Might As Well Jump

Speak Up: There’s still time to let me know what your favorite songs are from the last year of Cover Freak posts. I’ll be doing the yearly Best Of post next week and I’d love to get suggestions from as many people as possible. Just leave a comment or use the contact form to let me know what you liked.

Last week Felix Baumgartner jumped from a balloon at 128,000 feet and fell to earth. It was a pretty incredible feat that captured the world’s imagination in a way that I haven’t see in awhile. Something that amazing requires a Cover Freak post.

Aztec Camera “Jump” (Van Halen)
The jump never would have happened without the sponsorship of an energy drink company. I’m conflicted about it, since they sponsored a very cool thing but they only sponsored it in order to sell their product. I would feel better if some rich guy had financed the jump just because it was cool.

This may be the worst Van Halen song ever, which is really saying something. There was no good reason to throw a cheesy synthesizer into this song. Thankfully Aztec Camera dispenses with the keyboards on this mellow version.

Ananda Shankar “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (Rolling Stones)
The jump was not only cool in and of itself it may influence the design of future space suits. Good to see that there was some scientific value to the endeavor as well.

This cover adds some cheesy synthesizers but this time they work. They add to the early-70s freakiness that the sitar provides.

Brendan Rivers “Jump Into The Fire” (Harry Nilsson)
Wikipedia describes Mr. Baumgartner as an Austrian skydiver, daredevil, and BASE jumper. That’s a cool way to spend your time but I wonder if he’s making a living doing that or if he’s just a bored trust fund baby. Either way I admire the skill and daring of what he does, but I’d be more impressed if he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and achieved his career through grit and determination.

The original version of this song was smooth and breezy. This one is a little more twitchy. The singer sounds like he’s at the end of his rope, which I like.

Men At Work “Jump In My Car” (David Hasselhoff)
We used to have a convertible but I never jumped into it. I still regret not taking advantage of that opportunity.

Not that I was ever a big Baywatch fan, but that show has always prevented me from taking David Hasselhoff seriously as a singer. Apparently the guys from Men At Work have a similar problem taking his music seriously. This song comes from an Australian radio show.

The Bobs “Free Fallin'” (Tom Petty)
I’d never do something as extreme as jumping to earth from space, but I’ve always wanted to try skydiving. Mrs. Freak isn’t wild about the idea but I’m still determined to do it someday.

I’ve always found this song to be pretty sappy, but I just love anything the Bobs do.

5 thoughts on “Might As Well Jump

  1. Birgit

    Not a bored trust fund baby, but engine fitter > motorcar mechanic > austrian army tankdriver, instructor and paratrooper > boxer > professional sponsored base jumper since 1997 > soon rescue helicopter pilot (Source: german language Wikipedia).
    On any other blog I would skip Hasselhoff songs ;-)

  2. Steve McI Post author

    Thanks for the detailed info, Birgit. Amazing how much more detailed the German Wikipedia is than the English version. I’m glad that he did actually work hard to get to where he is today.

  3. Alzo

    Forget Hasselhoff- ‘Jump in My Car’ is from the first solo album by Chris Spedding. His resume as a session guitarist is staggering and, incidentally, that’s him playing on the original ‘Jump Into the Fire’ by Nilsson!

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