Mar 022017
 
DeathinRome

Last month, we posted our three favorite covers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Maybe we should have waited – neofolk band Death in Rome have just released a very strange version that might give those a run for its money!

The first clue that Death in Rome’s “Toxic” might not be your standard Britney-covers fare came in the Facebook band’s intro: “During the work on it, the song became for us an anthem on nihilisim and the mighty Emil Cioran. Enjoy, dance, be happy, it’s all in vain anyway.” Which, to be fair, is basically the message of Britney’s song “‘Til the World Ends.” But as if that wasn’t odd enough, they included a deeply depressing quote from philosopher Cioran: “There is no other world. Nor even this one. What, then, is there? The inner smile provoked in us by the patent nonexistence of both.” And this has what to do with Britney exactly? Continue reading »

Feb 102017
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

Long after the image of Britney Spears as a spy disguised as the world’s randiest stewardess – excuse me: flight attendant – has faded from millennial memories, the song “Toxic” will remain just as powerful as it was on first release. Still the sole Grammy winner of Britney’s career (Best Dance Recording of 2004), “Toxic” found music critics in the unusual position of falling all over themselves praising one of her songs. Some dealt with that conundrum by saying it could have been just as irresistible in another singer’s hands. In fact, it very nearly was – it was offered to Kylie Minogue first, but she turned it down. Still, the fact is, Britney delivered the goods here in every respect, and it’s little wonder that she’s since said it’s her favorite of her songs.
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Oct 062016
 
KAYE_AaronSeeburger-1-lores

After years as a critical punching bag, Britney Spears has finally been embraced (or at worst begrudgingly accepted) by the cool kids. We’re seeing a lot more Britney covers from the indie world than we used to, and her hits are well-built enough to hold up under a wide variety of interpretations. The latest killer Britney cover comes from San Fermin singer Charlene Kaye, who makes “Oops!…I Did It Again” a whole lot darker. Continue reading »

May 012015
 
britney-spears-toms-diner-cover-giorgio-moroder1

Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” has likely popped into your head many times since the late 80s’, when it was first released. With a simple melody, a visual storyline for lyrics, and recurring “da-da DA-da, da-da DA-da da-da DA-da, da-da DA-da”, it’s a song to which possibly a tiny baby could help sing along. Like one of Suzanne’s contemporaries, The Terminator, this song has had multiple lives. Originally released in 1987 as an acapella piece, it was re-released as a bootleg with a dance beat by DNA in 1990, and there have been multiple versions since. Thankfully, Suzanne has had the grace to see these copyright infringements as creative pursuits and has not filed any lawsuits to limit versioning. Continue reading »

Mar 182014
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

Richard Thompson is a Cover Me favorite, and for good reason. His songwriting and playing are brilliant, and his songs are often covered by musicians who recognize his genius, even if he has escaped widespread popularity. Not only that, he has, since his early days as a teenaged guitarist in Fairport Convention, performed many wonderful covers of other artists. Thompson also has a wicked sense of humor, which is hinted at in his lyrics, but more often displayed in his writings, interviews and stage shows. Rarely does Thompson perform without unleashing a zinger or ten, often directed at audience members who mistakenly believe they can best him in a battle of wits.

So when Playboy magazine came to him in 1999 and asked him to join other musicians in providing a list of the ten greatest songs of the millennium, it is not surprising that he mischievously took them literally. As Thompson wrote:

Such pretension, I thought. They don’t mean millennium, do they? Probably about 30 years is the cut-off: Tears for Fears might sneak in, Cole Porter probably not.

He called their bluff and did a real thousand-year selection, starting with a song from 1068 and including one effort from the 20th century. Playboy, which is rumored to have articles, chose not to print Thompson’s list, sparing their “readers” the opportunity to consider a toe-tapper by St Godric.
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Mar 052014
 

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 comes from Cover Me staffer Mike Misch: What cover song shouldn’t work as well as it does?
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