You searched for "grace jones" - Cover Me

May 192018
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with covers of his or her songs. Let someone else do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

grace jones covers

Here’s a stumper: Is it more correct to ask who Grace Jones is, or what Grace Jones is? The model-actress-singer-diva-icon turns 70 today, and her appeal—which might once have appeared to be a particularly long-running flash in the pan—shows no signs of abating. The documentary Bloodlight and Bami, an intimate look at the performer, came out this year, and her memoir I’ll Never Write My Memoirs was a notable book of 2015.

Jones materialized onto the dancefloors and catwalks of mid-70s New York as if dropped from a passing spaceship. Single-handedly redefining “exotic”—back in the days when that questionable term meant “non-Caucasian”—Jones brought a fierce and, for the time, shockingly confrontational androgyny to the pages of fashion glossies. Simultaneously tribal, futurist, techno and primitive, Jones and her trademark glare fairly leapt off the page, daring you to look away. Many could not, and her modeling career, launched in 1966 when she was 18, has never truly ended. Continue reading »

Mar 252019
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Roxy Music

I know, I know, cheating with a compilation album, but believe me, I tried, hell, I tried. I wanted to cover the 1972 debut, Roxy Music/Roxy Music, not least as it is “their best,” but also to celebrate this year’s inauguration of the band (or brand) into the R&R Hall of Fame. But let’s face it — however good (most of) the songs are, the cover versions, give or take, are decidedly not. And so few anyway, most being limp copies and ersatz imitations. (And I’m talking about you, Velvet Goldmine, with your Thom Yorke and your faux recreations.) Indeed, it seems, as I researched, that the only person regularly covering Roxy was Bryan Ferry himself, either in solo mode or, now and gloriously, in a jazz age great Gatsby style, both ruled out automatically by default. But they are good….. So I have had to resort to this 2nd best, even if it misses out the sole reason I wanted to take this on in the first place, the superb Tin Machine/Bowie take on “If There is Something,” my favorite-ever Roxy track.

I loved the Roxy, being just the right age as they emerged, in my mid-teens, looking for the hit of new to fertilize my hungry ears. I recall listening to the debut in a Brighton record shop. There was a wiring disconnect in the headphones, giving a buzz in the left ear. I didn’t realize this wasn’t part of the sound for some time (years, actually), thinking it part of the process, and it added to the band’s mystique. The succession of records continued to enthrall, arguably better put together songs as more of the experimental gradually fell by the wayside, not that I could allow myself to admit it. As Eno and every bassist in turn left, so the musicianship upped, the Eddie Jobson years an especial highlight. A few years silence and back they bounced, now a smoother beast altogether, a trio of Ferry, Mackay and Manzanera with the pick of sessiondom’s finest, still great, if mellower. Did they ever really officially fold? There was always the promise of some new undertaking, inevitably subsumed into more Ferry solo projects, his live shows increasingly and ever more Roxy-based. I don’t suppose it will ever happen now, but maybe the memories are stronger.

Have some hits…
Continue reading »

Jun 152018
 
best cover songs 1978

Welcome to the third installment in our Best Cover Songs of Yesteryear countdown, where we act like we were compiling our usual year-end list from a year before we – or the internet – existed. Compared to the first two, this one has significantly less grunge than 1996 and less post-punk than 1987. It’s hard to have post-punk, after all, before you have punk, a new genre starting to hit its peak in 1978. And don’t forget the other big late-’70s sound: disco. Both genres were relatively new, and super divisive among music fans. Lucky for us, both genres were also big on covers.

Disco, in particular, generated some hilariously ill-advised cover songs. We won’t list them all here – this is the Best 1978 covers, not the Most 1978 covers. If you want a taste (and think carefully about whether you really do), this bonkers take on a Yardbirds classic serves as a perfect example of what a good portion of the year’s cover songs looked and sounded like: Continue reading »

Apr 012016
 

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

BillW

There’s talk that “Use Me,” from Bill Withers’ second album Still Bill, is about his relationship with his future wife (and, a year later, ex-wife), Hollywood actress Denise Nicholas. Withers denies this, saying he got the idea for the song before his first album, while he was still making toilets for $3 an hour. Most listeners didn’t care about its origin – they were too busy digging that funky clavinet, nodding along to lyrics that brush against masochistic tendencies while defiantly stating that one could be willing to take the bad with the good, because that good was so good. It sure felt good, especially the Live at Carnegie Hall version, so deep in the pocket that the clapping-along audience doesn’t want it to end, demanding (and getting) an immediate encore.
Continue reading »

Apr 212011
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Iggy Pop, born James Osterberg in Muskegon, Michigan, turns a remarkable 64 years old today. Remarkable because he spent so much time living on the edge. He arguably created punk rock with his band The Stooges in 1968, uniting the D.I.Y. ethic of mid-’60s garage rock with a nihilistic attitude and Jim Morrison-inspired performance antics. After three albums, Pop’s extreme drug abuse led to the demise of the band and a stint at an L.A. mental institution. Continue reading »

Dec 012009
 

Cover Commissions is a monthly series in which a featured artist produces a special cover for this blog. The song to be covered is usually chosen by blog readers via a poll or suggestions form. Any artists interested in participating in a future installment, please email me at the address on the right.


We’ve fallen a bit behind on our Cover Commissions her at Cover Me, but we’re not about to let November slip away without a new artist! In fact, Commissions is about to kick into high gear this week, beginning with a Cover Me song debut later this week (song hint: it’s not about married men). Then, getting us back on track, another poll’s coming your way next week for December’s Cover Commissions.

But first…

Brady Harris first came to our attention with his acoustic-blues cover of Snoop Doggy Dogg’s “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?),” which you can still download here. That led us to his 2007 album Cover Charge, where he takes on everyone from the Vines to Madonna. We’ve got a couple selections from that record below, but to whet your appetite you should first watch this video of him putting together the Clash’s “Jimmy Jazz” with Babyshambles’ “Fuck Forever.”

Brady’s been around much longer than that though, releasing his first album in 1993 (No Place Like Gone, with his band-at-the-time the Solid Goldstein). An emerging solo career soon led him from his native Texas to North Hollywood, where a series of albums won him accolades from the Los Angeles Times, the NXNW Music Festival and a long list of others. In the early part of this fast-fading decade he even won the Pontiac Vibe Car Commercial Contest, using the prize money to (what else) produce another record, the critically acclaimed Lone Star. His most recent is North Hollywood Skyline and is well worth a listen or ten.

Right now though, we don’t care about his original stuff (sorry). Here’s a sampling of the way this guy nails a cover.

Brady Harris – Like a Virgin (Madonna)

Brady Harris – Ace of Spades (Motörhead)

Now, the important part. As regular readers will have already guessed, Brady has graciously agreed to record a special cover just for this blog. What song? You tell him!

Below are ten songs. Click on any one to listen to the original. Then just pick which one Brady should cover in the poll on the right! The winning song get the Brady Harris treatment which, as you now know, is quite something.

Enough talk though; this month’s almost over. Presenting…

The Contenders
The Beatles – Glass Onion
The Beatles – Your Mother Should Know

Blondie – Heart of Glass

Ian Brown – Dolphins Were Monkeys
Cheap Trick – Come On, Come On

Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4

Grace Jones – I’ve Seen That Face Before
Oasis – Hello
Kevin Salem – Lighthouse Keeper

Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.

Voting closes in one week, so get deciding! Vote on the right. And remember, check back later this week for more Commissions excitement.