Dio has rocked for a long long time…

As you’ve probably heard, legendary metal singer Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer yesterday.  The man fronted a an impressive list of heavy metal bands, popularized the devil’s horns and inspired the Tenacious D song from which the above line comes (which he apparently took in good humor).  He rose to superstardom as Ozzy Osbourne’s replacement in Black Sabbath, so today we take a look at the Godfathers of Metal.  Technically Dio only sang one of the songs covered here, but is it our fault that “T.V. Crimes” didn’t have quite the impact of “Paranoid”?
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May 102010

Number-one hits get all the glory, but what about the runners-up, the second-best, the popular-but-not-quite-popular-enough?  You might be surprised what classic singles stalled at #2, and what forgotten yesterhits kept them from the top.  Cover Me salutes the silver medalists as a reminder to the kids: winning isn’t everything.  As long as you come in second. 

   
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As I have mentioned before, due to unresolved issues with box.net I am currently in the process of changing hosts for the songs. This has drastic implications for this blog as it means that come July 1st (Wednesday) the vast majority of the song links on this blog will die. Let me repeat that.

On Wednesday all the songs on this blog will become unavailable! Download them NOW!!!

It’s a regrettable situation and if you keep reading you’ll see a way you can help make it less catastrophic. The simple face remains though that I do not have the time to reupload everything. I will probably just do the past month or so and take down all other links. That is over a year and a half’s worth of songs that will be gone on Wednesday. Download them while you still can.

To ease your pain (and my guilt) I have prepared this step-by-step guide to take you through archives to find what you want. Time is running out, so make your move.

A Guide to the Cover Me Archives

1. Scroll down and look at the long lists of artists on the right-hand side. Click on any one to see all the songs I have posted with them, whether they were the coverer or the covered. Bear in mind that the number next to the name is how many posts they are in, not how many songs. For instance there’s a “1” next to Captain Beefheart, but that one post contains ten separate Beefheart covers.

2. Don’t miss the Cover Commissions songs here. These are songs recorded specifically for this blog and they’re top notch.

3. Check out the Full Album covers. They’re my favorite part of the blog, and I hate to see those links die. So to make it easy for you, here are links to all the albums I have covered so far.

The Beatles – Revolver
Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man (links dead)
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding (links dead)
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Randy Newman – Sail Away
Nirvana – Nevermind
Pixies – Doolittle
Radiohead – In Rainbows
The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet
Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.
Tom Waits – Mule Variations
Weezer – Weezer (Blue Album)
The Who – Who’s Next
Neil Young – On the Beach

4. Look at the “Blog Archive” on the right. Open various tabs and see what themes look interesting to you. A couple of my personal favorites have been Masturbation, Uncoverables, Best of 2008 Again and Wordless Hooks.

5. Go here to see all the Cover News posts. The links to other sites will continue to work, but scroll to the bottom of each post for that week’s crop of songs submitted by the artists. Support artists sharing their music by checking out their tunes!

6. Go nuts.

How You Can Help

Most links will die. I’ve accepted this. I wish I had to time and energy to reupload everything, but that would be a massive undertaking. However, if any of you are so inclined you can help. I certainly do not want to place an undue burden on your shoulders, but if there is any post in which you download all the songs, why not put ‘em all in a zip file and upload them to rapidshare or mediafire or the like? Post the link to the collection in the comments or email it to me and I will update the original post so the songs are available once more.

Anyone who gets a chance to do this even for one post will earn the eternal gratitude of me and everyone who stumbles across the post later. If anyone does this for several posts, maybe I’ll come up with a prize or something. You pick the week’s theme, or you pick the songs, or anything really. Just a little extra incentive to encourage those of you generous enough with your time to help out.

That’s all for now. Happy downloading, and thank you all for your support and understanding. Keep checking back for new posts, new tunes, and new discoveries.

PS. Here’s a song that seems appropriate:

The Social Services – The Final Countdown (Europe)

Dec 182008

In the spirit of the flurry of year-end lists, here are some of the best covers of the year. Needless to say, too many great covers came out this year

The Gaslight Anthem – God’s Gonna Cut You Down (Johnny Cash)
Anchorless Records just released a set of quasi-punk Cash covers called All Aboard (get it on vinyl if you can) and, though some are generic, 2008 break-out artist The Gaslight Anthem takes Cash’s posthumous single and gives it a haunted vibe, like someone singing to you from far far away. [Buy]

Lily Allen – Womanizer (Britney Spears)
This one just came out a couple days ago, but it’s an instant ironic-pop classic. Britney’s first number one single since “Baby One More Time” (really) gets the strummed acoustic, soft piano treatment. Once you get past Mark Ronson’s obnoxious intro that is.

