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 »

Jul 042012
 

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!

From the moment he first appeared on the charts, Bill Withers had a maturity about him that was rare in show business. Not just in age – he was thirty-two when his debut album Just As I Am was released – but in pragmatism; he kept his job at the Boeing aircraft factory even as “Ain’t No Sunshine” was making its way into the top ten, just in case he was thought of as a flash in the pan. He needn’t have worried. His songs resonate just as strongly today as they did when he first set them down. Continue reading »

Dec 162011
 

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

In the week after John Lennon’s death, the universal outpouring of grief obscured a significant anniversary; his first post-Beatles album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, had been released on December 11, 1970 – ten years, almost to the day, before Mark David Chapman shot him. It was an anniversary rarely noted at the time; those who gathered outside the Dakota were more ready to sing of giving peace a chance and imagining all the people than they were to sing lines like “They hurt you at home and they hit you at school” or “The dream is over.” Continue reading »

Nov 172011
 

Meshell Ndegeocello is a prolific singer-songwriter, but many of her best-known performances have in fact been covers. She’s recorded prominent covers of U2, Dolly Parton, and the Miracles, and in 1994 even had a #3 hit with a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” performed with John Mellencamp. Her latest cover mines a similar classic-songwriter vein, turning to Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” on her new album Weather. Continue reading »