Sep 022010
 

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

In 1966 the Rolling Stones already had five chart-topping singles under their belts in Britain (two in America). Over the previous few years, classics like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “The Last Time,” and “Get Off of My Cloud” had hit the world like an atom bomb. Great songs all, but much like the Beatles‘ earliest work, they were all a bit…samey. To be sure, it was the best sort of sameyness, but it wouldn’t have forecasted the group still selling out stadiums 45 years later.

“Paint It Black” gave the first whiff of that longevity. It wasn’t as big a hit as the three aforementioned singles, but it was their first real departure from the blues-band mold. The middle eastern melody, the spooky sitar riff underpinning the verses, the humming break two-thirds of the way through. This was different. This was out there. Continue reading »

Going Goth

 Posted by at 3:14 pm  No Responses »
Sep 182008
 

On a whim I went to a goth-cello concert a few weeks back because it sounded unique. Rasputina is just that, dueling cellos with an aggressive percussionist who plays songs with titles like “1816, The Year Without a Summer” and “Desert Vampire.” A couple amazing covers they did during their show, one of which is below, inspired a little gothic cover action. So light some candles, put on your black lipstick, and join me in my lair.

Rasputina – Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
In concert Melora Creager introduced this as a “weather conjurer,” saying she loved the lyrics but thought the original was way too upbeat. Transpose it to a minor key, slow it down a ton, and rock out some grinding cellos, and here you go. If you like this one, bowhowdy over at Cover Lay Down just posted their Pink Floyd cover. Great minds and all that.

Siouxsie and the Banshees – This Wheel’s On Fire (Bob Dylan)
A classic cover, these goth pioneers make the Dylan-Danko apocalypse sound completely natural with shivering synth violins and a pounding drum machine. And that voice…brrr.

Inkubus Sukkubus – Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones)
My sketchy friend somehow discovered this band in high school, with song titles like “Wake of the Christian Knights” and “Vampyre Erotica” (sample lyric: “I’ll beat you / I’ll eat you / I’ll laugh at your torment”). I gotta admit though, I’m a fan, and this tune fits in with the rest perfectly. A little research revealed it’s often covered in the gothic music world. Not hard to see why.

Marilyn Manson – The KKK Took My Baby Away (The Ramones)
One of my favorite Ramones songs, this comes from the hit-or-miss We’re a Happy Family tribute disc. It’s electronic, brooding, and downright disturbing. Manson in fact is an unlikely master of the cover; check out a recent taken on a Justin Timberlake track here.

Ex-Voto – Riders on the Storm (The Doors)
First off, the fact that a Goth Tribute to the Doors exists makes me very happy. Then the fact that it’s called Darken My Fire makes it even better. Many of the songs work quite well in their new, darker arrangements, and I recommend checking it out.

The Northern Kings – Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
I posted these guys take on Creep a while back, but this might be even better. Loud, long and epic as hell, it builds, then dies, then builds back up bigger than ever. Their all-covers album Reborn is worth picking up.

Bauhaus – Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
Most of the tunes here are accessible goth-pop, but not this one. It’s crunchy, jarring, and all around strange.

Lacrimosa – Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber)
A gothic take on a gothic song isn’t a stretch, but this dark and shimmery take brings out the ultimate creepiness.

HIM – Solitary Man (Neil Diamond)
These quasi-hitmakers also do a nice version of (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, but this song choice is far more unexpected. Unlike Bad Moon Rising though, the lyrics made far more sense in their original context.

Sisters of Mercy – Jolene (Dolly Parton)
These members of the goth old guard did their own gender-bending version of this song long before Jack White discovered it. It’s a demo, angsty and throbbing.