In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Elton John‘s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, a deluxe reissue of the 1973 album is being released, complete with a tribute album of various artists covering the album. Some artists you would expect to cover Elton John, such as Fall Out Boy and Ed Sheeran. Coming completely out of nowhere is Miguel featuring Wale with a mesmerizing interpretation of “Bennie & The Jets.”
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!
His parents named him Reginald Kenneth Dwight, and his dad wanted him to become a banker. But Sir Elton Hercules John, 67 years old today, had other ideas. Three hundred million albums, six Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, one Golden Globe, one Tony Award, the best-selling single of all time, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a knighthood later, we say “happy birthday, Sir Elton.”
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
The highest peak and the lowest valley in Sinead O’Connor’s professional career are linked to cover songs. In 1990, she had a worldwide number one hit with her version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” written by Prince. Two years later, she performed a version of Bob Marley’s “War” before she ripped up a picture of the Pope; her career was never the same. Two decades have passed since that seminal moment, and in that time, O’Connor has quietly become one of the foremost musical interpreters of our time.
It’s not hard to find amateur acoustic covers online, but it is hard to find ones you might listen to more than once. Happily, Pakistani artist Alina Ishaque fits into the second category. Her renditions of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Elton John’s oft-covered “Your Song” have a professional polish that showcases her voice.
It’s a rare enough thing to get a full covers album based on a conceptual theme. It is a once-in-a-lifetime cover album when that theme is space and the artist is the man who has boldly gone where no man has gone before. Canadian-born actor, musician, author, producer, and director, William Shatner, aka Captain James T. Kirk from the ’60s TV series Star Trek, is that man.
Set for release this Tuesday October 11, Shatner’s Seeking Major Tom will be available as a one volume digital download, two CDs and three vinyl LP set. The album is being released along with his new book Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large.
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
“There goes another one. There are only five left now.”
“Five what, dear? Tell your Sudie.”
“Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go, too.”
– O. Henry, “The Last Leaf”
Nick Drake released his first album, Five Leaves Left, five years before his death. Barely out of his teens, Drake wrote almost unnervingly mature songs, and married them with sympathetic backing by members of Fairport Convention and Pentangle, and string arrangements by Robert Kirby, a friend and classmate only two months older than Drake. The album featured some of his most expressive singing and playing, and his songs, so melancholy yet so light, wore their graveness like a black silk cloak. Painfully shy, he refused to tour behind it, and the album was poorly marketed. It was doomed to sink with barely a trace. But oh, that trace…
Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
In “Rumours,” Coach Shue’s disgusted with all the mudslinging and infighting going on in his glee club, so he decides to make them learn about a pro rock group that learned to put aside their differences and create a masterpiece. That group, of course, is Fleetwood Mac, and the masterpiece the 1977 album Rumours.
Oh yeah, this is why I watch Glee.