I’m sucker for this guy!! If I have a bad day, and dam it, I have my share of bad days, Richard Cheese can make the s*it go away. He’s first four albums – “Lounge Against the Machine” (2000), “Tuxicity” (2002), “I’d Like a Virgin” (2004), and “Aperitif for Destruction” (2005) – re absolutely murderous releases, Richard (Mark Jonathan Davis, age 46) fronts Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine, a Los Angeles based cover band and comedy act, performing popular songs in a lounge/swing style reminiscent of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. They are specialize in playing lounge-style arrangements of recent popular rock, metal, rap and hip hop songs, sung in a croony traditional swing vocal style, contrasting an elegant jazz treatment of the music with often profane and ribald lyrics to create a humorous dissonance. The band gained exposure after their cover of Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” was featured in the 2004 remake (directed by Snyder), Dawn of the Dead. They have some absolutely killer covers of some famous songs such as “Creep”, “Only Happy When It Rains”, “Nookie”, “Bullet the Blue Sky”, “Fight for Your Right”, “Smack My Bitch Up”, “She Hates Me”, “Chop Suey!”, “Material Girl”, “Me So Horny”, “People = Shit”, “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Enter Sandman”, etc.
Last year I wrote about two of his latest releases, “A Lounge Supreme” and “Live At The Royal Wedding” , now it’s the turn of this most recent “Back In Black Tie”.
“Back In Black Tie” is kind of soul-mate, follow-up, reiteration of an unfortunately too obscure, but absolutely brilliant album of an Irish postman and singer, known as The King, who supported by a Belfast native rocker Bap Kennedy recorded the Nirvana song “Come as You Are” with an Elvis style. Afterward, the two came up with the concept of “Gravelands”, an entire album of songs by dead rock stars, released in 1999. There are 18 killer, murderous, unbelievable f*cking great songs!!
Richard does kind of the same thing on a similar concept, and deliver us a collection of 15 (plus 3 bonuses) songs, all originally performed by now dead artist, or dedicated to some dead actors as it’s the case of “Darth Vader’s Theme” which is dedicated – far as I figure it out – to Robert James Gilbert Anderson, who appeared as a stunt double for Darth Vader’s light-saber battles in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and died on 1st January 2012.
I have only some doubts regarding Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Noize”, originally released in 1973, far as i know, nobody died from this band, so, I’m confused or not so well informed. Also, did not figure it out who is the addressee of “Diff’rent Strokes Theme”, probably, another actor.
The first (deadly) strike is “T.N.T.”, obviously it’s for the one and only Bon Scott of AC/DC, deceased on 19 February 1980.
Eazy-E’s “Gimmie That Nutt” is a killer one. Dre, Cube, and Eazy formed N.W.A., while Eazy died on March 16 1995 of AIDS.
“Need You Tonight” is the fourth song on INXS’s 1987 album “Kick” and it’s goes to Michael Hutchence.
Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” is a quite funny live recording.
Bob Marley’s “One Love” comes smoothly, Marley, the Raggae king died on 11 May 1981.
Rick James’s “Super Freak” is another excellent cover. Rick James is best known for being one of the popularizers of funk music in the late 1970s and early 1980s thanks to million-selling hits such as “You and I”, “Give It to Me Baby” and “Super Freak”.
Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” got here an instrumental take, Kurt Cobain shot himself on April 5th, 1994 and became one of the well known members of the 27 Club.
“I Am the Walrus” is a 1967 song by The Beatles, written by John Lennon who was gunned down by Mark David Chapman on 8th December 1980.
Slipknot’s “People = Shit” is dedicated to Paul Gray who died on May 24, 2010, this is an early demo version of the song – one of the best covers Richard delivered.
Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” goes to John Bonham who died on 25th September 1980 at age 32.
“Doin’ Time”. Bradley Nowell’s died on May 25, 1996 from a heroin overdose shortly before the release of Sublime’s self-titled major label debut. He was the lead singer and guitarist of the reggae/punk band Sublime. “Doin’ Time” is a single featured on that self-titled third album released in 1996.
“Too Soon” is for Whitney Houston (February 11, 2012), not quite a song, but…. better find out for yourself!!
Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed and treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node and died on May 4th, 2012. He was best known as a founding member of the Beastie Boys. So, we’ve got “Brass Monkey” here.
Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”. She died by alcohol intoxication in the morning hours of 23 July 2011. The Police recovered one small and two large bottles of vodka from her room.
And at the end, the third bonus is “Gilligan’s Island” [from the album “Dick At Nite”], don’t really know what’s the deadly connection with the album, but probably there is one.
Maybe this isn’t the best Richard Cheese album, but still, this is fun and relaxing and have a few great tracks, so, worth a shot.