Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Err Way to Heaven

A short while back it was "My Generation" that was desecrated by ebonic graffiti (thanks to Wil I Am).  This week it's "Stairway To Heaven". Apparently, a new version of this untouchable classic has been recorded by none other than The Queen of Unnecessary Emotion herself, Mary J. Blige. And of course, an unnecessary "supergroup" has been assembled to tear this remake down and rebuild it for no reason at all and paint it with hollywood gloss, clean it up with reverb and auto tune, wrap it up in a shit covered bow and deliver it to your mall kiosk or itunes playlist drowning in vocal gymnastics and crying spells.

I cannot stand Mary J. Blige, because of her gimmick. She has been riding that endless and played out wave of  "look what I've been through, you 'been through it, too" for 6 straight albums. She's been washing her diamonds in her own river of tears and drowning in the money that she wipes her eyes with for way too long. She gives false hope every other year when she releases yet another one of those " rise from the ashes" ghetto anthems that her bus riding fan base believes in like a fucking Sunday sermon. It's a sin, really. She is the trailblazer of a new genre called R&B.S.  Don't leave home without your shovel, believers.

So what the fuck is she doing with Stairway to Heaven?

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Stairway to Heaven. Besides Every Breath You Take(also redone and destroyed by another R&B.S.-er) its the most popular radio hit of all time, a classic rock don't really need to hear it again. Overplayed to death. Sonic wallpaper. It's just there.

But most "classics" are.  They become foundations of a place in time, a song that reminds millions of a certain year or period in their life. A song that repulses or influences anyone who isn't a baby boomer. They never break. Encased in an impenetrable playlist. A classic wheel with impervious tread. So why try to FIX them? Why touch them at all?????? Does Damian Hirst(look it up) pull a Picasso off of a gallery wall and cover it with dead flies or shark guts and call it Art Part 2?  Fuck no! Back away from the rock classics, R& B.S.-ers!

And where does Mary cull her "supergroup" from? Well she follows a Hollywood music studio script and gets Steve Vai to play guitar(Slash was overbooked), Randy Jackson on bass (he's full of credentials, Dawg!) Travis Barker to play drums(Tommy Lee was DJ-ing in Vegas) the way...can somebody please tell me what is so groundbreaking about Travis Barker? Why is he always "the guy"?  Is it the neck tattoos? The sideways ball cap? The reality show? The plane crash survival? Somebody out there clue me the fuck in on why some inked- up stick hack from Blink- 182 is THE ANSWER TO EVERYONE'S DRUMMING PRAYER??!!!

But let's hear what Queen Mary and her peeps have to say : 

  "I think this song is not hard at all because it's based on pure emotion," Blige tell Spinner after a couple of takes. "You gotta get lost in the rock 'n' roll moment of it all, and once you get lost in the rock 'n' roll moment of it all you can do is scream to the top of your lungs or go as low as you need to go. It's not a head thing -- it's a spirit thing."

"In a room full of people, we were all asked what we thought the song was about and no one knew," Barker admits of one of the world's most renowned rock songs. "How Mary interprets the song -- she feels a stairway to heaven is how women might buy a bunch of things to make them feel like they are in heaven or in peace with all these materialistic things -- and then going back and looking at the words, I think she nailed it."    

Did you just read that? Nobody involved in this re-make knows what the song is about.........

Nobody had their people call Jimmy or Robert's people....or Googled it, or asked ANYONE with some basic ROCK KNOWLEDGE what they may have thought the song was about??????!!!


Mary has interpreted it as a Public Service Announcement for women who are addicted to shopping.


Can you just see the video???? Women bawling and blubbering through 4 layers of foundation, buried under a pink and white pile of boutique bags  as wads of kleenex rain down from the sky, through a misty lens....cut to Mary shaking her hand as she sings (an R& B.S. Trademark) and belting out "there was a lady we all knowwwwuuuoowww  ohhh hooouwwwwohhh oh uh ho uuwwww     oh ooh oh ooh woowwww" 
 "Its just a spring clean for the mayyyyye yeeeeayyyy uuhhh uuhhayyyy  que eeeeh uuyyeennnn."

Can someone please tell me where the trap door to hell is? Cuz, I'm not going up any stairway that Mary does.

Thanks to for the quotes from MJB.


  1. Damn it! I lost my comment. I hate word verification and I am in a super bad mood thanks to this blog post. I almost threw up on my keyboard. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO RECORD THIS SONG. And for her and those wanna-be "musicians" to desecrate this song should be illegal. Sure, its been overplayed more than any song in history, but there's a reason for that...its classic. Its sacred! You don't fuck with Stairway to Heaven!

  2. I don't entirely agree with you or Barbara. My post on the topic says more: When Musical Worlds Collide #5 but in summary, I don't think that someone doing a cover of Stairway To Heaven is automatically a bad thing. However, when you mess with a classic like Stairway, it is MUCH easier to make it worse than to do something new and interesting! Having said that, I am not confident that MJB will have pulled it off.

  3. Its Blasphemy. Period. There are some songs that should never be open to more interpretation. This is one of 'em.

  4. Janegerous7:04 PM

    Great post Seano! I especially like your description of the possible video. I agree, its blasphemy! I am reposting, others need to read this.

  5. Anonymous7:16 PM

    Oh my god, this makes me sooo mad! Why do all these singers think they need to "improve" the classics? Especially this song; it can't be improved! Ugh, she's going to ruin it!

  6. I will never listen to this. Not even interested. There are a lot of songs I would love to cover but don't feel like I could touch, even by giving them some kind of different spin. There is something about the SOUND of the record that you can never recreate or make better. It's why there are so few covers by The Who - can you name me three besides Jerk.I.Is? And why there are so MANY Dylan covers. His recordings basically sound like trash so it's easy to polish them into a gem (see Hendrix All Along the Watchtower for starters).

    And then there are some (like Stairway) that just shouldn't even be considered for a cover. Don't even point. Nope, you've seen enough of that one. This will fall of the map as fast as the My Generation puker.

  7. How can this be? Does Zep approve? I may be crazy here but what if a global petition went around to stop this madness!!!

  8. I actually like Dolly Parton's cover as you may recall...I felt like she got to its bluegrass roots and her version was very emotive and brought a slant to the song that the original doesn't.

  9. Second Commenter David has an interesting and less abrasive take on cover songs..Check out his link when you scroll up.