With their latest visit to BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, three-time Grammy nominated indie rock group Florence + The Machine let loose with yet another breath-taking cover song – this time around, of Justin Bieber and Skrillex/Diplo’s “Where Are Ü Now.”
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
I was a big fan of Roxy Music, in both their spiky earlier incarnation and their smoother second phase, then lost a little faith as Bryan Ferry seemed to endlessly noodle around and around the same somewhat bland and anodyne motifs, solo recordings palling – apart from, I have to say, and appropriately on this site, his all-Bob cover album Dylanesque, which carried a bit more verve and spark than his own stuff. However, back and currently on the road, Ferry seems to have hit upon a bit of a stride – largely, in truth, by an extensive revisiting of his Roxy catalog, rarely playing material from this century. Be that as it may, “More Than This,” from 1982’s Avalon, and actually their last UK top ten hit (it barely bothered the US charts, peaking at 102), has always struck me as a bit of a throwaway, with the by-then Ferry formula padded out in what was becoming a somewhat repetitive set of chord progressions, later repeated ad nauseum in his subsequent solo career. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that it’s bad, it’s just a bit meh. But, inexplicably, it has become a bit of a standard for covering, perhaps on account of one of the versions commented upon below.
“Country pop.” “Slick country.” “Bro country.” All terms, of varyingly negative connotation, used to describe the current landscape of country music. It can be hard at times to put your finger on exactly what makes a song with some twang, electric slide and a rock beat fall into the “pop” camp or the alt-country camp, but that fine dividing line often causes consternation among listeners who prefer one over the other. Sturgill Simpson seems to get lumped into the “outlaw” or “alternative” country camp, but however you describe the up-and-coming country star he can belt out a tune, as we saw when he cracked our top 5 best covers of 2014.
Six months into this year, we asked our writers What’s your favorite cover song of 2015 so far?. One answer was, in part, a cover of Hozier‘s hit “Take Me To Church” (blended wonderfully with “Crazy in Love”). Well perhaps by year’s end, Hozier will make our list himself with his own cover, of Paul McCartney’s Beatles classic “Blackbird.”
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
XTC is a difficult band to wrap your head around. Known initially, if at all, for quirky, jerky syncopated new wave songs, they slowly began to change into a band known for lush, intelligent pop songs heavily influenced by the Beatles’ psychedelic period. And, like the Beatles, XTC stopped performing live at what was, to that point, the height of their popularity. Having seen them in action just about a year before they quit touring in 1982, I can attest to the fact that they were an excellent live band. XTC has a devoted and creative fanbase, with exhaustive fan sites and a remarkable number of fan-generated tribute releases, which we will delve into in great detail below.
Will Dailey has won the Boston Music Award for Best Singer/Songwriter. Five times. In his latest triumph, he takes on Arcade Fire‘s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).” He strips the song from its playful disco beat vibes, instead offering a contrasting piece with gentle tapping drums and warm guitar lines in lieu of frisky synths and pianos.