Oct 302015

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


Bruce Springsteen may not be rock ‘n’ roll’s future anymore, but he’s been so prolific – by 1998, three-quarters of his catalog consisted of unreleased songs – that we could very well see new albums coming out from him long after he’s gone. That abundance of gifts he’s given have not only made him a natural for the tribute album treatment, they’ve also given the covering artists a lot to work with – top-ten hits stand shoulder to shoulder with the barely bootlegged, and with no loss in song quality. The 2003 tribute album Light of Day: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen showcased the breadth of Springsteen’s catalog – two and a half hours long, holding over three dozen songs – just as surely as it showcased the depth of his songwriting.
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Oct 302015

Vin Diesel’s latest movie, The Last Witch Hunter, hit theaters last weekend.  With it comes a cover of the Rolling Stones’ classic, “Paint It, Black” by Ciara. And I’m not going to lie.  I assumed that “Ciara Covers The Stones” was bound to be an inevitable train wreck.  Not that I have anything against Ciara, but because it just seemed like an odd choice.

Even she even admitted to Rolling Stone that it was a surprise to be asked to do this song.  “I had never thought to cover this song. It was never on my radar to cover it, but when the opportunity came along, I was very thrilled.”

However, once I listened to the song, I knew that I was listening to one of my favorite covers of the year. Continue reading »

Oct 292015
dear boy

What would Halloween be without a song about ghosts?

Okay, I realize that the Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You” is as much about ghosts as Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & #35” is about girls with umbrellas, but hey, it’s Halloween and there is a ghost in the title. Continue reading »

Oct 282015

To many listeners, James Blake first announced himself via an amazing cover of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love.” He doesn’t do covers that often, but every time he does they are revelatory (see also: his version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”). Now he has done it once again with a sparse electronic version of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Sound of Silence.” Continue reading »

Oct 282015

Indie-electronica group Hot Chip know how to rock a cover, as they proved when they put out one of last year’s best covers of the year. Now they’re back with one that could put them on that list in 2015 as well. The group is on tour now and has been performing Bruce Springsteen‘s “Dancing in the Dark” live at shows this summer. They recently released an official video and studio version of the song and its well worth a listen. Continue reading »

Oct 272015

As you may remember, Bob Dylan kicked off his year with a weird – but terrific – tribute album to Frank Sinatra. Well we may see a second volume of Shadows in the Night before we see one of Chronicles, because on his new European tour he’s already started sprinkling three more Sinatra covers into his setlists: “All or Nothing At All,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and “Melancholy Mood”.

Fans of Shadows will find a lot to love in these new renditions. They’re all brisk versions sung from the heart, with emphasis on Donnie Heron’s beautiful pedal steel. He’s actually tried one of these before, recording “Come Rain or Come Shine” for his 1986 album Knocked Out Loaded before abandoning it. So he’s been living with these songs for a while now. Continue reading »