) released “September 30th, 1980

WALL OF VOODOO see the release of their debut EP on Index Records. It’s four unusual songs: “Longarm”, “The Passenger”, “Can’t Make Love” and a version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire”.

On the jacket of the EP is a little black devil dog. Throughout the band’s early years that dog would always seem to be just lurking in the wings, waiting.

The group has been together about three years and started when Stanard Ridgeway and Marc Moreland got together in a duo along the lines of Public Image. They played what they referred to as “soundtrack music”, cutting backing tracks for commercials and a few indie films. They opened a Holly & The Italians show in Los Angeles and decided that they ought to make more of this band thing. Wall Of Voodoo began by recruiting Marc’s brother Bruce Moreland on bass, Chas Gray on synth and extraordinary, quirky Joe Nanini on percussion.”

Numerous cover versions of “Ring of Fire” have been produced, the most commercially successful version being by Social Distortion, who released their punk rock version on the album Social Distortion (1990). 27 years after the song was first recorded by Cash. Pop punk band Bowling for Soup would later cover the song on their live album Bowling for Soup: Live and Very Attractive. The Eric Burdon & the Animals version, recorded at the end of 1968, it failed to chart in the US. In late 1974, the Eric Burdon Band released a heavier version. In 2006, Burdon performed the song sometimes at his concerts. A cover of the song was released as a single by Alan Jackson on December 6th, 2010. It served as the lead-off single to his 34 Number Ones compilation album. His rendition of the song also features guest vocals from Lee Ann Womack. Dwight Yoakam also recorded a version of the song, which appeared on his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. He continues to include the song in his live performances. The song was covered by Frank Zappa in the late 1980s, and is offered on the 1995 The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life. release showcasing a short-lived band line up from a late-1988 tour. Zappa introduces the song by saying he’d met Johnny Cash that afternoon, and that Johnny was going to come to the show and play with Zappa and his band, but “his wife got sick.” Zappa and the band proceed to play a seriously gonzo reggae version of the song, with a caricature vocal impersonation of Johnny Cash. A euphemistic take on the song’s title (meaning anal/rectal discomfort) permeates the song, and a number of other numbers throughout the Best Band release. In the early 1980’s, the experimental/new wave band “Wall of Voodoo” (Mexican Radio) recorded a version of “Ring of Fire” that included extended guitar and synthesizer solos. This version of song can be found on the Wall of Voodoo compilation album “Grandma’s House,” and can also be heard as background music in the adult film “Night Dreams.” This version of the song also includes some slight rearrangement in so much as the repeating background music (layered behind the synth and lead guitar solos at the end of the song,).

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