I can’t resist doing this. I’m going to be doing taxes tomorrow, so please accept today’s song, tomorrow’s song and a bonus song for your troubles…and the fact that you are going to have to do your taxes too.
Yesterday’s eulogy for Mark Linkous made me think of The Cardigans (he often worked with Nina Persson). Remember First Band on the Moon? I kind of loved that album, all full of sugary Swedish pop, including the single, “Lovefool,” which was featured in everyone’s favorite onscreen version of Romeo and Juliet. I remember reading an article about them (probably also in Rolling Stone—oh, high school) and how even though the band played 60s-inspired pop music, they were secretly all super metal nerds! That explains their fantastic cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”.
Then, I thought, if I was going to give you The Cardigans version, I should probably also give you the original, because of how I feel about covers. A little background, from Wikipedia:
The title of the song was conceived by Ozzy Osbourne. Geezer Butler took to writing the lyrics around the title. To avoid copyright infringement involving the superhero of the same name, he made it the story of a vengeful villain instead of a hero…
The lyrics tell the story of a man who time travels into the future of the world, and sees the apocalypse. In the process of returning to the present, he is turned into steel by a magnetic field. He is rendered mute, unable verbally to warn people of his time of the impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become angry, and have his revenge on mankind, causing the destruction seen in his vision.
After reading that, I really felt like “Iron Man” was the right song to post here as I prepare to do my taxes. Hopefully my frustration with my W2s won’t render me mute and then force me to bring about massive revenge on mankind in the form of complete destruction.
To solve that potential problem, I wanted to include a decidedly mellower version of the song here as well. I stumbled across this really beautiful instrumental cover by electronic musician Four Tet and thought he might help The Cardigans balance out the METAL DESTRUCTION. If tax time is getting you down, consider listening to the covers. If you already got your refund, crank up the original and thrash about thinking of how you have destroyed that which has spurned you (the government?).
Also, you might want to one check out of the (many) other covers. Why so many versions of this iconic heavy metal song? Probably because it’s got one of the best, most memorable lead guitar riffs ever. If a measure of greatness is directly correlated to the number of YouTube videos spawned, eat your Goddamn heart out, darling little British kids. Metal has destroyed you.
Iron Man.mp3 (Cardigans)
Iron Man.mp3 (Black Sabbath)
Iron Man.mp3 (Four Tet)
Nobody wants him
He just stares at the world
Planning his vengeance
That he will soon unfurl