Dec 212012
 

Adele dominated the cover song landscape in 2011, but Two-Aught-Twelve saw no similar galvanizing figure. Yes Lana Del Rey got covered a lot, but Leonard Cohen and Arcade Fire also seemed to garner an unexpected landslide of great covers (and speaking of landslides, so did Fleetwood Mac). “Call Me Maybe” was a huge hit that didn’t lead to much in the way of classic covers, and few seem to have even bothered attempting the Korean raps on “Gangnam Style.”

Which means that cover songs in 2012 were more diverse, ambitious, and left-field than ever before. A given YouTube search or Hype Machine browse would be as likely to turn up forgotten hits or underappreciated songwriters as it would the latest Top 40 smash. Find a sampling of all the diversity in Cover Me’s official Best Cover Songs of 2012 countdown. Start with #40-31 on the next page, and check back daily as we’ll be adding more til we hit #1.

Aug 232012
 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Deep Purple’s hard rock classic Machine Head. In recognition of Deep Purple’s influence some of rock music’s biggest names have contributed a version of their favorite track from the album for a tribute. The result is Re-Machined: A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head.  There are two very differing versions of the album’s most famous track “Smoke On The Water”, one from guitar legend Carlos Santana with vocals by Jacoby Shaddix and one from alternative rockers The Flaming Lips. Continue reading »

Mar 212012
 

Often times while reviewing new covers that come in, the first impression of a new and unknown artist is both their name and the genre of cover they release. When I saw the name Bunny West doing a piano cover of the classic heavy metal track “Run to the Hills” I knew I was in for a treat. Off of Iron Maiden’s 1982 album The Number of the Beast, the song was the debut with the band’s vocalist Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson would establish himself as the pioneer of operatic power metal vocalists that followed through the ’80s. Continue reading »

Dec 092011
 

When we think back to this year, we might remember 2011 as the year that the whole concept of the “cover album” became more fluid, and not always for the better. Thanks to the increased prominence of sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, a cover album could be conceived, recorded, and shared in the space of a weekend. This didn’t necessarily lead to better cover albums, but it certainly led to more of them. They came in all formats – digital, CD, vinyl, and even cassette-only – and from all directions – labels, blogs, and even some magazines.

Which, we like to think, makes this list that much more helpful. In a year where the biggest single-artist cover album we got came from William Shatner, it proved a particular challenge to dig through the many obscure artists and assorted tributes and extract the gems. Gems there certainly were though, be they from newcomers making an impression with their favorite songs or old-timers honoring groups that influenced them decades ago. It may have taken a bit more work to find them, but the end result is as strong a selection as we’ve seen.

Continue to page 2 to read the list…

Aug 302011
 

In a recent Download This feature, we spotlighted one musician covering almost every Iron Maiden song on acoustic guitar. One of the few missing songs there was “Wasted Years,” from the Somewhere In Time album. Well, now we’ve got a version to add to your “Acoustic Covers of Every Iron Maiden Song” collection. Ryan Adams dropped by BBC 2 earlier today and performed his own stripped-down version. Continue reading »

Aug 072011
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s big day with cover tributes to his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Bruce Dickinson may be the most metal individual of all time. Not only does he front Iron Maiden, one of the pioneering groups of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and a genre-defining titan of rock, but he’s also a licensed commercial airline pilot. That means that he can charter a Boeing 757 to fly fans of his band to gigs they might not otherwise reach, something he’s actually done before. He’s even got a special plane named after his band’s mascot, “Ed Force One.” Continue reading »