Rocky Horror Picture Show: The Ultimate Covers Mixtape
The Rocky Horror Picture Show turns 35 this week.
Rocks Off started going to the midnight queen of cult movies at the River Oaks Theater when we were just 15 years old, and has now strapped on high heels and corsets as part of the cast for the better part of a decade.
It's an experience so wonderfully over the edge that millions continue to flock to movie theatre every weekend just to yell lines and DANCE "The Time Warp" all over the world while shadowcasts pantomime and alter the movie with unending joy and dedication.
In Rocks Off's time at Rocky, we amassed a huge collection of cover songs and other rarities to use as background music in the River Oaks Theatre while the cast set up their props and costumes. So enjoy Jef With One F's Ultimate Rocky Horror Mixtape!
We'd like to thank Shawn McHorse for his help over the years in getting the music from Rocky at his Musical World of Rocky Horror.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have made a career out of punkifying things like the Grease soundtrack and "Phantom of the Opera." This sped-up, high-energy cover of the famous opening song is so definitive that when Rocks Off's own band covered the tune, we actually covered this cover rather than working from the original. The only other version that comes anywhere near it is a Japanese version by Transylvania Glamour - a copy of which we no longer have.
It's finding the lesser-known songs that's always hard. This fun little punk number comes from Denton - yes, Denton, Tex., where the movie takes place. It was part of the Absolute Pleasure tribute disc that came out of Dallas in 1999, and is now uber-hard to find.
Another cut from Absolute Pleasure. The Emma Peel Advocates was an all-girl group based out of Ohio.
When choosing which cover to use of Rocky's most famous song, you have plenty to choose from, but only one man tried to make an entire career out of "The Time Warp." Trying to be the new Boy George, Damian released over a dozen different versions of his cover in the '80s. His career went nowhere, but he left us with a pretty definitive dance version of the famous track. Rocks Off actually owns this on vinyl!
Those who don't know worship Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter. Those who know worship Anthony Head, who played the role when the show was revived in England. Tony released a single version of "Sweet Transvestite" that is damn hard to top. Rocks Off actually saw Tony perform at the 25th Anniversary Party in Las Vegas, where he brought his own original stage costume!
Misnamed on the disc as "Whatever Happened to Saturday Night," this cover was part of a collection of various people in a sort of ultimate cast mix. Added to the recording was narration by Christopher Lee, and this awesomely rocking version of "Hot Patootie" by Queen's Brian May.
Belinda originated the role of Janet in the original London cast of Rocky, and released this single arranged by her husband.
Rocky creator Richard O'Brien had a side band with his first wife Kimi Wong before the show took off, and among several vinyl singles was this early doo-wop version of "Eddie's Teddy" that would eventually make its way into the show.
Time for some techno. Probably the least covered Rocky song because of its long spoken-word bit in the middle and somewhat cheesier musical ending, DoRight Productions made an incredible club mix out of it that came with the Songs From the Vault disc from the giant Rocky box set.
The first third of the famous floorshow, and another cut from Absolute Pleasures.
Another very hard song to cover because of all the plot that's going on in it, Darby Jones really freakin' nailed it hard, and this might be our favorite cut in the whole mixtape.
This is a pretty standard punk cover of the floorshow's finale, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The Necro Tonz were an awesome gothic lounge act out of Dallas who put the ultimate smoothness on Frank's goodbye number. If Tim Curry sung it like this, he might not have been lasered.
Many early prints of the film omitted this really spectacular song about the how thoroughly messed-up everything that just went down was, but here's Richard himself at a convention showing his chops.
Another cut from Songs From the Vaults. Just a fun little dance medley.
Not a sequel, but an equal, as all the minds behind Rocky tried to do it again in 1981 with Shock Treatment. The non-participation of Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry did bad damage to the film, which sank quietly into obscurity. However, it was recently released on DVD, and Rocks Off is here to tell you that we think Shock Treatment has the better music, and the more interesting story.
In a world of reality TV, the idea of a whole town trapped in a television station is becoming more and more ominous. This is the single version of the title track, rather than the cast number heard in the film.
Oh, it's real all right. Not only did someone make a porn version of Rocky, someone actually went to the trouble of making a theme song with vocals. It's god awful, just like the porno - yes, we've seen it, but it's sheer weirdness factor got it on the mix tape.
The crown jewel of our collection is this demo version from the proposed direct sequel to Rocky called Revenge of the Old Queen, which revolves around Frank's son by Janet. The script has been floating around for years, but we'd never heard this song until Rocky Radio out of Cleveland played it on their podcast. Hence the station ID in the middle.
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