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!

Next month, the Primitives will release the 25th anniversary edition of Lovely, their debut album; it’s a quarter century old, but its sound is deathless. While the band may be best known for Lovely‘s leadoff track “Crash,” their sound combined Blondie and the Jesus and Mary Chain in a way that resounded with fans far longer and deeper than one song could ever account for. As for the Primitives themselves, they disbanded in the early ’90s, but twenty years later got back together to release Echoes & Rhythms, a cover album that pulls off the rare trick of showing them to be just as vibrant and relevant as they ever were.
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Feb 012013

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 Doors are in the unfortunate position of being overwhelmed by their mystique. They were never a band that coasted on an image – they released eight albums (six studio, one live, one best-of) in the five years before Jim Morrison’s death, and two more studio albums afterward. Their dark voice was not always welcome in the peace ‘n’ love sixties, but they never stopped raising it. Some of their albums are spotty, but the best of their work has stood the test of time better than that of many if not most of their contemporaries. Alas, too many people today know them as nothing more than a vehicle for Morrison to wield the persona that famously led Rolling Stone to declare him hot, sexy, and dead. But in 1967, there was nobody like them, and their self-titled debut album proved them to be a cohesive unit with a vision only those four men could convey.
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Quickies rounds up new can’t-miss covers. Download ‘em below.

Last year, ex-Luna bandmates Dean & Britta released 13 Most Beautiful…Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. It featured songs inspired by the Factory scene and a cover of Nico’s “I’ll Keep It with Mine” (itself a Bob Dylan cover). Now there’s a slightly more fleshed-out remix circulating, drawing more attention to a beautiful disc that flew under the radar.
MP3: Dean & Britta – I’ll Keep It with Mine (Scott Hardkiss Remix) (Bob Dylan cover) Continue reading »

In 1965, a 16-year old Jackson Browne wrote the song “These Days.” It was first recorded by German model Nico in 1967, then Gregg Allman, and then Browne himself in 1973. These three versions in differing styles have created the foundation for one of the more popular cover songs in the last 45 years. Other notable artists to cover the track include; Nitty Gritty Band, John Cale, Tom Rush, 10,000 Maniacs,  Fountains of Wayne, and St. Vincent. Continue reading »

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!

A happy 73rd birthday to Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian troubadour extraordinaire. From the age of five, when he made his performing debut in Sunday School with “I’m a Little Teapot,” he has spent his lifetime bringing music to the world, and the world has responded in kind with covers by the hundreds, from Elvis Presley on down. His songs are not generally happy songs  – “Talk about your party tunes!” Dave Barry once commented about “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” – but they speak well to the human condition with a truly universal voice, and they led none other than Bob Dylan to say, “Gordon Lightfoot, every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever.” Continue reading »

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 annals of rock history, The Velvet Underground & Nico is filed under “Important Albums.” Sure, it sold all of five copies at the time of its release, but it is has since risen through the ranks to define not just a sound, not just an era, but an entire lifestyle. This one has everything. Drugs! S&M! Andy Warhol’s peelable banana cover!

Lou Reed’s noisy rants have inspired thousands of covers over the years. Below are our favorites for VU & Nico. As always with Full Albums, a different artist reinterprets each and every track. From folk harmony to psycho guitar squall, from musicians foreign to the dark subject matter to those who can relate all too well, it’s here. Click each song title for an MP3. Banana not included. Continue reading »

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