It’s been a while since we checked in with Igor Presnyakov, our favorite classical guitar cover man on YouTube, but the Russian virtuoso has kicked the new year off with two Adele covers. He goes for the obvious choices (“Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You”), but his instrumental takes freshen up even these over-covered songs.
Think of two words you associate with producer-turned-chart-topper Bruno Mars. I’ll go out on a limb and assume you didn’t choose “Russian fingerpicker.” But those are the best words to describe Igor Presnyakov, the classically trained guitarist who had racked up millions of YouTube views with his instrumental covers of artists from Lady Gaga to Pink Floyd.
Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Michael Jackson’s sixth solo album Thriller exploded onto the music scene in 1983. A year later, he released “Beat It” as the album’s third single and won two Grammys. As of September 2010, “Beat it” has been downloaded over 1.6 million times. The music video is just as iconic as the song; there is no other instance where a knife fight between tough gang leaders could devolve into synchronized arm flaps/pelvic thrusts and still be taken seriously.
While Michael’s death last year sparked a flurry of YouTube tributes to the King of Pop, “Beat it” has generated a wide range of interpretations ever since its debut. Ranking #337 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list, its popularity has inspired artists worldwide, from off-key amateurs to Fall Out Boy (ft. John Mayer, no less). Here are five of the best.