Rounding out the trilogy with two more songs from the 80s: One a cover released during that period; the other a cover of a song from that era.
The Power Station
Say what you will, The Power Station was an experiment that worked. They fused the smoothness of Robert Palmer with the crunch of Duran Duran's Andy Taylor and John Taylor -- allowing them to actually play their fucking guitars for a change -- and the balls-out heft of drummer Tony Thompson. Add to that Bernard Edwards's oddly stripped-down, garage-like production and you had something bordering on magical. Their debut record wasn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it was damn good. Unfortunately, the group's relevance disappeared into a cloud of smoke and mirrors the minute Palmer bailed and notorious band-killing asshat Michael Des Barres was enlisted to replace him on tour. For a brief moment in time though, The Power Station were the kings of power pop.
Here's their impressive cover of T-Rex's Bang a Gong (Get it On).
You may not know it, but you're probably already well-acquainted with this Santa Monica band: They do the song (I'm No) Superman -- better known as the theme to Scrubs. Although they're by no means the kind of band that's ever going to align the planets, they're about as harmlessly likable as any other band from the Southern California coast, and they happen to have a surprising level of good taste when it comes to the music they choose to cover. I mentioned awhile back -- during a column dealing with a victim of the Virginia Tech shooting (And All that Could Have Been/4.19.07)-- that Men at Work's Overkill remains one of my all-time favorite songs. It's as close to a pop masterpiece as you're likely to get, a point proven by the fact that it's been covered several times since its original release and never seems to lose any of its potency. Ten years ago, Lazlo Bane took on Overkill, but added a clever twist: They enlisted the help of the original voice behind the song, Men at Work's Colin Hay, during their recording session. The result is a really fantastic cover of a really enduring song (one that unfortunately wasn't included on the band's inspired all-covers iTunes release Guilty Pleasures).
Here's Lazlo Bane's version of Overkill.