Mar 042016
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

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“Pure Imagination” is a song that entire generations have grown up knowing. Written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the dreamy ode to the powers of creativity has fascinated viewers of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for decades. Gene Wilder’s film performance is full of both whimsy and a strange intensity, while the music backing him alternates between almost Christmas-like strings and runs of notes that are almost unsettling in their similarity to a horror movie soundtrack. It’s as if the song is meant to celebrate the best of what the human mind can come up with while still hinting at darker corners.

It’s that original dichotomy that makes “Pure Imagination” such a perfect song for interpretation. It’s Willy Wonka’s invitation to come join him in a world that’s different from the humdrum reality that Charlie Bucket has grown up with. It’s also a brief look into the mind of character whose mind works differently than that of the rest of us. There are so many layers in the original that almost any direction can be taken with a cover version. Dozens of artists have taken a stab at it. Here are five great takes on this film classic.

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Apr 242012
 

Best (So Far) finds the finest first-round covers of the latest pop hits.

Launched back in February 2008, the New York-based indie band fun. — comprised of Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, and Nate Ruess (formerly of The Format) — has been hovering quietly under the mainstream radar for quite some time. It really wasn’t until “We Are Young” (featuring R&B singer Janelle Monae) was covered on Glee back in December and featured in a Chevrolet Super Bowl commercial this past February that the three-man band began commanding a lot more attention. Continue reading »

Apr 132012
 

Best (So Far) finds the finest first-round covers of the latest pop hits.

Pop singer Kelly Clarkson has certainly come quite a ways from her American Idol days — just last October she released her fifth studio album Stronger, featuring a hugely popular single of the same name. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” hit the airwaves this past January as the second single off the album and has since become her third song to top Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. In fact, the track held the spot longer than Clarkson’s other chart-topping hits, “A Moment Like This” and “My Life Would Suck Without You.” Continue reading »