DEE GEES (Foo Fighters) – Hail Satin (2021)
Few days ago we heard the fun metal tribute to The Bee Gees, Abba, TOTO, and beyond done by TRAGEDY. At the same time, FOO FIGHTERS under the fictional name DEE GEES are also releasing their versions of The Bee Gees disco classic done Rock n’ roll, a disc titled “Hail Satin“. That’s the half of the album, the other half are rockers under the FOO FIGHTERS name.
Recorded at their own Studio 606, ”Hail Satin” contains covers of four Bee Gees tracks – You Should Be Dancing, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than A Woman – plus Andy Gibb’s Shadow Dancing.
The release also features live versions of five Medicine At Midnight songs: Making A Fire, Shame Shame, Waiting On A War, No Son Of Mine and Cloudspotter. But these are ‘live into the studio’.
Bee Gees hits without ever taking too many liberties with them.
Rather than reimagine these tracks entirely, Grohl and Co. decide to replicate them with as much energy and style as they can.
This is all about fun, and that’s clear since the album’s title, a parody to ‘Hail Satan’.
While the Foos have been somewhat resistant to change their strictly-rock-n-roll sound throughout the last decade, their last studio album ‘Medicine At Midnight’ sees the band employing a more dance-heavy sound, complete with backup singers, auxiliary percussion, and even a recent Mark Ronson reimagining.
Rather than attempting to get Foo Fighters fans to headbang along, they seem more intent on creating a vibe.
Of course, there’s no better jumping off point than the Bee Gees — the disco trio were masterminds of melody and harmony, and created an infectious sonic environment that inspired a generation.
Foo Fighters approach these tracks with charm and charisma, committed to celebrating.
It may be difficult to imagine Dave Grohl’s usual grit on top of these dancefloor tunes, but as “You Should Be Dancing” kicks off, there’s no doubt that he’s in his element. His voice is certainly more husky than Gibb’s, but his passion and flair fits right into the nostalgic track.
In fact, what’s so fascinating about Grohl’s vocal performance is how rarely he’s used his falsetto before this effort — usually for just a word or two — and how much he uses it in ”Hail Satin”. And he really can hit some of these notes, begging the question of why he tends to shy away from a delicate falsetto if it’s in his wheelhouse.
This is a repeated theme to consider when listening to Hail Satin. For a band that has been pumping out reliable rock tunes for the last three decades, the very existence of these disco covers — let alone the fact that they’ve donned a stylish and absurd alter ego — is still a bit of a left turn.
These covers certainly serve the purpose of celebration, of honoring their pop forebears, of fostering a dance-laden atmosphere, and even of exercising the youth that the Gen X members of the Foo Fighters still have. Beyond that, these covers simply prove that the Foo Fighters have a lot more to offer than complacent primal rock.
Of course, at the end of the day, these songs work because the Bee Gees made them work — the astounding level of pop perfection that Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb helmed would translate well in pretty much any genre.
That said, Foo Fighters have succeeded over the years with an appeal to those about to rock, and with ”Hail Satin”, they’re carving out more room for themselves and pushing those boundaries ever so slightly.
On arguably the most interesting cover of the batch, “Shadow Dancing,” drummer Taylor Hawkins takes a great turn on lead vocals, and the background singers shine brighter than any of their ‘Medicine At Midnight’ cuts.
It’s a great example of how much restraint Foo Fighters still possess, and how much fun they’re willing to have at the same time. Only time will tell if the spirit of ”Hail Satin” will live on through the next few Foo Fighters albums.
And if not, at least we have this time to dance. Fun stuff.
01 Dee Gees – You Should Be Dancing
02 Dee Gees – Night Fever
03 Dee Gees – Tragedy
04 Dee Gees – Shadow Dancing
05 Dee Gees – More Than A Woman
06 Foo Fighters – Making A Fire
07 Foo Fighters – Shame Shame
08 Foo Fighters – Waiting On A War
09 Foo Fighters – No Son Of Mine
10 Foo Fighters – Cloudspotter
Dave Grohl – lead vocals, guitar
Nate Mendel – bass
Pat Smear – guitar, backing vocals
Taylor Hawkins – drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals
Chris Shiflett – guitar, backing vocals
Rami Jaffee – keyboards