Nov 122019
 

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

REM Covers

Last week, R.E.M. released a 25th anniversary expanded reissue of their 1994 album Monster. Unlike many of their albums, Monster was not an obvious candidate for a splashy box set. Practically every new review has noted that Monster was, as Salon succinctly put it, “a notorious staple of dollar bins everywhere.” But, as tends to happen with such reissues, the celebrated albums get celebrated again and the less-loved albums get a critical reappraisal. Sure enough, everyone loves Monster all of a sudden.

So perhaps an avalanche of Monster covers is forthcoming – because there certainly aren’t many now. Despite that being the ostensible news peg for this list, no songs from that album appear on it. But, in a band with as rich a discography as R.E.M.’s, there was a lot of competition. Sure, the obvious hits get covered as much as you think, but many artists delve deeper. The song at the very top of the list, for instance, originally appeared on 1998’s Up, an album that might have an even worse reputation than Monster.

Luckily we don’t need to wait four more years for the reappraisal of that, or of any of the other songs on our list. These 25 covers reappraise R.E.M. deep cuts you didn’t know and reimagine the hits you’ve heard a million times.

The list starts on Page 2.

Nov 112011
 

This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.

Today’s set takes on an unusual twist: no bands. These are all nominally solo artists (one duo), though most have friends playing with them on cello, bass, or, in one case, pots and pans. For the truly solo approach, check out the bonus covers that all feature just a singer and a guitar. Continue reading »

Jun 072011
 

The Montain Goats are known for lo-fi, hyper-literate songs filled with dense stories and nuanced emotion. “Boxcar” is none of these things. It’s a terse screed proclaiming punker-than-thou identity politics. Still, the Goats built a bridge by covering the Jawbreaker chestnut for the A.V. Club Undercover. Continue reading »