The Peptides – Major Tom (Peter Schilling)
When the band first sent this cover my way, I assumed it was a mislabeled “Space Oddity.” For those equally clueless, Schilling wrote a response to the classic David Bowie song (that I once had to lip-sync for five minutes in middle school in a poorly conceived outer space version of The Hobbit). Luckily The Peptides knew more than I did, as they tell the bizarre story with folksy harmonies and propelling rhythms. [Buy]

Mystery Jets – Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis)
God knows how many times I’ve listened to this one this year, but their beautiful Americana take on this admittedly catchy-as-hell pop hit never loses its charm. This comes from the always cover-friendly Radio 1 Live Lounge on the BBC. [Buy]

Southside Johnny and Labamba’s Big Band – Walk Away (Tom Waits)
Two big Tom Waits tribute discs came out this year. One, by Scarlet Johannson, induced spontaneous nausea in anyone who heard it. The other, Southside Johnny’s big band take on some Waits chestnuts achieved the shocking feat of making Tom danceable. It’s called Grapefruit Moon, and this cut is the best for a simple reason: it features Tom himself on guest vocals. [Buy]

Max Vernon – I Kissed a Girl (Katy Perry)
Vernon sent this one my way long ago and I’m embarrassed to say I never got a chance to post it before. Luckily others did, as it quickly made the blog rounds and even earned him a s lot on the Guilt By Association Vol. 2 comp alongside Kaki King and My Brightest Diamond. Dude’s even got a music video! [Buy]

Pat Buzzard – Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)
This one hit the old inbox a couple weeks ago, and is an instantly catchy update on the OCMS/Bob Dylan (he wrote the chorus) semi-hit “Wagon Wheel.” It’s made for a campfire sing-along far cooler than any you had as a kid. [Buy]

Lowry – Africa (Toto)
This one comes off that same comp Vernon’s on. It’s a song you’ve forgotten how much you liked, made new in an electro-lounge duet. [Buy]

Denison Witmer – Is There a Ghost (Band of Horses)
I posted this one in the Halloween entry a few months back, but as that post got taken down, here it is again. Witmer’s had the ingenious idea of releasing a bunch of free covers to promote his upcoming full-length Carry the Weight, and while they’re all worth tracking down, I keep coming back to this one. [Buy]

Bob Dylan – Miss the Mississippi (Jimmie Rodgers)
Bob recorded this in ’92, but it got its first official release a few months ago on the top-notch Tell Tale Signs outtake collection. People criticize Bob’s voice, but this song wouldn’t work without the lived-in grizzle age provides. [Buy]

Going Goth

Posted by Ray Padgett at 3:14 pm No Responses »
Sep 182008

On a whim I went to a goth-cello concert a few weeks back because it sounded unique. Rasputina is just that, dueling cellos with an aggressive percussionist who plays songs with titles like “1816, The Year Without a Summer” and “Desert Vampire.” A couple amazing covers they did during their show, one of which is below, inspired a little gothic cover action. So light some candles, put on your black lipstick, and join me in my lair.

Rasputina – Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
In concert Melora Creager introduced this as a “weather conjurer,” saying she loved the lyrics but thought the original was way too upbeat. Transpose it to a minor key, slow it down a ton, and rock out some grinding cellos, and here you go. If you like this one, bowhowdy over at Cover Lay Down just posted their Pink Floyd cover. Great minds and all that.

Siouxsie and the Banshees – This Wheel’s On Fire (Bob Dylan)
A classic cover, these goth pioneers make the Dylan-Danko apocalypse sound completely natural with shivering synth violins and a pounding drum machine. And that voice…brrr.

Inkubus Sukkubus – Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones)
My sketchy friend somehow discovered this band in high school, with song titles like “Wake of the Christian Knights” and “Vampyre Erotica” (sample lyric: “I’ll beat you / I’ll eat you / I’ll laugh at your torment”). I gotta admit though, I’m a fan, and this tune fits in with the rest perfectly. A little research revealed it’s often covered in the gothic music world. Not hard to see why.

Marilyn Manson – The KKK Took My Baby Away (The Ramones)
One of my favorite Ramones songs, this comes from the hit-or-miss We’re a Happy Family tribute disc. It’s electronic, brooding, and downright disturbing. Manson in fact is an unlikely master of the cover; check out a recent taken on a Justin Timberlake track here.

