Oct 312011
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

When Bruce Springsteen began to construct and record the songs that would make up his third album in early 1974, he knew the pressure was on. Following two critically-acclaimed but low-selling records, he had to produce a masterpiece or risk his career being over before he even got to make his impact on the world of pop music. Little did anyone, even Bruce himself, know at the time just what was stirring in his head, aching to get out: an 8-song magnum opus that stands almost unparalleled in the annals of rock. It’s one of the only records to earn a 10.0 rating from Pitchfork, and at least one critic has heralded its title track the greatest song ever written. We’re talking, of course, about Born to Run. Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

The first CD released by The Postal Service was the 2003 single “Such Great Heights.” The song was written by Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello and featured Iron & Wine doing a cover version on the B-side. The Iron & Wine take was featured on the soundtrack for Garden State and went on to become the wider-known version. Ever since, the song has made the cover rounds. Ben Folds, Rilo Kiley, Streelight Manifesto have all had a go and recently we featured Amanda Palmer and Kim Boekbinder doing a wonderful ukulele version. Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

Happy Halloween cover fans! If you’re holding a party and don’t know what to play your ghastly guests, we’ve got your playlist. Well, three minutes of it at least. Brooklyn trio Selebrities just released a free cover of Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s classic “Monster Mash” that’ll give your spooky shindig that “ghoul factor.” Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

Justin Timberlake appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon over the weekend. As it has twice before (here and here), the occasion necessitated a look at the “History of Rap.” The duo once more busted a move dropping lines from classic hip-hip tracks with the Roots backing. Continue reading »

Oct 282011
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

In 1984 a band from Glasgow released a song that sounded like the inside of a jet engine factory, only you could hum it. The song was “Upside Down,” and it stayed on the UK indie charts for almost a year and a half. The band was The Jesus and Mary Chain, less content to push the envelope than to blow a hole through it with feedback and distortion. With their first album, Psychocandy, they made it official: here was a group that combined the squall of The Velvet Underground and the tunefulness of The Beach Boys to make torture chamber pop, producing a wall of sound that surely had Phil Spector nodding approvingly. Continue reading »