Friday, May 1

The art of the cover

I said:
Heard Seether 'Careless Whisper' cover for the first time. Absolutely horrible! []
Then Lisa asked me if I like the Ataris' 'Boys of Summer'. I replied:
i hate it, but probably because of my issues:

1. i hate Don Henley. not sure why. LOVE the Mojo Nixon song 'Don Henley must die!'

2. i find this young, 'edgy' bands kinetically covering adult contemporary easy listening songs totally distasteful.

ok. i'm a total spaz, i admit. i will post today about what i regard as good cover songs.
So, here's my attempt to at least say what I DO like :-)

Let's start here: THEY'VE GOT IT COVERED: THE 100 BEST COVER SONGS OF ALL TIME. Ones I like (I'm disregarding their rankings):

24. "All Along the Watchtower," Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan)
26. "Louie Louie," the Kingsmen (Richard Berry)
30. "Walk This Way," Run DMC (Aerosmith)
38. "You're No Good," Linda Ronstadt (Betty Everett)
52. "Respect," Aretha Franklin (Otis Redding)
73. "Venus," Bananarama (Shocking Blue)
81. "Twist and Shout," The Beatles

Honestly, I think most of my preference in these cases is which one I heard first. In some cases I've never heard the original. So some of this is just covers I like.

Another grist list: They did it their way (again, disregarding the rankings)

27 Summertime Blues - The Who, 1968
23 Caravan of Love - Housemartins, 1986
6 Tainted Love - Soft Cell, 1981

Same as above.

A few I thought of that aren't on these lists:

Please Please Please - The Dream Academy
You Really Got Me - Van Halen
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Tori Amos
Can't help falling in love - Lickin' the Tins
Baby one more time - Fountains of Wayne

And a couple many people would name, but, while the cover's ok, I prefer the original:

Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
There She Goes - Sixpence None the Richer

Relatedly, there are a lot of mashups I love, too!

What about you? What are your favorite covers? What would you add? Did I get any wrong?


Benet said...

I have a whole playlist of songs on my iPod of originals and covers. Some of my favorites:

Landslide, Fleetwood Mac & the Dixie Chicks

Only a Dream in Rio, James Taylor & Cassandra Wilson

Heart of the Matter, Don Henley & India Arie

How Deep Is Your Love. the Bee Gees & The Bird and the Bee

Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, KT Tunstall & Katharine McFee

Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Elton John/George Michael, Clay Aiken

Everywhere, Fleetwood Mac & Chaka Khan

Fields of Gold, Sting & Eva Cassidy

Love Song, The Cure & Tori Amos

Maybe I'm Amazed, Paul McCartney & Jem

Take Five, Dave Brubeck Quartet & George Benson

Your Song, Elton John & Ewan MacGregor

Those are just off the top of my head. I'm definitely going to take some of your suggestions!!

Scott(apogo) said...

Hi Sean! Long time no comment, but yeah, I'm still reading, at least some eight years(!) later.

Just wanted to toss out a couple of tidbits. Hendrix also did a great cover of Dylan's "Please Come Crawl Out Your Window". I have it on the BBC sessions Hendrix album. It's semi-rare, but really worth tracking down.

Also, I'm with you 100% on Mojo's Don Henley Must Die. Such a great song. Somewhat on topic, Mojo teamed up with Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra to record an album titled Prarie Home Invasion that features an updated version/cover of the Phil Ochs tune Love Me, I'm a Liberal, which is fantastic. Also worth tracking down.

Hope all is well!

Macon said...

I looooooooove the Ataris cover of 'Boys of Summer'.

Love love love it.

'Course, I find that young, edgy bands kinetically covering adult contemporary easy listening songs to be the only reason justifying the existence of adult contemporary easy listening songs.

imho, there are very few songs that don't benefit from a little punkification.

diff'rent strokes!

Sean Meade said...

Benet: thanks for the list. pretty eclectic!

Scott: thanks, man. any chance you remember that you sent me the Mojo song? loved it from the moment i first heard it!

doing well, thanks. hope you are!

Macon: de gustibus non disputandum est ;-)

and, in addition, i don't think you're as stuck up as i am...