Apr 172018
 
rock and roll hall of fame 2018 covers

This past weekend’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony featured great performances by Bon Jovi, The Cars, and The Moody Blues. Equally worthy were the phenomenal covers highlighting both musical greats taken from us too soon – Tom Petty and Chris Cornell – and tributes to the two artists inducted posthumously, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe (inducted as an “Early Influence”).

We rank the three best covers below. That’s judging from the circulation YouTube footage at least; Lauryn Hill’s Nina Simone tribute may come off better when the HBO version airs next month, but the current videos are hard to watch. Continue reading »

Apr 112018
 

Check out more Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2018 cover features here.

rock and roll hall of fame covers

This week we’ve posted tributes to three of this year’s six Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Cars, Dire Straits, and Nina Simone. And lord knows we’ve posted plenty of covers of the other three over the years: Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, and “Early Influence” inductee Sister Rosetta Tharpe. But to celebrate them all in one place in advance of this weekend’s induction ceremony, we thought we’d round up a few of the best covers we didn’t include in all those other features. Continue reading »

Feb 212018
 
richie sambora i got you babe

Probably because the song evokes such 1960s nostalgia, there have not been a lot of covers delivered with the coolness that “I Got You Babe” deserves. The song was the first single birthed from Sonny and Cher’s 1965 debut record Look at Us, an album that featured then-timely covers of “500 Miles,” “Unchained Melody,” and “Then He Kissed Me.”

UB40 along with Chrissie Hynde delivered probably the most popular – and, for some, the most snooze-inducing – version of “I Got You, Babe.” Other than them, there are versions from the Bennett, Sinatra, Jones crooners, plus the Etta James-led siren version, but most of the covers have fallen woefully short.

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Jul 212016
 
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A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with my friends about Bon Jovi’s best song.  Of course, there were plenty that chose “Livin’ On a Prayer” or “Bad Medicine”.  Even a couple of votes for “It’s My Life”.  My friend, Steve, chose “Bed of Roses”.  (I still don’t know if he was joking or not.)

My vote went to “You Give Love a Bad Name”.  For me, there is not a better Bon Jovi tune.  So when I heard that the amazing Postmodern Jukebox did a cover of this song, I had to write about it. Continue reading »

Mar 172016
 

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!

Dolly-Parton

 
Dolly Parton is one of the true legends of country & western music. Half a century after the release of her first true C&W album, 1966’s Hello, I’m Dolly, she’s announced a 60-city North American tour that will promote her upcoming 2-CD set Pure & Simple, containing both new material and greatest hits from throughout her career. For all her years in the musical industry, Dolly has never forgotten her roots, and she continues to perform at a high level at an age when most artists are tired of the road.

When looking back over her career, it’s clear that she’s an original, and her critical and commercial success as a songwriter reflects that. But like any true great, she knows the value of a good cover song. Millions and millions of dollars, in the case of Whitney Houston’s version of Dolly’s “I Will Always Love You,” but the cover songs that Dolly herself records have worth that goes beyond the bank. She’s had huge success with covers in each of the last several decades. Here are some of her best.
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Jan 252012
 

Back in November we introduced you to the Miracles of Modern Science when they covered Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” Well, they’re back with a new video, and it’s delightful. Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver is up for Best New Artist at the Grammys this year (despite the fact that his debut came out in 2008) and despite the new directions 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver took the “band,” the core of his style remains: chilly choruses of his own voice. Continue reading »