Back in 2006, Tom Waits released an outtakes and rarities compilation called Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. At 56 tracks, it had a lot – but not nearly everything. So fans dutifully compiled a companion collection of everything left on the cutting room floor, cleverly titled Forgotten Orphans. In addition to more outtakes and b-sides, this fan bootleg included something the main set lacked: live performances. Many of those were super-rare covers, none of which have ever been officially released. But they are worth hearing. Tom Waits is widely regarded as an excellent songwriter, but these covers showcase Tom Waits’ power as a song interpreter. He’s never gone the Bob Dylan route of periodic forays into cover albums, but if he ever did, these songs show how great such an album could be.
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, about a man we’ve written of before and surely will again, but perhaps not with as much emotion as we do this week: What’s your David Bowie memory?
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!
Imagine, if you will, a place where Elvis is still the King. Not the slim, young, rockabilly Elvis, shaking hips and pouting lips, but a rotund, sweaty, Vegas Elvis, one who is adorned in sequins, karate-kicking and crab-clawing his way through an entire set of Led Zeppelin songs. And just for shins and grits, imagine those oh-so-familiar classic rock tunes tuned to a reggae beat and backed by a band that’s a cross between Bad Brains and Bob Marley. Amazingly, what can be imagined can – and has – become reality. Welcome to the world of Dread Zeppelin.
Thanksgiving is still a week away, but Christmas songs and albums have already begun swamping the shelves. You’ve got your usual holiday shlockfest from industry heavy-hitters like Justin Bieber and Michael Bublé, but there are a lot of indie acts and label comps floating around too. We’ll have several more Christmas-cover rundowns as the holiday season approaches, but today we’re just tossing together some of the early Christmas covers we’ve come across so far.
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
This week’s Bandcamp spotlight takes a somewhat unusual focus: covers of imaginary artists. Three of the featured songs come from unusual origins, to say the least. One is a song by a cartoon band, one is a song performed by a creepy character in a whacko movie, and one is the text of an online comic strip put to music. Yeah, some strange stuff. Bookending this bizarre trifecta, the other two featured covers spotlight two new free tribute EPs.
For the first time, though, we’re actually bringing you ten Bandcamp covers. Focusing our main selection on the oddball left a lot of terrific, more traditional covers by the wayside. In a week with an unusually large number of quality releases, we just didn’t have the heart to leave them behind, so find bonus covers of Huey Lewis and the News, the Fauves, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, and the Ronettes below the main set.
Every Christmas season brings us a litany of competing versions of the same tunes. This year, though, comedic actors seem to battling it out as much as would-be Tony Bennetts. Last week we LOLed at Jack Black and Jason Segel’s bombastic arena rock version of the Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth.” This week, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly threw their hat into the ring with their own version of the holiday classic.