Pharrell William’s “Happy” is one of those instantly catchy, ultimately forgettable pop songs that somehow find their into your head and get stuck there, even if you don’t listen to Top 40. The song is well written and produced, it has hooks and, as much as you might try and resist, it kind of makes you feel…happy.
Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.
Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).
Today’s question: What’s your favorite cover of your favorite Beatles song?
There is a long-standing jazz tradition of reinterpreting pop music favorites. John Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things” may be the most famous example, but there are hundreds, if not thousands, more. One of the latest features saxophonist Dave Koz. He teamed up with Postmodern Jukebox keyboardist Scott Bradlee for a jazz quartet performance of the “Game of Thrones” theme song, which is appropriately, if not imaginatively, named “Main Title” on the original soundtrack recording. The tune lends itself well to jazz interpretation. With a prominent bass line, hummable melody and 6/8 time signature, there is plenty of room for Koz and Bradley to stretch out, though they don’t venture too far into uncharted territory.
Remember when that robot band covered “Rock Lobster?” They’re back, and they’re living in their own private Idaho.
Get ready to feel the all of the feelings, because the ever-fabulous Dixie Chicks have covered Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” This stripped-down ode to heartbreak hits with even more intensity than the original. Natalie Maines’ vocals take no prisoners, and with the help of beautiful harmonies and a stunning violin bridge, it’s safe to say this country-fried “Wrecking Ball” has my approval.
Arcade Fire got local during their Philadelphia tour stop, covering “Motown Philly” by hometown heroes Boyz II Men. The indie giants kept the track true to its funky R&B roots. From the look of the video the band had a grand old time with this tune, because who doesn’t love a little new jack swing? And if your dream is seeing Win Butler sing Boyz II Men in a giant fake head, then this video is absolutely for you.