Mar 222017

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

bringing it all back home covers

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Newport Folk Festival concerts is one of the most famous – or infamous – performances of all time, subject to numerous books, documentaries, and debates over why Pete Seeger threatened to cut the power cable with an axe. But the fact is, by the time he stepped on that stage, Dylan had already gone electric, four months prior. The first half of his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home – which turns 52 today – is all electric. And not the sort of light electric augmentation other folk singers were experimenting with either. The first track “Subterranean Homesick Blues” may still be the loudest, hardest track of Dylan’s entire career. He’d already drawn his line in the sand; the folk-music crowd had just chosen to ignore it.

To celebrate this landmark album’s 52nd birthday, we’re giving it the full-album treatment. Our recent tributes to Dylan albums have covered underrated works like 1978’s Street Legal and 1985’s Empire Burlesque, but today we return to the classics. Such classics, in fact, that in addition to our main cover picks we list some honorable-mention bonus covers for each song. Continue reading »

Apr 152011

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Covering metal songs can be tricky. The musical complexity often displayed on the originals means that to create anything new, you may have to venture away from anything resembling “metal.” In doing so, however, your music may no longer hold any appeal to fans of the band you’re covering. As a result, metal covers tend to play it safe (and, thus, be terrible).

From what we found, though, Iron Maiden fans are open-minded (or wonky) enough to appreciate a folk-rock “The Trooper” or a pan-flute “Aces High.” Maiden fans support wacky non-metal cover albums and one-offs more than you see with their peers. That made finding quality covers of every song on The Number of the Beast both more easy and more enjoyable than it was for, say, our Master of Puppets tribute two years ago. With all the terrific reinterpretations we dug up, we could just as easily have done a tribute to Piece of Mind or Iron Maiden (and maybe one day we will).

For now, though, we bring you our track-by-track, cover-by-cover look at Iron Maiden’s seminal The Number of the Beast. Eight songs, eight covers, in a wide variety of styles. Maiden songs translate beautifully to other genres, and musicians across the musical spectrum have taken advantage. Continue reading »

Mar 082011

Bands performing cross-genre cover experiments often risk sounding too kitschy or cute, catching your attention at first, but quickly wearing out their welcome. The more obscure the new genre, the greater the risk (anyone remember The Mike Flowers Pops?) So when a genre experiment album comes across the Cover Me desk, it’s approached with some trepidation.

Brooklyn-based band The Debutante Hour mix vaudeville and cabaret music with a healthy dose of barbershop harmonies. For their latest release, Follow Me, they recruited Franz Nicolay, former keyboardist in The Hold Steady, to produce a set of six covers, all from different musical styles and eras. With each track, the band could easily fall flat, faced with the challenge of bending and twisting a strange blend of selections to meet their needs. Continue reading »

Jun 182010

The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship last night, putting them only one behind the Boston Celtics in total rings. Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” became an unofficial theme song for the team, which is pretty funny when you think about it. The song is partially ripping on the city. Sure, it does so lovingly, but it’s hardly “New York, New York.” Newman sings about a bum “down on his knees” and lists streets with some of the poorest people in the area.

Even funnier are the covers this inspires. Take this nine-year old singing, “I’m rolling down the Imperial Highway with a big nasty redhead at my side.” Or Alvin and the Chipmunks catching some waves while singing about the homeless. Does no one read lyrics?
Continue reading »