Bootlegs and B-Sides

Bootlegs and B-Sides

By Elizabeth Long, Reporter

Watch Out!-Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo (Not to be confused with the bank) was at the forefront of 1970s Zimbabwean heavy rock. Composed of Ebba Chitambo, George Phiri, Handsome Mabhiza, and Never Mpofu, Wells Fargo drew inspiration from Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple. This influence from other musicians is evident throughout the album, most notably on the song “Bwanawe” which riffs on “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles. Originally recorded as a series of singles in the midst of apartheid Africa, “Watch Out!” has recently been released outside of Zimbabwe for the first time. Many of the band’s songs on the album were politically motivated, most notably the title track “Watch Out!” “Watch Out!” became a popular anthem for liberation in Zimbabwe, but brought the band unwanted scrutiny. The Rhodesian government monitored the band and its followers, and the members of Wells Fargo were beaten by police following a concert. In post-apartheid Zimbabwe, Wells Fargo toured extensively until their breakup in 1989. Though the times have changed, “Watch Out” remains a powerful statement about the power of music.

Top Songs: Watch Out!, Open The Door, Bwanawe, Too Long Away


Lou-Joseph Arthur

This 2014 album is composed of 12 Lou Reed/Velvet Underground covers, with Joseph Arthur accompanied only by a piano and an acoustic guitar. Recorded shortly after Reed’s death in 2014, “Lou” contains everything you would want in a tribute album to one of music’s most formidable figures. Containing songs from throughout Reed’s career, “Lou” contains big hits like “Walk on The Wild Side” and “Satellite of Love”, as well as lesser-known tracks like “Coney Island Baby.” Arthur creates new spins on time-worn classics while keeping the essential power of Reed’s songs. His warm and emotional voice offers a pointed comparison to Reed’s rather impassive deliveries in the original songs, and makes “Lou” feel fresh and original. Throughout the album, one can feel Arthur’s love and admiration for Reed, making “Lou” one of the most genuine and successful tribute albums to date.

Top Songs: Coney Island Baby, Heroin, Stephanie Says, Dirty Blvd.


Interpreting The Masters Volume 1:A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates-The Bird and The Bee

“Interpreting The Masters” is a 2010 tribute album to Hall and Oates by the electro-pop duo The Bird and The Bee, otherwise known as Inara George and Greg Kurstin. George is the daughter of the late frontman of Little Feat, Lowell George. Kurstin wrote his first his album at age 12 with Dweezil Zappa, the son of Frank Zappa. “Interpreting The Masters” features one original song, “Heard It on the Radio” with a quintessential ‘80s sound. While the covers stick fairly close to the original songs, George’s slick vocals add a new interpretation to Hall and Oates’ standard hits. The synth-pop sound of The Bird and The Bee is a great fit for this tribute album, making the songs familiar yet unique. “Interpreting The Masters” has a light and airy feel that makes it the perfect accompaniment for the summertime.

Top Songs: Rich Girl, Private Eyes, I Can’t Go For That, Maneater