Aug 282017
 
cover me book

Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Songs Of All Time comes out October 3. It dives deep into twenty iconic covers, from Elvis’s “Hound Dog” through Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” I interviewed artists like David Byrne and Roger Daltrey to get the untold stories behind their greatest covers. You can read all about it here.

Now we’ve got a special bonus for anyone who preorders: a free digital album of other covers of those same songs.

What’s the greatest “Take Me to the River” that’s not by Al Green or the Talking Heads? My favorite “Hurt” untouched by either of those men in black? An “I Will Always Love You” that sounds like the artist has never heard either Dolly Parton or Whitney Houston’s versions? This mix answers all those questions. Continue reading »

May 192017
 
Cover Me

As we’ve noted already, 2017 marks Cover Me’s tenth birthday. We’ll have some more celebratory posts leading up to the actual date this fall, but I’m thrilled to announce one thing that’s on deck for October: the release of my first book, Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time!

Ever since I started this site, friends and readers have suggested that I should write a book about cover songs (surprisingly, a comprehensive book doesn’t really exist). For years, I resisted. “That’s like saying ‘I’m going to write a book about original songs’,” I’d snarkily reply – i.e., that’s a stupid idea. Cover songs seemed too broad a category. There’s no grand unifying theory of cover songs to fit tidily between two book covers; it’s too big and messy and wonderful a tent for that.

Aretha FranklinAfter years of saying no, I finally came up with the solution. I wouldn’t write a book about cover songs – instead, I would write a book about twenty specific cover songs, and through those twenty covers, a broader narrative would emerge.

The story of covers as traced in Cover Me involves artistic triumphs and music-industry shenanigans. It touches on trends in record-making, music videos, and the internet’s impact on music (did you know the first viral song was a cover?). There are beautiful moments of unlikely artists coming together, and some uglier instances of exploitation and racism. Every major change in the music industry since the advent of rock and roll finds some expression in the world of cover songs. Continue reading »

Mar 012011
 

Y’all ready for this? March is here, and with it March Madness. This year, we at Cover Me have something different up our sleeves. After years of placing basketball bets solely based on team name (go Moundbuilders!), we decided to take charge and create a pool we know a little more about. Ladies and gentlemen, Cover Me presents: Moptop Madness. Continue reading »

Nov 182010
 

Most musicians would find the task of covering Joanna Newsom daunting. The songs are not uncoverable, but she infuses each performance with a uniqueness and delicacy such that each track becomes almost untouchable. Fortunately, some artists possess more vision and creativity than the rest of us.

Due in December, Versions of Joanna (thumbs-up for the title) collects 22 Newsom covers to benefit Oxfam. The usual suspects turn up – if you want to compile a tribute album to anyone, you call M.Ward. That Owen Pallett takes on “Peach, Plum, Pear” isn’t shocking either; he seems to occupy similar artistic and intellectual space to Newsom. More surprisingly though, folk-punk legend Billy Bragg turns in a cover of “On a Good Day”. Continue reading »

Oct 152010
 

For anyone interested in the stats game, Cover Me has seen a lot of big, round numbers recently. Yesterday afternoon we put up our 500th post (Eric Lauritsen’s epic roundup of dozens of live covers by Wilco). Then this morning we gained our 1000th Twitter follower (hi @u2acro!). As I’ve been promising on @covermesongs for a while now, that’s an occasion for a Twit-sclusive giveaway. No, scratch that. Five Twit-sclusive giveaways.

Here’s the deal: Tweet out a link to a page on Cover Me. Could be the homepage, could be a favorite post, could be our archives on a favorite artist (find ’em here). Whatever. Include the hash tag “#CoverMe1000” in your post. Do this as often as you like over the next week—as long as you’re tweeting a different page/post each time. Next Friday I’ll pick five tweets randomly. Those five tweet-ers win one of the following:

CD: John Legend and the Roots’ Wake Up! (more info here)
CD: Garden on a Trampoline’s new compilation It’s Only Love (three copies, more info below)
CD: The Morlocks Play Chess (more info here) Continue reading »

Sep 222010
 

Cover Me has been around for almost three years (big birthday surprises in the works). For all that time, it’s been one person. Me. Ray. Hi.

However, as longtime readers know, in the past six months the site has grown tremendously. We switched domains. We debuted a fresh layout. Most importantly, we went from 3-4 posts per week to 3-4 posts per day. As the post count increases, so does the traffic. With the recent addition of MTVMusic syndication, things are getting bigger and better by the day. We want a crew to get bigger and better with them. So, for the first time ever…Cover Me is looking for more cover lovers to join the team!

You’ll notice a new “Write For Us!” link in the top menu bar. That page will give you all the details. Whether you’re a freelance writer building a resume, a college kid looking to blow off some steam, or a part-time blogger desiring a larger audience, we’d love to have you. Business/advertising types, web designers, and artists are also welcome.

Go here to apply or learn more. Please contact me with any questions.