Jul 302015
 

In Defense takes a second look at a much maligned cover artist or album and asks, “Was it really as bad as all that?”

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It is easy to understand how someone could find a pre-school appropriate cover of “Big Pimpin” musically lacking. By stripping all lyrical content from hip-hop and infusing a heavy dose of xylophone, artistic value becomes shaky. While this style of cover might fit well in a high school talent show, superficially they offer little more than a tight chuckle and warrant slightly more than a participatory prize.

So, why are these covers being defended?
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Jun 052015
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

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His voice was an omnipresent cry in our electronic world. His sharp features, majestic looks, and prancing style a vivid etching on the landscape of our minds. Bob Marley was never seen. He was an experience which left an indelible imprint with each encounter. Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation. – Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga, in his eulogy to Bob Marley

Maybe it’s a cheat to include a greatest hits album in the Full Album Covers category, but when the suggestion of Legend was put forward, I was intrigued. Only as I started searching did I perhaps discover why this best-of was the album suggested, instead of Catch a Fire, say, or Natty Dread. One of Bob Marley’s “normal” studio, or even live, albums might have been, well, a much duller choice, actually. If not dull, then uninnovative and samey, because anyone can do karaoke, and by golly, there are a lot of copycat Marley covers out there! By focusing on Legend, at least there is  opportunity to steer a little clearer of identikit versions.
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Feb 142012
 

Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

The sister of the Yours Truly founder passed away recently, and L.A. indie pop artist Nite Jewel recorded this gorgeous cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Visions” in her memory. It’s just a keyboard and that voice, which is all you need.
MP3: Nite Jewel – Visions (Stevie Wonder cover) Continue reading »

Jun 272011
 

Near the end of Bob Marley‘s life when cancer had begun to take it’s course he wrote “Redemption Song.”  In a song that gives a glimpse into his dealing with mortality, he delivered one of the more widely covered acoustic spiritual ballads today. Some of the versions that ring true to the soul of the song include a haunting rendition by Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer and a live tribute by Lauryn Hill with Ziggy Marley. Continue reading »

May 132011
 

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is honoring reggae legend Bob Marley this week to mark the 30th anniversary of his death, bringing on Chris Cornell, Ziggy Marley (both here), Jennifer Hudson, and Jakob Dylan (both below) earlier in the week to cover Marley classics. Keeping it going last night was a rare televised performance from the legendary Lauryn Hill, who is currently touring around the West Coast. Hill and her band played the funky “Could You Be Loved” as well as the less-known, posthumously released ballad “Chances Are.” Continue reading »

Mar 142011
 

Any soul music fan has surely worshipped at the altar of Booker T. Jones at some point. Jones led the legendary combo Booker T. and The M.G.’s, the house band at Stax Records that backed up Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave and others. Additionally, they recorded some of the most recognizable instrumental music of the ’60s, most notably “Green Onions.” Their instrumental tribute to The Beatles Abbey Road, entitled McLemore Avenue is well worth seeking out for any cover fan. In fact, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” recently moved on to Round Two in Moptop Madness. Continue reading »