Oct 012018
 
best cover songs september

Update October 5: Hear a conversation about this list, and our recent Best Abba Covers Ever roundup, on SiriusXM:

Al Green – Before the Next Teardrop Falls (Freddy Fender cover)


Sorry, Beyoncé; the biggest surprise release of the year might be Al Green’s sudden return after a decade away. Well, not totally away; he still conducts weekly services at his Memphis church and, when I attended, was liberally sprinkling quotes from “Love and Happiness” and “Take Me to the River” into his sermons. Best of all: This Freddy Fender cover sounds like Al hasn’t lost a step. It’s apparently a one-off, but hopefully recording it will whet his appetite to do more. Continue reading »

Dec 062016
 
best cover songs

Over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work making our list of The Best Cover Songs of 2016. Narrowing it down to 50 caused some excruciating choices, that’s how many great covers there were this year.

We’ll be posting the full list next week (and “Best Cover Albums” this Thursday), but as a little appetizer, here are our Honorable Mentions, covers we loved and still wanted to spotlight as among the best 2016 had to offer. Continue reading »

Mar 032016
 
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New York City nostalgia sucks. The new HBO show Vinyl sucks, that friend of yours who keeps telling you New York was better in the ’70s sucks, and every Brooklyn band attempting to make NYC sound “great” again sucks. Everything sucks. Except the Strokes, the only band able to turn NYC nostalgia into genuine modern rock ‘n’ roll, in this case by covering the Velvet Underground. How did the Strokes do it? Simple, they stole as much from Television as they did the from Velvets, which explains the more melodic guitar leads and actual use of bass (just kidding, I love you John Cale and Doug Yule). It helped too that Julian Casablancas was an actual New Yorker who could sing Lou Reed’s words seriously and not seem silly. Continue reading »

Jun 272011
 

Rave On Buddy Holly, arguably the most hyped cover album of the year, finally drops this week. Rampant previews hinted that the album would be something special, and the A-list lineup of artists doesn’t disappoint. Rave On is a solid, carefully curated collection of tracks from Buddy Holly‘s surprisingly extensive catalog, a worthy tribute to the rock pioneer.

Choosing standouts from such a varied and high-profile set of covers is a challenge. Some of the best moments come from contributors who chose to keep their covers low-key. Dan Auerbach’s vocals gracefully carry the Black Keys‘ quiet, percussion-based opener “Dearest,” while Fiona Apple and Jon Brion trip through a pitch-perfect duet in “Everyday.” My Morning Jacket offers the elegantly subdued “True Love Ways,” embellished with a lovely string section. Continue reading »

May 162011
 

The people behind the upcoming Rave On Buddy Holly tribute album sure know how to generate buzz. One by one they leak tracks off the stunning 19-song tracklist. We’ve already heard Modest Mouse, Cee-Lo Green, and the Black Keys’ contributions (here and here). Now we present two more, bringing the total of full-song previews to five. And there’s still a month to go! Continue reading »

Apr 282011
 

And the winner for Most Anticipated Tribute Album of 2011 goes to…

Rave On Buddy Holly, coming June 28th to celebrate what would be Buddy Holly’s 75th birthday this fall. This tracklist defines the term “stacked.” From veterans like Paul McCartney and Patti Smith to newer breakouts like She & Him and Cee-Lo Green, every one of the 19 tracks looks to be another potential stunner. My Morning Jacket crooning “True Love Ways”? The Black Keys rocking “Dearest”? John Doe doing who-knows-what to “Peggy Sue Got Married”? Continue reading »