May 302018
 

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

pink floyd covers

Coming in at 40 tracks, our third ‘Best Ever’ countdown is our longest yet. This feels appropriate; Pink Floyd’s songs tend to be a whole lot longer than Talking Heads’ or Fleetwood Mac’s. A band whose default length was set at “epic” deserves a list just as winding.

Luckily, the covers community has obliged, allowing us a list as discursive as Pink Floyd itself. A band that, for better or worse, can get pigeonholed into a specific sound and era, gets transformed into a whole host of other genres and moods. Psychedelic rock is represented here, of course, but so is bluegrass, soul, and disco. One cover even includes a “featuring Tupac Shakur” credit, which is probably not what Gilmour or Waters envisioned. Though the latter would certainly appreciate the walls being torn down.

Twenty-minute tracks that might seem intimidating to some don’t phase these artists. Some turn them into tight four-minute pop songs. Others, if you can believe it, extend the songs further. So strap in, and set the controls for the heart of the cover… Continue reading »

Dec 222010
 

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

“Karma Police” serves as the centerpiece of Radiohead’s 1997 classic, OK Computer. The beginning tracks of OK Computer find Radiohead at their most experimental to that point. From the shape-shifting “Paranoid Android” to the slow burn of “Exit Music (For A Film),” these otherworldly melodies embody the theme of disillusionment that runs through the album.

The opening notes of “Karma Police,” however, hit with a directness and simplicity that immediately leaps out. Thom Yorke’s voice weaves effortlessly through the chord changes, hardly rising above a whisper when he sings, “This is what you’ll get / when you mess with us.” It’s a remarkable moment when the song’s quiet intensity finally bursts in the second half, Yorke’s disdain turning into something that sounds an awful lot like optimism and warmth. Continue reading »

Oct 262010
 

Seven years ago, Easy Star All-Stars took on a daunting challenge: reimagining one of the most beloved albums of all time, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, as a reggae album. This seems like a ridiculous idea, but they managed to pull it off. Seven years later, the All-Stars decided it was time to revisit the revisit. Enter Dubber Side of the Moon, a remix album pushing material that was already vastly different from the original songs further towards dubstep. While the reggae roots of the album shine through, the remixes bring the songs into a new era of digitized music.

Before I dig in too much further, I should confess that I’ve never been a huge reggae fan.  It’s been something I’ve enjoyed in passing from time to time, but not much more. However, the more I listened to both Dubber and Dub Side of the Moon, the more I found that I really could enjoy reggae. Continue reading »