Thursday, December 29, 2016

Songs We Taught Yo La Tengo


I guess I can't keep away.

This compilation was somewhat inspired by "Songs We Taught the Detroit Cobras." YLT is one of the few bands that can pull off doing incredible covers as well as awesome original music. Another band/artist that comes to mind is Big Star/Alex Chilton. YLT has done an incredible number of covers over the years and it would be almost an impossibility to come close to including a fraction of those songs. This is but a small sample. Two songs that I really would have liked to include but ran out of room are "Nuclear War" by Sun Ra and "Raw Power" by Iggy and the Stooges. If you have suggestions for a Volume 2, I'd love to hear them.

1.  Somebody’s in Love - The Cosmic Rays
2.  A House is Not a Motel - Love [from the Forever Changes Concert 1-15-03]
3.  Tighten Up - Archie Bell & the Drells
4.  My Heart’s Not in It - The Cookies
5.  Out of Control - Channel 3
6.  Somebody’s Baby - Jackson Browne
7.  Needle of Death - Bert Jansch
8.  Here Comes My Baby - Cat Stevens
9.  Fourth Time Around - Bob Dylan
10. Bad Politics - The Dead C
11. Cast a Shadow - Beat Happening
12. Heart Full of Soul - Yardbirds
13. Prisoners of Rock ’N Roll - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
14. I Can Hear Music - The Ronettes
15. Too Late - Wire
16. I’m Your Puppet - James & Bobby Purify
17. Downtown - Petula Clark
18. Big Sky (mono) - The Kinks
19. Let’s Get Rid of New York - The Randoms
20. Hanky Panky Nohow - John Cale
21. Friday I’m in Love - The Cure
22. Whole of the Law - The Only Ones
23. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry - Hank Williams
24. Come See About Me - The Supremes
25. You Baby - The Turtles
26. Take Care - Big Star


  1. Great compilation!

    YLT has covered NRBQ a few times, had Terry Adams from NRBQ guest for one of the Hanukkah nights at Maxwell's many years ago, and often show up at NRBQ gigs. They'd be a good addition. YLT played NRBQ's "Magnet" on the compilation "The Q People", so that would be a likely choice for Volume 2.

  2. Great idea, great compilation! Suggestion: "You're Gonna Miss Me" - 13th Floor Elevators. I saw 'em perform that at First Avenue many years ago; it's how I first learned about the 'Elevators.

  3. Great compilation, thanks a lot !!

  4. Chris Stamey's "The Summer Sun" and the Urinals' instrumental "Surfin' With The Shah" are two of my favorite YLT covers. I was excited to find out that YLT has covered Channel 3 and the Randoms, as I am compiling a covers collection of songs originally recorded by California punk bands. Thank you!

  5. Welcome back! What a great way to announce your return--this compilation looks great! Thanks! - Stinky

  6. Pulling together YLT covers is an endless task. If you JUST focus on official releases, you've got two albums what were 80+% covers. I've put together some additional officially released covers below. Once you get into live shows, pfffffff, the list is endless. I've seen decent sized compilations of YLT just playing VU or Dylan. I've put together a list of some of my favorite live covers below (some of which I saw live, and all of which I have on my hard drive).
    Officially released:
    For the Turnstile, Barstool Blues- Neil Young
    Speeding Motorcycle- Daniel Johnson
    You Tore Me Down, Shake Some Action, etc.. – Flamin’ Groovies
    Dreaming, Rocket #9, etc..- Sun Ra
    Dreaming – Blondie
    I’m set Free, Run, run, run, etc…- VU
    Blitzkrieg Bop- Ramones
    Luxury Liner- Gram Parsons
    At The River’s Edge – New Colony Six
    Little Honda- Hondells
    Orange Song- Antietam
    I threw it all Away – Dylan
    Let’s Compromise- Information
    Live favorites:
    I wanna destroy you- Soft Boys
    Don't Point that thing at me- The Clean
    Can’t Stand the Midwest- Dow Jones and the Industrials
    New Day Rising- Husker Du (James told me that they will never play this song live again, as it almost blew out his vocal cords)
    I live in the Springtime- The Lemondrops
    Gates Of Steel- Devo
    Slack Motherfucker (with Jon Spencer)- Superchunk
    She’s my best Friend- VU
    Heroin- Rocky Erickson version of VU song
    Kid with the Replaceable head- Richard Hell
    Pulled up- Talking heads
    Mannequin – Wire
    Borstal Breakout- Sham 69
    This is where I belong- Kinks

  7. Has this blog been done away with? I assume you decided that the effort of doing it wasn't worth the minimal interest it generated

  8. I dunno, trying to work up the motivation. I do/did it mostly for my enjoyment. While putting the mixes together was always fun, it's the work and time that it takes to put it on the site that's become more and more like work. For the past few years, there's been an average of nearly 1000 downloads per mix with an average of only a few comments. Very disheartening. I kept going for the few people who are appreciative and I guess because I have no life. ;)

    1. I have no life either. That's why I patiently wait for your return.

  9. Love this - just saw this great effort! excited to hear the mix. one of my favorite, comps is, "songs we taught the blasters" anyway... i appreciate the work and time!!

  10. Don't forget their inspirational version of "Meet the Mets," as rendered on WFMU. You can find it on YouTube. (Streak stands at two. Take that, Bryce Harper!)

  11. Where have you been? C'mon man, post some more good stuff!!

  12. Thank you Glenn. Never saw yr blog until it was too late but never too late to thank the hardworking should-be-committed progenitor of this outstanding blog.

  13. La mayoría de las personas no apreciamos el gran esfuerzo que ustedes hacen para poder mantener un blog activo .Gracias por su esfuerzo y siga adelante.

  14. Glenn, thank you for sharing this excellent comp...Tango.

  15. Please come back . . .

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.