In the world of alt-country, Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson has more cover song credibility than most. In their four decade career, the nine-time Grammy winners have recorded not one but two Bob Wills tribute albums with guests like Willie Nelson and the Dixie Chicks, which were so successful that they turned into a touring musical (which Ray starred in). He’s covered W.C. Handy with Willie Nelson and Red Foley with Brad Paisley. And on his new solo album A Little Piece, out next week, he takes on Randy Newman‘s “Marie”.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Huey Lewis and the News followed the “ka-” of 1982’s Picture This with the “BOOM” of 1983’s Sports. Patrick Bateman was right; it was the album where they really come into their own, commercially and artistically. If any of the album’s nine songs (five of them Top Twenty) were to be its signature song, it would have to be “I Want a New Drug.” Subtitled “(Called Love)” – this was the Just Say No era, after all – this crazy little thing was the band’s best-selling single, inspiring Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” (according to a settled lawsuit) and Weird Al Yankovic’s “I Want a New Duck” (“Not a swan or a goose / Just a drake I can dress real cute / Think I’m gonna name him Bruce”).