Oct 202013
 

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by. Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

This is a hybrid piece, melding together two Cover Me staples, “In Memoriam” and “Full Albums,” prompted by today’s anniversary of the plane crash that killed Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and his sister Cassie Gaines. We’re remembering them by giving the Full Album treatment to the band’s debut album, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd). While neither of the Gaines siblings appeared on it, they certainly played its classic songs in concert, and probably even some of the lesser-known ones. So this piece may lack a certain consistency, but if a band can tour as Lynyrd Skynyrd with only one original member, then we can still do this.
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Nov 112011
 

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

The soundtrack to Purple Rain came out ten thousand days ago today. It feels like forever and that’s a mighty long time, but we’re here to tell you there’s something else…the full album, covered.

Purple Rain won an Oscar and two Grammy Awards, sold more than 20 million copies, and held the number one selling album slot in the US for twenty-four consecutive weeks (despite being released just three weeks after Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.). The only debate that remains worth having: great Prince album, or greatest Prince album? Dirty Mind and Sign o’ the Times both have their backers, but neither of those albums tapped into the zeitgeist the way Purple Rain did. Continue reading »

Jul 012009
 


Not surprisingly, Michael Jackson covers have been coming fast and furious these past few days. Whatever you thought of the man, you can’t deny the music. CoverLayDown’s got a good round-up of what’s already been done, so we’re going to try something a little different. Michael passed on Thursday afternoon. By concert time that evening, artists were already beginning to bust out Jackson songs in tribute, a trend that only intensified over the weekend. So here are some of those live covers, recordings of tributes performed since Jackson’s death. They’re in turns emotional, joyous, spontaneous, and apologetic. But all are heartfelt. I weeded out anything with poor or incomplete recordings (as well as those that just weren’t any good). This is what was left.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Mark Rose – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Solo electric guitar is usually a shaky proposition, but not when you sing like this.

Duffy – Billie Jean
Duffy goes the extra mile at this Romanian festival, mixing “Billie Jean” in with her own “Mercy.”

David Garrett – Smooth Criminal
Classical music fans may appreciate that Garrett throws in a bit of Mozart’s “Turkish March” into the middle here. Apparently the two songs have the same harmonic progression.

Ne-Yo & Jamie Foxx – I’ll Be There (Jackson 5)
The BET Awards Sunday night turned into a de facto Jackson tribute, capped off by this duet following a tearful speech by Janet.

Amanda Palmer – Billie Jean
Dresden Doll Palmer says she threw this solo piano wail together in twenty minutes, performing it the night of his death. Impressive indeed, as this gothic lament should be a concert staple for years to come.

Timothy Molo – Thriller
You don’t come across a bass line this meaty every day.

AYO – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
An impassioned spoken tribute leads us into those instantly recognizable riffs.

Rachel Bernard & Steven Keith – Man in the Mirror
A simple but effective duet by two unknowns tugs at the heartstrings.

The Roots & Erykah Badu – I Wanna Be Where You Are
The Roots & Erykah Badu – Billie Jean
Recorded during rehearsal breaks at the Roots new home at Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Martin Sexton – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Only one of a series of impromptu Jackson cover from Sexton the night of his death, his falsetto means you can’t tell if he’s joking or not.

Christian Larke – Black or White
Nothing elaborate here, but sometimes a passionately strummed acoustic guitar is enough.

Third Eye Blind – I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
A noisy crowd can’t silence a jam like this.

Castledoor – Rock With You
You forget how catchy this song is until you hear it.

Robin Thicke – Human Nature
Another night-of-death cover, it’s just one a cappella chorus, but with that voice that’s all you need.

Dave Matthews Band – I’ll Be There (Jackson 5)
Dave keeps it short and sweet.

Stevie Wonder & John Legend – I Can’t Help It
Stevie Wonder & John Legend – We Are the World
Few people are more qualified to do this tunes than Stevie, a living legend in his own right who sang on the original “We Are the World,” even going so far as to coach Bob Dylan through his part.

James Eric – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
Alright, this last one isn’t actually live, but friend of the blog James Eric put it together over the weekend to honor the legend and it’s a hell of a tribute.