How’s this for bizarre… Nick Cave is one of several high-profile musicians covering a popular song that’s over 120 years as part of a new limited edition tribute album by a contemporary painter.
It gets weirder, the new compilation record is titled The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell, and also features the likes of Odd Future ringleader Tyler, The Creator, musical satirist ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, and Katy Perry covering the titular traditional tune ‘Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built For Two)’, which dates back to 1892 (and features prominently in 2001: A Space Odyssey).
As NME (via The Hollywood Reporter) details, the brains behind the concept album, which also features Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh and film composer Danny Elfman, is artist Mark Ryden. Music fans might recognise the pop surrealist painter’s work for the number of album covers he’s created over the years, including Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ One Hot Minute, and the deluxe edition of Wolf by Tyler, The Creator. It gets weirder, the new compilation record is titled The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell…
The ‘Daisy Bell’ tribute album is only available for purchase in a limited run of 999 copies on 180g red coloured vinyl for $99.99, all hand-numbered and signed by Ryden, and being released in conjunction with Ryden’s latest exhibition of the same name, The Gay Nineties, which opened over the weekend at the Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.
The exhibition also features a new portrait of collaborator Katy Perry. “The first time I actually heard of who she was, my 11-year-old niece said, ‘There’s this girl who really likes you’,” Ryden explains about the pop star. “I guess she had mentioned me in some interviews. I just got to meet her, and we were admirers of each other, and I asked her, and she did it,” he says of the album.
Some of the 999 copies of The Gay Nineties were available exclusively at the exhibition’s launch, while the remaining copies will be sold on Mark Ryden’s official website, starting from 13th May, with all proceeds from the release going towards Kids Rock; a nonprofit organisation that brings musical education to disadvantaged schools.
While we all wait to hear how Nick Cave, Tyler, and Metallica’s prime shredder all tackle a 122-year-old tune, you can familiarise yourself with ‘Daisy Bell’ with the famous rendition by HAL 9000 below (spoiler alert warning if you’ve yet to see Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi classic).