I saved listening to the new recording of "Bad to the Bone" for last. After all that is the song isn’t it? It’s not just the title track to the album, it’s the title track to my misspent youth. "Bad to the Bone" was and still remains the ultimate anthem of rebellion and freedom. There have been other classic rock and blues songs that have withstood the test of time; think "Crossroads", think "Rebel Rebel", think "Layla" (the real version of "Layla" that is). But there have been precious few that have so captured the imagination of the world like "Bad to the Bone".
Even if you have never heard of George Thorogood and the Destroyers, you most certainly know that song. I would hard pressed to find a single person on the entire planet that does not instantly recognize that riff. You don’t even have to speak the language to understand what that song means just from that famous guitar riff.
So with slightly calmer nerves I turned to track 16, the new recording of "Bad to the Bone". After all, the previous 5 new recordings held pleasant surprises, even though they are in fact, remakes of remakes. Nonetheless I felt hopeful.
Folks, it’s like this. From the first riff, nay the first note, my heart immediately sank! I hated it! What have they done to my anthem? What has become of the absolute perfectly imperfect wild untamable song? It’s… it’s… been tamed!
For all intense and purpose, I should love the new recording. The distortion was obviously done with the latest and greatest state of the art technology and the arrangements and vocals have been updated and polished. This new version is slick.
Yet, it’s because of this perfect precision that the song completely loses its groove, to say nothing of its edge. This new version is just too smooth, too clean shaven. It’s just not the unpretentious bar band rockin’ out with all its soul. This new recording was done by a much more mature and polished band, a take it home to meet your parents band; (as opposed to the ‘every young girl’s dream, every mother’s nightmare' image that I’ve always associated with George Thorogood and that wonderfully wild song!) But perhaps that’s just me.