Years ago, a friend sent me a VHS copy of Jenny Rock covering Deep Purple’s “Hush.” I was so blown away by her version, so, well, confused (in a good way) and so suddenly in love with Jenny Rock, I watched that thing about 67 times… or more. Rock, one of the Quebecois Ye Ye singers, enjoyed popular singles, and was named Best Female Ye Ye Singer at Montreal’s Festival du Disc award show. And she opened for the Rolling Stones in 1965. Not bad. But I love her later work — when she went a bit crazy. Case in point: her cover of Deep Purple’s “Hush” (written first by Joe South for Billy Joe Royal) entitled “Mal” (also a cover of Johnny Hallyday’s version, “Mal”).

Oh, my… this fills me with all kinds of conflicted feelings. It’s sexy sure, it’s intense (I love how she SCREAMS— almost in torment) and excitedly painful and potently, frightfully erotic. After all, she’s singing “Mal!” which means bad or evil in French. Quite different than “Hush.” At times, Jenny looks like she’s been held hostage and forced to sing to the radical Front de libération du Québec. Or young Kim Jong Il. But she indeed, makes it her own. And in my obsessive fantasy scenario, Ritchie Blackmore breaks in and saves her. And then makes her sing it again. It’s that stupendously strange and Ye Ye psychedelic and curiously perverse and sublime. I wonder what Serge Gainsbourg thought of this? I’m thinking he liked it — a lot.


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    Jenny Rock covering Deep Purple’s “Hush”
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    Now this is what I call a cover. There’s no regurgitation of the original here.
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