Dec 162011

When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.

There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.

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!

“I usually come in second [to Bob Dylan],” Paul Simon told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I don’t like coming in second.”

Well, bad news Paul. Bob beat you to something else: turning 70. When Dylan turned 70 in May, it was accompanied with all manner of fanfare, tributes, and think pieces. We ourselves held a five-day celebration. Paul’s 70th birthday today comes with noticeably less pomp and circumstance. No lavish tributes, no critic navel-gazing, not much notice of any kind. It’s an occasion worth celebrating though, whether he was first or not. Continue reading »

For the first time, Cover Me attended SXSW and we return with a ton of new favorites. Over the next couple days, we’ll tell you what we found. None of these artists have appeared on the site before, but you can rest assured you’ll be hearing from them again soon. Continue reading »

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