Enuff Z’nuff – “Covered In Gold”
It really is amazing to think that Enuff Z’nuff have been around for thirty years, but that is what this compilation of covers is celebrating. We can still remember when they literally burst on to the scene with the shiny and colourful ‘New Thing’ video. They have had their ups and downs over the years, mainly linked to the ‘health’ or state of their lead singer Donnie Vie. One thing they have always managed to do is release great music.
This CD of covers also gives us an insight in to some of the bands influences. When they first hit the scene there were actually claims they borrowed a little too heavily from Cheap Trick. Their version of “Everything Works If You Let It” certainly shows that they did share that band’s skills of blending pop melodies to rock songs. Queen may not be as obvious an influence but with “Stone Cold Crazy” you realise how both bands put great importance on vocal harmonies. Whilst “Jean Genie” gives a hint of where their glam influence first came from.
It is certainly no surprise to see Beatles covers on this album as they were always quoted as being the band’s biggest influence. “Run For Your Life” isn’t the most obvious of choices but they deliver a brilliant version. They also include Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” which really shows Donnie’s emotive voice. As a bonus, you also get an acoustic live version of “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”.
This album also throws in a few surprising covers, like The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” but it’s actually one of the best songs on the CD. The chugging riff suits their style and the lyrics match Donnie’s voice. They provide a heartfelt version of Nirvana’s “All Apologies”. One of the key requirements of a really good cover version is for the band to put their own style and sound in to the song. The band certainly achieve this on “When Doves Cry” which adds a real pop rock flavour to this classic. Likewise, “Tears Of A Clown” takes a brilliant song and turns it in to a totally different sounding number, which is just fantastic. Their cover of “Yankee Rose” then gives Chip the chance to take centre stage for a change.
The album actually ends with the song that started most of our love of the band, “New Thing”. This version, however, is a live acoustic version which reminds us of how they always had a cool, hippy vibe.
In the past, we’ve criticised the band for the number of covers in their live set, where given their huge and wonderful back catalogue we’d prefer to hear more of their own tunes. This, however, feels like a fitting way to honour their time in the business. Unlike a greatest hits album it offers their fans something a little different. Sure, some of the songs have already appeared as album bonus tracks or on bootlegs and are probably owned by their hard core fans. This, however, presents them all on one album. It’s a great and fun bunch of songs which is really what the band have always aimed to deliver.