In recent years, jazz singer José James has recorded tribute albums that paid homage to both Billie Holiday and Bill Withers. He continued this theme on his new album No Beginning No End 2 by including a cover of another song by a guy named Billy. This time it’s Billy Joel’s much-maligned wedding staple “Just the Way You Are.”
It has been a mere nine months since Willie Nelson’s last album My Way. That means it’s time for some new music from the Red Headed Stranger. The country stalwart released his latest record Ride Me Back Home on June 21. As with many of Nelson’s albums, it includes a mix of covers and original material. Among the covers is Nelson’s take on Billy Joel’s wedding-band staple “Just the Way You Are.”
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 Muppets cover song?
Underneath Mac DeMarco‘s silly grin and hipster getup is a genuine troubadour who has more to do with classic-sounding songwriters like Paul McCartney, Elton John, and more recently Tobias Jesso Jr. The best proof is last year’s “Another One,” in which DeMarco does a better ’70s John Lennon than John Lennon often did during his solo career.
Let me state, for the record, that I am a Billy Joel fanatic. I have seen “The Piano Man” in concert more times than I have fingers to count. I have purchased every song that he has ever recorded – including his stuff with The Echoes and The Hassles. Heck, I almost named my first daughter “Alexa”, because that’s Joel’s daughter’s name (my wife put a stop to that however).
Needless to say, I am very protective and picky when it comes to Joel covers. So when I heard that some hip-hop artist from Pittsburgh – Mac Miller – covered my second favorite Joel song, “Vienna”, I immediately assumed I would hate it. And I was right.
But then I listened to it again. And again. And again.
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!
As of today, Billy Joel is eligible for Social Security. So, now that his money woes are assuredly a thing of the past, let’s get to celebrating his 65th birthday in the accomplished style he really and truly deserves.