'27' Creator Charles Soule Is Covering The Hits

The writer and musician is prepping for the release of 27: The Second Set with a series of song covers from one-hit wonders.

With the release of the second volume, the "Second Set," if you will, of his hit supernatural rock comic 27 hitting shelves this week, series creator Charles Soule decided to celebrate the impeding release with nine days' worth of song covers from music acts that could be considered one-hit wonders, based on reader suggestions. The writer explained that one-hit wonders are actually integral to the upcoming arc, even going so far as to get cover artist Scott Forbes to homage the album cover of hip hop luminary Mr. Robert Matthew Van Winkle.

Series artist Renzo Podesta returns to join Soule in telling the second act in the story of fallen musician Will Garland, who's made a deal with mystical entities for a device that will give him limited bouts of random genius. The only problem is, after Garland uses it 27 times, he's gone--done, dead. The new arc opens with Garland attempting to get his career back on track, trying to get some of his heat back, and most of all, trying not to press that button again.

As for his musical project, Soule, in choosing the covers, gave himself three rules:

1. The tunes will all be performed via solo acoustic and vocals–-no other instruments, no other production. That doesn’t mean I can’t use pedals, but I’m not going to put in drums or tin whistle.

2. The definition of “one-hit wonder” has to remain a little loose. I mean, if you ask Aqua whether they’re a OHW, they’ll probably say no, but I don’t think that most people could name another hit of theirs besides “Barbie Girl.” For my purposes, I decided to take suggestions as OHWs even if I suspect they might have another hit or two out there. I mean, if someone thinks a band is a one-hit wonder, then they sort of are a one-hit wonder--at least to that person. Good enough for me.

3. I decided not to include video of myself performing the tunes. I only gave myself a few days to pull this whole thing together, and if I wanted to get the songs out at all, something had to go.

This novel approach has led to Soule recording a track and uploading it to YouTube for easy consumption by fans, through a series of posts on his blog, The Land of 10,000 Things, as well as a download link for each of the tracks.

One of Soule's choices was Skid's Row's "18 and Life," a song he chose thanks to a bit of numerical serendipity (and reader demand--Soule concedes the band wasn't exactly a one-hit wonder). Here's what Soule had to say about the choice:

This one's nice because it also has a good connection to 27 - the series has all sorts of tie-ins to the number nine, as you probably know, and 18 is a "nine number," in that it's both a multiple of nine and its digits add up to nine. So, there's that. It's been very fun to reimagine these songs and try to figure out new ways to approach them. I don't have a hair metal band in my back pocket, after all, so it's about finding another way to make the song work.

You can download a couple of his selections below:

The Five Footsteps, "Ooh Child"

The Cardigans, "Lovefool"*

Gary Numan, "Cars"

27: The Second Set hits shelves via Image Comics on Wednesday. You cand find his series of one-hit wonders on Charles Soule's blog.

*By the way, everything on the Cardigans' follow-up album, Gran Turismo is pure gold and you should spend money on it ASAP.

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