Ex-Voto – Riders on the Storm (The Doors)
First off, the fact that a Goth Tribute to the Doors exists makes me very happy. Then the fact that it’s called Darken My Fire makes it even better. Many of the songs work quite well in their new, darker arrangements, and I recommend checking it out.

The Northern Kings – Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
I posted these guys take on Creep a while back, but this might be even better. Loud, long and epic as hell, it builds, then dies, then builds back up bigger than ever. Their all-covers album Reborn is worth picking up.

Bauhaus – Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
Most of the tunes here are accessible goth-pop, but not this one. It’s crunchy, jarring, and all around strange.

Lacrimosa – Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
A gothic take on a gothic song isn’t a stretch, but this dark and shimmery take brings out the ultimate creepiness.

HIM – Solitary Man (Neil Diamond)
These quasi-hitmakers also do a nice version of (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, but this song choice is far more unexpected. Unlike Bad Moon Rising though, the lyrics made far more sense in their original context.

Sisters of Mercy – Jolene (Dolly Parton)
These members of the goth old guard did their own gender-bending version of this song long before Jack White discovered it. It’s a demo, angsty and throbbing.

Jan 182008

Hello fans! My name is Kurtis and I run Covering the Mouse, a daily blog that features cover versions of famous Disney tunes! Ray is out of town this week so he asked me if I would post some songs this week!

Ever since its appearance in Pinocchio in 1940, When You Wish Upon a Star has become the signature song for Walt Disney and his legacy. Walt came from a poor family in Kansas. His rise to fame was not an easy one and it took many years for someone to even look at his animation reels and give him work. When You Wish Upon a Star is Walt’s theme song because he lived it. Dreams do come true for those who believe.

Because of the meaning behind this song, many people have covered it. I’m talking dozens of recordings that I have in my collection, dozens more I know exist and I’m sure there are dozens more that I don’t know about. I have chosen ten versions of this song, all in different musical styles.

JAZZ – Dave Brubeck Quartet
There have been many jazz versions of this song over the years. This one is from the Disney tribute album Dave Digs Disney which features a variety of Disney songs done in their jazz quartet style.

OLDIES – Dion and the Belmonts
Here’s a trio from the 50s that give this song a nice do-op aproach. This track is off the second of two albums they released before Dion split from the Belmonts. Trivia: Dion and the Belmonts were supposed to be on the same plane as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Vallens and the Big Bopper but couldn’t afford the airfare.

R&B – All-4-One
This version drives me nuts because the lead singer feels the need to come in late on every line! I’d feel okay if he does it once in a while because its R&B but he does it every line! It sounds like he is constantly making mistakes!

NEW AGE – Gheorge Zamfir
When I say this song has been covered by everyone, I mean EVERYONE! Zamfir has found that the best way to make money is to record panpipe versions of popular music. His panpipe version of this song is just that and is more novel than anything.

NOVELTY – The Chipmunks
Speaking of novel, here is a cut from the Chipmunks Disney tribute album When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk and while this track is pretty good, the album as a whole is just as bad as their new movie.

ROCK – American Hi-Fi
There are not too many rock covers of this song out there, but American Hi-Fi has one and they do it really well. It can be found on the Japanese exclusive Mosh Pit on Disney

CLASSICAL – Donald Fraser & the English Chamber Orchestra
A few years back there were two albums released of Disney songs arranged in the style of famous classical composers. This one is in the style of Johann Strauss who is known for his waltzes and operettas. You may have heard of the Blue Danube?

A CAPELLA – Apotheosis
This is actually a cover version of a cover that NSync did a few years earlier but I figured I’ll let the lesser known band get the exposure. This college group from Texas has gone on to some pretty big shows in their career and show no signs of slowing down.

JPOP – Yasuharu Konishi & the Pizzicato Five
Yes, JPop deserves to be its own genre because it is often much weirder than mainstream pop. Case in point for this track by Yasuharu Konishi & the Pizzicato Five. Just skip to the half way point in the song and you’ll hear what I mean. This whole album, Readymade Digs Disney is really good if you can find it.

REGGAE – Dean Fraser
Dean Fraser has been making reggae records with his saxophone since the mid 70s. He is regarded as one of Jamaca’s top musicians. If you want more covers by him please note that he has recorded two albums of Bob Marley cover songs.

For more versions of When You Wish Upon a Star please click here or visit Covering the Mouse for more Disney cover songs!

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