Feb 032017
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

Rutles+Highway+Revisited

Until such time as a record company can be persuaded to put together a Spinal Tap tribute album (and really, how did that never happen?), the award for Best Tribute Album To A Fictional Band has to go to Rutles Highway Revisited. The Rutles were a takeoff on the Beatles with songs written by Neil Innes that were SO close to the originals that Innes now has to share royalties with Lennon and McCartney. They had a brilliant (and little-seen at the time) TV special with many Saturday Night Live members and a few quality musicians (including a heavily disguised George Harrison). The Shimmy Disc label saluted the band in 1990 with an album designed mostly to promote the label’s frequently eccentric artists, but with such cheerful pastiches to work with, the hits-to-misses ratio was pretty darn good.
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Apr 232014
 

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: What’s your favorite cover of your favorite Beatles song?
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Sep 032010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

If “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” isn’t up there among your favorite Beatles songs, you’re doing it wrong. This White Album gem isn’t just one great song; it’s four. Shifting time signatures, strange rhythms, and off-beat guitar squalls pushed the boundaries of how much you could cram into two minutes and forty-four seconds. It constantly threatens to careen off the rails like a train taking a turn too fast, but it never does.

Thinking-man’s guitar hero Marc Ribot has the goods to keep all that in line. After all, the man accompanied Tom WaitsRain Dogs-era reinvention, during which he played the guitar “like a midget’s bar mitzvah” (Tom’s words). His performances marked album high points, so it’s no surprise his solo interpretation of “Happiness” should be similarly transcendent. He first recorded it for his 2001 album Saints, but seeing him coax it from his guitar live is even more impressive. Here’s a clip from ’07. Continue reading »