Wake up in the morning feelin’ like P. Diddy? Nah, try waking up feeling like Bo Diddley instead. Get out your peanuts, crackerjacks and phonographs and get ready to try something which offers you that 50/60s rock ‘n’ roll feeling without having to leave the comfort of the 21st century.
The Baseballs are a rock ‘n’ roll cover band from Berlin, Germany— and they cover those songs you hear over and over again on the radio but with a distinct, rock ‘n’ roll/rockabilly/doo-wop twist. The band stated in an interview that they “take good songs and lead them to their true destiny”. Their debut album Strike!, produced by JMC Music, was released in 2009 and then re-released as Strike! Back in 2010. In 2011, the band released their second album Strings ‘n’ Stripes. The albums feature an array of covers from well-known artists including Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ke$ha and Katy Perry.
The Baseballs have been a very successful group. The boy band consisting of Sam, Digger and Basti and their back-up band of guitarist Lars Vegas, bassist Klaas Wendling, pianist Jan Miserre and drummer Tomas Svensson have ranked high on many European charts and high in the hearts of many smitten adolescents (and grown-ups, of course) as well.
Despite their widespread recognition, I’ve introduced many people living in the U.S. to the band and thus discovered I may be a carrier of Baseballs fever. Kentuckian Stephen, a self-proclaimed “huge Beatles fan”, was one of many interviewed who fell in love upon first hearing the band saying, “they have great style-- the style of Elvis.”
Among those asked, a list of adjectives was gathered to describe the band; words such as fun, catchy, and upbeat came up frequently.
Many stressed the word love when voicing their take on the sound. No doubt about it, The Baseballs are simply likeable. Their union of nostalgia and modernity has indeed proven to be a hit. I was hardpressed to find genuine dislike or hatred of this band.
To those who felt the band did leave a bad taste in their mouth: sure, the band may be shaped to make money. Maybe cover bands do show a lack of innovation. Maybe it’s feeding off of the “trendiness” of both 50s/60s style and popular radio tunes but sometimes popular music is popular for a very good reason. Just because it pleases the masses doesn’t necessarily make it any less worth listening to. The Monkees, to throw out one example, were manufactured in a similar way and I certainly don’t find them any less brilliant for it.
Besides, I don’t think I could fully enjoy the sweet lyrics included in the poppy, upbeat and catchy song Ne-Yo wrote for Rihanna’s “Umbrella” without a twist like this. If The Baseballs make you happy like they make me happy, they’re worth spinnin’.