Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

The Beatles being the Beatles, they’ve had several permutations of their work served up in full-album form. Reggae, bluegrass, punk, C&W, lullaby – you name it, somebody out there’s done it. What’s surprising is that it took a good quarter of a century after the genre’s arrival before someone thought of doing an all-shoegazing album of Beatle covers. With their 2013 album Beatless, the Meeks proved that it was absolutely worth the wait.
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I have a tendency to skirt around Daft Punk covers. It’s not that the covers fail to impress, it’s just that Daft Punk’s that good – it’s kind of hard to listen to a cover when the original perfectly satisfies what you need. Continue reading »

Miley Cyrus has often been a subject of controversy, and after a tweet directing her followers to “check dis shit out,” this past Saturday, she has come under scrutiny once again. No, she’s not lolling her tongue around or appropriating cultures – she simply covered Led Zeppelin‘s “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” Continue reading »

Willow Smith has been pretty quiet since the release of her 2010 smash, “Whip My Hair.” The now 13-year-old has spent time tweeting cryptic messages, sampling Radiohead, and really gnashing her teeth with this whole teenage angst bit. Continuing in this trend, Will Smith’s teenage daughter released a simple but surprisingly good cover of King Krule’s “Easy, Easy.” Continue reading »

For many, Courtney Barnett seems to be the heir apparent to Kim Deal as the coolest woman in rock. It’s fair to say the ‘intelligent slacker’ look and sound of Kim and the scene she came from has certainly informed Barnett as a writer and a performer. Continue reading »

Sep 122014

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

Eleven years ago today, Johnny Cash breathed his last. Two weeks before, Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” beat Cash’s “Hurt” for Best Male Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. Timberlake began his acceptance speech by saying, “This is a travesty. I demand a recount.” He went on to say, “My grandfather raised me on Johnny Cash… and I think he deserves this more than any of us in here tonight.” In a career that’s had far more right moves than wrong ones, this may have been Timberlake’s wisest move – not only did he cede the spotlight to a true legend, he acknowledged that Cash’s already-legendary cover of the Nine Inch Nails song was and would ever after be the true winner.
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Covering “Hounds of Love” is something of a rite of passage for alt-bands of the 21st century. Some covers go unnoticed, others become anthems, such as The Futureheads take on the Kate Bush ballad. Other covers, such as Nite Jewel‘s pass at the jam, completely turn the song on its head, becoming an entirely different beast completely. Continue reading »

Arthur Russell is one of those artists I keep promising myself I’ll make some time to listen to. I’ve heard and read lots of good things about him. But the only familiarity with his music I have is through covers of his songs. Joel Gibb’s version of ‘That’s Us/Wild Combination’ off the tribute EP ‘Four Songs By Arthur Russell’ is an absolute stunner of a song. Continue reading »

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