Jun 102015
 

Welcome to Cover Me Q&A, where we take your questions about cover songs and answer them to the best of our ability.

Here at Cover Me Q&A, we’ll be taking questions about cover songs and giving as many different answers as we can. This will give us a chance to hold forth on covers we might not otherwise get to talk about, to give Cover Me readers a chance to learn more about individual staffers’ tastes and writing styles, and to provide an opportunity for some back-and-forth, as we’ll be taking requests (learn how to do so at feature’s end).

Today’s question, from Cover Me staffer Raphael Camara: What’s a song that’s been covered too many times?
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Jan 192015
 

“Avalanche” was the first Leonard Cohen song Nick Cave ever heard, as the lead-off track to Cohen’s third album Songs of Love and Hate. “I discovered Leonard Cohen with Songs of Love and Hate,” Cave said in a 1994 interview on French radio. “I listened to this record for hours in a friend’s house. I was very young and I believe this was the first record that really had an effect on me. In the past, I only listened to my brother’s records. I liked what he liked, followed him like a sheep. Leonard Cohen was the first one I discovered by myself. He is the symbol of my musical independence. I remember these other guys that came to my friend’s house that thought Songs of Love and Hate was too depressing. I’ve realized that this ‘depression’ theory was ridiculous. The sadness of Cohen was inspiring, it gave me a lot of energy. I always remember all this when someone says that my records are morbid or depressing.” Continue reading »

Sep 052014
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

He sounds like a slowed-down Jeff Buckley on female hormones. – Listener quoted in The Times of London
Antony Hegarty has a voice that sounds like it belongs to a Dostoyevsky character. Every song rides on an undercurrent of mournful reflection. – NPR
[W]hat a discovery: a voice like St Theresa’s arrow to pierce the soul. – The Australian
Every emotion in the planet is in that gorgeous voice. – Diamanda Galas
When I heard him, I knew that I was in the presence of an angel. – Lou Reed

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Feb 212014
 

“Suzanne” has been covered many, many times since Judy Collins released her version of Leonard Cohen’s song in 1966. (For a couple of examples, go here and here.) What’s interesting about the recent cover by NO is it sounds like the way Leonard Cohen might record the song today if he was approaching “Suzanne” for the first time. Continue reading »

Aug 132013
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

“Tower of Song” was released in the late ’80s on Leonard Cohen’s album I’m Your Man. Open to interpretation by zealous music fans arguing over beers at 3 a.m., “Tower” is often thought to be an allegorical song about Cohen’s self-flagellation during his own songwriting (and when you write a song about songwriting, it becomes an ourobourus on many levels). It’s not been covered as often as other Cohen hits, but its allusions to Cohen trying to clack out a song in his invisible prison while the clock of death is ticking makes it one of his most memorable songs. Cohen spent six years of the ’90s in a Buddhist monastery trying to seek enlightenment. But you, dear reader, can achieve the same by listening to these covers below.
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Mar 152013
 

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

On December 27, 1967, Columbia Records released an album by a folk musician and a true poet (not necessarily in that order). It was different than anything he’d released before, but there was an audience for this new/old sound of his, and over the years, as the mysterious yet straightforward lyrics were analyzed and treasured in equal measure, the critically acclaimed album grew to be understood as a genuine classic, one that new generations discover and longtime owners rediscover to this day.

That album is, of course, John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan. Funnily enough, you can describe Songs of Leonard Cohen exactly the same way, right down to the day it was released. Continue reading »