Feb 052016
 

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!

al-kooper

Dylan: “Turn the organ up.”

Wilson: “Hey, man, that cat’s not an organ player.”

Dylan: “Hey, now don’t tell me who’s an organ player and who’s not. Just turn the organ up.”

When Bob Dylan ordered producer Tom Wilson to bring up the organ in “Like a Rolling Stone,” it cemented the talents of a 21-year-old named Al Kooper into legend. (Kooper tells the whole story in his fantastic autobiography Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards.) Once serendipity has allowed you to put a trademark stamp on arguably the greatest rock ‘n’ roll song of all time, there’s nowhere to go but down, right?

Wrong – in fact, Kooper was just getting started.
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Dec 042013
 

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 holiday cover song?
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Apr 052011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winner: Booker T. and the M.G.s, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

Well, here we are. On March 1st we presented you with 64 Beatles covers and asked you to vote for the best. In daily matches, 62 have been eliminated in battles that were often quite fierce. After the dust settled, only two songs remain: Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” and Booker T. and the M.G.s’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” Now it’s time for you to determine the final winner.

We considered making the championship match longer, but that’s not how it works in sports and that’s not how it will work here. We know from the comments that folks have passionate opinions about these two songs, so you have exactly 24 hours to rally your troops. Tomorrow we’ll announce the Best Beatles Cover Ever, as chosen by Cover Me readers.

Listen to both songs below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Apr 042011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winner: Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help from My Friends”

Sixty-one matches down, two to go. Yesterday Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” became the first cover to reach the championship. Today we determine its competitor. Both today’s contestants had hard-fought battles to get here. Two days ago, Elliott Smith pulled ahead of José Feliciano at the last second and Booker T’s victory over Neil Young just prior was anything but overwhelming. This battle could prove the toughest yet though. Both these Abbey Road covers take worthy approaches, but in polar opposite directions. Smith leaves instrumentation behind for much of his a cappella “Because” while Booker T. and the M.G.s eschew vocals altogether on the instrumental “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” This one could be close, so start campaigning early. The winner of this match moves on to the Finals tomorrow.

Listen to both songs below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Mar 312011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winner: Jake Shimabukuro, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

The second Elite Eight battle looks to be a doozy. Two heavy hitters butt heads when Neil Young’s guitar on “A Day in the Life” challenges Booker T.’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” organ. Either could end up taking it all, but only one will make it to the Final Four.

Listen to both songs below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »

Mar 262011
 

This March, we pit 64 Beatles covers against each other in what we call Moptop Madness.

Yesterday’s winners: Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help From My Friends” and José Feliciano, “A Day in the Life”

Today begins the Sweet 16. Sixty-four covers entered. Sixteen remain. Only one will win. Two more covers will be eliminated right here, right now. Will David Bowie’s “Across the Universe” or the Black Keys’ “She Said She Said” prevail? Will Al Green’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand” or Booker T. and the M.G.s’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” advance? You decide.

Listen to each pairing below, then vote for your favorite. For added sway, try to convince others to vote your way in the comments. Voting closes in 24 hours. Continue reading »