Favorite cover of someone else’s song?
I’ve been partial to this lately:
I’m kind of partial to my own cover of Todd Rundgren’s NAZZ’s “Under The Ice”.
(please don’t sue me, Todd)
Back in the 90s, Belly did a sweet cover of “Are You Experienced?” And the Pixies’ rendition of Neil Young’s “Winterlong” is one of the few remaining paths back to a time I’ve otherwise sealed off in memory.
Whoa, I forgot to close a tag and botched that whole ish. Trying again: In the 90s, Belly did a sweet cover of “Are You Experienced?” And the Pixies’ version of Neil Young’s “Winterlong” is one of the last open pathways to a time that I’ve otherwise sealed off in memory.
Misha, that Pixies cover is AWESOME. Love me some Neil, but damn, the wheezing can get on your nerves after a while, so it’s nice hearing the words from somebody else’s mouth.
(A semantic battle long since lost, but…)
Back in the ’40s and ’50s, there would often be two or three or more versions of the same song competing for radio air play; often – though not necessarily – white artists covering ‘black’ songs. A ‘cover version’ of a song by a more famous artist was meant to compete with, overtake, and ‘cover’ the original version by a lesser known artist.
What you’re talking about here is more correctly called a ‘remake’.
Now then: I’m a big fan of songwriters, particularly ’60s songwriters. Through the wonders of the internet and mp3s, I’ve made my own CDs of collections of various artists versions of songwriters songs – Jimmy Webb, Goffin-King, Mann-Weil, Bacharach-David, Pomus-Shuman, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Laura Nyro, Dylan, Macaulay-Macleod, Cook-Greenaway, Bonner-Gordon…
Not quite the same as ‘cover’ versions, but often involves ‘covers’ (because pretty much all songwriters really wanted to be performers). So picking just one for me, even out of that group, is impossible.
There used to be a searchable data base of more than 20,000 (!) covers of Dylan songs, but sadly it seems to have disappeared.
Here are two that I *really* like.
Kenny Wayne Shephard – Everything is Broken
Johnny Winter – Highway 61 Revisited
The Lunachicks did a great version of Iggy Pop’s “Passenger”
I really like Richie Haven’s version of Here Comes the Sun.
dead can dance did a lovely sineado’conner song.
Arlo’s cover of “City of New Orleans.” Steve Goodman was great–he wrote the damned thing, after all–but Arlo hit that song out of the park.
New Grass Revival’s cover of Jackson Brown’s These Days.
Radney Foster’s stone-cold country cover of My Girl. I saw him do it live on his first solo tour in the early 90s and I can remember it like it was yesterday. You wouldn’t think it would work, but it totally did, peddle steel and all.
Thanks for sharing that, hadn’t heard it. As to covers or remakes too many to list but the Dead’s versions of Chuck Berry’s songs are to die for as well as their rocking version of Big River. Also, most reinterpretations by Bryan Ferry but especially his take on Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. Finally, the Jayhawks taking ownership of Grand Funk’s Bad Time. It’s now one of their signature songs.
Jake Shimabukuro’s ukulele version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I suspect George Harrison would have admired it.
Belly’s “Are You Experienced” is certainly on my list as is Cake’s “I Will Survive” and just about anything by Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox. My favorite fun cover right now is Robbie Williams & Olly Murs performing “I Wanna Be Like You” on The Graham Norton Show. It makes me smile every time.
Hendrix doing Dylan — “All Along The Watchtower”
Stevie Ray Vaughn doing Hendrix — “Little Wing”
The Allman Bros. w/ Duane doing T-Bone Walker — “Stormy Monday”
Bonnie Raitt doing John Prine – “Angel From Montgomery”
Another nod to SRV doing Hendrix – Voodoo Chile (slight return)
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