[Cover Me] Jack Irons Feat. Eddie Vedder and The National

Shine On You Crazy Diamonds – Jack Irons Feat. Eddie Vedder (Originally by Pink Floyd)

Jack Irons is an interesting character. A fully accomplished drummer, but never really standing out as a musician, Jack was more important as being an integral linchpin in the early 90’s music scene and for many a band during that period. He was the original drummer and a founding member of Red Hot Chili Peppers. When asked by bassist Jeff Ament if he knew any decent vocalists for the band he was forming, Jack handed him a demo tape of a local musician form San Diego, CA: The then unknown Eddie Vedder. This band would become Pearl Jam, which Jack would himself play in after the firing of original PJ drummer Dave Abbruzzese and during Jack’s tenure the band recorded two of their most creative works, ‘No Code’ and ‘Yield’. After his departure from the band in 1999 it would be another five years before he would finally venture out on his own and release his first solo effort in the form of ‘Attention Dimension’.

On ‘Attention Dimension’ Jack recorded a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamonds’, featuring the now famous San Diegan Eddie Vedder. Whereas Pink Floyd’s original opening track to ‘Wish You Were Here’ (my personal Floyd favourite) is a gentle, slowburning epic, Jack’s version has a fervent jungle energy created by his revitalising drumming. The tempo is ratcheted up a bit for a start giving it an urgency absent from the original. Helped along by Eddie’s incomparably explosive vocals, this rendition makes the heart beat faster and faster while listening.

Pretty in Pink – The National (Originally by The Psychedelic Furs)

Okay, yes. Along with Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’, this song conjures up the 80’s, the ashamedly pleasurable movies of John Hughes and his ‘Brat Pack’. However, in the hands of The National this song becomes a delightfully mellow lullaby (albeit one about the village bicycle). As always, Matt Berninger’s soporific baritone vocals floats delicately on the harmony work of the brothers Dessner. You can download it from their Daytrotter Session way back in ’07.


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