Summertime – Rosinha De Valença

Born in Rio de Jainero in 1941, Rosinha de Valença was a Brazilian composer, arranger and musician. She was considered one of the best acoustic guitarists in Brazilian music. At the age of 50 she suffered brain damage as the result of a heart attack and fell into a vegetative state. She died of respiratory failure 12 years later in 2004.

Summertime was originally composed as an aria by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera ‘Porgy and Bess’.


All Along The Watchtower – The Brothers and Sisters Gospel Choir

From Dylan’s Gospel, a 1969 album by The Brothers and Sisters Gospel Choir, a one-off gathering of Los Angeles session singers. Produced by Lou Adler, who went on to work on Carole King’s Tapestry, and arranged by Gene Page, noted for his work for Motown, the performers were at the time largely unknown, but included Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of Tainted Love as well as Edna Wright, Merry Clayton, Ruby Johnson, Shirley Matthews, Clydie King, Patrice Holloway and Julia Tillman.

All Along the Watchtower was originally recorded by Bob Dylan in 1967. The Jimi Hendrix version was released in 1968. Dylan said of the Hendrix version: “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”

Firestarter – Torre Florim

The Prodigy themselves said this was “the best ever” cover version of one of their songs. Torre Florim is the founder and front man of Dutch group De Staat, whose song Witch Doctor made popular the circle mosh pit phenomenon.

The songwriting credits for the original recording of Firestarter include Kim Deal of the Breeders, as the looped wah-wah guitar riff was sampled from the Breeders’ track S.O.S. The drums are sampled from a remix of the song Devotion by Ten City. The “hey” sample is from Close (to the Edit) by Art of Noise.

K Cera Cera/War Is Over – The K Foundation featuring the Red Army Choir

The K Foundation’s cover of Que Sera Sera/War is Over was conceived of as a concept single which would only ever be released when world peace was achieved (i.e. never). However, in 1993 3000 copies were made exclusively available in Israel and Palestine in acknowledgment of the steps each side had taken towards a peace agreement. The recording was also intended to play at the end of each night of the 1993 Glastonbury festival but organiser Micheal Eavis refused saying the song was “simply dreadful.”

Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) was first sung by Doris Day in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, and won a 1956 academy award for Best Original Song.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) was released as a 1971 Christmas single protesting the war in Vietnam by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir.

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