Seminal 80s band Love and Rockets is often overlooked in the pantheon of the era's most revered gothic, new wave, electronic and what we once called "alternative" bands, who are so often celebrated for their influence these days, but now the band is finally getting their due with the release of a new Love and Rockets tribute album, New Tales To Tell, which features an impressive batch of diverse artists tipping their proverbial hats to the British trio with covers of their songs.
"Love and Rockets are many things," says the Pixies' Black Francis, who delivers a memorably raw version of the Rockets classic All In My Mind. "What they are more than anything are agents of that mysterious force known as rock and roll, a force loved by many but truly understood by a few."
Along with Francis, New Tales To Tell also features mainstays The Flaming Lips and The Dandy Warhols, along with newer acts like AFI spin-off Blaqk Audio, and Puscifer, the latest offering from Tool's Maynard James Kennan, proving Love and Rockets has influenced various genres of artists.
"Love and Rockets was the most important band in my rock formation," Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor tells RadarOnline.com of the band that was born from Bauhaus' ashes after vocalist Peter Murphy left to pursue a solo career. "Bauhaus had opened my mind to deconstructed rock-and still to this day is the coolest band that has ever existed-but Love and Rockets was the hardest rock which still had grace and elegance. From the first time I heard them I knew the parameters of what I wanted to do."
On New Tales To Tell, Taylor-Taylor pays tribute to the band that so inspired him with a Dandy Warhols cover of the first Love and Rockets song he ever heard, "Inside the Outside." Taylor-Taylor says that The Dandys' second-ever U.S. tour was with Love and Rockets and he got to sing on stage with them. "I sang "Bela Lugosi's Dead" with them," he recalls. "That makes me the only other person I know of, besides Peter Murphy of course, who has sang for Bauhaus."
And though none of the artists on New Tales to Tell tackle Love and Rockets' beloved first hit Ball Of Confusion-which was actually them covering a Motown classic-the band's famed hit No New Tale To Tell is boldly covered by Blaqk Audio, Love and the Rockets' biggest U.S. hit, So Alive, off of their self-titled album in 1989, is rather surprisingly covered by Better Than Ezra. Though surely flattered, Love and Rockets frontman Daniel Ash reveals, "My dream would be for Tom Jones to record this song."
New Tales To Tell will be in stores on August 18th and is available on iTunes now.