“Big Log” – Robert Plant


Much of Robert Plant’s solo work during the 1980s is hit or miss. 1983’s “Big Log,” however, is quite remarkable. From the album “The Principle of Moments,” this is a terrific “night song” if there ever was one. This is a song that sounds just about right when you’re driving at 1:30 am, with little traffic or lights around you … when you’ve got nothing to distract you … and you start really thinking about stuff … especially with those Ennio Morricone-style guitars strumming in the background. Too cool.

“Gilligan’s Island (Stairway)” – Little Roger and the Goosebumps


A notorious but funny piss take on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” from the punk era. Little Roger and the Goosebumps cover “Stairway to Heaven,” but substitute lyrics from “Gilligan’s Island” instead of the ones we all know … and maybe love … does it really even matter anymore?

Way funnier than it has a right to be, even though Zeppelin’s lawyers were not amused. They threatened to sue Little Roger and the Goosebumps and demanded that all remaining copies be destroyed back in the day. Maybe Robert Plant wasn’t informed … or maybe he came around … but according to Wikipedia, he said in a 2005 NPR interview that this was his favorite cover of “Stairway to Heaven.” Now thanks to the glory of YouTube, you can check it out.

“Song to the Siren” – Tim Buckley (from “The Monkees” TV Show, 1968)

Here is the earliest known recorded version of Tim Buckley’s enduring and classic ballad.  It’s quite different than the version that was eventually recorded for Buckley’s 1970’s “Starsailor” album.  The version here (performed for “The Monkees” TV show in 1968) is more of a straight-ahead ballad, instead of the bizarre and heartbreaking version that appears on “Starsailor” that sounds like it was recorded by someone really ready to cast themselves on the rocks in despair.  A great and underrated song that keeps gaining more resonance as the years continue.  In just the last few years, Robert Plant, Bryan Ferry, and Sinead O’Connor have all done covers.  The most famous cover, by This Mortal Coil, has already been posted on Dave’s Strange World.