“Suzanne” has been covered many, many times since Judy Collins released her version of Leonard Cohen’s song in 1966. (For a couple of examples, go here and here.) What’s interesting about the recent cover by NO is it sounds like the way Leonard Cohen might record the song today if he was approaching “Suzanne” for the first time. Continue reading »
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
For most of their lifetime, the Silver Jews never toured and rarely played live. In fact, they hardly existed between albums. All that changed in 2006 when, after emerging alive from drug addiction, head Joo David Berman gathered players from the band’s 2nd and 4th albums to hit the road in support of Tanglewood Numbers. They promised to try their best and, generally, fans were pleased, if not ecstatic, to hear the songs they had long listened closely to on headphones blasted from a stage. But all that excitement may have been the beginning of the end. The band’s next album — the first written “post-applause” — would be their last. In January 2009, Berman announced that the Silver Jews were no more and he was “moving over to another category. Screenwriting or Muckraking.”
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Valentine’s Day is a contentious holiday for many, but the Starbucks “Sweetheart 2014″ compilation has made it more palpable with some fantastic covers. Sitting amongst this chocolate box of covers (which also includes morsels like Vampire Weekend covering Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partiro”) is a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” done exquisitely by Ben Harper. Giving the wistful tune a simple stripped down treatment, Ben’s airy, slow vocals and piano accompaniment are perfect for Valentine’s Day lovers AND haters. Check it out below. Continue reading »
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
In 1988, Rolling Stone named “Stayin’ Alive” one of the 100 top singles of the last 25 years, and they asked the Bee Gees to comment; how did they feel about the song? The terse response: “We’d like to dress it up in a white suit and gold chains and set it on fire.” It’s an understandable reaction – for all the wealth and fame the song brought them, it also swept aside their estimable back catalog and pigeonholed them as Disco with a capital Dis, so much so that when the genre died, the Bee Gees’ commercial success in the U.S. died with it.
But for all the venom directed “Stayin’ Alive”‘s way, for all its use as a punchline from Airplane! to Ted, people can’t get away from how good a song it is. “Look at great huge Maurice Gibb, singing like Donald Duck on ‘Stayin’ Alive,’” Roger Daltrey of the Who carped in 1978, then instantly added, “And that’s a great song. Bruce Springsteen could sing that lyric.”
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Karen Marie Ørsted, better known as Mø, is a Danish singer that caught the attention of the music blogosphere with her debut single and video for her song “Glass.” She has since been working on her debut album, No Mythologies To Follow, which will be released Stateside on February 24th. Continue reading »
In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.
When Grant McLennan died of a heart attack in 2006, far too young at age 48, it was a tremendous blow to the Austalian music world. More than a thousand people attended his funeral, and there was an outpouring of tributes to his life and his work, paying homage to him as one of the country’s greatest songwriters. He was even saluted on the floor of Australian Parliament. But in America, where sales never equaled critical hosannas, only a select few thousand knew to mourn – thankfully, those few (The Village Voice‘s Robert Christgau and The Big Takeover‘s Jack Rabid among them) were eloquent in their explanation of what had been lost.
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The name Nadia Ali may not sound familiar to you, but the electronic singer has been a huge part of the EDM dance scene since the early 2000s. Starting as the lead singer of iiO, Ali has made her mark on the club scene and continues to do so with a blossoming solo career that will far extend the reach of clubgoers. Need proof? Check out this cover of The Police‘s “Roxanne.” Continue reading »