Jul 312017
 
dont stop believing covers

When people argue over the Worst Song of All Time, inevitably someone will mention Journey’s (in)famous “Don’t Stop Believin’.” If Starship had never built that city on rock and roll, it would probably take the crown.

Frankly, I like other Journey songs, but “Don’t Stop Believin'” deserves most of the hate it gets. Its ubiquity on class rock radio, bad karaoke stages, and every college a cappella group that ever donned bow ties has made in insufferable (thank the Glee cover inexplicably going to #4 on the charts for the last one). Even The Sopranos couldn’t give it a coolness bump. It is not only Journey’s biggest song by a mile, it’s one of the most well-known songs of the 1980s, period.

The funny thing is that when it came out, not only was it not Journey’s biggest hit, it wasn’t even the biggest hit on that same album. “Open Arms” off Escape went to #2. “Who’s Crying Now” went to #4. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” meanwhile, barely scraped its way into the top ten.

Escape turns 36 this week, which might occasion a Full Album if anyone ever covered any of the other songs off it. But they don’t. They only cover “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Continue reading »

Jul 072014
 

Mark Oliver Everett, sometimes known simply as E, always pulls off great covers. And he often does it best when he slows the song down wringing every last bit of emotion from the source material. Recently, the Eels frontman performed a version of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in Amsterdam, in tribute to Steve Perry, the ex-frontman of Journey. This tribute to Perry seemed in response to the ex-Journey man partially coming out of his self-imposed retirement to perform with the Eels at recent gigs in the US. Continue reading »

Jun 072014
 

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!

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate this thing called life.

Electric word, life. It means a mighty long time but in this case, we’re talking about 56 years and one man – Prince Rogers Nelson. You probably know him as Prince, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, an unpronounceable symbol, The Purple One, Joey Coco or (in certain circles) That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice.
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Apr 302013
 

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

1961’s Blue Hawaii marked the start of Elvis Presley’s long and painful slide down the dull razor blade of mediocrity. The movie has little plot, bland acting, and inane dialogue that sounds more suited to the romantic Anakin Skywalker (“You wanna know something – on you, wet is my favorite color”). Meanwhile, its soundtrack featured emetic material like “Rock-A-Hula Baby” and “Ito Eats.” But we’re ready to forgive all the minute we hear “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Sure, it took a few takes to get it right (give this outtake a listen if you’re in a spot where you won’t get in trouble), but you can’t deny Presley’s performance here, and it would be flat out wrong to try.
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Mar 102011
 

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

Yesterday’s winners: Dirt Poor Robins, “Eleanor Rigby” and Mark Heard, “I’m Looking Through You”

Four strong contenders today. Alison Krauss sets her bluegrassy “I Will” against Neil Cowley Trio’s jazzed-out “Revolution 9” (yes, that “Revolution 9”). Then, an indie-alt battle between eels’ “I’m a Loser” and the Breeders’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.”

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 »

Jun 232010
 

In the Spotlight showcases some a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. Post suggestions for future installments in the comments!

Eels is technically a band, but it’s mostly just one guy: Mark Oliver Everett aka. E. His songwriting has been praised by everyone from Peter Buck of R.E.M. to Tom Waits, both of whom contributed to his 2003 album Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. He’s currently two albums into a concept trilogy about a romantic’s journey through desire, despair, and redemption. The third volume drops in August.

Alright, those are the basics. More importantly for our purposes, Eels performs a ton of covers. Their version of Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” made the blog rounds a few years ago, despite being one of his least inspired performances. He does better interpreting classic songwriters than miming rap hits. In fact, his MySpace Transmissions version of Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” made our Best Cover Songs of 2009 list.
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