Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.
Looking at Robert Smith’s exterior, you wouldn’t peg him as a romantic. Yet, behind the eccentric disheveled hair, past the purposely-pasty skin, and beyond the Goth guy-liner, Smith is a pretty sentimental dude. The Cure frontman penned “Just Like Heaven” after an inspiring trip to the seashore with his girlfriend, Mary Poole. The song not only won over the girl who became his wife, but became the band’s first song on the Billboard Top 40. Continue reading »
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Back in the ’80s, there seemed to be a formula for becoming a one-hit-wonder. Write an insanely catchy pop-song, deliver a visually interesting music video and get that video thrown into heavy rotation on MTV. The Norwegian trio A-ha nailed that formula with smash hit “Take On Me.”
The synthpop swing of the tune first made waves overseas before topping the U.S. Billboard charts in 1985. While it’s definitely a perfectly fitting song for the era, the majority of its popularity was due to the cutting-edge music video. The video combined pencil-sketch animation with live-action to create a comic book coming to life. It still stands as one of the iconic videos of early MTV. Check out this recent Family Guy, where they spoof the video by having Chris Griffin get trapped in A-ha’s world. Continue reading »
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!
Now known for a pretty good college football team, back in the ’60s something else was brewing among the swamplands of Gainesville, Fl. A young man and soon-to-be musical legend by the name of Tom Petty was getting guitar lessons from Don Felder, an eventual member of The Eagles. Around the same time, Elvis Presley himself was filming Follow the Dream in a nearby town, and young Petty had a chance encounter with him. Must have been an interesting time to be a gator.
On his 60th birthday, it’s amazing to look not only at the Tom Petty hit machine, but also the legends he’s worked with. His work with the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys included jamming with the likes of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. His first duet was with Stevie Nicks for a song called “Insider” that was released on the Hard Promises album. And Petty lent his voice to a memorable episode of “The Simpsons,” where he taught Homer some skills at Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy Camp with the help of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz and Brian Setzer. Continue reading »
Download This! scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.
The way an audience responds to any artistic venture varies from pumped-up praise to, well, downright harsh criticism. The comment section over at Aquarium Drunkard - where you can hear J. Tillman covering Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night album in its entirety – is a pretty clear example.
Let’s face it, when covering an artist that is so revered, there is going to be a lot of flack. Amongst the negative naysayers, the top post burns: “Way to castrate it, Tillman.” Yet, skimming the comments further, you see a redemptive post from the Fleet Foxes drummer himself. He valiantly defends this cover album as “an expression of affection for the source material” and asserts that his renditions were what “felt honest.” Continue reading »