In about a month’s time Arizona thrash legends Flotsam and Jetsam will be coming to Glasgow Town and I can’t wait. I’ve been listening to their first two classic albums Doomsday for the Deceiver and No Place for Disgrace almost constantly for the past few weeks and I’ve been loving every minute of it. A handful of thrash band’s have released a variety of great cover tunes throughout their careers, primarily of 60s and 70s classic rock songs (with the occasional few going for a poppier number nowand then) and Flotsam and Jetsam joins in the fun with a classic cover from the latter of the two aforementioned albums.
Ending the first half of No Place for Disgrace is a cover of Elton John’s classic rock ‘n’ roll hit “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” from his classic 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The song is a bit more different for Elton John due to it being more hard rock in nature whereas he’s more well known for softer hits like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. In Flotsam and Jetsam’s hands, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” stays relatively true to the song structure however it’s amped up and distorted to the max making for a much heavier song. For starters, the intro riff is played down the octave, which when compared with the original sounds rather awkward, but when you get used to it, the heaviness compliments the music great. The song is also played a little faster than the original which gives the performance a lot more energy and never fails to get you moving. This is emphasised in the chorus riff where Flotsam and Jetsam up the pace and opt for a more typical thrash beat thus doubling the hits used in the conventional rock beat which drives the verses.
Another element which Flotsam and Jetsam add to the song is the stellar vocal performance from frontman Eric A.K. His more palatable voice in comparison to many others in the vein of thrash metal lends itself well to the song but adds an extra degree of attitude and aggression in comparison to the original, yet it remains tasteful. A.K.’s voice also greatly enhances the song in my opinion by the use of his legendary screams at the end of each chorus which is of course something Elton John could never do. The typical thrash usage of gang shouts at the end of the song also work effectively as opposed to John’s original shouts of “Saturday! Saturday!”.
Overall, Flotsam and Jetsam’s cover of Elton John’s classic rock smash “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” is great example of a thrash metal cover version. It stays very true to original but makes it heavier and faster in all the right places, yet remains recognisable and tasteful. It’s also something of a party song and is always in my playlist for parties alongside much more crowd pleasing cheesy tunes and classic rock anthems. So invite all your mates over, get a few crates of beer and mosh to this excellent cover tune (and if you’re going to see Flotsam and Jetsam next month, I’ll see you guys there!). FTD!
Photo Credits: Flotsam and Jetsam official Facebook
Video Credit: Flotsam and Jetsam official Youtube channel