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Snap Judgment: The White Stripes' "Conquista"

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What could make the White Stripes’ histrionic kitsch-fest “Conquest” even more over-the-top — perhaps a video starring Jack White as a macho toreador? Ah, but they already went there. Well, what if they remade the song in a foreign language, making sure to enunciate every syllable as furiously as they could? Yep, they thought of that too. Behold “Conquista,” the “Conquest”-en-Español self-cover they let out this morning:

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The mechanics of this thing boggle the mind. “Conquest” was already a cover of a novelty-ish tune that Patti Page made famous in the early 1950s; that makes this some kind of third-degree experiment in camp. Jack’s got a passable Spanish pronunciation, though — dude really relishes rolling those r‘s. And if anything, I’ve gotta say that the song’s absurdly melodramatic tone almost works better in this new tongue.

“Conquista” also put me in mind of Beck’s “Burro” — a trippy Spanish-language mariachi version of his own track “Jack-Ass,” released as a B-side in 1997, and rediscovered by me this week thanks to the awesome new Odelay deluxe reissue. (The only link I could find for “Burro” comes with a user-created montage of fairly disturbing Luis Buñuel clips; watch at your own risk!) And people like the Beatles and Johnny Cash used to release unintentionally hilarious German versions of their own hits all the time. All in all, I gotta say not enough alt-rock artists re-record their own tunes in other languages these days. But are there any other good examples I’m missing?

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