Kesha released a cover of T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution,” produced by the late Hal Willner. Willner passed away earlier this year due to complications from COVID-19. Prior to his death, he had been working on a compilation tribute album for T. Rex, due for release on September 4.
Kesha’s cover incorporates her boasting voice and epic guitars. She belts each of the song’s lyrics in a pop-rock twist, showcasing her growth in sound. Wayne Kramer of MC5 joined Kesha on guitar, while Davey Faragher of Elvis Costello played bass and Pete Thomas played drums. Marc Bolan’s son, Rolan Bolan, also joined Kesha with backing vocals. Wayne Kramer’s guitars carry a heavier sound from the original, reflecting Kesha’s belting vocals.
T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution” originally came out in 1972, helping to create a new genre of rock called glam rock. Kesha’s version includes a more surly and belting voice, the original carrying a heavier focus on the strings incorporated within the song’s sound. “Children of the Revolution” released as a single, the B-side including both “Jitterbug Love” and “Sunken Rags.” T. Rex recorded the song for the film Born to Boogie, the song including Elton John on piano and Ringo Starr on a second drum kit.
Other artists to be included on Willner’s tribute album, Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex, are Elton John, U2, Joan Jett, Nick Cave, Perry Farrell, Father John Misty and more.
Willner worked as the music producer for various “Saturday Night Live” sketches for 40 years. He would also put together tribute albums for Kurt Weill, vintage Disney Films, Thelonious Monk and more. He passed away in early April due to the coronavirus.
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna