Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Compare and Contrast: Hataraku Otoko

Hataraku Otoko is one of my favorite Puffy covers. It is rocking Puffy wrapped around a core of Tamio Okuda. It is also one of the least faithful covers I have ever heard (though DEVO's cover of the Hendrix classic Are You Experienced is right up there).

Where I thought the original Unicorn version of Hataraku Otoko is from a point in time in rock music I have a lot of problems with, much of which you have heard me apply to Andy Sturmer's old band Jelly Fish. It is more liad back and maybe playful... but it rubs me the wrong way. That is not taking anything away from Tamio Okuda or Unicorn. Tamio is as close to a living legend as one can get in the Japanese music scene, but sometimes even a vastly talented artist can deliver a clunker. Just ask me how I feel about Puffy's Wake Up, Make Up.

Puffy's version disassembles the song and rebuilds it to something I can listen to over and over... The only resemblance it has is with the original promotional video which uses some of the same shots.

So I was skimming YouTube and came across a very recent version of Hataraku Otoko by Unicorn and a the version Puffy did slightly further back at their Shibuya AX concert. It was interesting to see how both Unicorn and Puffy tackled the song. I'll let you watch then sort it out in comments.

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