Welcome to the Return of Under the Covers Sunday, a space where you can Press Play and have a listen to some of the Greatest Cover Songs, learn a little about them, and do a little Compare/Contrast between the Original and the Cover Version. Feel free to weigh in on each Cover Song in the comments below, and please feel free to throw some Cover Song suggestions down below in the comments.
Let’s start out the Return of Under the Covers Sunday with Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs take on The Ramones.
“Sheena is a Punk Rocker” :: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs :: Under the Covers
Found on the Compilation Album, War Child – Heroes Vol. 1, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover of The Ramones’ Song, “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”, caught me delightfully by surprise. Though it is not a groundbreaking take on the Track, it is infused with an energy that feels renewed, genuine and completely fun. It relies more on the Surf Punk sensibility, than a dark Punk edge, though it definitely has some Punk in it. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs version also reminds me of the Early 80’s, especially some of the female led, and all girl bands, like The Go-Go’s, Bow Wow Wow, and The Waitresses.
Have a listen…
“Sheena is a Punk Rocker” :: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
from the Album, War Child – Heroes Vol. 1 (2008)
“Sheena is a Punk Rocker” was written by Joey Ramone, and is considered one of the band’s most popular songs. Joey was heavily influenced by 1960’s Surf Rock and Bubblegum Pop when he wrote the song. It first was released as a Single in the UK, in May of 1977, where it charted at # 22. In the USA, it was released as a Single in July of 1977, and reached # 81. It also appeared on copies of the second issue of The Ramones’ 1977 Album, Leave Home. It was later re-recorded, and released on The Ramones’ third Album, Rocket to Russia.
The Song is noted for being one of the first to explicitly refer to Punk Rock in its title, and lyrics, in terms of a subculture.
Joey Ramone has said about the song:
“To me ‘Sheena’ was the first surf/punk rock/teenage rebellion song. I combined Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, with the primalness of punk rock. Then Sheena is brought into the modern day.”