Apr 282011

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

The Beatles’ pilgrimage to India in 1968 led to an outpouring of new material from John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, all of which competed for space on their new album (the White Album). Though it didn’t make the cut, Lennon’s “Child of Nature” reappeared in 1971 on Imagine with different lyrics and a new title: “Jealous Guy.” The song stands as one of Lennon’s best, the desperate plea of a jealous lover who realizes that he may have gone too far, pushing away the very person he wants near. Continue reading »

Oct 062010

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

The Thriller videos – “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller” – get the glory, but to my mind “Smooth Criminal” rivals them all. Watching the clip taken from his Moonwalker film, Michael Jackson never looked slicker than he did in that white fedora. Apparently his urban gangster alter ego has worked his way up the ladder. The knife-fighting street tough of “Beat It” is now a cool and collected mob boss. If you need more convincing of this video’s greatness, witness the pool ball jump, the underling flip, and, of course, the legendary antigravity lean here.

A video can only go so far without a great song, though, and “Smooth Criminal” was that too. Then and now, the bass-synth riff makes the listener feel funky, seductive, and a little dangerous (though that album was still three years off). In today’s cover, Long Beach quintet Delmos Wade slow jams it without losing an ounce of sexy. Gritty guitar and mournful clapping express more concern for Annie’s actual well-being than the original. Continue reading »