In Pick Five, great artists pick five cover songs that matter to them.
Broadway star Lena Hall (Kinky Boots, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) has been releasing an ambitious series of EPs this year. Every month, she covers a handful of tracks by a favorite artist. In what she’s dubbed the Obsessed series, she’s already tackled Elton John, Peter Gabriel, and The Cranberries. June’s installment say her bringing her Broadway belt to five Radiohead songs; here’s a highlight:
Jack White is next month’s featured artist, and I’m quite excited for that one. As the covers Hall selected for us demonstrate, she’s something of a White Stripes superfan. She’ll hopefully preview one or two of her upcoming Stripes covers at her New York concert tomorrow night, “Six Months of Obsessions: From Radiohead to Hedwig” at Public Arts (tickets here).
Check out Hall’s cover-song picks below. Sure hope Dolly Parton and Soundgarden are on her Obsessed docket…
Ann Wilson – Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)
Lena says: Ann Wilson has one of my favorite voices of all time so to hear her sing Led Zeppelin is a stairway straight to rock ’n’ roll heaven.
The White Stripes – Jolene (Dolly Parton cover)
Lena says: Jack White is a musician that walks in his own musical world. He is odd, cool, rockin’ and retro. The White Stripes cover of “Jolene” shows how different a song can sound depending on who is interpreting it. This is the dirtiest cover of “Jolene” I have ever heard.
Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie cover)
Lena says: Kurt Cobain’s voice can make any song a gut-wrenching story. Nirvana’s “MTV Unplugged in New York” has some of the greatest covers ever recorded. I remember when this aired and how important this “MTV Unplugged” was. This was one of the greatest acoustic concerts ever recorded.
Chris Cornell – I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston cover)
Lena says: Here is Chris Cornell singing “I Will Always Love You.” Wrap yourself in a blanket cause you are gonna get CHILLS. He is one of the greatest rock singers of all time. The first time I discovered Chris Cornell was watching the music video of “Black Hole Sun” on MTV when they used to show music videos. I remember the people with giant eyes creeping me out. I believe that Cornell could sing anything and make it incredible.
Muse – House of the Rising Sun (Traditional cover)
Lena says: Muse doing a cover of “House of the Rising Sun” is super cool. They don’t do many covers but the ones that they do do are completely original. They make songs their own. I love how huge their sound is, and they make this song a monster.
Bonus: Audioslave – Seven National Army (The White Stripes cover)
Lena says: And here is Cornell kicking ass again covering The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”! He’s a god!
Lena’s ‘Obsessed’ series is available from SKB Records. Current (and future!) installment can be purchased at LenaHallObsessed.com