They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
It was only five years ago that Kid Cudi first hit mainstream consciousness with “Welcome to Heartbreak,” a track he recorded with Kanye West. While his collabs with the infamous West were the wider public’s first taste of the talented rapper, Cudi had actually been a force to be reckoned with since one of his most successful songs to date, “Day ‘n’ Nite,” was leaked on the web way back in 2007.
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“Weird Al” Yankovic first debuted his new “Polka Face” covers medley live last year, and now, 15 months later, we move from shaky concert footage to off-the-wall music video. Now, normally Al’s polkas get music videos for his concerts consisting of the original video clips synced to his medley (like this one), so this marks his polka-video debut. Continue reading »
Festivals often entice artists to perform covers. What better way to convert the uninitiated than by drawing them in with a song they know and then (ideally) hooking them by transforming it into your sound? This past weekend’s Lollapalooza, though, seemed to offer even more cover performances than usual. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune even christened Saturday “#80snight” to keep track of all the ‘80s covers performed. Continue reading »
No question, music-comedy pioneer “Weird Al” Yankovic is known for his parodies and, to a lesser extent, his original musical numbers. But he performs a third, perhaps underappreciated, category of song: the cover. Every album includes a “polka” medley which, though not labeled as such, fits the dictionary definition of a cover: same lyrics, different music. His latest, Alpocalypse, includes another instant classic: Polka Face. Continue reading »
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak was universally derided upon its 2008 release. Following three critically-acclaimed rap albums, a heart-on-sleeve pop album by a guy who clearly could barely carry a tune proved dead on arrival. The fact that he masked his vocal deficiencies with Auto-Tune at the very height of the anti-Auto-Tune fervor made 808s a particularly easy target.
Three years later, though, people look back on the album more fondly. 808s clearly played a role in shaping West’s undisputed masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, so even the holdouts reluctantly credit the album as a stepping stone to greatness. More generous types recognize, however belatedly, that West perversely used Auto-Tune to make his music more human, not less.
One fact has remained consistent, though, and that is that this album lends itself to covers better than any other Kanye album. The reason is clear – covering a pop song is much easier than covering a hip-hop song. The preponderance of “Love Lockdown”s alone could keep a cover blog going for weeks. Below, then, we present covers of every song off 808s and Heartbreak. No other Kanye West album would be remotely feasible – where the “New Workout Plan” covers at? – but this one proved a cinch. Auto-Tune not included. Continue reading »
This Week on Bandcamp rounds up our favorite covers to hit the site in the past seven days.
This week’s set has even less of a defining theme than usual. Old-school folk mixes with new-school hip-hop. Ukulele twee bumps up against chiptune bounce. The best link we can find: two of the covered artists come from Scandinavia (and Joni Mitchell‘s half Norwegian). Guess we’ll have to live with that. Continue reading »
The parody is the cover’s evil twin. While a good cover keeps the lyrics and changes the music, a parody does the exact opposite. As such, much of what “Weird Al” Yankovic does falls outside this blog’s purview (though covers of Weird Al songs are always popular). His polkas, however, fall strictly in the cover camp. On every album he creates a medley of popular hits set to polka tunes. The lyrics stay intact, the music goes oompah-oompah. Sounds like a cover to me!
He has been opening the shows on his latest tour with a brand-new polka featuring Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Kid Cudi and more. It will presumably appear on his next album as a track titled “Polkaface.” The bummer flipside is that any song included in a polka is now off the table for parody, but you can count on another Lady Gaga song getting the Al treatment. Continue reading »