Dec 162011
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

In the week after John Lennon’s death, the universal outpouring of grief obscured a significant anniversary; his first post-Beatles album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, had been released on December 11, 1970 – ten years, almost to the day, before Mark David Chapman shot him. It was an anniversary rarely noted at the time; those who gathered outside the Dakota were more ready to sing of giving peace a chance and imagining all the people than they were to sing lines like “They hurt you at home and they hit you at school” or “The dream is over.” Continue reading »

Sep 022011
 

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

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” can legitimately lay claim to having three different artists record the original version. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles recorded it before anybody else, but Motown president Berry Gordy vetoed its release. Gladys Knight and the Pips got their faster, sassier version released first – again, Gordy didn’t want it to leave the studio – and took it to number one. But the version Gordy fought hardest against putting out, recorded two months before Knight’s and released eighteen months after its recording, was Marvin Gaye’s. Continue reading »

Apr 112011
 

Under the Radar shines a light on lesser-known cover artists. If you’re not listening to these folks, you should. Catch up on past installments here.

Even if you haven’t heard of her, there’s a pretty good chance that Petra Haden’s been lurking around some of the music you like. In 2005 she toured with indie rock extraordinaires The Decemberists. The year after that she accompanied the Foo Fighters on their unplugged tour. In both cases she added texture to those bands’ songs with her impressive violin skills and unique voice. Green Day even employed her to contribute violin to their 1997 Nimrod album. What would “Hitchin’ a Ride” or “Good Riddance” be without that sweet string sound? Continue reading »

Mar 022011
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Rock ‘n’ roll animal turned rock ‘n’ roll survivor, Lou Reed has always tread his own path, never following trends, only setting them. Lead singer and songwriter for one of the most influential bands of all time, The Velvet Underground, Reed’s music inspired both the glam and punk movements. Today, he enjoys the status of poet laureate of modern music. Continue reading »