Like every other 30-ish townie I know, I’m a sometime DJ. I’m not a DJ of the scratchascratcha variety, of course; I’m strictly from the “stand there and play songs I like” school, which usually means that I get to watch the songs that you like totally bomb in front of many people. (A few months ago, Sly and the Family Stone’s “Love City” straight-up cleared the dance floor. So I had to play one of my legion Prince requests to get everybody back out there. Sigh.) Anyway, the other day I decided to give Frankie Smith’s izzle progenitor “Double Dutch Bus” a shot. So I jumped on iTunes and bought the first version that came up, which was curiously spelled “Double Duth Bus”. I didn’t listen to it because I didn’t have time. I just burned her to a CD and jetted over to the bar.
Bad idea. This was not Frankie Smith’s original “Double Dutch Bus”. This was not even Raven-Symone’s “Double Dutch Bus”. This was some heinous rerecording: “Double Duth Bus” (which I think is just an honest misspelling…gives you an idea of the quality control at work here). I can’t find it on YouTube or anything and I’m not bringing the RIAA down on us for this piece of poo, but trust me when I say it is awful. It has one of those unimaginative early-’90s beats that’s heavy on the hi-hats and light on the bass. It’s slathered in synth horns, and Frankie himself grunts along like bad karaoke–which, now that I think about it, might actually be what Frankie is doing. I might as well have dropped “The Macarena” or perhaps “Rico Suave”. At least then I would have scored some irony points. Instead, all I got was 30 previously dancing people glowering at me with something close to hate. Being the former Boy Scout Tenderfoot that I am, I was prepared: I reached for my copy of Purple Rain. Sigh.
God knows why Frankie created this monstrosity. I suspect it was to capitalize on Snoop’s success, or maybe he’s not the rightsholder. All I can say is this: it must be stopped.
How about y’all? Have you ever been burned by bad cover versions? Ever bought a gas-station Greatest Hits before?